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.
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.
Christ has set the believer free but more often than not, Christians are uptight, inflexible, inhibited, cautious, and living like slaves. Why? Legalism.
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.
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.
Our world has become impersonal—and we’ve become uninvolved and reluctant to serve others. And yet, it’s in helping others we find the key to a fulfilled life.
Jesus has provided us a faith which frees us from the bonds of sin and frees us for the purpose of following Him. Let’s take a closer look at Paul’s exhortation that we stand firm in our freedom.
Have you ever been given a gift you needed but didn’t want? We’ve all received disappointing gifts. But there are gifts, which never disappoint. They’re often unseen gifts like forgiveness, compassion, grace, understanding, and kindness. And they’re priceless.