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Galatians 2 - Effortless

You must certainly make every effort to please God, but watch out so that you don't begin to trust your efforts more than Christ.

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Galatians 2 Summary

If Paul seems hostile and defensive as he writes chapter two, it's because he is. The early Jewish Christians assumed that all of the Mosaic rules and regulations they'd grown up with would continue to define them as God's people. They certainly rejoiced that Gentiles were being brought to faith, but then expected them to follow a bunch of customs that were totally foreign to these non-Jewish believers.

There are probably dozens of compromises that could have been found between these two groups, which of course nobody would be happy with, but yet would have kept the peace.

But Paul contends for a pure gospel, and he's willing to vigorously defend salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone.

Dig Deeper

There are three types of people in this world:

  • Those who want nothing to do with God (we can set this group aside for a moment. There's not much we can do for them).

  • Those who try and placate God with their good deeds;

  • Those who trust in Christ alone to be justified in God's eyes.

Paul makes clear that Christians ought to identify with this third group. He writes in v16:

we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ...

The reason that Paul wrote the Galatians so forcefully is because the middle group is toxic to the the third group. Their visible efforts to impress God always seem more attractive, and they begin to chip away at our trust in faith alone.

You do need to be making every effort, as we read often in the New Testament, but always be cautious not to let your efforts erode your faith and trust in Christ alone.

AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is a holy Father, who fully accepts you as being righteous because of Christ;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for the salvation He has freely granted you and pray that you may no longer live to yourself, but that Christ will live in you (v20).




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