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? 2 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? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain — if indeed it was in vain? 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? —  6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”  7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you, all the nations shall be blessed.”  9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham Galatians 3:1-9 (NKJV).

It will take us a few weeks to weigh through what Paul is saying in these verses. Our last few weeks have allowed us the opportunity to look more closely at Paul’s journey and his trials that accompanied him in the call the Lord had given to him.

We must keep in mind that neither the Jews nor the Gentiles had ever heard the message of the Good news of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Beginning with John the Baptist and then Christ Jesus and eventually, through the apostles, a whole new creation in the Holy Spirit is being preached. Of course, it was there in the Old Testament, but in “types and shadows.” The Book of Hebrews opens this up to our understandings. Knowing the Old Testament is so important because it is the “New Testament revealed.” Paul called this the “MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.” The apostles were given the grace to unpack the mysteries.

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? 2 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? The foolishness of the Galatian believers was around the evidence of their faith, that is, the receiving of the Spirit. Paul says that “Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed.” You could use the word “pictured.” The gospel is centered in the “Cross of Christ.” Not just any cross, but the cross on which Jesus died to fulfill the Law requirement. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him 2 Corinthians 5:21(NKJV). He is Jehovah Tsidkenu, “the Lord our Righteousness.” He fulfilled every requirement of God’s Law. That is what those Galatians had believed in the beginning. They received the Holy Spirit as the evidence of what they believed and confessed. They received the same Holy Spirit the Jews who had believed received.

For that belief, they received the promise of God’s Holy Spirit, see Acts 2:38-39.

The Gift of the Holy Spirit is God’s promised down payment for the future fullness of our salvation in the resurrection of our bodies, see Ephesians 1:13. The Holy Spirit is the essence of our redemption. He is the gift promised by the Father to Jesus for all those who believe and receive God’s Christ or Messiah as their savior and their Lord or King.

There are four particular times in the book of Acts that revealed the sign of the Spirits coming. Following the initial coming of the Spirit, there are many subsequent “infillings” that take place throughout the book of Acts.

The four-times mentioned of the initial coming of the Spirit is found first in Acts 2, in the upper room followed in the streets of Jerusalem. In Acts 8 the Spirit is poured out upon the Samaritans. Acts 10 records the Holy Spirit poured out on the Gentiles at Cornelius’s home. Lastly, in Acts 19 on some disciples had only received the Baptism of John Baptist, which was a baptism of repentance. One might also include Saul’s conversion with Ananias laying hands upon Saul and receiving the Holy Spirit given the importance of his calling and ministry to the Gentiles, see Acts 9.

A closer look at this vital subject of the Holy Spirit reveals several important things. Acts 2 speaks of the “Day of Pentecost” connects the promise of the Spirit with the “harvest” of souls, beginning with the Jews. Next, found in Acts 8 is the outpouring of the Spirit on the Samaritans, who were seen as the half breeds in the Jewish view, but God includes them in His redemptive plan. Next, the Gentiles come in through the same promise made to the Jews. By faith, the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit. Listen to Peter in Acts 10: “how can we forbid baptism seeing they received the Spirit just like we did.” Then, we consider Paul’s question to disciples who had only received John’s baptism of repentance. “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” Note their answer, “We have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” Paul then connects it to baptism, “Into what then were you baptized?” Their answer was “John’s baptism.” Paul reply’s, John’s indeed baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe in Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they became baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

Back to Galatians 3:2, 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? The Holy Spirit is the crucial issue. Nowhere in Acts do we see the receiving of the Spirit through the keeping of the Law. Many doctrines can be rightly understood when one takes the time to look at the result or application of the doctrine. In this case, Paul says to the Galatians, go back and look at how you received the Spirit. Was it by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith? In Romans 10:17, Paul teaches us, “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Take time and go back and reread Romans 10. In Romans 10:11-13 Paul says, “For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (NKJV).”

The next question Paul has for these Galatians believers is, “3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” If Paul were to come in person today, I doubt that he would be well received with his direct questions, almost sarcastically asked. How foolish are we when it comes to the Word of God? Do you think he is a bit miffed at these believers who foolishly accepted the words of men rather than the grace of God? Grace, because the Holy Spirit was given to them freely by the Father through the Son. Now they accept the words of men who do not bring gifts from the Father but the burden of law-keeping.

“4 Have you suffered so many things in vain — if indeed it was in vain? 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?”

How many today in our Lord’s church have become snared by works to appease God and men? There is a lot of religious works that are just plain vanity. The Lord will not accept the results of works that come out of our efforts. Our efforts will not bring rewards from God’s presence. Many suffer in vain, not knowing the word of God. It is God who supplies His Holy Spirit to work in us and through us to His glory. It is the Spirit of God who works miracles among us. Our works of the flesh stop the supernatural work of God from manifesting among us. Human effort, trying to keep God’s righteous Law in our efforts will always cause frustration and a great deal of unrest.

Listen to Paul in Philippians 4:19, And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (NKJV).

We are to hear in faith, we are to respond in faith, and then the Spirit goes into action and works miracles among us. I know because it is the story of my life. The mission trip our team just returned from is one of those stories.

Our Baja, Mexico team has made many friends throughout Baja. We enjoy the fellowship and friendship of many leaders in the Body of Christ throughout North and South Baja. Last year, when COVID hit, we began to hear of great suffering in the body of Christ throughout the Baja’s. We had so many requests from pastors and no way to respond to those requests for help.

Our team went to prayer, and within two weeks, the Lord supplied finances to buy thousands of pounds of food staples, an 18 wheel truck, a driver, and many workers to bag the food. We delivered thousands of pounds of food to seven cities.

This was not just one experience, but three times the Lord supplied. In this last trip from April 22 to April 27th, we delivered over Seventy Thousand pounds of food staples to churches throughout Southern Baja. We helped many widows of pastors who had passed away from COVID-19. We held a conference for dozens of pastoral leaders of churches, calling them to unity in obedience to God’s Word of Unity and His plan for reaching the lost with the Gospel.

The Old Testament Law could never have accomplished what Christ has done, to release the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of the Son in the believer’s life to do many exploits for our God and His Christ. We must begin in the Spirit and finish in the Spirit. It is by the Spirit that we fulfill Heavens’ perspective and Heavens’ will!