DON’T BE BEWITCHED
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?— 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.” Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:1-14)
Galatia was a region of about ten cities. Paul went there, and the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles. The church exploded, he left and the church grew even more.
After he left, a group of religious people came called Judaizers. The Judaizers required all Christians to be circumcised, to keep the feasts days, to know the Mosaic laws and live them, and they piled on customs and rules, meant for the Jews, onto the newly converted Gentiles.
Paul was distraught — this was a false teaching. Paul knew that Jesus had torn down the man-made rules that were erected around the word. The kingdom of God is on a different plateau. There are no rules for the weak. Our walk comes out of our relationship with God.
If teaching takes us away from the teachings of Grace, Paul declares it as sorcery, witchcraft, demonic. It is not of God.
We cannot go back to the law after we have entered in Grace. The Grace of God will help us overcome temptation and not live a life of sin, if we only cooperate with the Grace. Too many times, we step outside of His Grace, try to do things on our own and get into trouble, into sin.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to live Godly lives. This can only happen when we walk in step with the Holy Spirit, allowing the Grace of God to empower us, to overcome temptation and to wash us free from sin by the blood of Jesus.
Our lives are lived through Grace after we have accepted the salvation of Jesus Christ. We do not live to earn salvation and then to gain Grace. We have received Grace so that we can be saved and live in the Grace of God continually.
Grace is received and not achieved. That’s how God set it up, and that is how we have to live and teach. If we don’t, we find ourselves in the same fix the Galatians were in:
You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it’s obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough. (Galatians 3:1; The Message)
As our Door, Jesus wants us to walk in the revelation of His freedom in our lives, the freedom He bled and then died for, which Paul so profoundly writes about here:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1; NIV)
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1; NKJV)
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. (Galatians 5:1; The Message)
Jesus stands in our lives and protects us. He won’t let false doctrine, absurd teaching or lying spirits in, as long as we turn to Him and allow Him to guard the Door. Jesus will defend us and deliver us and protect us. We are to stand fast in the protection of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the perfect bouncer. He lets in those that will bless us with the Grace-filled, gospel-driven truth of Jesus Christ. He keeps out those that will damage and destroy our lives.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6)