Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Galatians 3 - Remember Your History

My dear but foolish Galatians -

Beware the judaizers who would rob you of your God-given freedom and lead you back into capitivity!

No doubt they talked of their sacred history. Of Abraham, Moses and the Law. But what of YOUR sacred history. Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. You received my message as if from an angel of God. You witnessed miracles. You tasted of the Spirit. Have you so soon forgotten? I ask you - did you receive all of this by obeying the Law? No - you received it by the Spirit. Why, then, return to someone else's slavery?

They talk of Abraham as if they only are his sons. Yet the scriptures say he is the father of many nations - not just Israel! And that God was pleased with him not by his following the law - which had not yet been given - but by his faith! So who teaches Abraham - me, when I speak of grace through faith for the nations, or them, who would shackle all peoples with Jewish law?

They talk of Moses, these sons of a Korah. Yet like their father they would drag you back into hopeless toil and slavery and death without deliverance. I urge you instead to follow the burning fire of the Spirit out of bondage and into the Kingdom. Like Moses I am no great speaker and I look less like Charlton Heston and more like Chucky Cheese, but by the grace of God I am what I am, an apostle to the Gentiles, and His grace is not without effect. Follow me as I follow Christ.

They talk of the Law as if they own it. Yet they are its slaves. The Law itself has so judged and sentenced them. The Law itself says "cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in this book of the Law." No man can keep the Law perfectly. And 12 centuries of the sacred history they prattle on about has shown one thing: Israel will not, cannot keep the Law! The people of God need a deliverer, not from the holy Law, but from the just punishment of disobeying it. The deliver, the Messiah of Israel, is Jesus of Nazareth. He did this by taking on himself, through crucifixion, the curse of humanity's failure to keep God's law. By believing in this we become dead to the Law's judgement and alive in the Spirit.

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