Galatians 3:1
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
Sermons
A Foolish ChurchD. Allport.Galatians 3:1
Beholding the CrucifixionR. Halley, D. D.Galatians 3:1
BewitchedW.F. Adeney Galatians 3:1
Christ Crucified, the Preacher's ThemeC. H. Spurgeon.Galatians 3:1
Christ Evidently CrucifiedBishop Lightfoot.Galatians 3:1
Christ Evidently Set ForthCanon Liddon.Galatians 3:1
God's Testament and Promise in ChristMartin LutherGalatians 3:1
Importance of Preaching Christ CrucifiedTheological Sketch-BookGalatians 3:1
Lessons of ExperienceAlexander MaclarenGalatians 3:1
Men BewitchedC. H. Spurgeon.Galatians 3:1
Paraphrase of the VerseBishop Lightfoot.Galatians 3:1
Paul's LamentA. F. Barfield.Galatians 3:1
Power of ChristProfessor Phelps.Galatians 3:1
Spiritual WitchcraftEmilius Bayley, B. D.Galatians 3:1
The Enchantment of ErrorR. Nicholls.Galatians 3:1
The Evil Eye and the AmuletA. Maclaren, D. D.Galatians 3:1
The Fascination of the CrossCanon Vernon Hutton.Galatians 3:1
The Folly of ApostasyGalatians 3:1
The Folly of Being Captivated by Form, EtcJ. Lyth.Galatians 3:1
The Folly of Disobeying the TruthJ. Burns, D. D.Galatians 3:1
The Folly of Forsaking the Right PathDr. Hardman.Galatians 3:1
The Galatians BewitchedBishop Lightfoot.Galatians 3:1
The Galatians' DeflectionC. Simeon, M. A.Galatians 3:1
The Lord's Supper a Picture of Christ CrucifiedW. Forsyth, M. A.Galatians 3:1
Appeal to Experience and ScriptureR. Finlayson Galatians 3:1-14
The Bewitchery of LawR.M. Edgar Galatians 3:1-14
Paul, having stated his position as dead to the Law and inspired by Christ, goes on in the present paragraph to appeal to the Galatians to free themselves from the bewitching power of Law, and to yield themselves to the faith in a crucified and now risen Christ, which alone secures justification and its cognate blessings. And here we notice -

I. HOW LAW CAN COMPETE SUCCESSFULLY WITH A CRUCIFIED SAVIOUR FOR THE HOMAGE OF THOUGHTLESS HEARTS. (Ver. 1.) Paul here declares that two attractive powers had been presented to the Galatians - a crucified Christ in his own preaching, and the Law in the preaching of the Judaizers; and, to his amazement, the Law had so bewitched them as to lead them to look for salvation to Law-keeping instead of to the Saviour. And yet it only brings out the fact that there is in Law and self-righteousness a bewitchery which is continually leading souls back to bondage. It seems so natural to establish some claim by Law-keeping and ceremony that poor souls are from time to time falling into legal hope and its delusions. The superstition, which is abroad now, and leads so many to ceremonials for salvation, rests upon this foundation. It is the fascination of an evil eye which is upon the foolish votaries; they fancy they can save themselves by Law, and maintain their self-complacency and pride all the time. But it is delusion pure and simple.

II. ALL THAT LAW CAN REALLY DO FOR SINNERS IS TO CONDEMN THEM. (Vers. 10, 13.) The position taken up by Law is this - to condemn every one who falls short of perfect obedience. No partial obedience will be entertained for a moment. "Every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the Law to do them," is by the Law "cursed." This tremendous deliverance ought to be the death of all "legal hope." The soul who continues to hope in the Law, after such a definite utterance only proclaims his foolishness. One breach of Law is sufficient to secure the curse. The Law maintains its demand for perfect obedience, and, if this be not rendered, it can do nothing but condemn. It becomes the more amazing that any after this could be bewitched by Law. Surely if the Law can only curse sinners, the sooner we look for salvation in some other direction than Law, the better. And to go back to Law-keeping from grace, in hope of acceptance, is clear retrogression.

