questions whereby Paul challenged the Galatians as both a warning and an
encouragement to cling to the things they had let slip at the enticement
AIM: That we
should strive to maintain our focus on Christ alone and to be exercised
in the obedience of the truth that we be not swayed.
INTR: The term
with which this chapter begins is not meant to be demeaning to a people
in general so much as the moral course they had chosen.
1. When one
is shown the obvious and responded to it in a most positive and
profitable way, to turn away to the lesser and more detrimental
situation may be termed foolish.
2. Paul ha d known a special
relationship with them as is evidenced by: My little children, of whom I
travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, My little
children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in
you, Galatians 4:19
3. The truths set forth in the book of Galatians
need to be considered in the context of the whole book in order see
Paul’s concern. We would draw it in as we go along and seek to be
anchored the more in the foundational things that he emphasized.
THESIS: The evidence of Christ in the
Gospel and the manner, method and consistency of it presentation is so
plain and profound that it is a foolish move to pursue other ways of
pleasing God – Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto
thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5.
I. Who hath bewitched? (v.
1. We are quickly made aware of the seriousness of the error that
would direct attention away from a pure focus on Christ by Paul’s very
strong words in chapter 1.
1) That was followed by revealing the
tendency even in others by the failure of Peter in 2:11ff.
defended his rebuke by adding a personal testimony to singular identity
with Christ” I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I
live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for
me. Galatians 2:20.
2. The use of the term bewitching is not that of
sorcery but a reference to commonly held idea of someone casting an evil
eye and thus entrancing another.
1) The intent of Paul was to point
out that it must have been a powerful deception to lure them way from
the foundational truth of Christ our Lord.
2) Such lapses are
evidently of the flesh and the folly is pointed out elsewhere: Then he
said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the
prophets have spoken: Luke 24:25. Another example: But they that will be
rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful
lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 1 Timothy 6:9.
3. The obvious objective of the enemy is to obscure the truth as it is
in Christ Jesus and the obedience to it.
1) The legalistic (fleshly)
idea of obedience is strict adherence to a set of rules and an outward
2) The obedience here is that of faith wherein lives are
entirely caught up in the delightful belief of all that Christ has done
and that leaves nothing for us – how foolish of men to believe that they
must somehow decide the merits – when it is Christ to whom we look there
can be no doubt.
4. The manner of this presentation and the way it
was seen is emphasized here:
1) It had been preached, witnesses to by
the Apostle, experienced by them and so proven as to its authenticity.
2) The term “evidently” has the thought of “placarding” and was the
graphic and thorough nature of setting forth Christ and declaring the
5. “…crucified among you.” This was to be understood in the
sense of having been identified in His crucifixion and the
accomplishments of the crucifixion to them.
6. The scripture is void
of any methodologies other than preaching Christ, and the pattern of
daily worship and fellowship with the early Christians – witness today
the industries build around human endeavor.
II. How was the truth
received? (v. 2)
1. Or did you by obeying the Law somehow bring to
yourselves or command the Spirit to come?
2. An honest testimony will
quickly acknowledge that coming to belief was neither a process nor a
decision. It was heard and believed and like the effects of the wind
imparted and realized.
1) There was evidence presented, but the
Spirit sovereignly brought the life.
2) Even to this day I realize
that believing in Christ is not what I do – it is who I am in Him!
I cannot, not believe! I see Christ and must believe Him.
Can the flesh make perfect? (v. 3ff)
1. Paul concludes that all will
admit to having had a spiritual beginning and
1) Implies that they
were thinking in terms of perhaps being jump-started and then going on
2) The enemy would lure one away into a fog of self-reliance
2. It is the same Spirit that makes the compassions of God
precious to us day by day.
3. It is He that effects the constant
renewal and freshness in Christ.
4. Has our Christianity become
mundane and ordinary or do we find our greatest excitement beholding the
glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ?