The verses for the day are from Galatians 3:1-5:
“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?—
Those words ring in my ears again and again as I ponder this passage: “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?”
“Bewitched” means to cast a spell, to charm, to fascinate or enchant. If these Galatians — who lived so close to the time of Christ, whose eyes had seen Jesus Christ publicly portrayed as crucified (verse 1) — could be bewitched, don’t you think it’s possible that we who live 2000 years after His death and resurrection are likewise in danger of it?
This is why Paul writes – to give them again the truth of the gospel, and this is why we read the Bible – to be reminded of truth that will keep us from being bewitched, foolish, or led astray. We need our daily bread, our time in the Bible, as much if not more than our literal daily bread of food and drink. We need it to be reminded of truth. It’s so easy for our hearts to be fooled.
What had bewitched them? It sounds like the idea that they could be made righteous through works of the law instead of through faith. This is a timeless issue that can challenge every one of us. The Galatians who had begun by faith in Christ, begun in the Spirit (v.3), were now beginning to turn to works of the law, believing they could be perfected in their flesh. This could again be a reference back to circumcision and looking to a certain work to gain them righteousness.
Paul asks them how they received the Spirit (v.2)? Through works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Works righteousness seems to be the default mode of our lives. Can we do enough? Can we maintain what God has started?
We do obey Him out of love for Him. We are saved by faith and want to live for Christ, our Savior. But these works show our love and devotion to God; they do not make us righteous. We cannot add to the work God has done on the cross. We would be silly to try. We would be bewitched.
Likewise, just as our righteous works cannot add to our salvation, our sin also cannot take away from our salvation! Rejoice in this! We can’t add to it or take away from it! Our pastor pointed something out like this on Sunday during our study of Romans. If you believe your sin is too great, or that it is something that would separate you from Christ, you don’t understand that your good works are not good enough to bring you to Christ. Jesus and His grace do it all! The law shows us this.
Rejoice! Repent! Turn to Him. Seek Him. Obey Him. Not so that your works will save you, but so you can say, “I love You, Jesus, and I thank You for what You have done for me, and I give my life to You!” Let Him bless you as you follow and run hard after Him. Study the Bible, know the truth, that you may live in Him, your crucified and risen Savior and King, each and every day.
PRAYER: Father, thank You for the cross where our sins were covered by the blood of Jesus. Nothing we bring, nothing can we add. We would be foolish to try. You have paid the price and done it all. The law shows us our need for you, it does not save us. Let us not believe that our good works could ever save us or add to our salvation. You provided for our salvation and you provide for our sanctification. We want to walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh. Show us where we might be bewitched, and let us walk in faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.