Read the Bible in 2011–2021* ◊ Week 23: Sunday
Today’s Bible reading is Galatians 4–6. Pray and ask God to teach you from His Word. If you haven’t read the first three chapters of Galatians, take the time to read them first before you read the last three. Don’t worry if you have to come back to Galatians 4–6 tomorrow. It’s so important for you to understand what Paul has written. My first post on Galatians is: Galatians 1–3: Law, Grace, & the Gospel.
The Galatians had fallen into the trap of thinking they had to follow Jewish law and be circumcised to be right before God. We may not fall into that same trap, but we are so easily led astray into thinking that we do something to be accepted by God.
We get confused about several things. We need to remember our complete inability to save ourselves, that we sinners and could never make ourselves righteous before God by our efforts. Only the righteous, sinless life, and atoning, sacrificial death of our Savior, Jesus Christ, could make us clean. (See Titus 3:3–7, 2 Corinthians 5:21). We also forget as Paul wrote earlier in the letter.
Read Romans 7:14–25 and Romans 8:1–30. We began by the Spirit, and we must continue our lives as Christians by the Spirit. For years my home church had Galatians 5:1 printed on the front cover of their church bulletins.
I have the verse on a poster that depicts a man walking away from broken shackles towards the sun breaking through dark clouds. It’s an important verse because it goes to the heart of the truth of living in God’s grace. In Christ we die to the Law and through Him become a new creation to live and serve God in the newness of the Spirit.–
Paul is very careful to tell the Galatians what freedom in Christ means.
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
Paul goes on to contrast the deeds of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit, and writes.
In chapter 6, Paul has further instructions on walking by the Spirit (notice the reference to the law of Christ, cf. John 13:34–35, 15:12–17). As he brings the letter to a close, his words are on fire with his intense concern for the Galatian Christians.
Think on these words, and pray. Ask God to help you know and comprehend who you are in Christ Jesus. Thank God for His great mercy, and rejoice in His grace. In Christ you are set free.
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications. (Site has been deleted since posting).
Broken Chain Symbol: clker.com users. Public domain.
*In 2011 I started a year-long series of posts, “Read the Bible in 2011.” You can find the other posts in the navigation menu in the header. If a day doesn’t have a link to a post, the post was simply a brief reminder about the reading. I’m filling in some of those gaps with new posts with “Read the Bible in 2011 Redux” as a category.
Copyright ©2011–2021 Iwana Carpenter