August 19/Galatians 3

“When your salvation depends on your faith; what you believe matters”

In this Chapter Paul uses three arguments to show that salvation depends on faith in Jesus and not by working for it. In verses 1-5 he uses a personal argument from the Galatians salvation experience, in verses 6-14 he uses a scriptural argument from six Old Testament scriptures and in verses 15-29 he uses a logical argument talking about what a covenant is and how it works.

I am just going to comment on the personal argument.

Verse 1 > the word ‘foolish’ here means to be spiritually dull. Who cast and evil spell on you could mean who has deceived you. When Paul was with them his words painted such a vivid picture of Jesus on the cross it was a though the Galatians could picture themselves as being there! I would like to have been there to hear that message! Some people can tell a story in such a way that you feel like you are there in the story. Apparently the Holy Spirit helped Paul do this. At that time they believed in Jesus. Paul is saying not to forget that moment.

Verse 2 > Paul is saying remember how you felt when the Holy Spirit came upon you. You had such love for each other. You felt clean because your sins were forgiven. You felt comforted and encouraged. You were a given a new prayer language. You realized there is one God and because of the Holy Spirit you could call God > Abba or daddy!

I assume this is what Paul was getting at because the Holy Spirit does all of these things. You see how powerful your own personal experience is? That is why Paul started with this argument. Paul is reminding them that they truly had a meeting with God!

Verse 3 > Paul is saying how foolish can you be. God gave you the gift of salvation and now you want to give it back and try to earn it! That would be like somebody giving me a new bicycle and then I give it back and ask them what I can do to earn it! Foolish, right? Any time you get in that performance mode where you wonder if you have been good enough or done enough for God to keep in his good graces, remember this example.

Verse 4 > Do you think God did all that for you just to pull it away, laugh at you and then say, “Now earn it!” That is not the daddy the Holy Spirit revealed to you.

Luke 11:11–13 (NLT) — 11 “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Verse 5 > Paul is saying has God reduced you to beggars that grovel at his feet as he throws out scraps of food? No a Father always provides for his children. What do you believe about Father God? What you believe matters!

I remember two miracles that Father God did for me at the time of my salvation. He took away my desire to consume large amounts of alcohol and he cleaned up my filthy, cursing mouth. Not to mention the weight of sin that was lifted off me, the joy in my heart, the desire to help others and the ‘no fear’ of eternity. What happened to you or in you when you first believed in Jesus?

If you have a tendency to drift into mixing works with your salvation why not remember your own personal experience when you first believed in Jesus. You had nothing to offer then and he gave you salvation. You have nothing to offer now because anything you do God can do better. Salvation is not an Olympic event where you have to try to medal! Relax and enjoy your life with the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I believe that is what Paul would say.

Like St. Augustine said, “Love God and do as you please.”

Be Inspired Hilltop!

 

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    Galatians continues to stress that salvation comes from faith not works. The law was to direct people towards living for God but could not save anyone. The law was training wheels for life until Christ came and the training wheels came off. So now we ride in faith.