Spirit or Flesh?

“Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:30

There’s that word again. Foolish. Why are they acting foolish this time? It is because Paul sees them as having begun their walk as Christians through the gospel of the Spirit and now reverting back to an old system that featured circumcision of the flesh. There is a major difference in how we try to be pleasing to God. Since God is a Spirit, He desires that we worship Him in spirit rather than the flesh. This comparison of Spirit and flesh is a common one for Paul as he sees the plan of God as one which is Spirit-led and Spirit-driven.

To revert back to a flesh led and flesh driven justification makes no sense to him and thus he cannot understand why the Saints in Galatia would want to go back under that fleshly driven system when the Spirit would lead them to life eternal through grace. It made no sense to Paul and shouldn’t to us as well. We do not live under a fleshly law from God but under a spiritual covenant which provides the Holy Spirit for us.

A few verses down he will make an appeal to Abraham and his walk with God. The Jews considered Abraham as the father of their race and their spiritual leader. Paul will point out that Abraham was not considered righteous before God because of a set of laws but because of faith. Here Paul is comparing faith with Spirit and works with law.

The life led by the Spirit and the life lived by works of the law are poles apart. Such polarization that cannot be compromised. Like dark and light, night and day, and good and evil the two means of justification stand at opposite ends of the spectrum. Why live in the dark when God offers light or suffer evil when God offers grace? It’s plain foolishness to try to earn something given to you free. Foolishness to bind yourself to a myriad of rules and regulations when you only need to come under God’s umbrella of love. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son not the law.

Jesus came to seek and save the lost by extending the love of God as unmerited favor. A free gift to those who would believe and trust the words of Jesus. Paul is astonished to the point of going over the point again and again. Grace versus law. Free gift versus works. Possible versus impossible. Spirit versus flesh.

Task for Today: Live your life according to the Spirit rather than the flesh. Don’t try to save yourself apart from God’s gift of grace. Don’t turn your back on the cross and try to earn salvation by your own endeavors. Going to church, reading the Bible, giving to the needy, praying often, are all good things we should be doing but not for salvation, rather because of salvation. God saves us by the washing of the water with the word so that we can do good works He has prepared. We don’t do the works to earn the saving by the washing of the water with the word.

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