GRACE: NOT BY MAN
By Law or By Faith? – Galations 3:1-4
The people of the church of Galatia had been duped or bewitched by the Judaizers, legalist teaching. What had caused them to depart from the truth of the simple Gospel of grace? Is there an answer for such a question.
Surely one can see that the law offers no salvation but through perfection. Grace requires nothing except the blood of Jesus Christ; God’s offering for the atonement for our sin.
Verse 1 – The words “foolish”, “bewitched”, “obey”, “truth”, and the name of “Jesus Christ”; along with “crucified” are prominent in this verse.
By the use of the word “foolish” Paul is showing the people of the Galation Church of being in peril for their departure from grace. Most likely due to their being driven by emotion, feeling, and to believe they have an earning ability for grace.
According to the ESV Study Bible notes the word “bewitched” is from a pagan word; the following is a quote from that Study Bible –
“Who has bewitched you. Paul uses the language of pagan magic to characterize the pernicious activity of the false teachers and the perilous situation of the Galatians.”
The HCSB says, “Who has hypnotized you…”
The term seems to imply sensual, emotional, without much thought, or amusement. Anyone who departs from salvation by grace through faith alone will find themselves imperiled by unbelief.
G3982 πείθω peithō
A primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty): – agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) content, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.
Paul believes so strongly that the gospel the Galation people had received had been so strong that it had been as clearly understood as actually seeing the crucifixion of Jesus and His resurrection. Surely, we ought to be so persuaded in our own minds as though we were there when it happened. That we too stood at the foot of the cross watching our Savior bleed and die; hearing Him as He speaks the words, “Father forgive them. They know not what they do”, “My God, My God; why hast Thou forsaken Me?”, “Into Thy hands I commit My spirit”, or “It is finished”; as well as the other three recorded sayings from the cross.
The “Truth” is of course the gospel message of Jesus Christ.
“Crucified” – There were many crucifixions during the time of Jesus. His crucifixion was a unique one. His crucifixion paid the sin debt the human race owed to God.
We need to so firmly and strongly believe that Christ died for our sins, was buried and He arose from the dead; and that salvation is fully a matter of grace, has nothing to do with our works. It needs to be so firmly etched in our hearts and minds that no legalist legalizer, Judaizer could steal the peace that comes only from God’s grace (Romans 5:1; 8:1).
-Tim A. Blankenship