Having Begun In The Spirit
Anonymous - Aug. 6, 2016

Galatians 3:3 “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”

Reading through the book of Galatians for me at first was a bit of a struggle. It’s all about Paul combatting a false teaching that had crept into the church by Judaizers that taught the Christians that they had to also be circumcised and follow the law of Moses. So I thought, “what does that have to do with me? I’ve never been tempted to follow the OT law, nor wanted to. Also isn’t the gospel pretty clear? The whole point of it is that we’re saved by grace through faith. Why would anyone think they need to work their way to God after receiving the gospel of Jesus?”

But people are wired that way. We can’t just get something for free, especially something so costly. And more than that, I think it’s hard for us to really understand unless we put ourselves in the feet of people that Paul is talking to. A people who for hundreds and hundreds of years have lived their lives based upon this thing: the law given by Moses. And now their whole world is shaken when they’re told that they don’t need it anymore. It was a tutor to bring them to Christ.

Galatians 3:5, “Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”

It’s easy to judge them for trying to revert back to the law while still holding onto Jesus until we examine our own selves. I think maybe one of the worst vices in my life is trying to revert back to works to please God. I think, “Man, God probably isn’t going to show up in my life today or help me because I didn’t read the Bible today.” Or, “I can’t ask God for this right now, I need to get my act together first and then ask Him.” But God supplies us His Spirit! He can work miracles among us, and can answer your prayers and can show up in your life even when you think you’re not worthy. That’s the whole thing about the gospel and Jesus. You’re not worthy, but God wants to bless you anyways.

Galatians 5:6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”

But of course, as with most, if not all things in Scripture, there is a balance. We can’t live in sin and expect God to bless us. The more we seek God the more we are blessed. The more we walk rightly with Him, the more He is able to work in our lives. Our faith works through love. Yes God blesses us as He did Abraham, based on our hearing and believing. But if our faith doesn’t produce works, it might not be real faith at all.

So I've been learning to stop working. To cease from my works and rest in Jesus. To trust that He is pleased by my faith and not by my works and that He will work in my life and bless me when I believe, not when I try to earn it. That's the kind of faith that gives birth to good works anyways.

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