III. JUSTIFICATION AND ITS COGNATE BLESSINGS CAN ONLY COME BY FAITH, (Vers. 2-9, 12, 14.) The Law in the nature of things cannot justify sinners. It has no means of doing so. But God in his grace has provided a way of justification. It is through the merits of his Son. And here we must remember that imputation of merit is the commonest fact of experience. There is not one of us who does not get a start in life and a consideration extended to us which are due to the merits of others, a respected parent or some deeply interested friend. We are surrounded with a halo of glory by virtue of the character of others. Their character helps us to a position and opportunity we could not otherwise obtain. It may be called a mere association of ideas, but it is strictly the passing of merit over from man to man. In the same way Jesus Christ has come into our world, allied himself with our sinful race, merited consideration and acceptance by obedience to Law, even as far as death, and this merit of the Divine Man passes over to believers. In the Father's sight, therefore, we are regarded as just, notwithstanding all our sin. We have been justified through faith. But besides, the believers obtain the Spirit to dwell within them, so that a process of sanctification is set up within them as soon as justification takes place. And the indwelling Spirit may manifest his presence and power in wonderful works, as appears to have been the case with these Galatians (ver. 5). So that Divine grace not only secures the justification of all who trust in Jesus, but their sanctification and spiritual power as well. Wondrous blessings are thus the outcome of Divine grace, and the heritage of those who believe. What a change from having to endure the curse of Law!

IV. ABRAHAM ILLUSTRATES THE BENEFIT OF FAITH IN GOD AS CONTRASTED WITH RELIANCE ON LAW. (Vers. 6-9.) The legalists claimed Abraham as their father. One would have supposed that Abraham had been the greatest ceremonialist of the early dispensation. But the truth is that Abraham was justified and accepted by simply believing God when he promised a world-wide blessing through Abraham's seed. The blessing came to the patriarch through simple trust in God. Those who hoped in Law-keeping, therefore, were not the true followers of Abraham. It was only those who trusted God for salvation and blessing who walked in the patriarch's footsteps. Consequently, all the ceremonialism which tried to shelter itself under the wings of Abraham was a simple imposition ] The "merit-mongers," as Luther calls them in his ' Commentary,' have thus no pretence of countenance from the case of Abraham. It was to simple trust in God he owed his standing before him. How needful, then, it is for us to shake ourselves free from every remnant of self-righteousness, and to look simply and implicitly to Christ alone] It is by faith we stand and live. The Christ who became the curse for us by hanging on a tree, calls us to trust him for acceptance and inspiration; and in trusting him we find the promise amply redeemed. - R.M.E.







O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you?
I. In its ORIGIN.

II. In its IDEA OF THE SUSTAINING ENERGY OF THE CHURCH.

III. In its RETROGRESSION.

IV. In its ESTIMATE OF THE TRUE POSITION AND REQUIREMENTS OF HUMANITY.

V. In having LEFT ITS FIRST LOVE.

(D. Allport.)

The backslider —

I. Barters TRUTH FOR FALSEHOOD.

II. Ignores the FACTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND IS VICTIMIZED BY FANTASTIC FICTIONS.

III. Abandons THE SURE MEANS OF SECURING THE SPIRIT FOR THE CERTAIN MEANS OF LOSING HIM (ver. 2).

IV. Abandons A GOOD BEGINNING FOR THE SAKE OF REACHING A BAD CONCLUSION (ver. 3).

V. Yields willingly to PERSUASION WHAT COULD NOT BE EXTORTED BY PERSECUTION (ver. 4).

VI. Rejects UNQUESTIONABLE EVIDENCE IN FAVOUR OF BASELESS ASSUMPTIONS (ver. 5).

I. HE PLACARDED CHRIST CRUCIFIED BEFORE THEIR EYES.

II. HE ARRESTED THE GAZE OF THE SPIRITUAL LOITERER.

III. HE RIVETTED THAT GAZE ON THE PROCLAMATION OF HIS SOVEREIGN.

(Bishop Lightfoot.)

St. Paul's metaphor is derived from the popular belief in the power of the evil eye, and the word he employs originally referred to witchery by spells and incantations; but as it occurs in actual use it denotes the blighting influence of the evil eye. This belief is not confined to the East or to ancient times, but is common in some countries of Europe even now. The word then involves two ideas —

(1)The baleful influence on the recipient.

