Galatians 3:3

Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

This error was on the part of Gentile believers, not Jewish saints, and it is a common error today. They acknowledged that they had begun their Christian life in the spirit or the new nature. But somehow, they got the idea that they must keep their salvation by their own works, which, of course, would be by the flesh or old nature.

Since these Gentile believers went to the Synagogues every Sabbath and had direct contact with Judaism and all its rituals and ceremonies, it was a temptation for them to adopt these things, too. But there was only one way to do this. They first had to be circumcised. These Gentile believers knew very well that the Passover and other feasts and ceremonies of the Jews could not be observed by the uncircumcised. That is not widely known today.

So it would be a simple matter to be circumcised, and then one could partake of the services, read in the Synagogue, and have a part in the Jewish social life. All this appealed to the flesh.

They are told in Gal. 3:7 that they are the children of Abraham by faith and, by faith, can partake of the promise. This is The Gospel of The Grace of God. It was good news that they could have all the blessings of the promise without keeping any part of the law. They were to walk by Grace, not by the law. They were to live by faith, not by works.

They were reminded that even the Jews had been told in Hab. 2:4 that "the just live by faith." The law cannot give life; therefore, there is no justification by the deeds of the law. As in Gal. 3:9, so again in Gal. 3:14, he reminds the Gentile believers that the blessings of Abraham come to Gentiles through faith, not by works of the law.

Then, down in Gal. 3:19, Paul tells these folks why Israel had the law. It was something that was added to the promise because of the transgression. He hastens to add that the law did not deprive Israel of anything in the promise.

In Gal. 4:22-31, Paul gives them a little allegory to bring home to them the truth he is trying to teach. It is well to think it over, even today.

In Gal. 5:1-6 he tells them to stand fast in the liberty they have. Once, they were in bondage to sin, and now they want to be in bondage to the law. He tells them not to get entangled with bondage. If they were to be circumcised, then they would be obliged to keep the whole law. They would not be at liberty to observe that which they liked, as do the legalists today. He makes it plain that any who has taken up this Galatian error and thinks to be justified by the work of the flesh has fallen from grace, that is, turned his back on The Gospel of The Grace of God.

Then, further on, he tells them about the works of the flesh and the fruits of the spirit (new nature) Gal. 5:16-25. This is plain, unvarnished Truth. He tells how these two natures are at enmity with each other. He then sums up his argument by telling those Gentile believers who have the new nature or spirit to walk by it and reckon the old nature crucified dead. Has this Truth been changed for these days?

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