John H. Stephens, Teacher

Thoughts of a Spiritual Nature May 1997

by: John H. Stephens

Galations 3:1 - 3 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

Galations contains some of the most powerful Words in all of the Bible. Paul, who was the preacher and teacher to the Galations, hears about the problems they are having and writes this letter to them. He had laid the foundation for their walk with Jesus, and now Paul comes to the center of the problem in chapter 3. I wonder if Paul was alive today, how many of us teachers he would have to write to, in this same manner?

Someone had added to the "Gospel" Paul brought to the Galations. They had begun to try to live under the Law, and not under the Holy Spirit. Paul phrases it very simply, 'Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?' Foolish? Is he comparing the Mosaic Law to foolishness? No, he is comparing what we now have (the Galations had it, we have it) to living under the Law. Paul states it this way,

Galations 3:4-11 Have you suffered so many things in vain-- if indeed it was in vain? Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?--just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them." But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith." (KJV)

Again, it is believing God - that counts for "righteousness" - not obeying rules. The Christian life is believing God, learning to trust His every Word, living under the guidance of and the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in

John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (KJV).

His Holy Spirit is living in every "born again" individual as a constant companion, mercifully guiding us, (if we will let Him) in every thing we do. He is our power to live this life, full of joy, and to bless the nations of the world, through the covenant we call the Abraham Covenant. This covenant (God's words), promise us in

Genesis 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (KJV)

Each of us must know that the promises of God are our inheritance through Abraham by Jesus the Anointed One.

Next time we will look at what the Abraham Covenant has given us in Jesus.

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