A Look At Galatians- The Bewitching Doctrine
I. The Bewitching Doctrine
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. (Galatians 3:9)
A. Having seen clearly the presentation of Christ crucified, they now were thinking that somehow being “right” with God was now contingent on their participation in some form of ritual or act of law-keeping. Good works can be a bewitching enticement to make ourselves feel worthy before the only worthy one.
B. Paul uses the infilling of the Holy Spirit to illustrate the deceptive nature of this teaching. We receive the Holy Spirit by hearing the message and believing and receiving what God has already paid for. He uses the experience of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, for it is the fulfillment of the Promise of God found throughout the Old Testament.
C. If we are adding anything to our justification before God, such as the works of the Law, then we are succumbing to this Bewitching Doctrine and it diminishes the full import of Christ’s sacrifice and work on the cross.
II. The Sons of Faith
A. Paul declares that God knowing what he was going to do with the Gentiles, Scripture preached the Gospel to Abraham declaring that through him all the nations shall be blessed.
B. There are different perspectives as to how or when this message of justification by faith was sealed in Abraham’s heart. He was called in Genesis 12 and this promise of Gentile blessing is released. Later in Genesis 14 after the victory over the kings, He received emblems of Bread and Wine from Melchizedek King of Salem. Then in Genesis 15, he receives the word from the Lord about his offspring and that he should “count” the stars and they would be representative of his offspring. There he believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. Finally, in Genesis 17 Abraham received the sign of the covenant with God in his own body, he was circumcised.
III. The Curse of the Law
For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:10-14)
A. For those who seek to be justified by the Law, will suffer a curse, if they do not perform the requirements of the Law. Deuteronomy 27:26. Habakkuk 2:4 prophesies that the just shall live by faith. However Paul again is quoting from Leviticus 18:5 saying that if you are going to live by the Law it is not by faith.
B. He sums up his historical discourse of Scripture by summing up what Deuteronomy says concerning the ‘curse’… “Everyone who is hanged on a tree is accursed”. Therefore Jesus has redeemed us from the Curse of the Law having become the curse for us. PRAISE GOD!!! What man could not do Christ Jesus did for us!