Just a quick word about the next few weeks. As I’ve fallen into this current schedule of devotionals, I think a lot about something one of my professors used to say, never mistake God’s word for you for God’s word for them. A dangerous thing for a preach is to only look at a text and thinking about what can preach or teach, instead of also listening for what God wants to say to them, and them alone. For most of this year, our Rooted has come from my own devotional life, and while that is good, too often I found myself looking at the text, nothing listening for my own soul, but look for a devotional. Because of that, I’m going to shift rooted into a study of a book of a bible for a season. So, starting today, we’ll be looking at Galatians together, one of my favorite New Testament books. So, if you’d like to read ahead, look at Galatians for the next few days/weeks.
Click here to watch my video reflection on our text for today, or keep reading for my written reflections:
Today’s reading is from Galatians 1: 1-10:
Paul an apostle—sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the members of God’s family who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!
10 Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
As we look at Galatians, we’ll at it “section by section.” Today, we look at Paul’s intro of who is and a defense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A couple of things to take note of. First, this letter is one of Paul’s pastoral letters, written to the church of Galatia a Roman province in modern-day Turkey. Paul lets them know in verse 3 that this Gospel is all according to the will of God. The point of everything is the spreading of the good news of the Gospel!
In verse 6 we see Paul confused about the fact that they are starting to believe in a “Gospel” that is not the “Gospel.” What is the Gospel? He will explain that to us in later verses, but it is salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, not salvation by works. We do not come to salvation through anything that we do, we come to salvation through what Jesus has done for us on the cross. We saved by grace through faith. That is the Gospel.
Paul says that even if an angel were to proclaim another gospel, do not believe them. That sounds like an odd to say, why would Paul reference angels here? We will see within this letter that one of the main things that the people will struggle with is the temptation to return to the law, that is why Paul keeps hammering them on grace. Grace, grace, grace. These Christians probably have a Jewish influence and history. In that culture, angels are a HUGE deal. We see that all through the book of Hebrews.
Paul is saying this in a way that they can hear. If ANYONE, even an ANGEL, were to tell you that salvation comes anyway other than through faith in Jesus, they are wrong. Only Jesus. Only Jesus. Only Jesus.
That is the message that Paul preached. And that is the message that he will be defending in Galatians.
Tomorrow we’ll look at Galatians 1: 11-24.
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