We have too many men of science, too few men of God.
We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.…
Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.
We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.
Too much foolishness in our world.
We need direction.
We need true knowledge that comes from above.
We need Jesus.
If we intend to avoid folly, we need to travel the right direction down One Way Streets, avoid being foolish.
Don’t attempt being a Christian in your strength; not good idea.
Yet, how frequently this happens.
The Galatians are heading the wrong way.
In addition, going their way in their own strength.
(This happens when we don’t follow God).
Paul is freaking out!
He has a really difficult time believing the Galatians can be sooo foolish.
Have the Galatians taken a trip to stupid town?
What madness has overtaken the people?
This is why Paul strings together what we read in today’s text:
Sound like a rebuke?
Yep, and was not Paul’s first for the Galatians.
Let’s back up for a moment and look at something we’ve previously noted in this letter:
In our text for today, Paul is not simply saying the same thing again.
Paul is, however, focusing on making the facts crystal clear.
The Galatians are attempting to “get to heaven” or “get right with God” through works of the flesh.
They hope to travel the Christian road by the flesh instead of the Spirit.
They are about to take a wrong turn onto a one way street.
They are about to leave God’s powerful presence to follow their own thinking and in their own power.
A really bad choice.
BAK - Let’s pause to consider the historic setting.
Male converts wanting to get circumcised.
Sure the pressure is on them.
They are Jews after all and thats what Jews have done for centuries.
Now, the pious one have convinced them that this is how to get right with God.
After all, hundreds of years and thousands of people can’t be wrong.
Surly this is key and they would never take a wrong turn.
It appears that even while the Galatians started in the right direction, these agitators have convinced them they need to go a different direction.
They convinced the Galatians that they needed circumcision in order to be saved.
The same thing they were doing in Antioch, the Judaizers were doing in Galatia:
Sadly, the Galatians were turning their wheels from the right direction into oncoming traffic.
They Judaizers had them convinced.
Paul is deeply troubled over what his happening to the Galatians.
The people have given up the true gospel for a lie.
What is going on in the mind of Paul:
Paul wonders if all his word is for nothing:
They were doing well, only to stop:
It appears they are “falling from grace:”
They’ve turned away from Jesus:
Paul knows that unless they change directions, they will not arrive at their destination.
What should Paul do?
Paul decides to plead with the Galatians.
He asks them to look to the Spirit instead of the Law.
The Law will accomplish nothing while the Spirit brings power and direction.
The proposition is before the Galatians.
It is one that, we too, must answer.
How can we make the presence of God’s Spirit known?
What does it mean to be full with the Holy Spirit?
Paul tell us God supplies the Spirit:
So, how is it that God makes His Spirit available to humankind?
That is what we are endeavoring to discover this morning.
Our message answers the question.
Let’s look in as Paul helps the Galatians get going and in the right direction.
Supply from the Savior (v.1)
Paul rewinds, call the Galatians back to when they first were filled with Spirit.
Paul asks the people to recall what they saw, remember their experience with God.
He reminds them how their life changed because of the experience of the cross; of how seeing Jesus crucified changed everything.
Do you see it, literally Paul says “it was before your eyes.”
The idea promotes a vivid relocation.
Paul is painting a vivid illustration in the minds of the people.
He asks them to think back to, and call up the image of, Christ on the cross.
What takes place is the people begin to see the torment of Christ as well as the torment Paul has bringing all this to their attention.
Look here, Paul speaks of being “crucified with Christ” (2:20).
His suffering was real; beaten and bloody.
The Galatians see Christ, in their mind’s eye, on the cross and Paul’s many bruises and scars.
In this, Paul helps them recall that the Spirit only comes by way of the cross; by way of the Savior.
That is, God supplies people with a Savior who covers sin and then can send, to them, His Spirit.
Unless we are forgiven, God can’t send the Spirit to us.
If God did send the Holy Spirit to us, while unforgiven, the Spirit would destroy us not change us into the image of Christ.
What is Paul then saying?
The Spirit comes through Jesus on the cross.
The Spirit never goes around the cross.
Our new life begins with forgiveness that takes place at the cross.
The Spirit then comes through Jesus like a window opened to a fresh breeze.
You and I, we must return to the cross again and again.
We all struggle with sin.
Do we not pray “forgive us this day?”
Sure you don’t loose your connection with God’s Spirit, but sin does cause a great interference.
Just like a fading radio station, when we allow sin in our lives, we loose are ability to hear from God.
James tells us to confess our sins to one another.
Jesus said pray daily “forgive us.”
Ever noted how good that feels?
See, when we let loose that burden of sin, God’s Spirit can fill those voids in our soul, make us strong, and we can once again enter in the presence of God.
Acts notes this process quite well:
TRANS - Let’s now look at vv.2, 5
and now v.5
Supply from the Sound (vv.3, 5)
We noted our supply from our Savior.