Galatians assaults the bondage of legalism more directly than any other Bible book and, except for Romans, most thoroughly develops the answer to the question: are we saved by believing or by achieving? The clear announcement of this letter to Christians could be put into three words: you are free.
Christ has set the believer free but more often than not, Christians are uptight, inflexible, inhibited, cautious, and living like slaves. Why? Legalism.
Christians since the first century have been tempted to trade grace for a life directed by strict law and high-minded requirement. The Apostle Paul addressed the Galatian church on this very issue, warning them against trading God’s Gospel for a different, human-made gospel. As we hear the word to the Galatians, keeping our message grounded in grace will help our lives exude grace.
What we received from our ancestors, they received from their ancestors all the way back to the apostles themselves. But what is the content of that heritage, and how can we make grace a reality in our lives today?
The world system is at odds with God because Satan nurtures it. It’s a system designed to give us pleasure and distract us from God.
At just the right moment, precisely as God had arranged it, and in keeping with a plan that He formed before the foundation of the world, the Messiah entered the scene of humanity.
How easy for us to make a promise, say words of intention, yet which may only be of as much substance as the air it took to utter it. Once spoken, promises carry a weight that may be difficult to bring to full term and delivery.
Linking the two natures together in one personality, housed in one unique body, the God man Jesus was born. No less deity, no less humanity, in one person, in one body, forever.
God has been at work in human history. Over the passing of time He arranged a set of events that would lead ultimately to the beginning and to the continuation of humanity for as long as He chooses.
God doesn’t rush. Carefully and sovereignly He works to reveal His glory. From the morning sunrise, which slowly spreads its rays across the face of the earth, to the unfolding of His plan in each of our lives, God takes His time to achieve His will. How unlike us! We are impatient, anxious, and impulsive, wondering why things haven’t happened as quickly as we wish.