(2)The envious spirit of the agent.

(Bishop Lightfoot.)

Christ crucified belongs to no one age or place. In this matter period and locality are not of much account. Faith bridges over intervening land and seas, and leaps across centuries at a bound. In the modern period, in the middle ages, in the primitive times, faith sees and experiences over again what apostles saw and experienced. Faith detaches Christ crucified from geography and chronology, and throws Him on Christian consciousness where, independent of local associations and mere sequences of time, He bangs, as it were for all time, between earth and heaven as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

(Canon Liddon.)

It hath been told me in the ear and whispered into my very soul, that there is pardon for the greatest guilt through faith in Jesus Christ; that His precious blood shed on Calvary is able to cleanse us from every sin of every kind; and that as many as believe in Him are saved: their sins, which are many, are forgiven. I read this once; I thought it through. I heard this many times; I thought it through. But on a day I looked to Him that did hang upon the cross. It was a dark day for my spirit, and my burden was exceeding heavy. I was like a man that preferred to die rather than to live; and would have laid violent hands upon myself to end my misery, but that the dread of something after death did haunt me. I found no rest nor respite; but I heard one say, "Look unto Christ, and you shall be saved." I looked; and that my sins were there and then forgiven me I do know, as I know that I am standing here and speaking to you.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

A burglar, not long ago, rifled an unoccupied dwelling by the seaside. He ransacked the rooms, and heaped his plunder in the parlour. There were evidences that here he sat down to rest. On a bracket in the corner stood a marble bust of Guido's "Ecce Homo" — Christ crowned with thorns. The guilty man had taken it in his hands and examined it. It bore the marks of his fingers, but he replaced it with its face turned to the wall, as if he would not have even the sightless eyes of the marble Saviour look upon his deeds of infamy.

(Professor Phelps.)

I. THE ENCHANTMENT BY WHICH THEY HAD BEEN DELUDED. They had been bewitched. Their eyes had been dazzled by mere appearances.

II. THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE ENCHANTMENT HAD BEEN PRACTISED. The apostle significantly points out the fact that the Galatians had been led away by error, even when before their eyes Christ crucified had been clearly and distinctly set forth. The cross of Christ had been set forth in their midst.

III. THE PRACTICAL RESULTS OF THE ENCHANTMENT. It had affected both their conduct and character.

1. They had not obeyed the truth. This was the truth as it was in Jesus. At first they yielded to the claims of the truth. Their thoughts, feelings, actions, were governed by the understanding and belief which they had of the truth. Now they had departed from the truth, and relinquished their hold of its doctrines.

2. In doing this they had displayed the greatest folly. They were foolish in surrendering what they did. They had given up a Divine appointment, a Divine Redeemer, and peace with God. They had turned away from the fountain of living waters.LESSONS:

1. The preaching of the gospel should consist in holding up Christ crucified to the eyes of men.

2. Those who have looked to Christ should still be on their guard against false teachers.

(R. Nicholls.)

I. THE PERSON DEPICTED.

II. THE PARTICULAR ASPECT IN WHICH JESUS CHRIST IS SET FORTH. Not the Teacher, Maker, but as crucified.

III. THE FEELINGS WITH WHICH CHRIST CRUCIFIED SHOULD BE CONTEMPLATED. There are pictures of martyrs and other sufferers which cannot be looked upon without deep feeling. But no picture can stir our hearts like this. It is so near — "Before whoso eyes." It is so real — "Evidently." It is so vital to our interests — "Among you." It is so transforming and elevating in its character. Only those who are stupid, senseless, beguiled — who are "bewitched" — can fail to be ennobled and benefited by its holy and benign influence. This picture should be contemplated with —

1. Deep seriousness.

2. Unfeigned faith.

3. Holy aspiration.

4. Adoring gratitude.

5. Catholic love and self-dedication.

(W. Forsyth, M. A.)

I. It contradicts our clearest convictions.

II. Denies the work of the Spirit in our hearts.

III. Deteriorates our moral nature.

IV. Deprives us of our reasonable hope.

V. Attributes the mightiest operations of grace to an insufficient cause.

(J. Lyth.)

