The Christians in the city of Galatia had a problem. Some preacher came along and told them that keeping the law was the way to receive the Holy Spirit. “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?” (Galatians 3:1) Paul asked. He continues with a list of rhetorical questions—questions that Paul thinks have obvious answers.
Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
Do we receive the Holy Spirit because we keep the law, or because we have faith? We receive the Holy Spirit because of our faith in God and His promises! While Paul isn’t throwing out our need of keeping God’s law, especially the Ten Commandments, he is saying that our keeping the law does not either save us or give us the Holy Spirit.
Imagine what would happen if we had to keep the law perfectly before we could receive the Holy Spirit. Would anyone have the Holy Spirit? No way! It’s the Holy Spirit who works in us to show us our sin, not our sinless state that brings the Holy Spirit.
There are two lessons to be learned from this brief peek into the lives of the Galatian Christians. First, don’t let anyone tell you that you must be perfect to come to Jesus. There is nothing you can do to earn God’s favor–He already loves you incredibly!
Jesus loves to have us come to Him just as we are, sinful,helpless, dependent. We may come with all our weakness, our folly, our sinfulness, and fall at His feet in penitence. It is His glory to encircle us in the arms of His love and to bind up our wounds, to cleanse us from all impurity.
Our salvation is not rooted in anything we do. Instead it is rooted . . .
in Christ alone!
Timmy Baze 😀
Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Quote by Ellen White from Steps to Christ, page 52.