v1 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 [c]many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain
Paul the Apostle is addressing this Galatian group of believers.
But of course it is ordained of God that, when one of His Specially Chosen Early Apostolic leaders, writes to a particular ‘branch’ of God’s church – it is more than meant for, or sent to – just them.
It is sent to all believers throughout history who follow on, by inheritance, from the early formed church/churches.
The Word of God will never pass away. Anything that the Holy Spirit has placed His indelible fingerprint upon – will remain as His Word forever.
34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
Paul, saddened, grieved and a little perplexed, is addressing a fundamental problem pervading the Galatian church.
This problem can, or has, pervaded the lives of believers ever since, and indeed at one time – knocked me off-course for a couple of years in my Christian life.
Paul is very straight with them, out of love and concern, trying to wake them up to spiritual reality. Wake them up to the completeness of Christ’s Salvation.
“O Foolish Galatians…” – exclamation mark!
“Who has bewitched you…”?
Without even going into the original meaning of the Greek etc. as we can do, when seeking to expound some aspect of God’s New Testament. Let me instead pass on what the dictionary means by the word ‘bewitched’:
Either definition will do – First – attracted and therefore distracted. Distracted from the real wonderful message, into their own ideas. (Manmade gospel)
Second – (bewitched) – Coming under the control of something, someone, or a spirit not of God.
That was how Paul found these believers. They got away from the wonderful New Testament message of Salvation by Faith – through God’s Amazing Grace – and their whole focus was on themselves and their own performance.
He spends most of the rest of the epistle addressing and correcting this legalistic distraction, in order that the Galatians will become re-focused on Christ.
We must look to Christ in prayer for everything to do with the spiritual life.
The following is a spiritual seeing:
25 For David says concerning Him:
‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
This was the spoken spiritual reality of someone staying on course by faith – seeing the invisible God – (see also e.g. Heb. 11/27) so as to walk pleasing to Him, without wrongly, losing sight of Him completely and then trying to live like Him. It doesn’t work. The Galatians were trying it and failing.
Paul put them right.
Are your eyes on God in prayer? Will you respond (by the hearing of this encouragement) – in faith? (see verse 2).