There are many who have lost their way; some through ignorance, and some who have been deceived by false lights, and led away by untrustworthy guides. Many are the stories which travellers relate of the perils of leaving the right path. A visitor, recently arrived in New Zealand, ascended to the top of a mountain overgrown with the huge ferns of that country. He had climbed up by a winding road cut through the bushwood, and was advised by the rest of his party to return by the same circuitous route; but he was tempted to make a short cut, and go straight down the side of the mountain. So he started, and went on rapidly for a while, but soon he found that the ferns of New Zealand were far taller than those of England. They rose over his head. They shut out light and air. Beneath their palm-like leaves the heat was suffocating, and soon he panted for breath. To retrace his steps was impossible. He could not see in any direction, but tried to follow the rapid slope of the ground, hoping to meet some open space. But his progress amongst the innumerable tall stems of the ferns was necessarily slow, The ground was so steep, it was difficult to keep on his feet, and in the dim green twilight he felt himself getting more and more exhausted; and when, in a fainting condition, he emerged at last on a pathway, he had bitterly regretted his folly in wandering from the usual road.

(Dr. Hardman.)

I. CHRIST CRUCIFIED HAD BEEN DECLARED TO THE GALATIANS.

1. Christ as the Redeemer.

2. Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

3. The whole system of Christian doctrine, including the duties, responsibilities, and privileges of believers.

4. Christ crucified had been received, believed in, loved by them.

II. THEY WERE GOING BACK.

1. Back to the slavery of the ceremonial law.

2. Back to the world, to fleshly lusts, to the devil.

3. Appeal to backsliders, reminding them of former peace and blessedness, present wretchedness.

III. WHO HATH BEWITCHED YOU?

1. Your desires.

2. Your companions.

3. Your prejudices.

4. Your procrastination.

5. Your unbelief.

6. Your want of principle.

7. Your lack of childlike love.

(A. F. Barfield.)

I. THE SUBTLE DANGER. Epidemic of error. People calmly tolerating what shortly before they would have indignantly repudiated.

II. THE ONLY PRESERVATIVE — Christ crucified.

1. Set forth plainly.

2. Realized vividly.

3. Clung to simply but firmly.

III. THE SUPREME FOLLY OF ANY OTHER COURSE. If you say, "We see what the gospel can do in the way of reclaiming sinners, but we are going to try something else," you will be fools. I am always ready to try a new machine: we will try the electric light one of these days, instead of gas, when we are sure of it; but suppose it should all go out and leave us in the dark! I will wait till the invention has been tested. So it may happen with the new religious lights that men bring up, which are like dim rushlights compared with the blazing sun of gospel truth; we are not going to try anything new to the risk of our souls. We will keep to the old, old gospel, until it is worn out. When that happens, it will be time to think of something fresh.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Two picturesque metaphors here, "Bewitched" refers to the old superstition that still lingers in many dark corners of England itself — the old superstition of the "evil eye," according to which some persons had the power of hurting and even slaying with a glance. The spiritual life of the Galatian churches seemed to Paul as if it had been sucked out of them by the baleful glitter of some evil eye. "Openly set forth" is the technical expression to describe all public notices and proclamations; it might almost be rendered, "placarded as a proclamation." The whole verse brings before us the mysterious melancholy factor religious declension, the fascinations which produce it, and seem as if they worked by some malign magic, and the one charm which guards against their power.

I. RELIGIOUS DECLENSION.

1. The Church as a whole. The apostles were not cold in their graves when grievous wolves began to enter in and spoil the flock. The law seems to work almost inevitably that close on the heels of every period of earnestness and quickened life, there shall follow a period of reaction and torpor. However high the arrow is shot, the impulse that sped it on its way heavenwards soon seems to die, and gravitation begins, and down it comes again. 2 The individual. Moments of illumination are replaced by use and wont; we get into our old ruts again, and quaff once more the opium soporifics which have lulled us to sleep so often before. How strange, how sad, that this should be so universally true.

II. THE FASCINATIONS WHICH PRODUCE RELIGIOUS DECLENSION.

1. External. Worldly cares, occupation, treasures. Many men's Christianity trickles out without their knowing it. They are too busy to look after it, or even to notice its escape, and so, drop, drop, drop, slow and unnoticed through the leak, it slips until there is none left.

