SS lesson. May 3
Today’s lesson is taken from Galations 3.
We will take a few quotes from the lesson.
(1) Christians are called to live by faith in Christ.
(2) Key verse: That no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. Galatians 3:11
(3) Paul’s Galatian converts were drifting from the truth. So Paul asked, “Who hath bewitched you?” Though the answer was already clear. Judaizers - false teachers telling gentile Christians they must keep the law of Moses. We’re leading them away from the gospel that had been clearly preached unto them.
(4) Paul asked the Galatians how they had received the Holy Spirit: by keeping the law or by believing the gospel. All Christians have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them upon their conversion. (Romans 8:9). In addition , Christians can receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, a gift from God subsequent to salvation, to empower them for service (see acts 2:1-4; luke 11:13).
(5) These misguided Galatian Christians we’re not depending on Christ for their spiritual growth. Paul asked them, “after beginning by means of the Spirit are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?.” Self effort can never produce spiritual growth; only by faith in Christ, and through the work of the Holy Spirit can growth come about. If the Galatians would not return to faith in Christ alone as the basis of their walk with God, all their experiences as Christians would be in vain.
(6) Human beings cannot keep the Law perfectly, and thus deserve punishment for breaking it. This might cause despair until we read Paul’s declaration in verse 13. “ Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree”. Christ is the perfect son of God, innocent of any wrong doing. Yet he subjected himself to a death fitting for a lawbreaker. Those who were crucified were seen as cursed - it was a stumbling block to Jews and an object of foolishness to the Greeks. ( 1 Corinthians 1:23) Those crucified were deemed guilty, suffering under God’s judgement ( see Isaiah 53:4 ). Only the followers of Christ, Jew and gentile, could see Gods power and wisdom in the cross.
(7) Paul did not want the Galatians to misunderstand the place of the Law and Gods plan - “It was added because of transgressions until the seed to whom the promise referred had come.” The Law revealed sin. It made known what it means to disobey and dishonor God. In doing so, it demonstrated our propensity toward and bondage to sin. The Law served to expose our unrighteousness before God.
(8) The Law does not oppose Gods promises. However we must recognize its purpose, and therefore its value. It was not given to impart life, but to bring about consciousness of sin. Scripture is clear - every person has sinned. The lost are held captive to sin. But all who believe in Christ are relieved from sins power and penalty, having been saved by grace.