This morning I am continuing my series on the book of Galatians. In chapter three the Apostle Paul gets pretty blunt with the Galatian church concerning their foolishness in trying to go back to a works orientated relationship with God. In fact he calls them foolish.
Unfortunately in the church today, many Christians have not heeded the warnings given by the Apostle Paul and they are doing the same thing as the Galatian Christians were doing in his day. They are still trying to come up with some type of works that will allow them to feel as though they are pleasing God.
Why Were The Galatians Foolish?
Paul addresses three issues in Galatians 3:1-9. He talks about the picture or portrayal of Jesus crucified that was explained to them. He talks about the fact that miracles do not come from works of the flesh or trying to get God to give you a miracle by doing works and finally, he talks about how we walk in the blessing of Abraham by faith and not works of the law.
Can you pay the price Jesus paid?
Take a look at the picture at the beginning of this article. Are you able to add one thing to what Jesus did? Can you honestly say that your works will somehow impress God after what His only Son did for you? Can you see why Paul asked who had bewitched them? In all honesty it was their own pride and imagination that led them to believe that they could add to what Jesus had done.
It is the same today. We engage in religious works of one kind or another to try to pressure or make God do something. The work of Christ on the cross is a finished work. Everything that needed to be done has been done. Our lack comes simply from relying on our own works and our own strength.
So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts. —Zechariah 4:6
It seems like we always want to help God. We forget that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2) He is the one that started it and He is the one that will develop and finish it. I think it is time for all of us, especially the church in America to get our focus back on Jesus and Him doing the work instead of looking for the next latest and greatest man-made plan to win the world.
Do we receive miracles by our own works?
Paul then goes on to ask the question whether or not they received the miraculous by their own works or by faith. The answer is quite obvious.
They received the miraculous by faith. I think this is the biggest reason we do not receive or see many miracles in the western church today. It is not because God stopped doing the miraculous, but we stopped relying on faith alone in our relationship with God. We started to rely on our own power and our own strength. We plan, strategize and even resort to emotional manipulation to do the work of God rather than believing that He will do the work.
I must ask you the question. Were you born again because you did a work? Did you receive the Spirit of God in your innermost being by praying harder, fasting more, reading your Bible more?
Now all of these things are good things but if you are doing them out of some type of idea that you will see miracles if you do them, you are sadly mistaken. You will see miracles when you are totally reliant and dependent on God to do the miracle in your life. Faith is spelled R.I.S.K. You must risk your reputation, your livelihood, your very being, trusting in God to do the work for you.
Are you walking in the blessing of Abraham?
Paul finally points out to them that Abraham did not receive the promise of God by doing works. He received it by faith. He believed what God said and that was good enough for God to call him righteous.
As much as I totally understand our need to make sure we do not forget from where we came or to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, (Romans 12:3) at the same time we are hindering ourselves from living in the blessings that were promised to Abraham. We do this because we do not really believe that God loves us, let alone like us. We do not believe that he really does want to bless us.
We are walking around with a mentality that says God really can’t be trusted because He is going to give me what I deserve. This is a mentality that does not understand grace nor that it is faith alone that pleases God. (Hebrews 11:6)
I think that all of us can do a better job of living by faith and not by works. I think we need to be on guard against a works mentality. We did not get saved by works. We did not receive the Spirit by works. We do not get miracles by works and we do not obtain the blessings of God by works.
If you have been doing this, then this is what you do. You go and ask Jesus to forgive you for not believing that what He did on that cross in the picture above was enough. Ask Him to help you to put your trust solely in Him and his finished work on the cross.
Blessings to you and may you enter into the abundance of all that God has for you.
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