2. But the real cause lies within. No outward temptation has any power to seduce, unless we choose to allow it. If I had not combustibles in my heart, it would do me no harm to put ever so fierce a light to it. But if I carry about a keg of gunpowder within me, I must not blame the match if there comes an explosion. It is because our hearts do not find in Jesus Christ all that they crave, that we are unfaithful and turn away from Him; and it is because our hearts are foolish and bad, that they do not find in Him all that they crave. If we were as we should be, there would not be a desire in us that would not be met in our loving Lord, in His sweetness and grace. And if there were not a desire in us that was not met in our loving Lord's sweetness and grace, then all these temptations might play upon us innocuously; we should walk through the fire and not be harmed.

III. THE AMULET. Fix your eye, not on the glittering eye that would fascinate you, but on the counter charm — Christ crucified. Hearts and minds that are occupied with Him will not be at leisure for lower and grosser tastes. An empty vessel let down into the ocean will have its sides bulged in far more quickly than one that is filled. Fill your hearts, and keep them full, with Jesus Christ, and they will be able to resist the pressure of temptation. Try to see placarded on every common thing the crucified Christ. That sight will take the brightness out of many a false glitter, as a poor candle pales before the electric light, or as the sun puts even it to shame. You may be as powerless of yourself before temptations, as a hummingbird before a snake; but if you look fixedly to Him, neither the glittering eye of the serpent nor the forked tongue with its hiss will harm or frighten you.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

To "bewitch" here involves two ideas.

1. A pernicious influence exercised on the recipient.

2. The envious, jealous spirit of the agent.

(Emilius Bayley, B. D.)

A rebuke for apostasy. St. Paul tells the Galatians they have been fascinated as with the power which the Orientals ascribe to the "evil eye," notwithstanding the clear representation of the wondrous love of Christ's death set forth in the vivid and impressive preaching of the apostle, as in a picture The fascination of the cross should prevent the power of all other fascinations. Of many it may be asked, "Who did fascinate you?"

I. THE FASCINATIONS WHICH TURN US FROM OBEDIENCE TO THE TRUTH.

1. Worldliness.

2. Intellectualism.

3. Novelty.

4. Self-will.

II. THE FASCINATION OF THE CROSS SHOULD DESTROY THE POWER OF ALL THESE. The cross should teach us —

1. Self-denial in opposition to worldliness.

2. Humility as against intellectual pride.

3. Steadfastness in place of love of novelty in doctrine.

4. Submission of our will to God.The cross may exercise a magic charm over us. Let us always be in the circle of its influence.

(Canon Vernon Hutton.)

Christ's death in vain? O ye senseless Gauls, what bewitchment is this? I placarded Christ crucified before your eyes. You suffered them to wander from this gracious proclamation of your King. They rested on the withering eye of the sorcerer. They yielded to the fascination and were rivetted there. And the life of your souls has been drained out of you by that envious gaze.

(Bishop Lightfoot.)

I. CONSIDER WHEREIN THEIR DISOBEDIENCE TO THE TRUTH CONSISTED.

II. THE PARTICULAR AGGRAVATION WITH WHICH THEIR DEFLECTION WAS ATTENDED.

III. THE APOSTLE'S REPROOF. Inferences —

1. How great is the evil and danger of self-righteousness.

2. What need have even the most eminent Christians to watch against apostasy.

3. What cause of thankfulness have they who are kept stedfast in the truth.

(C. Simeon, M. A.)

Theological Sketch-Book.
In any circumstances it is both sinful and unwise to turn away from the truth as it is in Jesus; it bespeaks us blind to our own interest, as well as regardless of the glory of God. But what rendered such conduct inexcusable in the Galatians, was the degree of evidence with which the gospel was attended, and the abundance of evangelical preaching which they enjoyed.

I. Endeavour to ascertain the IMPORT OF THE TERMS EMPLOYED IN THE TEXT. Not merely the setting forth of Christ's bodily sufferings.

1. Christ is set forth in the gospel as the great propitiation, by which God's righteousness might appear in the remission of sins (Romans 3:25).

2. Christ is set forth as the great expression of Divine love to a sinful and perishing world (John 3:16; Romans 5:8).

3. Christ is set forth in the gospel as affording the strongest proof of God's displeasure against sin (Romans 8:3; Galatians 3:13).

