Ladies Bible Study

A Study in Galatians

Part 4

Remember, we discussed there are 2 main theme running through Galatians.

  1. Salvation by grace of God versus salvation by works.
  2. Spirituality by grace versus spirituality by works.

 

Galatians 2:17-21: "But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not!

18. "For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

19. "For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.

20. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21. "I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.''

 

-- American Standard

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.

This is talking about your salvation, your faith in Jesus Christ as your personal savior and Lord. It is this faith in Christ that led to your crucifixion with Christ. Your old man is dead and you are now filled with the life of Christ, in the new birth experience, with the Holy Spirit. But it doesnít end there. You continue to live in the flesh. Your flesh is not renewed and is still influenced by the enemy and the world. Your flesh is fed by your 5 senses and they will betray you. So as you step out in the life with Christ the only choice you have is to continue to live it by faith. Faith in what Christ accomplished on the cross and faith in what He will continue to do in your life on a daily basis.

Isaiah 1:18-20: 18. "Come now, and let us reason together,'' says the Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;

20. but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword''; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Jesus washed us white as snow and if we are willing and obedient we will reap all the benefits of salvation, which include eternal life, well being, prosperity and health.

Willing and obedient is not following a set of rules that ensure your righteousness and blessing in the Lord, it is so much more.

Galatians 3:1-4: 1. 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?

Here again Paul is strongly expressing himself to the Galatians. He is strongly calling the Galatians to task over their easy acceptance of keeping the law.

-- New Jerusalem with Apocrypha

Galatians 3:1: You stupid people in Galatia! After you have had a clear picture of Jesus Christ crucified, right in front of your eyes, who has put a spell on you?

As you can see, by another translation, the Greek word is more like our word for stupid, rather than foolish. Paul is saying, "You are really being stupid here, people. Jesus Christ crucified has been clearly portrayed before you and now you are so easily led astray, you will believe anything!" He goes on to ask, were they saved by the law or by faith? The answer to this is of course faith, faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. Here again Paul is stressing faith versus works.

Paul goes on to ask, have you suffered so many things in vain, so much for the gospel.

-- Living Bible

Galatians 3:4: You have suffered so much for the Gospel. Now are you going to just throw it all overboard? I can hardly believe it!

Sometimes we as Christians get suffering and trials for the gospelís sake mixed up.

Christians can become almost bipolar on the subject, going from one extreme to another, either believing that if you walk by faith you will never have trials or tribulation or if you are going through a trial, it is God testing your faith. I do not believe either of these is true.

Mark 4:17: "and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble.

Persecution and tribulation arise because of your faith in God, and Jesus Christ. It is not sent to test your faith, to see how strong you are, but it is sent of the enemy to destroy your faith.

John 10:10: 10. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

The enemy comes in to destroy your faith; it is through this test, that you build your faith. Make it stronger and defeat the enemy, and then be stronger to do it again. Your goal in life should be to make the devil tremble with just the thought of you, and the authority you have in Jesus Christ. He hates you anyway, so why not really give him something to hate you for, victory after victory! Amen!

Do not go through life fearing what the enemy can do to you, he should fear what you can do to him, through the power of the name of Jesus Christ and his indwelling presence in you life!

So you see, it is not what we struggle with, it is the faith we call on and stand on that is the important thing. Get into the Word of God, learn what is yours and use it to fight the enemy in every area of your life. Be victorious, by living the life of faith, not of works.

This is what Paul is trying to teach the Galatians, and it is still applicable to us today.

We do not run this race in vain, we run it in faith.

Galatians 3:5-9: 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 nations 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.

This is the whole idea of the above Scripture. Paul is reminding the Galatians of Abrahamís faith. Abraham was born hundreds of years before the law was even given. It did not apply to him, yet he was still counted righteous and saved. Why? Because he believed God and all his promises. He believed God would justify the nations through his seed and he walked in that promise. Abraham was saved looking forward to the cross as we are saved looking backward. He believed and it was counted to him for righteousness.

This was all the law did for the nation of Israel; it prepared their heart to believe, for the future promise. Each time they kept a feast, made a sacrifice or fulfilled the law it was not to be an act of completion. It was an act of faith; they were practicing the Word of God, keeping it before them and looking toward the promise of God.

Paul has instructed us to do this same thing in the book of Romans.

Romans 10:8-10: 8. But what does it say? "The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart'' (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9. that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.

The Law was the Word of God in practice at the time, and each time an Israelite preformed the word, he was confessing faith in Godís promise. It was not the act; it was the belief in what the act stood for, that counted them saved. But unfortunately, over time, the act became the important thing, and not what it stood for. Paul is explaining this to the Galatians through these verses.

This is very applicable to us today, as women of God. You must keep the Word before you, before your eyes, in your ears and into your heart.

Romans 10:17: 17. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

It is absolutely vital that you learn what the Word of God says about you as a believer. What your promises and covenant rights are. Then you have to meditate on them, learn them and speak them over your life. It is you hearing yourself saying the Word of God over your situation that builds your faith. I personally have needed confession based on Scriptures written on index cards, taped to my bathroom mirror. I say these over and over again throughout the day, confessing the Word of God in my life about my situation and hearing Godís truth about my situation. Remember, Godís way is the truth, not the worlds, the world will betray you and defeat you and steal all you have.

See yourself as God sees you, see your problem solved as God does, and see your children righteous as God does, see your husband right with the Lord. God does not see you as defeated or broken down, he sees you saved and whole and it is high time we see ourselves in this way! Amen!

We will stop here and take up the curse of the law in the next lesson.