After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?

This is Paul’s question to those who may be tempted to live by the Law of Moses in order to have a right relationship with God. He reminds them that God – the Holy Spirit – came to live in their hearts by faith, not by law-keeping!

Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?

Law – even God’s Law – does not have the power to save anyone. Law only informs a person about what is right and wrong, it cannot transform a life. Nor can keeping rules make anyone right in the sight of God, for nobody can keep the law perfectly.

All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”

God gave the Law of Moses to show what kind of life is required to please God. Of course, God knew man would not be able to keep these rules perfectly. Man’s failure was supposed to help him realize the need for something else.

That something else is the coming of Jesus, his perfect life and sacrificial death on our behalf.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that…we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

It is only by faith in what Jesus has done for us that God declares us to be right before Him. And only the Holy Spirit living within can give power to change our hearts and live a life pleasing to God

Paul reminds every student of Jesus that becoming more like the Teacher requires Divine Help. Human effort alone will never do it.

Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.

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