Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1
Thesis: The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is the central Truth from which radiate all redemptive truths.
Introduction: As we begin our study of a new chapter and a new paragraph, the first thing that we notice is that Galatians 3:1-5 is put together in a form that highlights six questions that swirl around one basic question. The six questions are: 1) Who bewitched you? 2) Did you receive the Spirit by works or by hearing? 3) Are you so foolish? 4) Having begun by the Spirit, are you now perfected by the flesh? 5) Have you suffered so much in vain? and 6) Does He that ministers the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works, or by hearing? But, Paul says of the second question that the answer to it is the answer to all.
This evening we are going to begin by looking into the first question in its setting: Who bewitched you?
October 16, 2011
- I. The Issue of "Foolishness".
- A. The word's roots have to do with an absence of mental activity (a + noieo).
- B. The way the word is used in the New Testament involves being "thoughtless" about a matter because of a dismissal of pertinent facts (Luke 24:25).
- C. The focus of the word in the New Testament is that such "thoughtlessness" will lead to some kind of failure (it is used as the opposite of sophos in Romans 1:14 and, by that means, we know that the issues involve the absence of "wisdom" as the ability to apply truth-principles to a given situation so that the situation resolves in a way sought by the "wise").
- 1. The "foolish lusts" that "drown men in destruction and perdition" are "lusts" that produce exactly the opposite of what the men seek (1 Timothy 6:9).
- 2. Titus 3:3 actually seems to fill in the details of what being "foolish" means: "disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another".
- D. The use of the word at this point is in direct harmony with Paul's fairly strident warning in 1:8-9.
- 1. The Galatians do not realize that the issue is so profoundly important because of the outcomes.
- 2. The bottom line for all mankind is not this life, but the eternally settled finality.
- E. The point: Paul is insisting upon "thoughtfulness".
- II. The Issue of Being "Bewitched".
- A. The word Paul used here is only found here in the entire New Testament and it raises the question of why he would go to it in this setting.
- B. The word has its roots in the use of "black magic" and the use of it against another person in the form of some kind of "curse".
- 1. This thesis of "cursedness" comes up in Galatians in this chapter at both 3:10 and 3:13.
- 2. This thesis also exactly fits the notion of being "foolish" in that one who is "cursed" is going to get exactly the opposite of what he/she wants.
- C. That Paul uses the notion of being "bewitched" in direct association with the doctrines of "works" is deliberate because those doctrines originate with demons (1 Timothy 4:1) and the practitioners of "black magic" always claim to be in contact with the spirit world and its powers of destruction.
- III. The Issue of the Obviousness of the Implications of Jesus Christ Crucified.
- A. The highest impact of such reality is the Love of God.
- B. The second most crucial impact has to do with grasping the Grace of God.
- C. The roots of the "obviousness" are mental (logical) and prophetic (things written before) so that those who come after will be sufficiently forewarned.
- D. The result of those roots is that those fed by them "know" as if they had seen the truth enacted in their very presence.