Sometimes clarifying the gospel requires stern language. Confusion about the nature of salvation and walking with God is a serious matter. That’s why Paul addresses the Galatian Christians as “bewitched” and “foolish.” It’s like a spell was cast over them. Their dependence on the Old Testament law to save and sanctify was a travesty of the gospel of grace. If first century Christians can fall victim to this spell, we, too, should be alert to this dangerous possibility in our own lives.
Read Galatians 3:1. Why is Paul using such stern language with these believers? How had the Galatians Christians been bewitched and become foolish?
Paul is building his case against the error of the Galatians. Read 3:2-3. In these verses, can you identify a distinction between salvation and growing in Christ?
The reference to the Spirit in Galatians 3:3 is the first in this letter (Paul will reference the Holy Spirit seventeen more times in this letter.). Compare the Spirit’s work in Titus 3:5 and 2 Corinthians 3:18. How is the Holy Spirit involved in our salvation and growth in Christ?
Why does Paul use the example of Abraham in Galatians 3:6-9? Compare Romans 4:20-21. What role did the Old Testament law play in Abraham’s faith (Note: might be a trick question)?
How does the law cause us to live under a “curse?” Check Galatians 3:10-13 for insights.
Have you experienced the reality described in Galatians 3:14? What is the blessing of Abraham? In what other ways have you been blessed?