Christ + nothing = everything.
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Galatians 1 Summary
As we begin a new book, it's good to remind ourselves that we're not really reading 'books' per se when we read things like Hebrews and Galatians, rather, we're reading letters. The fancy name for these letters are epistles.
Keep in mind as we read this letter that we must understand and interpret it in the context it was written to: early Christians living in what is now southern Turkey, both Jews and Gentiles who were struggling with how they should express their Christian beliefs.
Paul has two main purposes in writing this letter: 1) To establish his authority as an apostle appointed by Christ, and 2) that it's through Christ alone that salvation comes.
Paul gets right to the point: he's stunned that the Galatians are turning away from the simplicity of the gospel. The Galatians were falling victim to a universal human weakness, one that continues to plague Christians even today: it's not that the Galatians were not loving and trusting Jesus, it's that they were counting on their own religious practices and good deeds as being part of the basis for their salvation. In other words, their salvation formula had become
JESUS + MY OWN GOOD WORKS = SALVATION
Paul writes this letter to correct their, and also our, salvation math. The formula Christians ought to follow is
JESUS + NOTHING = SALVATION --> GOOD WORKS.
In other words, we contribute nothing to our salvation - it is because of Christ alone, which we receive by grace alone, through faith alone. Good works flow out of our salvation, they are not an ingredient of it.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (v1, 3). To Him be the glory forever and ever (v5).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: It is the will of God to give His Son to rescue us from the present evil age (v4). Pray that this aspect of God's will be accomplished in your life, that He will preserve you in it, and use you to help spread this gospel (good news) to others.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: