Galatians 3

This week we explored Galatians 3 as part of our current series. The main crux of this week’s message is how the Apostle Paul told his readers to focus on the crucified Christ. Here are the points, passages, and ponderings from this morning’s installment in our series on Galatians…

Last Week:

  • View of sinners as those who did not follow religious rules
  • The Law does have a purpose
  • Must fight temptation

Galatians 3:1-2 (MSG) | You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a spell on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it’s obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough. Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Where is your focus?

  • Where is your focus?
  • N.T. Wright, “You become like what you worship. When you gaze in awe, admiration, and wonder at something or someone, you begin to take on something of the character of the object of your worship.”
  • Why crucifixion?

Galatians 3:11-12 (MSG) | The obvious impossibility of carrying out such a moral program should make it plain that no one can sustain a relationship with God that way. The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you. Habakkuk had it right: “The person who believes God, is set right by God—and that’s the real life.” Rule-keeping does not naturally evolve into living by faith, but only perpetuates itself in more and more rule-keeping, a fact observed in Scripture: “The one who does these things [rule-keeping] continues to live by them.”

  • Remember last week: relationships > rules
  • We become our focus – either religious rules or relationships with God and others

Galatians 3:25-28 (MSG) | But now you have arrived at your destination: By faith in Christ you are in direct relationship with God. Your baptism in Christ was not just washing you up for a fresh start. It also involved dressing you in an adult faith wardrobe—Christ’s life, the fulfillment of God’s original promise. In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ.

  • Focus on Jesus – believing in Him, beholding Him, and becoming like Him.
  • Jesus the barrier breaker!

Reflection Questions

  1. The Apostle Paul cautioned his readers about their focus. Where is your focus? Have you experienced the tendency to become upon what you gaze?
  2. Why do you think the Lord chose crucifixion for Jesus’ sacrifice?
  3. One of the major themes we’ve explored in Galatians deals with relationships over rules. Why is this important? What can be the pitfalls? How do you hold the two in balance?
  4. What was God’s plan for the Law? How are we still to behave properly while not becoming a slave to it?
  5. What is the point of God removing lifestyle barriers between us? What, or whom, becomes the focal point?