Galatians 3:1–9 (ESV)
By Faith, or by Works of the Law?
3 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? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with
faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that
God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
Paul asks an important question in today’s reading: “Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?” As Lutherans, we believe that you are saved by the “means of grace”,
that is... through 1) the preaching/hearing of God’s Word, and 2) through the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These all come to you externally, not from within your self. It is not work or merit based, which would be coming
from yourself. Our Salvation is a gift from God. Even Abraham was saved by his faith, not by circumcision.
I pray: O Lord, I give thanks for the precious gifts you have given me... the gift
of faith which brings the forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and Salvation. These I did not earn, but you gave them to me through your grace and mercy. Thank you, Amen!