Galatians Part 19 - Galatians 3:2-4

4. As Paul carries on (v. 2), he poses an obvious question which the Galatians seem to have overlooked: had they received the Spirit by keeping law-works like circumcision or by hearing about Jesus Christ faithfully fulfilling the law for them? Had the Spirit come upon the church under the dispensation of the law/O.T. from Moses or under the dispensation of faith/grace/N.T. from Jesus Christ? JOH 1:14, 17 c/w ROM 3:21.  

A. The dispensation of the Law wound down with the dawning of the N.T. gospel age. LUK 16:16; GAL 3:19.

B. The prophets and Christ had spoken of the coming of the Spirit which awaited His work of redemption, His resurrection and glorification. JOEL 2:28-29; ZEC 14:8; JOH 7:37-39; 16:7.

C. In fulfillment of the words of the prophets and of Christ, the Holy Ghost fell upon the N.T. church at Pentecost, empowering it. ACT 1:8; 2:1-4, 16-21.

(1) The Holy Ghost came only on the church, not on all previously baptized folk. Nor was this event tied to circumcision which defined the Mosaic order.

(2) Being crowned with glory and honor in heaven, King Jesus began His rule as the God-Man over all things seen and unseen. HEB 2:9; 1PE 3:22.

(3) People (especially an oppressed people) generally look for a better hope and better law when a new government begins its rule. HEB 7:19; ROM 3:25.

(4) The N.T. era of the Spirit which replaced the “do and live” (GAL 3:12) Law is the only genuine New World Order.

D. During the forty year season of confirming signs and wonders (MAR 16:20), the Spirit/Holy Ghost sometimes was received in a visible manifestation and accompanied by miracles. HEB 2:4.

(1) Such was the case at Pentecost with the miraculous gift of tongues. ACT 2:4-6.

(2) The gift of tongues was likely used to convert the Galatians. ACT 2:10 c/w ACT 16:6.

(3) They certainly had the Spirit’s miracles among them. GAL 2:5.

E. At Pentecost Peter preached the faith of Christ in God’s promises as the means to His exaltation and coronation. ACT 2:25-32.

(1) The coming of the Spirit/Holy Ghost was the heaven-sent token of Jesus Christ being set on the throne of David. ACT 2:33-36.

(2) The Spirit could not have come if Jesus Christ is still waiting to assume David’s throne. Premillennial Dispensationalism again has a problem here in that it holds that Christ has yet to receive the throne of David.

(3) Men responded with repentance and baptism, and were graft into that well-spring of living waters which indwells God's house. Thus, in this sense also, they received the Spirit. ACT 2:37-41 c/w 1CO 12:13.

a. This is when a believer is “...sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (EPH 1:13).

b. seal: v. To attest by a seal. To place a seal upon a (document) as evidence of genuineness, or as a mark of authoritative ratification or approval.

c. As Jesus was sealed by the Father at baptism (JOH 6:27 c/w MAT 3:17) so believers are sealed as the sons of the Father upon baptism.

d. NOTE: Baptism is a figure of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (ROM 6:3-4) and Christ’s death was a willing submission (JOH 10:17-18), so any baptism which consists of an unwilling submission is a faulty picture of Christ’s death. The seal is for believers only.  

(4) Because He is the Comforter (JOH 14:26), the Spirit has an according message:

a. The work of redemption, reconciliation and justification is perfected. GAL 3:13; ROM 4:25-5:1, 10.

b. The burden of sin was borne by Christ to make us righteous. 2CO 5:21.

c. Impossible “Do and live” has been replaced by “Christ did, you live.”

d. The promise of life is certain. JOH 10:27-29.

e. Satan has been defeated. HEB 2:14.

f. Death has lost its power. 1CO 15:56-57.

g. We have a lively hope of resurrection. 1PE 1:3-4.

h. Christ’s law is bearable. 1JO 5:3; MAT 11:30 ct/w ACT 15:10.

i. His grace is greater than our sin. ROM 6:20.

j. Christ is our Advocate and Propitiation. 1JO 2:1-2.

F. None of the above accorded with the Law, Moses or circumcision.

5. The Galatians had received the Spirit by the hearing of faith (v. 2). The gospel of the faith of Christ had been preached to them. They had heard it and believed in His work alone for justification. They were then baptized into Christ's church and received the Spirit.

A. Paul had not preached unto them Moses, the Law and circumcision.

B. Faith (their responsive faith) came by hearing, and hearing by the word of God: the declaration of Christ's faith that looked beyond death and of an accomplished salvation. ROM 10:17.

C. Paul by the Spirit had preached Christ. The Judaizers by another spirit had sown doubt. Their message was basically, “...Yea, hath God said...?” (GEN 3:1).

6. The Galatians had started out believing the ministration of the Spirit (2CO 3:6-8) which speaks of grace and Christ's faith alone, but they had fallen from that belief by now depending on something they had done also: circumcision. v. 3 c/w GAL 5:4, 7.  

A. The true circumcision have NO confidence in the flesh. PHIL 3:3.

B. The flesh plays no active part in the quickening of sinners. JOH 5:21; 6:63.

C. They had begun in the Spirit, and deteriorated to the message of the flesh.

(1) This was contrary to the order of transcendance (spirit trumps flesh). 1CO 15:45-47.

(2) Satan has a remarkable capacity for reversing everything of God and making it sound better to human wisdom and desire.

D. The false teachers that had perverted the gospel of Christ did not themselves keep the law to which they had brought the Galatians into bondage. They just didn't like the offensiveness of the cross and grace. GAL 6:12-13.  

7. The Galatians had willingly borne the offense of the cross (v. 4). Would they now give up having come this far? Where was their patience and endurance? HEB 10:32-36; 6:12 c/w 1JO 2:24-25.

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