Fools Without Faith - Galatians 3:1-14

Fools without Faith

Has anyone ever called you foolish? Do we act foolish sometimes? Do we act as someone who disregards God’s revelation? 

Also, many movies and TV shows portray someone being ‘bewitched’ or hypnotized. Essentially, they are not in their right mind and are so attracted to something that they are under the other person's control. Their minds are clouded to the point of being incapable of appropriate decision-making. 

But do we believe in God as Abraham did? Are we so attracted by God that he completely controls our lives? 

Galatians 3:1-14
1 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— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Paul opens strong toward the Galatian Church. Calling them fools or someone who acts without thinking or perceiving the end result. Christ is the key to salvation, and Paul clearly laid this out earlier in the letter. He asks them more rhetorical questions. He emphasizes the need for faith alone, being led and guided by the Holy Spirit. We are completely capable of thinking, but when we don’t act accordingly, are we acting foolish?
Paul continues to emphasize that salvation is by faith alone, faith in Christ. We, at times, may have clouded vision or clouded thinking and can’t seem to take a step in the correct direction. Paul encourages us to keep it simple and remember that it only requires Christ. The Holy Spirit guides us so that we may live by faith. We must remember that we don’t suffer in vain, nor did Christ. We have freedom through Christ. Paul is concerned for these Christians because they know the answer and have been taught how simple it is, but they still fixate on legalism. They are bewitched by this and can’t seem to overcome it. Paul says that Abraham ‘believed’ God. Abraham was committed to trusting and had complete faith that what God had for him was pure truth. Because of this unconditional trust, God counted Abraham as righteous. Even more, it was through Abraham that all the nations would be blessed because faith in Christ counts us as blessed.

Now, back to being bewitched…Paul continues with this thought process by saying that Christ was cursed. Anyone who hangs on a tree is cursed. The word used here is ‘epikataratos’. This means to be declared evil, detested, or exposed to divine vengeance, to God’s vengeance. Wow, that is a harsh word. However, because Christ hung on that cross for us, we are no longer cursed by sin. We are no longer under the divine vengeance of God. We are free; through faith, we receive the Holy Spirit and may be righteous in God’s eyes.
Paul may use harsh words, but these are to grab the attention of those he is talking to. Sometimes, it takes harsh but constructive words to help refocus and bring someone back to reality from their mind's haze. The Galatians were fixated on the legalism of salvation, but Paul reminds us that it is much simpler and nothing else is required.

Remember that being taught something and having the ability to think still requires necessary action. We must make the conscious decision to take the step of faith every day. We will be attacked because of what we believe. But, if we believe that God’s Word is the inerrant truth and that Christ died for our sins, then that is all it takes. Because God’s Word is the spoken truth, we have an incredible and infallible resource to grow closer to him through a deeper relationship. So, let us put legalism aside in our lives and remember that it only requires faith.

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