O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Galatians 3:1-3).
As you study the entire book of Galatians, you’d understand why Paul made the statement above, chiding the Galatian Christians: they had strayed from the message of the Gospel, the Word of faith, which they had received. Some false teachers came, teaching them that they had to obey the Law to be justified; as a result, their faith began to waver. Decrying their deviation from the message of faith, Paul asked them, “…having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
He wanted them to remember how they received the Holy Spirit; it wasn’t through obedience to the Law, but by faith. The salvation they had received didn’t happen by keeping the Law: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Your righteousness and right-standing with God aren’t the results of your good works; they’re by the faith of Christ, the result of what He did.
Galatians 2:16 says, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” The righteousness, which is by faith, doesn’t rely on the works of the Law, but on faith in the God that justifies the ungodly (Romans 4:5).
By faith, you received eternal life, and the Holy Spirit to live in you. By faith, the righteousness of God was imparted to your spirit. Therefore, continue in faith, grounded and settled, and refuse to be moved away from the hope of the Gospel, which you’ve heard (Colossians 1:23).