“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 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—“
As long as there have been people, there have been the gullible, as well as those willing to take advantage of them. P.T. Barnum famously said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Sometimes the pranks and jokes that people play on others can be funny, but when the stakes are high, it’s not a laughing matter. Adam and Eve lost their beautiful home because they fell for the deceitful words of the serpent. Esau gave up his birthright and lost his blessing when Jacob pulled a fast one on his blind and trusting father. Gideon’s tiny ragtag of leftovers defeated the Midianite camp by posing as a much larger army at night armed with trumpets, clay pots and torches. And the Galatians were fooled into exchanging the grace of God, for a broken system of works.
Paul was flabbergasted with the Galatians for being so easily duped. He called them “foolish” for seeing the movement of the Spirit of God, and knowing full well that this power came from the crucified and risen Christ. In this letter he is taking their hand, walking them through the evidence that they’ve already seen with their own eyes to get back to the point where they once were.
How many times have we fallen for the lies of the enemy? How many times have we traded what is valuable for that which is temporary? How many times have we seen God work in our lives only to return to fear and doubt? And how many times do we go back to the old ways of trying to earn God’s favor by good works?
Let us read the words of Paul as if he were giving us this stern talking to. I think I’m a sucker far more than I’d like to admit. Read the passage again substituting your own name in the place where the Galatians are referred to.
While using the HEAR method, prayerfully ask God to speak to you the truths you need for today.
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Today’s post is by Jon Price, Associate Pastor