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
At the heart of the first three chapters is Galatians 2:16: 6 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
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
that is how Paul starts off the letter to the church in Galatia. He
forthrightly says of them in chapter 1:6 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— 7 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.
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