After Paul left the churches he preached the gospel to in Galatia, false teachers came in and began distorting the gospel and confusing the Christians in Galatia. As Paul writes back to these Galatian churches, he is “astonished” (Galatians 1:6) at them and “perplexed” (Galatians 4:20) by them. Why? They have so quickly deserted the true gospel for a fake one (Galatians 1:6-9). Paul is lovingly writing to these churches pleading with them to remember the true and only gospel. He is writing to remind them that they are justified by faith alone in Christ alone (Galatians 2:15-16). He is writing to remind them of the freedom they have that comes from Christ alone. In Christ, they have freedom from sin and freedom from following religious rules. And this freedom they have in Christ is intended to lead them to live life the way God intended. They are freed from sin, shame, and religious rules in order to walk joyfully in the power of the Spirit through this life.
The churches in Galatia desperately needed to remember this gospel truth then, the church has needed to be reminded of this truth throughout her history, and we desperately need to hear and remember this truth today.
In a culture that highly values hard work, success, and freedom, God has something to say to us through our study in Galatians. We will see that there is no amount of work we can do or success we can achieve to earn God’s love and acceptance. Jesus Christ did that for us. He paid the price and did the heavy lifting. We will also see that true freedom only comes through trusting in this finished work of Christ. As we place our faith in Christ and His work, we find true and lasting freedom in this life and the next. I am praying three main prayers through this series:
- I pray that those of us who are in Christ would be reminded of the true and lasting freedom that we have in Christ alone as we place our faith in Him.
- I pray that we would exhibit more and more of the fruit of the Spirit as we live out the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. We are freed by Christ to walk empowered by the Spirit into all that God calls us to in this life.
- I pray that God would use us to lead many more people to place all of their faith in Christ Jesus so they can experience true freedom and joy that only comes through faith in Him.
We start our study through the book of Galatians this Sunday and we will be in it through the rest of 2019. I hope you will invite some friends and make plans to join us through this series. I can’t wait to see all God will do in our lives as we walk through this letter together. I hope to see you Sunday. Come on and come expectant.