While reading Galatians in your devotional life, have you wondered why the Apostle Paul would address the churches in Galatia: “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” Galatians 3:1-3
Paul wanted to address the Christians as they listened to this letter to take heed as to what they were doing. He wanted them to examine themselves and go back to the where they began. When Paul visited this area, those who heard the simple gospel of grace received salvation by faith. Through this liberty, the Galatians were “set free.” “Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36
A change took place. Judaizers came with a different gospel of perversion to reinstitute the law in order to be saved, not only that, but a works-based perfection of the flesh (external works of religion) was initiated. What happened when it all began in the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, being led by the Spirit? Well, man enters in to attempt to help God out through religion of works of the flesh. Paul gave the Galatians his personal testimony in Galatians 2:19-20. “For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Paul has a personal relationship with Jesus. As believers we have a personal relationship with the Lord. Jesus in us is the hope of glory and we are in Christ. It is this union that makes us children of God.
Finally, Paul wrote to the Ephesians in chapter 2:8-10, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer learned one thing: to be spontaneous in obedience to God’s will. We do not want to be foolish. May you enjoy the many blessings living for Christ.
Jesus loves you - Pastor Roger Stahlhut