Galatians Devotionals

Jan 19, 2014
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Died to the Law
Gal 2:19,20
For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

Likewise Paul writes of the Christian life, "now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter." Rom 7:6

The oldness of the letter is the bondage to the keeping of the customs and particular regulations one derives from the Law of Moses.

"He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant— not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." 2Cor 3:6

Jesus' ministry likewise revealed the deadness of bondage to the regulations which the Jews derived from the Law. Like he was often rebuked for healing people on the Sabbath. For as the Law commanded rest on the Sabbath, by way of regulation the Jews derived the idea that it was in violation of the Sabbath to heal. And yet healing was actually consistent with the Spirit of the Sabbath - giving rest and relief to the suffering.

So also to allegedly keep themselves pure, the Jews derived a regulation which prevented them from eating with Gentiles, though the Law had no such regulation. But in doing so they violated the Spirit of the Law - to love your neighbor as yourself. And this was especially an issue with Christians - as it broke Christian fellowship over an illegitimate issue.

You can't really live to God until you die to the legalism.

Furthermore, what is relevant about the Christian life is not the Christian, but Christ who dwells in the Christian. "To (the saints) God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Col 1:27 So also Jesus said, "I came not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me."John 6:38 This is contrast to Peter's fear of man. People who are afraid of what others will think of them are too concerned for themselves. The Christian lives for Christ, not for themselves. "He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." 2Cor 5:15
 
Jan 19, 2014
265
68
28
61
Died to the Law
Gal 2:19,20
For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

Likewise Paul writes of the Christian life, "now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter." Rom 7:6

The oldness of the letter is the bondage to the keeping of the customs and particular regulations one derives from the Law of Moses.

"He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant— not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." 2Cor 3:6

Jesus' ministry likewise revealed the deadness of bondage to the regulations which the Jews derived from the Law. Like he was often rebuked for healing people on the Sabbath. For as the Law commanded rest on the Sabbath, by way of regulation the Jews derived the idea that it was in violation of the Sabbath to heal. And yet healing was actually consistent with the Spirit of the Sabbath - giving rest and relief to the suffering.

So also to allegedly keep themselves pure, the Jews derived a regulation which prevented them from eating with Gentiles, though the Law had no such regulation. But in doing so they violated the Spirit of the Law - to love your neighbor as yourself. And this was especially an issue with Christians - as it broke Christian fellowship over an illegitimate issue.

You can't really live to God until you die to the legalism.

Furthermore, what is relevant about the Christian life is not the Christian, but Christ who dwells in the Christian. "To (the saints) God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Col 1:27 So also Jesus said, "I came not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me."John 6:38 This is contrast to Peter's fear of man. People who are afraid of what others will think of them are too concerned for themselves. The Christian lives for Christ, not for themselves. "He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." 2Cor 5:15
 
Jan 19, 2014
265
68
28
61
Died to the Law

Gal 2:19,20
For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

Likewise Paul writes of the Christian life, "now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter." Rom 7:6

The oldness of the letter is the bondage to the keeping of the customs and particular regulations one derives from the Law of Moses.

"He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant— not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." 2Cor 3:6

Jesus' ministry likewise revealed the deadness of bondage to the regulations which the Jews derived from the Law. Like he was often rebuked for healing people on the Sabbath. For as the Law commanded rest on the Sabbath, by way of regulation the Jews derived the idea that it was in violation of the Sabbath to heal. And yet healing was actually consistent with the Spirit of the Sabbath - giving rest and relief to the suffering.

So also to allegedly keep themselves pure, the Jews derived a regulation which prevented them from eating with Gentiles, though the Law had no such regulation. But in doing so they violated the Spirit of the Law - to love your neighbor as yourself. And this was especially an issue with Christians - as it broke Christian fellowship over an illegitimate issue.

You can't really live to God until you die to the legalism.

Furthermore, what is relevant about the Christian life is not the Christian, but Christ who dwells in the Christian. "To (the saints) God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Col 1:27 So also Jesus said, "I came not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me."John 6:38 This is contrast to Peter's fear of man. People who are afraid of what others will think of them are too concerned for themselves. The Christian lives for Christ, not for themselves. "He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." 2Cor 5:15
 
Jan 19, 2014
265
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Are You Setting Aside God's Grace?

Gal 2:21 "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"
Here Paul speaks to those of a Pelagian theology often espoused by liberals today who view Christ's death as merely an example to follow rather than having power in itself to redeem. Such people advocate a performance based righteous - that by following Jesus' example of love and righteous living one can be saved. In taking such a position such people set aside the grace of God and opt for self-reliance to obtain their salvation.


Paul clearly spoke of this contrast in Romans, "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Rom 3:20-24
 
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Jan 19, 2014
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The Legal Implication of Christ's Death

Gal 3:1
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.

Eph 2: 14,15 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace

The barrier which divided were the regulations associated with the Law which kept Jew from Gentile. He "canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross." Col 2:14 and Paul goes on to say in Col 2:16 "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day" These two ideas go hand in hand. Legalism died on the cross.
 
Jan 19, 2014
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How did you receive the Spirit?

Gal 3:2-5
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing— if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?

Paul presumes that they had received the Spirit. Afterall it says, "if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." Rom 8:9 Once a person comes to faith in Christ he receives the Spirit. The point here is that the receiving of the Spirit is not a matter of ceremony or following certain rules and regulations. It's not even a matter of prayer, nor of wishful thinking. It's a matter of believing the gospel.

Paul says elsewhere, "As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him." Col 2:6 The way you're supposed to receive Christ is by faith and not by ceremony; not by following certain rules and regulations. And in the same manner you received Christ, so you're supposed to live - by faith.

By "human effort" Paul is referring to relying upon rituals to attain the goal. The observance of days, the eating or abstaining from certain foods, or even water baptism and communion - if people are relying on such things to achieve their goal, then they are caught up in legalism. It is not that rituals are bad, or even inappropriate. For some, such as water baptism and communion, are even commanded by the Lord. But the issue of legalism comes up when people rely upon the ceremonial aspects of these to confer some sort of grace or salvation.

Furthermore when Paul speaks of "faith" here obviously he is referring to faith in Christ and not faith in ceremonies or rituals. For indeed the Galatians were exercising "a faith" - but it was a faith in ceremonies and not a faith in Christ.
 
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