GALATIANS‬ ‭3:1-6‬ ‬‬

“Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it? I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ. In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.””

Galatians‬ ‭3:1-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

For Paul, the idea that works is a means of maturity is like a type of dark magic. It is an intoxicating spell that is forbidden and dangerous. Given Paul’s pharisaical background, this is understandable. All the effort he put into being right with God through the law only made him into a worse sinner. It would’ve been an extreme transformation to live by faith alone. He took years of self study before embarking on his corrective crusade and in that time, it was revealed to him that faith wasn’t new but that it was an older and deeper kind of magic. Humans often view this as weakness and intellectualism, but Paul points out that living by faith is actually very pragmatic. Unfortunately, this can only be personally learned by experience one does not yet have. Perhaps this is what Paul meant by calling faith ,”the evidence of things unseen.” In either case, faith is the engine of discipleship. It is the nature of the narrow path. When we walk in works, we are living bewitched by a lie. Faith isn’t merely for starting our journey, it is a new way of being while on it.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy.

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