Sunday, January 19, 2020
Receiving The Holy Spirit By Faith
In Galatians 3:2, the Apostle Paul refers to the moment when the Christians at Galatia were first converted. They believed in their hearts as a result of hearing the gospel message that he delivered. Human efforts are not to be added to faith as a means of justification afterwards (Galatians 3:3). If people want to receive the gospel by some means other than "by hearing with faith," then that would constitute a rejection of faith as sufficient to bring about our justification before God. Paul uses Abraham as an example of someone who was justified by faith apart from meritorious works (Galatians 3:6). There exists no good works that can enable us to obtain fellowship with God (Galatians 3:21-24). The Apostle Paul's focus (in combating the Judaizers) extends beyond the Mosaic Law. He argues against seeking favor with God by any particular system of good works: "For if a law had been given which was able to impart life..." (Galatians 3:21). That point covers both the moral and ceremonial aspects of the Law. Consequently, Paul argues against seeking justification before God by any other means than faith.