“Are You So Foolish?” ( Galatians 1: 6, HCSB ) by Carley Evans

Paul bemoans what is happening in the Galatian church, writing: “I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who calls you by the grace of God and are turning to a different gospel –”

 

The “turning away from [Christ]” happens in error due to the influence of Judaizers who call for men in the church to be circumcised. (Who knows to what Law these Judaizers might subject women!) At any rate, Paul is bewildered and disturbed that the Galatians are falling prey to people who demand full obedience to the “old covenant.”

 

In Paul’s mind, there’s no doubt these men (and women) of Galatia are called “by the grace of God.” They’re now deceived. Paul is distressed that they’ve been deceived “so quickly.”

 

Paul defends the gospel. He calls the gospel what it is — “the good news about the Messiah.” (Galatians 1: 7) He curses anyone who “preaches to [us] a different gospel contrary to what [we] receive.” (Galatians 1: 9)

 

He tells us that he is “advanced in Judaism beyond many contemporaries among [his] people.” (Galatians 1: 14) He understands more than anyone what it means to obey the “old covenant” in order to please God. He fully comprehends the futility of human effort. He asks the Galatians (and us), “You foolish Galatians! Who has hypnotized you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ is vividly portrayed as crucified? I only what to learn this from you: Do you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh?” (Galatians 3: 1-3)

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