The ministry of the Spirit
In his letter to the Galatian Christians, the apostle Paul acknowledged that they had received the Spirit of Christ and joined the fellowship of Christ’s offering. However, instead of continuing in the way of the Spirit, they were seeking to have life apart from a fellowship in Christ’s offering. He said to them, ‘Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain – if indeed it was in vain?’ Gal 3:3-4.
The Galatians were being influenced by the Judaising teachers from Jerusalem who were instructing the Gentile Christians to be circumcised in order to be saved. Act 15:1. These teachers wanted to avoid persecution and suffering at the hands of the Jewish religious leaders, and were seeking their favour by attempting to proselytise the Gentiles to the Jewish religion. As a consequence of their influence, the Galatian believers were beginning to accept the false proposition that eternal life could be obtained by means other than by the Spirit through participation in the offering of Christ.
Paul called the Judaisers ‘the world’, and claimed that if the Galatians pursued relevance to the world as an alternative to an ongoing participation in the sufferings of Christ, then they would be severed from Christ’s body and forfeit their eternal reward. Gal 6:12-14. Gal 5:4. This is a most sobering consideration.