March 25 - Galatians 6
CHRISTIANS ARE FREED FROM THE LAW, SO NOW YOU MUST FOLLOW THE LAW: That headline seems contradictory, but yet it captures the theme of Paul's letter to the Galatians. Paul has emphasized over and over that Christians are saved by by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, and not by trying to follow religious rules and regulations, but now all of the sudden he tells us "you will fulfill the law" (v2) and he wishes "peace upon all who follow this rule" (v16). But, of course, we have to finish that first sentence. Paul is not obligating Christians to follow rules designed to make them progressively more holy, rather he tells us to fulfill the law of Christ.
CHRIST'S LAW IS PRETTY SIMPLE: "Let us do good to all people..." (v10). Christ's law is not a 'check the box off' type of rule keeping, it simply means doing what He did: putting others ahead of yourself.
ESPECIALLY DO GOOD TO PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH: Certainly we want to treat all people well, for all people are image bearers of God. But our first priority must be to do good to those people God has gathered to Himself and has placed in the fellowship of the Church: the 'family of believers' (v10). Most of chapter 6 has doing good to the people of the Church in mind:
Gently keep them from falling into sin (v1)
Carry each other's burdens (v2), but also make sure you're carrying your own load (v5).
Be willing and eager to be instructed, and care for those who instruct (v6).
MY, WHAT LARGE HANDWRITING YOU HAVE! It seems one of Paul's many physical difficulties was his eyesight, making it hard to read and write. Although Paul definitely wrote these letters, assisted only by the Holy Spirit, he likely dictated the letters to another person who actually wrote it all down. Yet, as he indicates in v11, sometimes at a letter's conclusion, he would write it himself to add a personal touch.
YOU ARE GOD'S ISRAEL: We don't really think of ourselves as being an Israelite, but in that there was a time when they were God's chosen people, and now you are also one of God's chosen people, you are in a sense an Israelite. Paul calls you that in v16. God's Israel is no longer an ethnically defined community; it includes believers from all races and ways of life!
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God can not be mocked (v8) and is gathering His people into His church.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Sow to please the Spirit (v8), crucify the world (v14) and follow the law and rule of Christ (v2, 16).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: