You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
I was listening to the radio this morning when one of the stories captured my attention. A prominent preacher was being interviewed, and in the conversation, he was explaining why he was now offering his congregation (whatever was left of it) an alternative gospel. After years of preaching a widely accepted understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ; (a gospel which millions receive through faith in Jesus Christ); he was now preaching a gospel based on human logic, emotion and reasoning. I could tell he was sincere, and yet at the same time, it seemed to me, sincerely deceived. He is not alone. Satan roams to and fro seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8) and anyone of us can fall prey to deception if we rely on human reasoning, but God.
The world is full of people who are searching for the opportunity to deceive others. There are various reasons why deceivers operate the way they do. For some it is about personal gain, and others for power, pleasure or popularity. From the beginning, Satan has been at the heart of deception. He deceived Eve in the garden of Eden; and she dragged Adam with her, causing sin to enter the world. The Bible notes that Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44); he is the author of deception: (cheating, duplicity, deviousness, duping, hoodwinking); and he is still actively working in the world today to lead some astray.
In Galatians 3:1, Paul castigates the Galatians for falling prey to deceptive arguments that are causing them to turn away from living by faith through Jesus Christ. Some of the believers are trying to attain righteousness by human effort. Paul says, “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
Dear brethren, the Bible is clear, there is a goal to be attained (God’s grace doesn’t eliminate goals); don’t let anyone tell you any different, to do so would be foolish, ouch! Secondly, this goal cannot be attained by human effort, only by the Spirit of God, through faith in Jesus Christ. Thirdly, Satan will continue to deceive many, even the very elect, to deny you the freedom and abundance that Christ died to give you (Matthew 24:24); He will continue to whisper from his echo chamber, “Did God really say….?” But you, O Child of God, stand firm on God’s word. It is the only weapon that can combat Satan’s lies. Jesus said, “It is written... (Matthew 4:4)” and not “I think…” to give us the plumb line). Test every spirit to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1). May his grace preserve you, until the day of his appearing.
Loving and gracious God, you are not willing that any should perish. So, teach me to hate the sin, but to love the sinner, even as you have loved me. Give me the courage in this age of political correctness, to hold true to your Truth without flinching, no matter the cost. Thank you for dying for me, so that I might lean on nothing else, but the cross. In Jesus’ name, Amen.