Thursday 23 August 2012

Bible Book:

"Well then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?" (v. 5)

Galatians 3:1-14 Thursday 23 August 2012


The essence of today's passage links back to the themes ofidentity in Galatians 2, where Paul is talking to the Galatiansabout the importance of our identity in Christ, and to do thathaving to surrender all that we are to him.

One of the big problems Paul has with the church in Galatia, istheir insistence on the importance of Jewish law. A lot of Jewishlaw is based around this idea of "the flesh" - "Having started withthe Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?" (v. 3). Paul istrying to get the church away from the idea that fulfilling thelaw, will bring righteousness and a relationship with God. Forexample, because a person is circumcised that makes them righteous- this is something that Paul is trying to discourage.

That's not the gospel (good news) Paul wants to preach, that'snot the gospel Christians believe in. A relationship with God comesout of faith, comes out of humility, comes out love for each other,and comes out of an acceptance of the love and grace that God sofreely pours out on us.

In today's passage is Paul trying to get the churches in Galatiato put having faith above any kind of fulfilment of the law, or anyemphasis on this idea of "the flesh".

"We might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith" (v.14). The gospel  that Paul is so passionate about is one wherefaith in Christ is the most important factor.

To ponder:

  • How easy do you find it to have faith? Why?
  • Is there anything in your life that is like "the flesh" to thepeople in Galatia? What is it? And how might you resist and insteadlive by the Spirit?


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