21 July Galatians 3:1-14

21 July. Believers don't receive the Holy Spirit by keeping Jewish laws

"You people in Galatia were told very clearly about the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. But you were foolish; you let someone trick you [into following Old Testament teaching]..."

"Did you receive the [Holy] Spirit by following the [Jewish] law? No, you received the Spirit because you heard the Good News and believed it. You began your life in Christ by the Spirit. Now are you trying to make it complete by your own power? That is foolish..."

"Does God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you because you follow the [Jewish religious] law? No, he does these things because you heard the Good News and believed it."

"The Scriptures [in Genesis 15:6] say the same thing about Abraham: 'Abraham believed God, and God accepted Abraham's faith, and that faith made him right with God.'"

"So you should know that the true children of Abraham are those who have faith. The Scriptures [in Genesis 12:3 and 18:18] telling what would happen in the future, said that God would make the non-Jewish people right [with God] through their faith. This Good News was told to Abraham... 'All nations will be blessed through you'. So all who believe as Abraham believed are blessed just as Abraham was..."

"Now it is clear that no one can be made right with God by [following] the [Jewish] law, because the Scriptures say [in Habakkuk 2:4] 'Those who are right with God will live by trusting in him.'..."

"Christ took away the curse the [Jewish] law put on us. He changed places with us and put himself under that curse... Christ did this so that God's blessing promised to Abraham might come through Jesus Christ to those who are not Jews."

"Jesus died so that by our believing, we could receive the Spirit that God promised.

          (Galatians 3:1-14)



Paul gets into his swing in what we now call Chapter 3 of his Letter to the Galatians. (Remember that his letters weren't broken up into chapters and verses when he wrote them!)

Paul mildly rebukes the new Galatian believers for thinking that they needed to follow the Jewish law to be put right with God. “But you were foolish; you let someone trick you” (Galatians 3:1).

Paul then asked them whether they received the Holy Spirit by keeping the Jewish law or by believing the Good News about Jesus? And he backed up his argument by quoting and re-quoting the Jewish Scriptures (what we now call the Old Testament part of the Bible).

Even Abraham – the father of the Jewish people (see Genesis 12:1-3) – was blessed by God, says Paul, because he believed God’s promise – not because he kept the Jewish law (which wasn’t given to Moses until hundreds of years after Abraham lived – see Exodus 20:1-17).

So why do new believers receive God's gift of the Holy Spirit in their lives? Simply because they have faith in Jesus Christ - that he died and rose again from the dead to take away our fear of death and bring us into a forgiven and everlasting relationship with God our Father.

The photo shows young Christians filled with the Holy Spirit at a Christian festival.

You can read more about being alive in Christ @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/13-pauls…/alive-in-christ/

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