Galatians 3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified! 2 The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? 4 Did you experience so much for nothing?—if it really was for nothing. 5 Well then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
It would appear that Christians in Galatia had been influenced by leaders instructing them to follow the law, which is obviously distressing to Paul. The Greek word for “foolish” (v.1) can also be translated as “mindless” or “unthinking”. If Paul were writing today he might say, “Use your head! Think!” He then goes on to appeal to reason. In Paul’s mind, to revert back to following the law would essentially nullify the work of grace done among them. “Did you experience so much for nothing?” (v.4)
I’ll be honest. One of the most difficult concepts for me to truly embrace as a young believer was the concept of grace – the idea that Jesus had done everything necessary for me to be freed from bondage to sin and received as a child of God to live in the Kingdom of God. I even said as much in my first year of seminary. Grace was a difficult truth for me to take hold of. So when I read about the Galatians having a hard time grasping the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ – I get it.
Lord Jesus, in a world in which nothing is given that is not earned, grace through faith in you is a tough one to truly embrace. We Christians tend to say, “Yes we are saved by grace through faith in Christ, but….”. This morning you remind me there is no “but”. You did it all on the cross and in your resurrection from the dead. Life in your Kingdom is pure gift that I simply receive with gratitude. Give me grace to live for your glory, not because I have to but because I want to. Amen.