“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?” Galatians 3:1-2
Boy Paul sure knows how to start a thought doesn’t he. Using the term “O foolish Galatians” could have shut them down I would think. Or maybe that is just this day and time. But Paul was driving home the thought to them that they seemed to be buying into other thoughts that were totally against what they had already been taught. It appears to me that the Galatians had received the message of Jesus but now they were falling into line with judging themselves and each other simply by their works. I actually love how Paul just jumps right to it. He doesn’t beat around the bush with rhetoric. He asked the question “Did you receive the Spirit by works or by faith? You see, we can never be “good enough” for God. Our thoughts and our ways are as filthy rags to Him. But when you receive what Jesus did for us on the cross then you received it by faith. Paul goes on to give them, and us, a history lesson on Abraham. You see Abraham was held in high regard to the people of Paul’s day. But one thing that Paul points out to the people is that Abraham “believed God.” Not that Abraham believed in God, but that he believed God. Paul points out as well that Abraham was told “in you shall all the nations be blessed”. If you are of faith you are considered a son of Abraham. Even back in the days of Abraham, Paul is saying, God revealed that he would justify the Gentiles because of their faith.
“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.’ So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” Galatians 3:8-9
Abraham exhibited his faith in God and believed God even before the law was given. He was a man of faith who walked with God. He didn’t just rely on his list of rules.
“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law and do them.’” Galatians 3:10
How exhausting to live by the list of rules. I don’t want to just live by a list of rules and regulations.
“Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law for ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” Galatians 3:11
Humanly speaking, we cannot keep the law enough to be justified before God. That is why this relationship with Jesus is so important. Believing in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection is what having this faith is all about. Believing in Jesus and accepting Him is what gives us our righteousness. Jesus took on the curse for us. The curse that we can’t live up to the law. Jesus took it when He died on the cross so that we can be seen as righteousness to God, so that we could receive the Spirit through our faith in Him.
“So that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3:14
Paul goes on to explain the law and the place that it has for those in the faith. He explains that no one can add to or take away from the law. The law was given to Abraham and to his offspring. Abrahams offspring was Christ. Christ did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill the law. The law was given to Abraham until Christ should come. But just keeping the law, just keeping the rules is not what gives life. Trying to strive just to keep the law, the list of the rules is like being held captive. But the law was given as a guardian or a guide to them, until Christ came. Christ came so that we can put our faith in Him and allow Him to be our guide. If you have faith in Christ then it is almost like you are wearing Him. He is with you always to help you, to guide you, to show you the way to walk and to live.
“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:27-29
Lord Jesus I pray that we have “put on Christ”. I pray that we are wearing you just the same as we wear our clothes and that You will guide us and that You will lead us.
Please pray for the small business owners and those in the service industry today.