Who Has Bewitched You (2)

  • Paul continues with his correction to the Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 12:1 he writes, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant”. You have to be careful how you punctuate this statement and where to put the emphasis. For instance if you said it this way “Now concerning spiritual gifts, I would not have you ignorant brethren or, I would not have you ignorant………..brethren”, it could be misconstrued. It depends on how you say things. Makes a difference what people hear.

    Here’s another example of the gentleness Paul used toward the Corinthians, but he still had conviction.

    2 Corinthians 2:8. “Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him”. Notice how Paul constantly suggests with affirmation rather than demanding with stern direction.

    So we see how Paul handled error or poor behavior because of improper teaching when it came to the Corinthians. Now look at the difference when he confronts legalism and the law or religion that beset the Galatians.

    Galatians 1:1-7.

    Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    We see Paul releasing grace and truth in these verses, but now he starts right in to address their failed situation.

    I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

    Again, I like the way the scripture reads in The Voice version.

    Frankly I am stunned. I cannot believe that you have abandoned God so quickly—even after He called you through the grace of the Anointed One—and have fallen for a different gospel. Actually there is only one true gospel of the Anointed, and you—because of divisive prodding by others—are accepting a distorted version which is not the gospel at all!

    How many people do you know that are being deceived with an imitation of the true gospel, and they have bought into it. They are falling into the trap set by the “divisive prodding by others”. The words are nothing but twisted lies. Oh, they sound so spiritual, but they are nothing but religious and legalistic.

    Now I know some of you will say I’m being very harsh by using the word “lies”. Well then I’m in good company, because that’s exactly the word Paul used in Ephesians 4:14. You’ll see that later in this teaching, or you can look it up now if you desire.

    Now Paul really drops the hammer on them. He makes sure they don’t misunderstand exactly what he is saying.

    Galatians 3:1-3. This time in The Voice version.

    1 Galatians, don’t act like fools! Has someone cast a spell over you (or bewitched you)? Did you miss the crucifixion of Jesus the Anointed that was reenacted right in front of your eyes?

    BEWITCHED means: To hypnotize, charm, or cast an evil spell. The “foolish” Galatians had been bewitched, or led into theological and moral error, by the false teachings of the JUDAIZERS.

    Tell me this: Did the Holy Spirit come upon you because you lived according to the law? Or was it because you heard His message of grace through faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Do you think you can perfect something God’s Spirit started with any human effort?

    Now I don’t know about you, but I can sense that Paul did not say this with a passive Caesar Milk Toast voice like some wimp. I hear sternness and decisiveness in his voice.

    Who hath bewitched you? Paul is asking the question, what’s going on here? Here’s the thing. There’s nothing new under the sun. People today get saved and set free from the bondage of the enemy. Then they start going to church and get put right back into bondage to religion and legalism. They get deceived by the false teachings and wrong believing of others.

    Now don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m not telling anyone not to go to church, not to give, not to pray, and not to observe the truth of the gospel. The problem is, the new Christian is just like the Galatians. Being just born again and a babe in the word of God, they are easy prey to the religionists and legalists who would present to them another gospel. This puts them right back in bondage of another sort.

    Doing those things mentioned above are for your benefit, but religion would state that you HAVE to or NEED to do those things in order for God to love and accept you. THAT’S WRONG! You can’t show me that in scripture. Again that’s false teaching which will lead you into wrong believing.

    Matt 24:24

    24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

    This is a good breaking point in this study before we get deeper into the specifics of how Paul deals with the Galatians and their inability to walk in grace, because of pressures from others to incorporate the law back into their lives. As we continue, we will get to the stern reproof rendered by Paul to them.

    Don’t ignore the next two parts or you’ll miss the comparison of how Paul dealt with poor behavior by the Corinthians, as opposed to wrong believing by the Galatians. I’ve said it before, but it needs to be said over and over so we get this. God is more concerned about your wrong believing than He is your poor behavior. Grace and Peace.