Galatians 3:1-5 | Ministry Of The Holy Spirit
We are on a series from the letter to the Galatians and we have already covered chapters 1 and 2 in my previous sermons. Today we will be looking at Galatians 3.
This letter is written as a response to the false teachings that was spreading in the churches in Galatia. The false teachers told the believers there that they are to observe the Jewish laws along with faith in Jesus. Paul had spoken to them salvation only by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. So Paul gives his defence here:
- 3:1-5 Experience Of The Spirit
- 3:6-14 The Shared Blessing
- 3:15-18 The Promise And The Law
- 3:19-25 The Role Of The Law
- 3:6-29 United In Christ.
You can read this and understand this passage, but today we will be looking at Galatians 3:1-5:
Experience Of The Spirit
Galatians 3:1-5 1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Today, I want to speak to you regarding the ministry of the Holy Spirit. This is not much spoken of the ministry of the Holy Spirit these days.
Galatians 3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
Paul is asking them, “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
Apostle Paul when he founded this church during his first missionary journey had preached Jesus and his work on the cross to them. Thy were saved just by having faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation happened as a response to the message Paul preached not by identifying to the Jewish identity. But now some false teachers have come to the church asking them to follow the Jewish laws. Paul is giving the argument in this chapter that even Abraham followed God by faith and not works. Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. Apostle Paul is exhorting them to continue in the Spirit as they have stated their Christian life in the Spirit.
Galatians 3:26-29 26So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Now what the apostle Paul is saying is “you cannot begin your Christian life in the power of the Spirit through faith and perfect it in your own power through works.”
We begin the Christian life by the power of the Holy Spirit through faith. That is the only way the Christian life can continue to be lived, by the power of the Holy Spirit through faith. We cannot begin our Christian life in the power of the Spirit and then be perfected in the power of the flesh. That is what the believers at Galatia were doing.
The Point Paul Makes:
- You Cannot Achieve A Spiritual Goal Through Natural Means.
- The Holy Spirit Not Only Initiates Spiritual Life, but He also Sustains It.
- We Are In Danger Of Eliminating The Spirit Of God From Our Life And Ministry.
- And Unless We Are Perfected By The Holy Spirit, All Our Efforts Are In Vain.
Ministry Of The Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit Is The Source Of Our Salvation.
1. The Holy Spirit Brings Conviction Of Sin.
The Holy Spirit begins the saving work by convicting of sin.
Jesus said: John 16:8-9a When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin…
Conviction or feeling guilty about sin is a work of the Spirit of God. We may be the instrument through which the truth about sin is spoken, but the conviction is the working of the Spirit of God. A sinful heart will not feel convicted, conviction has to come from the Holy Spirit, who invades the fallen heart and convicts of sin.
2. Holy Spirit Leads Us To Repentance.
The second thing that the Spirit of God does in salvation is produce out of that conviction repentance. Conviction is guilt. Repentance is a desire, a deep desire, a strong desire to turn from that which causes the guilt, to turn from sin.
2 Timothy 2:25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth..
Man on his own does not repent. God grants repentance through the Holy Spirit.
Acts 11:18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
Repentance is a gift of God worked in the heart by the Holy Spirit. So the Holy Spirit is the agent of conviction which then leads to repentance.
3. The Holy Spirit Regenerates.
Under the hearing of the Word of God, the gospel, comes the conviction of sin, repentance and then the regenerating.
John 3:5-7 5Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
So the Holy Spirit convicts of sin. The Holy Spirit turns the heart toward repentance. The Holy Spirit regenerates the heart and we are saved.
4. The Holy Spirit Indwells In Every Believer.
Dwells – to remain constantly at home.
When a person is saved the Spirit of God then moves in and takes up residence in that person’s heart.
Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
When you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, when you were saved, that very instant the Holy Spirit came to live within you and he has been dwelling with you ever since. You might have not seen him with your eyes of flesh. You have many times in your life missed the Holy Spirit because of the business of life, pressures of life, or circumstances, but he has always been there. He has never left you. He has never forsaken you. The Holy Spirit of God dwells with and in you, if you know Jesus as your saviour.
1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
5. Holy Spirit Is A Guarantee.
Ephesians 1:13-14 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
What do you mean “sealed you”?
First of all, a seal spoke of authenticity. A seal also spoke of something that was an unbreakable promise. So you were sealed by the Spirit as authentically a child of God and that is an unbroken pledge. The Holy Spirit secures you for eternity.
The moment you were saved, the Spirit of God became the down payment on God’s final instalment of your eternal glory.
To put it another way, the Holy Spirit is the engagement ring to promise you that Christ will go through with the final wedding when you see Him face to face. Now all of that is what the Spirit does at the beginning of our salvation experience.
6. The Holy Spirit Baptises Us.
1 Corinthians 12:13 For we were all baptized byone Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
We cannot live in the initial realm of having the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we need to move to the next level of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. For living an effective Christian life, one needs to come under the full influence of the Holy Spirit.
I believe one of the signs of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues and speaking the word of God with boldness. That is what happened in Acts of the apostles.
Acts 2:1-4 1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 4:31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
Acts 9:17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 10:44-48 44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46For they heard them speaking in tongue and praising God.
7. The Holy Spirit gifts Us.
Alongside the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to God’s people.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
The Holy Spirit gives you a divine enablement for a unique service to the body of Christ. Now that you are in the body, you are gifted to serve the body.
It could be many different gifts. Gifts of the Spirit primarily is for the internal functioning of the body of Christ. And so you are gifted with the means by which the Spirit of God can minister through you to the church.
The Holy Spirit Ministers To Us Through Other Believers.
Hebrews 10:23-24 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
1 Corinthians 12:3-7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
So the Spirit then ministers to us through other believers. That’s a work of the Holy Spirit.