4. Christ crucified is set forth as the only foundation of a sinner's hope (John 1:29; John 3:14, 15).

5. The terms in the text further denote, the high degree of evidence which attended the ministry of the apostles, especially among the Galatians.

II. Consider the IMPORTANCE OF SETTING FORTH CHRIST IN THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL. It is a principal part of the work of the Holy Spirit to take of the things of Christ, and show them unto us; it should, therefore, be the great object of the Christian ministry to co-operate with this design.

1. To exhibit Christ crucified will tend to prove the hearts of men, and make them manifest.

2. It is the only way of giving peace to souls in distress for sin. When a sinner is brought under the terrors of the law, made to see and realize his guilt and danger, and to feel his need of a Saviour, he is apt to look inward for some qualification to recommend him to Christ; but to set forth a crucified Saviour is to point him to the only refuge, and to show him at once his remedy. All his help must come from Calvary. If we desire a more spiritual and humble frame of mind, no means are so effectual to its production as the contemplation of a crucified Redeemer.

3. It is the way to draw forth and bring into exercise all the Christian graces.

4. The preaching of Christ crucified is that which leaves all unbelievers without excuse. It will be impossible for those to plead ignorance of the way of salvation, before whose eyes this truth has been evidently set forth. If they perish it will not be for lack of knowledge, but for want of a heart to attend to the things which belong to their everlasting peace.

(Theological Sketch-Book.)

Jesus Christ was certainly not crucified in Galatia. Your children can tell you He was crucified at Golgotha, without the gate of Jerusalem. Nor do I suppose that many Galatians were present in Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion, Yet the words of the apostle are very forcible — "Before whose eyes," etc. These men had seen the Lord, though not in the flesh. They had seen Him crucified, and they were crucified with Him. Although Christ was set forth crucified, only in representation, in the words of truth and soberness, yet the representation was indeed a reality to them. They believed it; they saw it; they felt it. They knew its truth; they felt its power; they beheld its glory. If this be all, some of you say, that is meant by the words, then there is nothing more intended than may be seen and felt in these latter times and in this our land, Just so I mean you to understand me. There is nothing in this vision of Jesus Christ "evidently set forth crucified" which may not be seen in our day, and seen by you as the life of your own souls. This is not an old picture of the crucifixion, suspended in the churches of Galatia for their especial benefit, but a lively representation, having grace and power unexhausted, for all times and places, wherever on the face of the earth is to be found a company of sinners looking for salvation. But our text suggests another very solemn consideration. These Galatians, "before whose eyes Jesus Christ had been evidently set forth, crucified among them," were so bewitched, notwithstanding the glorious sight which they beheld, that they did not obey the truth. This strange infatuation was not confined to the old times.

I. EXPLAIN THE VISION OF JESUS CHRIST "evidently set forth, crucified among you," An evident setting forth, glorious in its own evidence, and mighty in its own power; a great sight which fills the soul of men beholding, and works upon the springs of life and activity within them. It is Christ brought so near them that nothing seems nearer, everything else is distant. That voice of prayer — prayer, loving and mighty in death, sounds so near that its tones touch their hearts, and they feel it working mightily in them for their regeneration. The pitiful compassion of the Saviour is so near that He seems to weep with them and feel for them, as though He suffered to succour them, was tempted to encourage them to resist the tempter, and fought in the dreadful conflict that they, in His strength and spirit, may fight with Him, and like Him, overcome the same enemies. The shedding of His blood is so near them that it seems to sprinkle their consciences, and allay the burning sense of guilt. Penitence sees Christ set forth crucified where impenitence cannot discern Him. Looking through its tears, it sees the great sight, and instantly feels the healing virtue and soothing power of that wonderful death. But, then, ye must be penitent, ye must feel your sinfulness — that is, you must be in the condition to which the death of Christ is appropriate. Men naturally overlook things inappropriate to them, or those in which they have no concern. Thus it is that the penitent, broken-hearted sinner sees Christ when the evangelist sets Him forth crucified for sin. Have you thus seen Christ crucified for you? You saw no miraculous signs as the Galatians saw; but there are personal signs of the Spirit in changing your heart, subduing your sins, overcoming temptations, conquering the world, inspiring bright hopes, exciting fervent prayers, forming Christian graces — all the fruits of the Spirit; not, indeed, miracles, prophesyings, tongues, interpretations, gifts of healing; but better fruits in the maturity, not the infancy, of true religion — love, joy, peace, etc.

