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  • Ethos Church


March 13, 2023

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. 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. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it? 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.


By asking the Galatians a series of questions about the Spirit, Paul hoped to get the Galatians to focus again on Christ as the foundation of their faith. The Holy Spirit is mentioned eighteen times in Galatians and plays an important part in Paul’s defense of the gospel of the grace of God. In their conversion experience, the believers in Galatia had received the Spirit by faith and not by the works of the law. Let’s look at the work of the Spirit in salvation and in Christian living:

The Holy Spirit in Salvation

  • The Holy Spirit convicts (John 16:7-11) us and reveals Christ to us.

  • When we believe in Christ, we are born of the Spirit (John 3:1-8) and receive new life.

  • We are sealed by the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14) as a guarantee that we spend eternity with Christ.

The Holy Spirit in Christian Living

  • We have a responsibility to the Holy Spirit, who lives within the body (1 Cor 6:19-20).

  • We should walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16,25) by reading the Word, praying, and obeying God’s will.

  • It is possible to grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) if we disobey God.

  • The Holy Spirit will never leave us because Jesus has promised that the Spirit abides forever (John 14:16).

  • Believers should be filled with the Spirit, which simply means controlled by the Spirit. This is a continuous experience, like drinking water from a fresh stream (John 7:37).


1. What is the believer’s responsibility to the Holy Spirit? What does that look like in your life?

2. How have you seen the Holy Spirit at work in someone’s life?


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