Looking back at Galatians 1:4:
The gospel, or "good news" that God has to share with us is defined in this verse. It states that Jesus Christ gave His life for ours, so that we might be able to be taken away from this current evil age. It also states that this action was planned out and decided upon by God even before the world began.
Looking at Galatians 1:6:
This gospel is presented to us by God as a "calling in the grace of Christ." This means that the Lord tells us about the good news of what He's done in Christ as a way to personally invite us into all the benefits of what Christ has earned (gifts which we have not and could never earn). I can see this as wonderful news for three reasons:
1. IT IS PERSONAL: God shares this gospel with you personally, by name. He knows who you are when He decides to do this. He knows your weakness, your struggles, your troubles, your hurts and your sins. It is with complete knowledge of who you are that He makes this offer to you.
2. IT IS AN INVITATION : God shares this with you, but does not thrust it upon you to accept. He invites you to have all the benefits of Christ. He is so patient and gentle in the way that He deals with you. He is well within His rights to force you to accept anything He provides. But He simply invites you instead because He loves you and is kind to you.
3. IT IS A FREE PACKAGE DEAL: God offers all of what He has at no cost to you. What He earned through Christ is yours to receive. Ephesians 1 details some of the benefits of this package deal, including such wonderful things as forgiveness, adoption, redemption, holiness, blamelessness, an inheritance, and a seal of the Spirit of God. The offer is to receive everything for nothing!
Looking at Galatians 1:7-8:
All other gospels are not really the gospel. They are not good news to us, because they inevitably imply that Christ did not earn everything that we need in life to be pleasing to God. They instead bring a curse upon us. The word for curse means "the keeping of a promised vow of sacrifice." Any other news other than the news that God is freely offering you what Christ earned is terrible news because it means that we have to fulfill some part of the law still. It means that we have to pay for our sins! Even in part, that would be terrible! Romans 2:5-11 details what that payment would look like. It is not something we can pay.
Looking at Galatians 1:10:
Falling for this bad news instead of receiving God's good news is common because deep down we struggle with wanting to please and persuade others. We want to have the approval and acceptance of others, or we want to show that we are capable and worthwhile. If not for others, we at least want to prove something to ourselves. If there is some part of something good that we can earn, then we will have persuaded ourselves that we are lovable, worthy, important, and special. But to please God, we must set aside those notions. Pleasing God is not about proving how worthy you are of His love. It is about accepting His gift, knowing He has already always loved you.
This idea of pleasing God does not mean there is nothing for you to do. He did not do it to place you in His debt or to make you feel bad about it. He did it so you could serve Him without having to worry about
keeping the law. He did it so that your service would not be counted as work that earns you a paycheck from
Him. He did it so that your service would be you freely offering Him help in the work that He is doing. God did it so you would become a bondservant. Exodus 21:1-6 details how one becomes a bond servant and it is all about loving your master. God has awakened love in us by demonstrating His own love for us. In doing so,
He has freed us to willingly serve Him in a response of love. He is not pleased when we follow His commands because we are trying to earn something from Him. He is pleased when we follow His commands because we love Him and want to participate with Him in the work that He is doing on this earth.
Questions to think on:
1. What are some benefits from Christ that you are personally thankful for? You can look at Ephesians 1 for a reference.
2. Are there areas in your life where you still try to please people instead of God? What are they? Pray for the Lord to open your eyes to the grace He has for you in that area
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Justin & Danielle Reyes
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