1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. -Galatians 3:1 BSB
The meaning of “bewitched” in Greek is someone who’s under a spell by demonic powers through the use of witchcraft.
The church in Galatia was undergoing a demonic spiritual attack. Some false Christians were introducing a false gospel that was taking them away from a pure devotion to Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3-4) into a false gospel of works, i.e., going back to the law and to all its adherence. By doing this, they were rejecting the finished work of Christ on the cross called grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Paul reminded them that what set them free from sin was the blood of Jesus Christ, and they understood that to be true. However, deception was doing its damage, so time was of the essence, thus, Paul’s letter to them.
21 I do not set aside the grace of God. For if righteousness comes through the law, Christ died for nothing. -Galatians 2:21 BSB
The word “grace” in Greek means God’s kindness or gift or favor to mankind (i.e., Jesus paying for the sins of the world even though men didn’t do anything to earn such a sacrifice from the Lord).
Paul makes it clear that if you set aside God’s gift (Christ’s righteousness applied to a person by faith), you are saying indirectly that you can live a better life than He did.
What must be understood is that no one can keep the law and accept the grace of God at the same time. A person cannot pay for a gift that is given to him. Either he pays for it and gets it by his means or receives it as a gift acknowledging that he could have never afforded it. Salvation is given to the humble while the prideful try to keep the law and earn salvation by their merit, rejecting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
20 I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. -Galatians 2:20 BSB
“I have been crucified with Christ” The cross is a picture of the person’s old nature, his spirit, dying with its sinful desires. Indirectly it is also saying that with Jesus’ resurrection, we are born again having our sins forgiven with eternal life and desiring a life of righteousness for the glory of Christ Jesus.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17 BSB
“Christ lives in me” Christ and the Holy Spirit are used in the Scriptures interchangeably as living inside of a person who has professed faith in Jesus Christ.
15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and will be in you…26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and will bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you.
John 14:15-17, 26 BSB
“The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God” A believer will no longer live for himself but will live for Jesus Christ, trusting in His Word for guidance and transformation into the image of Christ.