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February 7, 2016

"SERIOUS QUESTIONS"

TEXT: Galatians 3: 1-21
READING:
 Ephesians 3: 1-21

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SUBJ: The 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 of others.

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)
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.
2) Paul 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 compliance.
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 Gospel.
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!
3. I cannot, not believe! I see Christ and must believe Him.

III. 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 alone.
2) The enemy would lure one away into a fog of self-reliance and pride.
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?