Begun by the Spirit, Perfected by the Spirit

John Danganan


1 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 the 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? - Galatians 3:1-3


Being called a fool or acting foolishly is a very serious thing in the bible. From the classic, “The fool says in his heart, “‘There is no God.” (Ps. 14:1) to Jesus’ stern warning in Matt. 5:22, “whoever says to his brother, “‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire”. One can even make an argument that the purpose of wisdom literature (Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes) is to live in wisdom so that one doesn’t become a fool. Paul a master of the Old Testament understood the biblical severity of being foolish and emphatically describes the Galatian churches as foolish. Why? Because they were deserting the good news of the gospel (1:6).They started in the spirit and were foolishly thinking that they were being perfected by the flesh.


Jesus in the beginning, Jesus in the middle and Jesus in the end. I need to rewind back to my moment of salvation and remember completely being overwhelmed by the free gift of undeserved grace to save a sinner like me—that was grace. I received the spirit by hearing with faith (3:2). Somehow along the way if I don’t default to the gospel my relationship with God can be based on my performance i.e. my obedience, doing my devotion, living for Him in my strength. Navigate to the true north of lavished grace in Christ. Rest in the Christ’s perfect work on the cross on my behalf. Walk in the Spirit and work out with fear and trembling what the Spirit is working in my life (Phil 2:12-13).


Heavenly Father,
Please forgive my foolishness. You are faithful to complete what you started. You saved me by your Spirit and you are perfecting me by your Spirit. Thank you that through your Son at the cross it is indeed finished. May I rest in your work and be obedient to your Spirit’s working. Help me to lead myself, my family and your church to stand strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. I love you. Maranatha!

Devotions for March 12

Deuteronomy 19,20,21
Galatians 3

Start Doing Devotions

Devotions are an important part of everyday life. Click here to learn how to do devotions.