Receive the Spirit, by faith not works

Receive the Spirit, by faith not works

GALATIANS 3 v. 1 – 5

‘You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
This is the only thing I want to find out from you : did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing with faith?
Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
Did you suffer so many things in vain – if indeed it was in vain?
Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the law, or by hearing with faith?’

Paul has mentioned God the Father and God the Son several times already in this letter to the Galatians. Now he moves further to begin discussing the gift of God the Holy Spirit.
In a similar way to his previous argument that the Law is unable to make us right with God (merely to point out how far we fall short), Paul points out here that the Law is also unable to bring us to an encounter with God the Spirit.
We receive the Spirit through opening up our lives to faith in Jesus.
The great frustration for Paul is that these Galatians set out well and true in their faith, but they have been ‘bewitched’, and are now acting ‘foolishly’. Strong words from Paul, for there is such a poisonous danger that these Christians will lose their focus, lose their freedom, lose the Spirit.

Holy Spirit,
thank You for breathing
this faith-life into me.
Fan into flame
that passion for grace and truth
which filled Jesus completely.
Keep my feet on the right path,
not deviating to the left or right,
but walking in step with You
this day
and every day.

Make a list of the ‘benefits’ of your life of faith in Jesus (including ‘receiving the Spirit’ and all that the Holy Spirit brings you).
Determine to protect the purity and integrity of your faith, recognising the risk of losing so much, as the Galatians were clearly doing.

Phil Gough