Yes, I know...this title is pretty intense. (I'm not the one who titled it! [Course, it IS the truth...you'll see]) Galatians 3: 1-5 is the text we'll be looking at, and; lucky for you, since it's a small passage, We'll look at it on here. Galatians 3:1-5: "O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—" Before we start, i just want to say some things: We don't work hard to stay saved and grow after we are saved by the Gospel, but we are saved AND (Uh-hm) GROW by the GOSPEL. The Truth by which you are saved is the one you should stick to.
I. How Was Christ Preached? Gal. 3:1
Notice that Paul's tone is severe and direct: "O foolish Galatians!" (V. 1) The Galatians are not using Spiritual Discernment in this situation...for another thing, notice that it is Mental LAZINESS, not Mental DEFICIENCY. See, the Galatians are not really steadfast or stable...they pick up false Doctrines quickly. There is something in it for us too: We must REALLY take into mind ALL the possibilities of trouble: Sin in general, falling to False Doctrines, and the list goes on and on. "Who has bewitched you?" (Bewitched is to charm or fascinate someone.) The False teachers are charming the Galatians onto the wrong track. You can probably grab this as well: We must NOT be charmed or fascinated by the things and pleasures of this world.
II. How Did You Receive The Spirit? Gal. 3: 2
In other words: how were you saved? It was by faith in Jesus Christ and that his sacrifice covers our sins...so where in the world does "works" come in? The Galatians; like us, have received the Holy Spirit not because they worked to achieve it. Paul gives them the two options that there only are: HUMAN ACCOMPLISHMENT or DIVINE ACCOMPLISHMENT. In other words, works or by faith.
III. Are You So Foolish? Gal. 3:3
Paul DOES know that they are saved. The same way that the Galatians (and US!) received the Holy Spirit IS THE SAME WAY THE HOLY SPIRIT MAKES PROGRESS AND ADVANCES IN THEIR LIVES!
IV. How Are You Being Sanctified? Gal. 3:3
Justification and Sanctification are INSEPARABLE, you can't have one without the other; even though BIBlICALLY you can study them in different verses and books of the bible. Also, you can't smuggle character into Justification. I already touched base with this, but this is important, so I'll say it again: As you receive Christ and the Spirit in Faith, so you walk and grow with them in Faith. It's not WORKS that save you and bring you into heaven. It's the Gospel, and as a result of your faith in the Gospel, YOU WILL DO WORKS BECAUSE IT IS GOD'S COMMAND, AND YOU WILL DO IT WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT'S POWER AND HELP. As a result, you will not EVEN BE ABLE to boast in yourself, BUT ONLY GOD. Yes, I'm emphasizing a lot...which makes it only more important. And even though it may not seem like we deal with works these days, it's important nonetheless: It's not a huge thing, but it can be a self-righteous issue. I can say I'm different and better than anyone else because i'm a servant and i do this and that and this and that. That is, as my science teacher loves to put it: "EL WRONGO!". Yes, my Science teacher is VERY funny.
V. On What Basis Did Jesus Perform His Miracles?
Well, you should already know...BY FAITH. Just think for a moment: Did ANYONE HE HEAL DESERVE TO BE HEALED BECAUSE THEY KEPT ALL OF THE COMMANDMENTS? No, not really. If you remember correctly, and I'm sure you are, Jesus always said, "Because of your faith in me, you are healed." Now, I know he NEVER really put it that way, but it's BASICALLY the same thing. So, were these miracles the result of their merits? I just answered that: NO!!! They had VERY strong Faith that he was the Christ.
Notice that NONE of these questions were answered...in fact, the answers are SO OBVIOUS that they are silent. So, what will you trust in? Your Works, or Your Savior's Works? Hm. Well, I keep cutting myself pretty frequently, as indeed I did earlier today. Hm. MOST LIKELY not the former...so DUH! The LATTER IS THE ANSWER! Our hearts AND desires are changed by Faith in the Gospel...that is HOW WE WERE SAVED AND HOW WE GROW.