A Helpful Word in Preparation of the Study
Hear this commentary on Galatians 3:1-3 from Andrew Murray’s 1895 booklet “Absolute Surrender.” You can download a pdf of the entire booklet here, listen to the LibriVox recording of this booklet here, or purchase it here.
1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
What are the proofs or indications that a church like the Galatians, or a Christian, is serving God in the power of the flesh — is perfecting in the flesh what was begun in the Spirit? The answer is very easy. Religious self-effort always ends in sinful flesh. What was the state of those Galatians? Striving to be justified by the works of the law. And yet they were quarreling and in danger of devouring one another. Count up the expressions that the apostle uses to indicate their want of love, and you will find more than twelve — envy, jealousy, bitterness, strife, and all sorts of expressions. Read in the fourth and fifth chapters what he says about that. You see how they tried to serve God in their own strength, and they failed utterly. All this religious effort resulted in failure. The power of sin and the sinful flesh got the better of them, and their whole condition was one of the saddest that could be thought of.
This comes to us with unspeakable solemnity. There is a complaint everywhere in the Christian Church of the want of a high standard of integrity and godliness, even among the professing members of Christian churches… If we go into the homes of Christians, and if we think of the life to which God has called His children, and which He enables them to live by the Holy Spirit, and if we think of how much, nevertheless, there is of unlovingness and temper and sharpness and bitterness, and if we think how much there is very often of strife among the members of churches, and how much there is of envy and jealousy and sensitiveness and pride, then we are compelled to say: “Where are marks of the presence of the Spirit of the Lamb of God?” Wanting, sadly wanting!
Many people speak of these things as though they were the natural result of our feebleness and cannot well be helped. Many people speak of these things as sins, yet have given up the hope of conquering them. Many people speak of these things in the church around them, and do not see the least prospect of ever having the things changed. There is no prospect until there comes a radical change, until the Church of God begins to see that every sin in the believer comes from the flesh, from a fleshly life midst our religious activities, from a striving in self-effort to serve God. Until we learn to make confession, and until we begin to see, we must somehow or other get God’s Spirit in power back to His Church, we must fail. Where did the Church begin in Pentecost? There they began in the Spirit.
Lyrics & Chord Sheets
For the “Praise” section of each lesson, we look at a song from the WEPC Doxology Album. As a resource to you, here is a link to the lyrics for each of the songs.
Chord Sheets are also available. If you would like them, please contact Tiffanie Chan.
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