"You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I 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? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain – if it really was in vain? So 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?" Galatians 3:1-5
- Man is separated from God "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
- The glory of God - His goodness, His perfection, His purity, His holiness, etc can never be attained by human effort because man is imperfect by nature. Rom.5:14
- In order to gain access to the glory of God, man needs to be "like God in true righteousness and holiness." Eph.4.24
- Christ came as the Mediator between God and man. 1 Tim. 2:5
- Through Christ's perfect life, His death and His resurrection, God gave man a means to be reconciled to Him. 2 Cor. 5:18,19
- By depending on Christ's righteousness, man is reconciled to the Father and has access to His presence and His Kingdom. It is by depending on Christ's right standing with the Father that the believer has access to the favour and glory of God. Rom. 5:1,2
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained acces by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:1,2
The Realm of Grace
It is therefore not man's efforts that give him access to the Kingdom but dependence upon Christ. This is how the believer begins "by means of the Spirit" (Gal. 3:3). The believer is born of the Spirit as he depends on Christ's righteousness and gains access to the Spirit's realm, the Kingdom of God or the Unseen Real. In other words, through faith in Jesus Christ, the believer has access 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" (Eph. 3:20). Entrance into the realm of immeasurably more, the Kingdom of God, the realm of grace is made possible through dependence upon Christ (John 3:5).
The apostle Paul rebukes the Galatians for reverting to a life of works and human effort rather than continuing to depend on Christ for their righteousness. Paul not only addresses the issue of righteousness through faith in Christ but also the issue of miracles and the demonstration of God's Kingdom through faith among the believers. Paul asks, "Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?" (Gal. 3:5) What Paul is essentially getting at is that the realm of the Spirit (the Kingdom of God) is seen, received and realized by faith in Christ and His Realm and cannot be produced or earned by human effort (John 3:1-12).
The Kingdom of God is not realized by the believer trying to twist God's arm by human effort but by praying God's will on earth as he sees it in heaven. Jesus taught His disciples to pray this way when He told them to pray, "Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). Jesus only spoke what He heard the Father say and only did what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19,30).
Jesus revealed the Father's will on earth as it is in heaven -
He realized the Unseen Real!
He realized the Unseen Real!
Pray in the Spirit
To pray in the Spirit is to pray as the Holy Spirit prays.
"In 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 with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." Romans 8:26,27 (emphasis mine)
The Spirit prays in accordance with the will of God (John 16:13). When God's will is revealed on earth as it is in heaven, the Kingdom of God is realized. Realizing the Unseen Real is the essence of praying in the Spirit. The believer realizes Christ's righteousness in his own life by faith and learns to realize the reality of Heaven on earth by faith. The believer therefore stops trying to change the natural realm by using human effort and depends on the reality of the Kingdom and calls that which is not in the natural as though it were (Romans 4:17). The believer is called to live for the Unseen Real and to live from the Unseen Real (2 Cor. 4:18; Col. 3:1,2; Heb. 11:24-27; 12:22-28).
Either one lives from the natural realm toward the spiritual realm or one lives from the spiritual realm toward the natural realm. The first requires human effort; the latter requires faith. The first is evolutionary; the latter is creationist. The first is earthly, the latter is heavenly. The first tries to attain heaven; the latter lives from heaven. The first tries to become holy; the latter lives as a holy one. The first tries to be righteous; the latter produces the fruit of righteousness. The first works for his salvation; the latter works out his salvation. The first is seated on earth; the latter is seated in heaven.
God is calling His people to live as new creations in Christ and to pray heaven on earth so that His Kingdom is realized in the natural realm. Having begun by receiving the Spirit by faith, let us continue to realize the Unseen Real by faith and see God's Kingdom come!