ANCHORED DAILY: Galatians Ch 1-3

posted by Bethel Communications | May 12, 2022

Welcome to the Anchored daily. This is Dave Dawson and today, we will look at the highlights of the first three chapters of Paul’s letter to the Galatians.

 

We have all enjoyed watching children play. Little boys are often mesmerized by toy trucks. Little girls will lovingly push their baby dolls around in play strollers. These miniature replicas of the real thing serve a good purpose: they represent the greater reality into which children will enter into when they grow up.

 

The Old Testament, in a similar way, brings wonderful earthly representations of even greater heavenly realities. Here are a few examples: Solomon’s temple was magnificent but pales in comparison to the temple in heaven. The 10 commandments and the law of God are a stunning model of ethics but, in reality, the only one who could fulfill those commands was Jesus. The sacrifices of sheep and bulls were a regular part of the worship of the Israelites. But all those sacrifices and all that spilled blood could not actually pay for one sin. It wasn’t till Jesus came and shed his blood on the cross that the sins of mankind of not just covered over but forgiven.

 

In all these examples, the copy gives way to the reality. The less effective gives way to the highly effective. It is unthinkable to leave the reality in order to go back to the copy. That is the book of Galatians.

 

At the heart of the first three chapters is Galatians 2:16: know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in[d] Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. The 10 commandments and the entire law of God was like a tutor or a guardian that showed me how broken and sinful I am so that I would turn to Jesus who alone satisfied all the demands of the law. Once I understand that and have embraced Christ, why would I go back to something that was good but was incapable of saving me?

 

And that is how Paul starts off the letter to the church in Galatia. He forthrightly says of them in chapter 1:6  I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Paul is distressed and appalled that the Galatians would turn from the reality and power of Christ’s offer of salvation based on his work and trade that for trying to justify themselves through obedience to the law. They are acting like foolish children.

 

They are also missing out on the type of life that God wants to live through them. In chapter 2:19-20 listen to how many times the author uses the word “life.” He describes his own experience like this: 19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

 

 The Galatians were tempted to turn away from absolute trust in Jesus and the grace that God offers us. In the same way, we can also turn away from the centrality of Christ. If we do, we will lose out on the life of God coursing through us.

 

Do not lose out on the life of grace and truth. Don’t turn back from Christ to build your own righteousness. Put all your trust in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Live your life today by faith in Jesus who loves you and gave himself for you. Choose the reality of Christ over a cheap copy of anything else.

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