The problem that Paul addresses in today’s passage applies to all Christians most of the time. It involves the tension created by two seemingly contradictory ideas. On the one hand, there are Gods laws, given through Moses, and on the other hand, there is God’s amazing grace that saves us by faith, our belief in Jesus, alone. However, the real problem is thinking it must be one way or the other. The truth is that Jesus has achieved all that the law was intended to achieve, and through his one, great sacrifice for all people, all who accept his truth and his sacrifice and turn from their sinful, self-centred lives to follow him will, by God’s amazing grace, be saved. As Paul writes in his letter to the Romans: For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God. (Romans 10:4 NLT)
Galatians 3:1-7 NLT
Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it? I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ. In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.
I am humbled once again to be reminded of the start of my Christian life by Paul himself! He reminds me of the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts that were laid upon my heart at that time. I came to faith because the Holy Spirit came and opened my heart and my eyes and blessed me with a great confidence and understanding of my new faith. Today, however, I find I have become tired and I struggle to work hard for God. My goal then, is to remember that God called me himself and gave me the confidence to trust him. I was not, and am not, and will never be able to make myself holy or perfect by my own effort. I will surrender all my efforts to God and believe what Jesus has done for me. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NLT)
Isaiah 22:1-24:23, Galatians 2:17-3:9, Psalms 60:1-12, Proverbs 23:15-16