Galatians 3:1-5

 

Gal 3:1 (KJB)
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
 
Foolish - Senseless, irrational in conduct
Bewitched - Mislead by pretence as with magic arts or hypnotize
Hath been evidently set forth - Written before hand or proclaimed
 
The word “foolish” carries with it the meaning of someone who knows better but does not use what they know. The Galatian Church was apparently subject to some real attacks by Satan with not only the Judaizers teaching but the people were accepting. False teachers can not survive without pupils. It is like a bank, it must loan money to stay in business. False teachers must have an audience to stay in business. Paul asks these Galatians a serious question. He wants to know who has bewitched them? This was a serious question because in Paul’s day there were many involved in the satanic arts, just like there are today. Paul wants to know who mislead them and why they so easily accept what is being told to them by the false teachers. Paul is stating that the Lord Jesus Christ has been so strongly preached among them and strongly written about, that it was as if He was crucified in their presence. That is how real salvation was to the Galatians and that is a key to understanding why Satan had targeted this church. The stronger it is, the more Satan would like to destroy it and he will use whoever he can, and in this case it was the false teachers.
 
Gal 3:2 (KJB)
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
 
Hearing - The sense of hearing
 
Paul now begins to ask a series of poignant questions. The first question he poses goes right to the heart of the matter. Did you become saved by keeping the law or did you get saved by grace? When the true gospel was preached to them, the Elect among them had become saved without the keeping of any of the law of Moses. Now that they have begun to listen to the false teachers, Paul wants to know did they get saved by law or grace? Of course, the obvious answer is that they, like us, are saved by grace if we are the Elect under the hearing of the true word of God.
 
Gal 3:3 (KJB)
Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
 
Foolish - Senseless
Having begun - Make a beginning
Made perfect - Finish, complete or fulfill
 
He then asks the second important question. Are you so senseless that your beginning was in the Spirit of God and now are you trying to complete your salvation or fulfill it by means of works? For someone to try and add works to their salvation would be like saying that the sacrifice of Christ was incomplete. This is a rank heresy. In John 19:30 Christ stated that It is Finished. (John 19:30 KJV) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. The words “it is finished” means it is completed. What was completed? The salvation program was now completed except for the calling of the Elect throughout the ages until the last day. There is nothing more to add to true salvation. The cults and false churches will desire to keep you in bondage to works, or better yet, their works. They will get you to think that you need to do certain works for salvation but the bottom line is that Christ completed God’s salvation program for the Elect once and for all. So for Christians to think that they can improve on their salvation by doing good works, they are sadly mistaken. We do good works because we are already saved, not to earn salvation. (Eph 2:10 KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
 
Gal 3:4 (KJB)
Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
 
Paul is now reminding them that have faced persecution because they were Christians and if Christianity was false, then their sufferings were in vain. This was not the case. If Christianity was false, it would not be persecuted but since it is the truth, their would be persecution. Paul ends the statement up by saying “if it yet be in vain.” He ends like this to state that there is still hope if they do not forsake the true gospel of justification by grace in exchange for the works gospel, which really is not a gospel.
 
Gal 3:5 (KJB)
He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
 
Ministereth - Furnish, provide, or fully supply
Worketh miracles - Works of power
 
Now Paul asks another straight question. Does God, who fully supplies or provides the Spirit and who does works of power among the Galatians, is He accomplishing this by works of the law or by the hearing of faith otherwise known as justification by grace? If God is not bringing salvation to the Galatians or any other Elect by means of the law, then it behooves these Galatians to ask why they are reverting to the works of the law to perfect their salvation. Paul is basically saying that if God is saving by grace, then why would you think that salvation is by works? What evidence is God giving to them that He wants them to go back under the law? Of course, the answer is that God is giving none because Christ kept the law perfectly in His sacrifice and therefore adding anything to Christ’s sacrifice would be blasphemy.

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