“O, you dear idiots!”
That’s basically how Paul begins Galatians chapter 3. It is a harsh word, yet strangely affectionate. Paul is admonishing the Galatians because many of them were beginning to turn away from the true gospel of absolute dependence on Jesus for salvation, and turning to a false gospel that said obedience to the law determines your status with God.
The subject of Galatians 3:1-5 is the Holy Spirit and the transforming power he brings into the life of every Christian. The Holy Spirit is not some nebulous force like Yoda and Luke Skywalker possess. The Spirit is not the weird uncle of the Trinity. Just as Jesus was God in human form, the Holy Spirit is God in transferable form.
And, what’s more, the Holy Spirit is given to every person who places their faith in Jesus Christ. When Paul says, “O you dear idiots,” he’s reminding us that the essence of spiritual transformation is right under your noses. The very way you became Christians is the way you’re going to grow as Christians: by entrusting your salvation and growth into the hands of Jesus.
Going Deeper, Sermon Questions:
1. In the sermon, I gave the following definition for what it means to believe in Jesus:
To believe in Jesus means to stop entrusting your salvation to your own moral efforts, and start entrusting your salvation to the perfect life, atoning death, and triumphant resurrection of Jesus.
Do you agree or disagree with the definition? What stands out to you about the statement?
2. The result of believing the gospel is the receiving of the Holy Spirit.
Read Romans 8:11.
In light of this passage, what are your thoughts about the Holy Spirit? Have you ever really considered the Bible’s claim that the very power of God takes up residence in those who believe in Jesus?
3. In the sermon, I made the statement, “You may know all about Jesus Christ, you may know he died on the cross, but at a certain point, what he did for you becomes beautiful. It sinks in. You begin to say, ‘I always knew about it, but I never experienced its power. I always knew it, but it never moved me before.’”
Have you ever experienced this type of awareness and experience with the gospel? Take at least 10 minutes and write out your experience.
If you’ve never experienced the transforming power of the gospel through God’s Spirit, I invite you to connect with Grace Church by emailing your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.