Galatians 3:1-5 (NLT)
1 Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. 2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. 3 How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? 4 Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it? 5 I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.
In these verses Paul is writing to the Galatians who had accepted Christ as their savior. Paul was calling them down for still trying to justify their sins by practicing the Law of Moses. Paul asks some pointed questions, such as did they receive the Holy Spirit. Did it come while they were following the law or after they accepted Christ? It was through faith in Christ, acknowledged by the receiving of the Holy Spirit that they received true justification. And now they were perverting that justification by attempting to become perfect through the law, which would only lead them to disappointment and shame. Paul reminds them a second time it is because of Christ that their lives are different.
Paul understood there are none of us perfect in life and perfection cannot come from our own attempts. Many of us want to believe we can reach a perfect state of marriage, a perfect state of morality, a perfect state of ministry or perfect ourselves in such a way that we do not feel inadequate. Isaiah clearly tells us why we can’t reach this perfection we so desperately want. In Isaiah 64:6 it says, “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.” God’s intent from the beginning was for us to become perfect, but sin prevented that from happening. So God gave His son Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, who provided a perfect cleansing for those who believe in Him. It is through Christ that we become perfect to enter into heaven. It is because of Christ we are justified. It is because of Christ we have hope in an eternal life with God. We couldn’t become perfect on our own, but God made us perfect through Jesus. Praise God for the work He is doing in your life. Praise Him for the perfection you will receive through Christ.