Galatians 3:1 :
Foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you not to obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly set forth among you as crucified?
I have discovered that there are different kinds of obedience. When someone says “you should obey,” it can be confusing because it is difficult to be certain what they mean. The difference between the kinds of obedience can be the difference between a false gospel and the real one.
The difference in the kinds of obedience has to do with what you are obeying.
You can obey the law and that leads to legalism. This is not what Paul is urging the Galatians to do here. It is very clear that it is not because of everything else he says. To read it that way would be to read it completely out of context.
It is easy to read it as “obey the law” because it is natural to want to earn your way. In many ways, the world also encourages this way of thinking. It is not a surprise that we may quickly read “obey the law” in this passage instead of what it says.
The other kind of obedience is obedience to the truth. In order to obey the truth, you first must believe that there is a truth. That’s a major problem in our culture today. There is little respect for the whole idea of “truth.” You can just hear the words ringing in the air: “What’s true for you isn’t true for me…” Well, first of all, to obey the truth we have to get rid of that ridiculous and inconsistent idea. For if you were to believe that statement, you would be believing “a truth,” one that by your own admission is not permissible. To attempt to believe in what you do not believe in will probably lead to insanity. I recognize that it is not uncommon for humans to be inconsistent, but this is a very basic idea. I believe that what is really happening is that people don’t really believe the truth that they are saying. They are probably saying it to get out of a confrontation. This is not the way to “obey the truth.” First, a person needs to learn the truth.
When you obey the truth, your life is lived in a way consistent with it. The book of James in the Bible makes a big point about this. You don’t look in a mirror and walk away from it as if it didn’t show you anything. When you see yourself in the mirror, and believe what it shows you, you usually take some kind of action consistent with what you see. When you change your appearance because of what you see in the mirror, you are taking what you see in the mirror as truth. That’s the same as the message about Jesus. If we really believe that Jesus died and took our sins away without any of our righteousness taking a part in it, then we shouldn’t try to add laws and rules in. If we don’t really believe that Jesus was enough, then we start to pervert the truth and work for our own righteousness.