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Thursday, September 19, 2019

2019.09.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Galatians 3:1-5

Questions from the Scripture text: What does the apostle call his readers in Galatians 3:1? How does he refer to their falling into doctrinal error? What had been displayed before their eyes? But what did they not do with the truth? By what had they received the Spirit (Galatians 3:2)? But by what were they trying to be perfected (Galatians 3:3)? What does he suggest may be true about the many things they have suffered for Christ (Galatians 3:4)? What two things does Galatians 3:5 identify as being done by God for them? Who, then, chooses the way by which these things happen? And by what means does He choose to make them happen?
What enables a Christian to be holy? What ensures that a Christian will be holy? That’s the question in the book of Galatians. The problem is that the Galatians had come to answer “by the works of the law” and “by the effort of the flesh” (Galatians 3:2Galatians 3:3).

But these are “what” questions that have both a “who” answer and therefore a “what” answer.

First, the “who” answer. If we consider Galatians 3:5, we will see the point that the apostle is making about why believers must grow in holiness only by one power. It is because only God Himself can grow us in holiness. Only God Himself can work the miracles that have attested to the gospel among them. Only God Himself can supply the Spirit—and that Spirit came not when they had performed some great act of obedience, but when they had been brought to believe what they had heard about Jesus Christ crucified (Galatians 3:2).

It is precisely because they knew that God Himself was saving them that they had been willing to suffer so much for the sake of Christ and of the gospel (Galatians 3:4). Now, by sliding into thinking that they could grow in holiness by their flesh—their sincerity, their zeal, their effort—they were unwittingly saying that what God had provided in Jesus Christ crucified somehow need supplementation.

Did they really want to have suffered for something that would ultimately need their help to work? Because they’re not able to do anything to help, so the suffering would be for nothing!

Therefore, the “what” answer must be through faith. It is through faith that we are enabled to be holy. Why? Because of the who answer: God alone can make us holy, and it is through the hearing of faith that He has chosen to do so. God keep us from backsliding into reliance upon ourselves!
As you strive for holiness, by what method do you do so? Why that method?
Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH435 “Not What My Hands Have Done”

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