Galatians 3: 1-9, Abraham
VV 1-5, 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?,
Greek for foolish is “moros” which means stupid or mentally deficient. Greek for bewitched is “baiskaino” which means to cast a spell on someone. Paul rebuked the Galatians Christians for being silly to be so easily influenced by the Judaizer’s false teachings and for not obeying the truth. Paul asked them five rhetorical questions. Did they receive the Holy Spirit by faith or by the law? Are they so stupid? After receiving the Holy Spirit, are they going to be enslaved by the flesh all over again? Are they going to allow persecutions to go to waste? Are miracles of the Holy Spirit the result of faith in Christ or works of the law?
V 6, just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
Paul alluded to Abraham, the father of faith, to illustrate justification by faith. Paul quoted Genesis 15:6. The Abrahamic covenant was unconditional. God promised him a great nation, a great name, posterity, and blessing to all the families of the earth, Genesis 12:2-3, Genesis 15:5, Genesis 15:18, and Genesis 17: 4. Abraham believed, and God justified him based on faith. Abraham did not do anything.
Romans 4:3, For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
Gen. 12:2-3, “I will make you a great nation, I will bless you, and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Gen. 15:5, He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Gen. 15:18, “On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying:
“To your descendants, I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates”.
Gen. 17:4, “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations”.
VV 7-9, 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.
True spiritual descendants of Abraham are those who believed in Christ as their Saviour. He foreknew that the Gentiles will be justified by faith with the coming of Christ when he preached the gospel to Abraham.
Galatians 3:7, “Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham”.
Galatians 3:29, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”.
Romans 4:16, “For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all”.
We are again reminded that justification is by faith. Justification by faith is the mantra, the battle cry of the Protestant Reformation movement. Justification is God declaring us just as though we have not sinned. Justification, the forgiveness of sins, and reconciliation with God gives us peace with God, peace from God and peace of God.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the assurance that we are justified by faith and not by works. Please help us to walk by faith and not by sight, in Jesus’ name, Amen.