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Don’t Be Foolish!

Don’t Be Foolish!
April 2, 2017

Scripture: Galatians 3:1-6

I. If you are self-righteous, you foolishly miss the Holy Spirit.

A. There is a spiritual element to life. There were demons at work to turn the Galatians away from the true Gospel of faith alone in Christ to a false gospel which placed their faith in themselves and their own righteousness (vs. 1). But the church received the Holy Spirit by hearing the message about Jesus’ death on the cross for their sins and placing their faith in that message. Romans 8:9-10: “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”

B. Paul said to the Galatian church, “You have the Holy Spirit because you placed your faith in Jesus not because you are self-righteous. Isn’t it great to have the Holy Spirit living in you? The only reason you have this great blessing is because of your faith in Jesus. If you were merely self-righteous, you would never have been given this great gift of the Holy Spirit to live in you.”

II. If you are self-righteous, you foolishly won’t finish your journey.

A. Paul asks in vs. 3, “Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” Paul is talking about how they have begun the Christian life. The Christian life is a journey. We are headed to a destination. We began this journey by placing our faith and trust in Jesus that He and He alone can forgive our sin and give us a status of righteous with God. Paul is asking, “Are you trying to finish your journey toward heaven with your own human efforts – without faith and without the Holy Spirit who comes with faith?” That would be foolish.

B. The Christian life not only begins with faith it is a life of faith from beginning to end. Philippians 1:6: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” If God did all the work at the beginning of your Christian life, Paul asks, who is going to do the work to complete your Christian life and bring your journey to an end? God will. Your only responsibility is to have faith in Christ to bring you there. It would be foolish to think that a journey that you began by faith would finish with you working hard in your own strength without the Holy Spirit to get you there.

III. If you are self-righteous, you foolishly waste your suffering.

A. Paul writes about suffering in vs. 4, “Did you suffer so many things in vain – if indeed it was in vain?” We read about the suffering Paul and Barnabas encouraged the Galatians to endure in Acts 14:21-22: “When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Walking with Jesus will necessarily lead to suffering. So Paul says, “If you are going to turn away from living by faith in Jesus and start living by a more acceptable false gospel of living by your good works, you will have wasted all the suffering that you did for Jesus.”

Application:
Keep living by faith and look forward to all that Jesus will do for you as you make your journey.

Sources:
The letter to the Galatians
Commentaries on Galatians by Douglas Moo and Philip Graham Ryken

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