Galatians 3:1–9 (NKJV)

1 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? 2 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?—3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
5 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? 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 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.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

Galatians 3:1-9

Paul attempts to shake the Galatians into an understanding of reality. They have been duped, fooled, overwhelmed by the false logic of those who would convince them of the need to revert to the legalism that once bound them. Their freedom came through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and they are now allowing that work to be undone in going back to a dependence on the law for their salvation and freedom. Paul then walks through the logic of faith being superior to the law, even invoking the example of Abraham, whose faith made him righteous. Abraham lived before the law. He believed before the law. He even tithed before the law, and he was called righteous. Therefore, salvation and holiness are possible apart from the law, the legalism that led Israel for hundreds of years.

But now, we have the wonderful grace of God provided by the work of Christ. He is our freedom from the law, our release from bondage. While much of the law is good, in that it shows us how to live right before God, it does not make one righteous by itself. Instead, the grace of God is the only power that can save and forgive our sins. It makes us free. Don’t allow the legalistic traditions of men to bewitch you. Don’t allow the seemingly necessary restrictions of an outdated system of religion to bind you again. Live holy, but do so through the grace of God, not the written law of men. God will guide you into holiness if you ask Him to. Trust Him to lead you, not a legal system of restrictions. Let no one cast a spell on you that causes you to discard the freeing truth of the gospel. Be free!

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