Made Perfect by the Flesh?

  • O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?
  • This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
  • Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?   ~ Galatians 3:1-3

It is amazing that so much of the religious world is still wrapped up in the flesh. Great lengths are made to deny the simple commandments of the gospel, while much effort is placed upon stimulating the senses: Statuary, stained glass, portraiture, cruciforms, multimedia circus events with lights, slides, projected imagery, organs, harps, choirs, rock bands, the sweet syrup of folk music, incense, and the “christian motif”, vestments, special clergy offices, holy objects, feast days, fast days, and the ridiculous “make-a-special-event-day-to-the-Lord” such as Super Bowl Sundays and Let’s Celebrate the Animals Sunday, political endorsement tribunals, etc. You get the idea. . How the Lord may look upon well meaning ignorant bliss, I cannot judge. But this I know, Jesus did not give His life to produce such as this. And there are the calculating perpetrators of such things, who surely must be waiting for the condemnation of hell.

  • But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
  • For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.   ~ Galatians 6:14-14

Instead of a new creation, there is zeal for constructing a temple in Jerusalem for Jesus Christ, complete with animal sacrifices. To believe and work for such a thing, one must deny:

  • The spiritual nature of the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Col.1:13-14)
  • The gospel for a world lost in sin (cf. Luke 19:10)
  • The longsuffering of God who desires all men everywhere to repent (cf. II Pet.3:9)
  • Our need to bear His reproach “outside the camp” (cf. Heb. 13:13)

To believe and work for such a thing, one must affirm:

  • The need for an earthly Messiah (cf. John 6:14-15)
  • The need to have Him feed us (cf. John 6:26-27)
  • The need for Him to forcibly halt the evil while inhabiting this world (cf. Luke 12:13-15)
  • The need to dispose of carrying the cross (cf. Phil. 3:18-19)

To a certain extent, these examples embody the confusion of flesh with spirit.