8. The Holy Spirit Brings Us Into Intimacy With God.
The Holy Spirit provides access. God is the spiritual source of everything we need. He is the provider of all spiritual resources. God, who is the source of all spiritual satisfaction, becomes available to us through the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 4:5-7 6Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
You are now God’s sons and daughters. Sonship means to access, sonship means intimacy. That is why we cry out Abba, Father.
Abba is an Aramaic word translated daddy. It signifies intimacy. Then, it signifies family. It signifies access.
Romans 8:14-15 14For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
So the Holy Spirit living in us gives us intimacy with God, access to God.
Now let me crystallize it for you. What is the significance of intimacy with God?
Access For Fellowship
Access To Resources
Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Do you really believe God is the source of all resources?
Access For Wisdom
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
That is the epitome. Access for fellowship, for resources, for wisdom.
Is that your experience? This is not the experience of most Christians. We have been diverted to human solutions to everything. We have so much in this world, there’s very little of that thirsting and yearning for God.
Beloved, do not try to perfect on a natural plane what was begun on a supernatural plane. Do not try to perfect with the systems of man what was begun by the spirit of God. What a privilege.
9. The Holy Spirit Illuminates The Scripture In Us.
The Holy Spirit makes the Scripture understandable to us.
1 John 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.
1 John 2:27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
So you have a Teacher resident in you. The word “anointing” is chrisma. it literally means ointment, anointing oil. It’s as if it’s put on you, it’s put on you and it absorbs into you.
So God’s Spirit knows God’s thoughts. On the one hand, He can thus reveal them in the Scripture. On the other hand, He can thus illuminate them to the one who studies the Scripture.
7The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
8The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.
The word o God is called law, testimony, precepts, commandment, fear, and judgments.
Those are just different terms for Scripture.
Law sees it as God’s standards for man’s conduct.
Testimony sees it as God’s own self-disclosure of His personal identity, His testimony.
Precepts sees Scripture as life principles.
Commandment sees Scripture as non-negotiable, non-optional demands.
10. The Holy Spirit Provides Us Strength And Power.
Power For Spiritual Ministry.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Power For Spiritual Warfare.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
The imagery here is just destroying the huge fortresses that Satan builds in this world. These weapons are so powerful they can destroy speculations or human ideas and ideals and values. They can tear down every lofty thing that man has raised up under Satan’s power against the knowledge of God. They can take every single thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Power and strength for each day. Whatever trials in life, the Holy Spirit provides us fresh strength every day.
2 Corinthians 4:7-12 7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
Every day we experience something of the death of the Lord Jesus so that we may also know the power of the life of Jesus in these bodies of ours. Whatever the trials of life, the Spirit provides fresh strength. Even though the outer man is wearing down and being torn up, the inner man is renewed with fresh strength every day.
In Ephesians 3 Paul is praying a prayer.
Ephesians 3:14-21 14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
How much power is there? V20
Paul experienced that power. He lived a very difficult life, a very hard life from a physical standpoint and a spiritual standpoint, fighting on the physical level and the spiritual for survival.
The Holy Spirit Provides Us Strength And Power For:
- Spiritual Ministry.
- Spiritual Warfare.
- Bear Our Burdens.
- Overcome Sin.
- For Proper Relationships.
11. The Holy Spirit Perfect Us.
Romans 8:26-27 26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
The Holy Spirit is constantly from within us interceding to the throne of God on our behalf all the time all the time all the time intervening for us. He does it with groanings too deep for words. The Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity talking to God, the first member of the Trinity, in a divine language that could never be put into words. So the Holy Spirit is constantly interceding on our behalf.
And verse 27 says, “He who searches the hearts,” that’s God, He’s the only one who can search the heart.
The Holy Spirit living in you in perfect communion with the Father all the time interceding, interceding for you. The Holy Spirit understands the will of God in your lie. Perfectly.
And what’s the result? Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who
This means things are working together for our glory, our eternal glory.
It doesn’t mean that every little thing in life is going to turn out good. It means that the Spirit of God interceding for you according to the will of God is causes everything, in the end, to end up in your glory.
Romans 8:29-30 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Someday, verse 29 says, you’ll be in the image of His Son. Someday, verse 30 says, you’ll be glorified. And then verse 31 to 39 says: Romans 8:37-38 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So, the Spirit continually intercedes, continually pleads to God on our behalf.
Hebrews 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
So you have the Spirit of God interceding. You have the Son of God interceding. Is it any wonder all things are working together for good?
So even in those times, those frequent times when we fail, nonetheless He intercedes on our behalf.
Conclusion: We just saw the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Holy Spirit Is The Source Of Our Salvation.
- The Holy Spirit Brings Conviction Of Sin.
- Holy Spirit Leads Us To Repentance.
- The Holy Spirit regenerates.
- The Holy Spirit Indwells In Every Believer.
- Holy Spirit Is A Guarantee.
First, The Holy Spirit Baptises Us.
Secondly, The Holy Spirit gifts Us.
Thirdly, The Holy Spirit Brings Us Into Intimacy With God.
- Access For Fellowship.
- Then, Access To Resources.
- Also, Access For Wisdom.
The Holy Spirit Illuminates The Scripture In Us.
The Holy Spirit Provides Us Strength And Power.
- Spiritual Ministry.
- Spiritual Warfare.
- Bear Our Burdens.
- Overcome Sin.
- For Proper Relationships.
The Holy Spirit Perfect Us.
This power and ministry of the Holy Spirit are available to every one of us today. Now that we have started our Christian life in the Spirit, let us continue to derive our strength every day from the Holy Spirit until He perfects us on the day of Christ. Amen.