Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Galatians - FREEDOM

I just finished reading Galatians - what Joy!  Its central theme is justification by faith.  Paul wrote to the Galatians to counter the false teachings of the Judaizers, who were teaching that Gentiles must first become Jewish proselytes and submit to Mosaic law BEFORE they could become Christians.

Unfortunately, there are modern Judaizers today who call themselves Christians, but do not understand the freedom they have in Christ.  They think that they must keep the law, so they observe feast days and shun modern holidays, all in an effort to be more holy.  They do not get the wonderful truth that we are justified by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

The letter of Paul to the Galatians starts with a loving greeting:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age. . . 

Notice that Paul is wishing them grace (God's unmerited favour) and peace (no war; no tribulation).  Note too that Jesus gave Himself to deliver us from the present evil age.  

But when He who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son to me...

What a delightful thought!  Jesus gave Himself for me, to deliver me from my sin in this evil age.  God set me apart, called me, and revealed His only begotten Son to me, in order that I might live for Him and do the work He planned for me to do.  Pray with me, and rejoice with me, in the finished work of Christ.

Father God,
You set me apart,
and called me by Your grace.
You revealed Your Son to me - the Only One
           Who could deliver me 
                    from my own sin
             and from this present evil age.

I needed to be rescued, and You sent a Rescuer.
I needed to be delivered, and You sent the Deliverer.

In You we delight
     In You we hope
          In You we trust
and We acknowledge that You have all authority and power
           over our lives
           over our circumstances
           over our relationships.

We are Your slaves - But You are the Perfect Master.
We are the Redeemed - Bought back from the slavemarket by Jesus our Redeemer.
We are the Forgiven - adopted into Your family.
We are joint heirs with Christ - O Blessed Thought!

Let us live in the light of that truth
     and walk in the light of that grace
with confidence in our Father
     and trust in our Brother
          and faith in the Guidance of the Holy Spirit who guides our every step.

In the precious name of Jesus Christ our Redeemer, Amen.

(More to follow on Galatians... stay tuned.)

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