Your Laws Lead to Bondage
Paul is blunt with the Galatians. He calls them fools. He says he is astonished they would fall for the terrible arguments of the Judaizers. He is willing to stand up and offend them with his directness. There is a simple reason for this emphatic language.
Paul loves the churches of Galatia. He does not want them to give up the joy and peace of the simple life in Jesus Christ. Jesus offers them pure freedom in following Him. Paul knows the only thing the Judaizers can really offer these new Christians is a life of slavery. He is willing to fight on their behalf as a result.
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? 2 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? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
Before you are too hard on the Galatians, I ask you to take stock of your own walk with Jesus and see if you are bewitched. You are probably not trying to literally keep the Mosaic Law with circumcision and dietary requirements. But are you following other external obligations, rules, or regulations in the church trying to justify yourself? Do you suspect that though you were saved by the Spirit alone, the actual walk and maturity is up to you?
Have you made your walk with the Lord about your own Laws and what you can do rather than Jesus?