GALATIANS 3: 1-5
1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
Before starting this passage in Galatians 3, take a quick look at how Paul ended chapter 2.
Galatians 2: 20-21 >>> I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
And now take a look at the opening of Galatians 3.
Galatians 3:1 >>> You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
The crucifixion of Jesus is central here. As followers of Jesus, we share in the death of Jesus. Forgiveness of sins did not come cheaply for Jesus, and neither can we cheaply accept it.
Paul wants his reader to understand the magnitude and visibility of what Christ went through. When Jesus offered himself up to be nailed to the cross on our behalf, the effects were far reaching. Only through death could the payment for our sins be fully satisfied. Only through the blood of Jesus could our lives truly be changed. We are foolish to think our human effort will accomplish what Christ’s death did for us.
Both salvation and sanctification — the process of growing to be more like Christ — are a work of the Spirit. And the way for both was opened through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Look at Paul’s rhetorical questions to make his point in this passage, and circle all the places where Paul talks about the Spirit.
Galatians 3: 2-3, 5 >>> Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? … So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
>>>Here’s a few questions to think about:
Do you need to stop trying so hard? When you start to worry that you don’t measure up, or you’ve done something (or too many things) wrong, remind yourself of this truth:
God is WITH YOU and WORKING IN YOU not because of anything you do or don’t do, but because he has promised!
God’s presence and activity in your life depend on him, and not on you!
In which of the following areas of your life do you struggle with feeling like you’re not enough? Check any that apply, or write your own in the space provided.
__ Body image
__ Social media
What would it look like to walk in the truth that you don’t have to strive to be good enough in these areas — God is with you anyway?
What are 3 ways you can remind yourself this week of the truth that your worth and God’s work in you are dependent on the Spirit, and not in how well you perform?