Galatians 3 : 1 – 4, O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? NKJV
If you ask people who say they are Christians what kind of person they are, you will discover that most will say that they’re a “good” person. We see this same mindset from a rich young man who sought Jesus for eternal life but later he rejected Jesus because of having to be accountable to Him personally. In other words the rich man didn’t want to obey the truth (Jesus’ command to give all) but decided to continue keeping the law. Jesus told the young man that there was none good but one, that is, God. If Jesus tells us that there is none good and the vast majority of Christians will tell you that they’re a good person, what does that reveal about our understanding of truth? If Christians aren’t supposed to be “GOOD” then what exactly are we to be?
Romans 3 : 20 – 22, Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. NKJV
God requires His children to be obedient, not to the Law, but rather to the leading of the Holy Spirit who dwells in every believer in Christ. Therefore, we are not good because of the good things that we do but we are the righteous seed of God through faith in Christ and apart from good works. We aren’t called to keep the Law of God under the New Covenant but we are required to obey the truth by faith.
Paul rebuked the Jewish believers in Galatia because they had believed in Jesus as the Christ and began to obey the truth but later they were coerced or bewitched to go back and keep the Law by non-believing Jews. Now this may not make much sense because it deals with Jewish religion so let’s use different terminology.
Are you a Christian? Did you become a Christian because you kept all of the laws and requirements of a particular church or denomination? Absolutely not! You become a Christian through your faith in Jesus and the WORK that He did while on earth including His work on the cross. Now that you’re born again are you supposed to serve God by keeping the Law or the rules of your particular church? No. We are to continue in faith and listen to the leading and instruction of the Holy Spirit.
In the same way that it was hard for the Jewish believers to convert from keeping the Law of God and walk by faith, it’s just as hard for believers today to convert from doing “good works” in the name of God and become obedient hearers. Here’s a practical story to help you understand. God told Abraham to offer Isaac upon the altar. Abraham responded to what God instructed of him through obedient faith. Abraham’s belief in God and obedience to His voice caused Abraham to be righteous in God’s sight 400 years before the Law was given to the Jews.
As Christians who have been saved by faith, we must now live by faith. Hebrews 11 : 6 says that without faith no one can please God. What is the Holy Spirit instructing you to do today? If you don’t know what the Lord desires from you then seek Him and He will reveal it to you. When we walk by faith through obedience then we will experience life and peace.
Speak Lord for your servant is listening,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery