Believing

” You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?”(Galatians 3:1)

The word “bewitched” here means “to cast an evil spell” on someone, to use words to put someone under a spell causing them to no longer think clearly. There had been false teachers who infiltrated the church in Galatia and began to teach them that in order to be a true follower of Christ they had to follow certain parts of the Law, including circumcision. The apostle Paul sets about to dismantle this false teaching.

He asks them, “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?”(Galatians 3:2-3)

Isn’t this what we do so often? We start our Christian life knowing “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast”(Ephesians 2:8-9). But no sooner do we take our first steps by faith does the temptation come to earn God’s love and prove our worth through religious activity.

Paul asks another question of the Galatians, “So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?”(Galatians 3:5)

This is interesting on so many levels. It is clear from this that the church in Galatia was experiencing the Holy Spirit do miracles through them. By this time in the early church, miracles had gone beyond the first apostles (Acts 5:12), beyond the first deacons (Acts 8:6-7), and even beyond Paul’s ministry (Acts 14:9-10). Miracles were now happening through men and women believers who had no title or position whatsoever. This is evidence of the fulfillment of Mark 16:17-18:

And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues…they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

So there are two qualifications for a miracle to happen through you: 1) Do you have the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ? and 2) Do you believe? In other words, are you a believing believer or a believer who is filled with unbelief? Strict adherence to the Law is not one of the qualifications. Having some elevated title or position in the church is not one of the qualifications. God is simply looking for surrendered sons and daughters who actually believe Him.

This is still God’s desire for the church today. God wants to give us His Spirit and work miracles among us because we are a church full of people who live by faith. He’s looking for a group of people who actually believe. And if we totally surrender ourselves to Him in faith, we will discover that these signs will accompany us: In Jesus’s name we will drive out demons, speak in new tongues, place our hands on sick people to pray for them and watch as they get well.

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