II. PROPOSE A SOLEMN AND AFFECTING INQUIRY. Has anything bewitched you (and if anything, what?) "that ye do not," etc. To have had the experience of a present Christ; to have seen Him crucified before our eyes; to have felt and handled that good Word of life. And to have experienced all these things in vain! Those who have experienced these things in vain — who can they be? The man who sees the truth and does not obey it may well be regarded as bewitched, under the spell of a sorcerer, choosing what he knows is death and refusing what he knows is life. What is the spell? The preceding thoughts wilt suggest the nature of the sorcery. How did we bring Christ before the eyes of the sinner? By convincing him of the appropriateness of the Saviour and His great salvation. And this was appropriate to the sense of guilt, — humble penitence beholds Christ, and rejoices in His presence. Now let an opposite feeling, a proud feeling of self-righteousness and self-sufficiency, take possession of the heart, and the vision of Christ crucified vanishes as a dream when one awaketh. Feeling no need of Christ crucified, the soul looks no longer to Him. It has found other hope, and applied to itself a false peace. It has healed the wound slightly, and, so long as the pain is relieved, it seeks no other remedy. Just so it was with the Galatians: they listened to Jewish teachers, who told them of the ritual of Moses, the righteousness of the Pharisees, the works of the law, by the doing of which they might be saved. And so they were beguiled from the simplicity of Christ. But there are other sorcerers which infest the Christian Church, and beguile many. Whatever renders us indisposed to receive Christ, to love Him, to serve Him, blinds us to the glory of His gospel, and so removes Him further from us. There is the infatuation of the world, with its gaieties and follies; and sad infatuation it is upon some, of whom better things might have been expected. There is the infatuation of avarice, of men who make haste to be rich, who will be rich at all costs and hazards, until they destroy their own peace and make their past experience vanity, and past profession a lie.

(R. Halley, D. D.)

I. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN CHRIST BEING EVIDENTLY SET BEFORE US CRUCIFIED. Christ is evidently set before us crucified —

1. In the evangelical histories of the New Testament. The whole scenery of the cross is there exhibited.

2. In the preaching of the gospel. The cross is its very essence, its sum and substance, its all and in all. We must know nothing else.

3. In the Holy Communion. There we set forth the broken Body, the shed Blood.

II. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN NOT OBEYING THE TRUTH. By "the truth" we may understand either Christ, who is emphatically the Truth, or the gospel, which is the revelation of God's truth. We shall consider the latter as the meaning of the text. In reference to the truth of the gospel —

1. Some reject it wholly. Revelation disbelieved and despised.

2. Many reject it practically. Do not obey its exhortations. Are hearers only. Do not yield themselves to God. Still live in unbelief and sin.

3. Others reject the truth partially. Believe general truths — obey general commands — and acknowledge general principles; but are undecided, compromising, and half-hearted.

III. THE FOLLY AND BEWITCHMENT OF SUCH A COURSE OF DISOBEDIENCE. It is evidently folly —

1. As it is the rejection of true light. Darkness is fraught with present evil, and tends to eternal destruction.

2. It deprives of all the solid comforts of religion. No peace, or joy, or hope. Desponding, restless, miserable.

3. It exposes to the severe disapprobation of God.

4. It will end in everlasting and irremediable ruin (Hebrews 3:2; 1 Peter 4:17, 18). How important, then, that the question of the apostle be duly considered?Who hath bewitched you?

1. Have men, by their creeds and false doctrines?

2. Has Satan, by his devices?

3. Has the world, by its allurements?Application:

1. We urge the sinner to consider his ways — receive the truth in the love of it — and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and he shall be saved.

2. We expostulate with backsliders — and say, Why will ye die? Why forsake Christ? Oh, return.

3. We exhort the believer to buy the truth — to grow in truth — to witness to the truth — to rejoice in the truth — and stedfastly to hold fast the truth to the end.

(J. Burns, D. D.)

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