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? 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?
This passage begins the major teaching of the book of Galatians, that a man is justified by faith alone and not by good works or law. Of course, a man should be good and do good; he should be as good as he can be and should do as much good as he can. A man should live a moral and just life like the law says; this is not the point that this Scripture is making. The text teaches rather, that a person is not justified before God by doing good works and keeping the law. No man can do enough good works nor can he keep enough laws to become perfect and accepted by God. Only God is perfect, and no matter how much good and how much law one keeps, one never becomes perfect; we still all fall short; we still fail; we sin and we will die. Good works and law do not perfect us; they do not make us acceptable to God, nor do they impart eternal life to us. Only God Himself can perfect us, accept us, and give us eternal life. Any fair and honest thinking person knows that there is nothing – absolutely nothing on earth – that can keep us from coming up short and dying. There is absolutely nothing on earth that can grant us eternal life in a perfect world where there is nothing but love, joy and peace. If we are ever going to inherit life, then it must be because God has to give it to us.
The point of this section of the book of Galatians is this: how can we know that God will justify us? How can we know that God will accept us, and give us life with Him forever? The answer to this question is in our present passage. There are six proofs that God will justify us by faith alone; and there are six proofs that God will justify us neither by works nor by law. This week, read and meditate upon the six Scriptural proofs whereby we may know that God will justify us by faith. They are:
1) The proof of a believer’s experience, Gal. 3:1-5
2) The proof of scripture, Gal. 3:6-14
3) The proof of God’s covenant or promise, Gal. 3:15-18
4) The proof of the law’s powerlessness, Gal. 3:19-22
5) The proof of what faith does for us, Gal. 3:23-29
6) The proof of Christ and the fullness of time, Gal. 4:1-7.
Listen to this message: