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Galatians, Chapter Three, Lesson One

HEARING WITH FAITH           Page 3
V. 2 (Cont'd.)

** Does everyone who "hears" the gospel become saved?

Tragically, no! The natural (or unsaved) man does not understand the things of God.
cf. 1Corinthians 2:14

** Then from where do we get the "faith" which enables us to hear God's truth so as to be saved?

It (faith) is a gift from God Himself! cf. Ephesians 2:8

V. 3 ** Now that Paul has gotten their attention, what argument does he use?

"Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" He is saying, "How can you perfect what the Holy Spirit began, that is impossible!"
cf. Philippians 1:6, 2:13, Colossians 2:9-10

V. 4 ** What would be the outcome of all that the Galatians had been through if they were to embrace the "different gospel" of the Judaizers?

All of their "suffering" would have been in vain. While the believers in the Southern Galatian area did suffer for Christ (Acts 14:2), that is not what Paul is saying. The verb "to suffer" is neutral and literally means to experience. It can be referring to either good or bad, favorable or unfavorable experiences. The Amplified New Testament translates this verse this way; "Have you suffered so many things and experienced so much all for nothing - to no purpose?"

** What are some of the things that the Galatians had experienced?

1) Christ publicly portrayed as crucified (V.1)
2) Receiving the Holy Spirit through faith (V.2)
3) Being "begun by the Spirit" in their walk(V.3)
4) Being "perfected" by the Spirit (V.3)

** Why would all of that be in vain?

If they were willing to give it up and depend on their ability to reach God by keeping the Law, it would make all of the Spirit's work in their life equal zero or vanity.

** How does Paul soften his tone with the Galatians?

"...if indeed it was in vain." Maybe it wasn't!

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