Have you guys gone wacko or something? Did you forget everything I told you about Jesus? Don't you remember how it used to be so OBVIOUS to all of you that Christianity is a miracle? Did you forget that your former mindset was exposed as death? Don't you remember that HIS death on the cross was the end of everything you USED TO BE? Can you tell me just ONE thing? This new life … the Spirit of Christ, Himself living in you … did it come from something you did? Or was it a miracle that came about through faith? Have you gone insane? You KNOW the Spirit came and made you alive by the miracle of hearing! You think you can make that new life BETTER by something you do? Are you stupid or something? Remember all the opposition and rejection you had to put up with from your friends and neighbors because you had turned away from the community religion (Now, that was a system of rules and regulations!)? Was that all for nothing? What I'm asking you is this: are you telling me that God does what he does based on how well you do what you do? Or is it a miracle that happened when you heard and believed? I think somebody has been messing with your heads!
Kinda harsh, huh? But this situation was critical and I called it as I saw it. The believers from Galatia were acting as if they had been put under a spell. They were listening to this “Don't you know we're children of Abraham?” stuff … and they were buying into it! Hey, look, even Abraham was made righteous when he believed God, not because he did something to deserve it. I find it rather odd how his so-called children think they get better by what they do.
God told Abraham, “All the nations shall be blessed in you”. And even in the writings they hold so dear it attests to this fact that “The righteous shall live by faith”. Now, if the promise came through Abraham, you can be sure about this: it has come to those who are of faith. And you know who the 'Sons of Abraham' are? You got it … those who are like Abraham … believers! Let me tell you something. These guys who are of the Law aren't the real sons of Abraham, they are under the curse of the Law! Hey, if they understood the books they quoted from they would know that the law is NOT OF FAITH! Those whose lives are based on law-keeping must continue on that basis. How it is that they come to you with a mixture of life by laws and life by grace is a contradiction of the very essence of both. It's against the law! Their books have to be burning their hands. Christ came and delivered us from that curse by becoming the curse FOR US!! In doing so, we receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
You think I left something out? You think maybe the Law changes what was promised to Abraham? That's exactly what the Galatians were considering. The men who came behind me with their version of the message of freedom put serious doubts into the minds of those who had experienced such an incredible joy … they had been freed from guilt, shame and fear.
Let me ask you: did you realize that the promise was made to Abraham … and to his SEED? Not SEEDS, just SEED. Do you know who that is? It is Christ. So, then, who is the promise to? The promise was made to Jesus Christ! That means you would have to be in union with him in order to receive the promise. I hope you are getting the connection. I hope the sense of it is causing your head to rattle a bit!
Look, this promise was made over four centuries BEFORE the Law was even given … what does that tell you? You think God changed His mind or something? I'm telling you right now that if this promise comes about by some kind of obedience on your part then it is NOT A PROMISE! Those impostors thought they knew Abraham, but they didn't know anything!!
You want to know why the Law was added after the promise? Listen well and follow this. It took the one broken command of Adam (the only one recognized by God) and multiplied law-breaking to the extreme. What does that tell you about how well the law works for bringing perfection? If it DID make people right THEN there would have been a conflict between the Law and the promise. But there was no law given by God that did anything to improve the condition of any man. Are you still fooled by the facade? Instead, the Law put the nails in the coffin until Christ appeared!!
Do you understand what I am saying? Before the miracle of faith came God's people were locked up and had nothing to do with faith … that came with Christ. Do you know what relationship my people had with God before Jesus got here? We were like children who had to be lead about by the hand and NEEDED supervision … THAT'S WHAT THE LAW WAS TO US!! But now that He HAS come the REAL sons of Abraham are NOT under such supervision!
Those religious, self-righteous men had played into the fears of the Galatian believers. You understand those fears all too well. You may think it was much different back then, but you are under the same kind of influences yourselves. You find yourself feeling less than those who boast of doing well. You think you're not as good as the morally upright. You are sure that you are not as close as the one who is on fire for God. You become convinced that you are not as connected to God as the dedicated. You question your own sincerity in view of those who appear to walk the talk. Don't you know who you are? ALL OF YOU who believe in Christ are Sons of God and there is nothing that separates one from another or puts some in a better class than the rest.
Have you missed something? Hasn't it struck you that the circumcision ritual leaves half of us out of the picture? Actually, all of us received the removal of the flesh through the death and resurrection of Christ when we what we were was cut away from us. The distinction of male and female has no bearing on our true identity. Social status means nothing, either. Let me ask you: what group of people do you consider as being outside the scope of God's grace?