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Galatians 3:3 – Cherry on the cake?

04-07-2022 - Posted by Hans

So foolish are you? Undertaking in spirit, are you now being completed in flesh?

We already read that the Galatians were foolish in verse 1. When Paul denounces this in three rhetorical questions, he exclaims: Are you so foolish? A different contrast is mentioned in each of the questions. In verse 1, the contrast is between the Judaizers’ enchantment versus how Paul presented them with Jesus Christ crucified. In verse 2 it is about “works of law” versus “hearing of faith”. And in verse 3 the contrast is between beginning in Spirit versus completion in flesh.

The contrast in verse 3 builds directly on that of verse 2, which also mentions the Spirit. The Spirit had been received, not by works of law, but by hearing of faith. If God (“Spirit”) started like this, how foolish is it to think that the weak man (“the flesh”) would apply the “finishing touch”?! Isn’t that an anticlimax? Beginning with Divine assurance and ending in human frustration…

The basic message in the Gospel is that God expects nothing from man but takes care of everything. Anything “the flesh” add,  in reality detracts.