Foolish and Bewitched-Galatians 3:1-5

Galatians 3:1-5 “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4 Have you suffered so much for nothing — if it really was for nothing? 5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?”

Galati 3:1-5 «O Galati insensati, chi vi ha ammaliati, voi, davanti ai cui occhi Gesù Cristo è stato rappresentato crocifisso? Questo soltanto desidero sapere da voi: avete ricevuto lo Spirito per mezzo delle opere della legge o mediante la predicazione della fede? Siete così insensati? Dopo aver cominciato con lo Spirito, volete ora raggiungere la perfezione con la carne? Avete sofferto tante cose invano? Se pure è proprio invano. Colui dunque che vi somministra lo Spirito e opera miracoli tra di voi, lo fa per mezzo delle opere della legge o con la predicazione della fede?»


     These verses become the central point of the book of Galatians. Paul is very straightforward and somewhat shocked that the Galatians would fall into a combination of Judaism and a belief that the death of Jesus was not necessary. Notice that he calls them “foolish” (without thought) and “bewitched” (maligned). What disturbs Paul is that the message of the Gospel was clearly portrayed to them by Paul’s first and second missionary journeys. But now some were moving away from the cross to follow the Law for salvation. 

     Paul then gives four rhetorical questions to point out their bewitched foolishness. 1) Did they receive the Holy Spirit by the Law or by hearing the Gospel? 2) After beginning in the Spirit, did they become mature in the faith through the works of the Law? 3) After being persecuted for their faith, if they returned to a form of Judaism, was all their persecution in vain? 4) Did the miracles that occurred among them come from the Law or because they believed in the Gospel? 

     These four arguments are valid for us today. Once we come to know the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, we can never go back to our former lives. Old things are truly gone and new things have come (2 Corinthians 5:17). The temptations that we face may not necessarily be the same as the Galatians but Paul’s message to us is applied in the same way.

Pray with me: Lord, I remember what my life was like before Jesus saved me. Help me to never be fooled by the bewitching arguments that the world might give me to follow another path.

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