“Have you lost your senses? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” – Galatians 3:3.
Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t feel accepted or you just didn’t fit in? Perhaps it was the way you dressed, or maybe it was because you were too brutally honest. Or maybe there wasn’t a specific cause, but you just didn’t fit in.
When we sense that we tend to go over the event or circumstance looking for why we were not accepted. You start to think of what you might do differently next time to be accepted. When you become a follower of Jesus you are wholly and fully accepted in Christ, by Christ, and through Christ.
The apostle Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia in part because they had forgotten this foundational spiritual principle. Within two years of visiting the churches in the region, a group of devout, God-fearing, people known as the Judaizers had slipped into the church and were trying to convince the church that God’s acceptance through Christ wasn’t enough. They had forgotten that they were saved by faith alone through God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8).
In Galatians, Paul emphasizes the critical importance of understanding that salvation is a free gift of God’s grace that is received by faith alone in Christ alone. In Galatians 3:3, Paul asks the people this question: “Have you lost your senses? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?”
That is a good question then and a good question now. Many people have the same problem that plagued the Galatians: practicing religion instead of relationships. They are trying to live for God through their own efforts instead of allowing God to live in and through us by faith. Genuine faith is about believing in God. It’s a relationship between us and God that begins by faith, is lived by faith, and ends in faith.
Genuine faith is not a long list of performances we do to impress others. It is the secret to the Christian life. Perhaps we’ve been trying to do all the work ourselves. If we daily stay connected to our Source, then the natural outcome will be a simple life of genuine faith. Genuine faith requires putting our trust in God alone. We will never experience the peace of heaven if our hope is in this earth. We will never experience the power and help of the Holy Spirit if our hope is in our own abilities, talents, and strengths. We will never fully experience the satisfaction of truly being loved if we place our hope of affirmation in the opinions of others.
- Why is it so hard to accept that salvation is a free gift of God’s grace?
- What can you do this week to live more with faith?