Even though the Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Galatians in approximately 49 or 50 A.D. there still seems to be many Christians that haven’t learned the lesson. Paul wrote the letter to warn the Galatians that they can’t live by the Spirit and under the law at the same time. The two simply do not mix.
The main issue of that day was whether or not a believer in Christ needed to be circumcised. Apparently there were some Jews that were attempting to convert the Gentile believers into Jews. They were telling them they had to be circumcised and obey the Law of Moses. Paul vehemently opposed this message and didn’t hesitate to write and remind the Galatians of the truth. Salvation is Christ plus nothing and it always has been.
At one point Paul even said they must be under a spell he said, “O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?” “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” It seems to be a difficult lesson to learn for most even today. While most Christians would be quick to tell you that it is only by grace we are saved everything seems to change a little when it comes to living the life. The truth is we are saved by grace, kept by grace and live by grace. It is all God’s unmerited or unearned favor from beginning to end.
Most of the time when someone professes Christ as Lord someone right away tells them; you need to read your Bible, go to church, pray, start tithing etc. etc. While all of these things are good things I think we are either misinformed about what the Christian life is all about, or the one we are talking to is, because these things have absolutely nothing to do with our being saved.
I pray that you don’t misunderstand me. When I was born again I never had anyone tell me to read the Bible or any of those things nor did they need to. The Spirit of God had come into my life in quite an awesome fashion, and he led me to read the Bible and to talk with God, but it wasn’t something I “had” to do–I wanted to. Just like circumcision; Bible reading, church attendance etc. are not the point. They may be good things, in and of themselves, but if we are relying on anything other than Christ alone for our salvation we have fallen away from grace.
Paul told the Galatians “…you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” Now this doesn’t mean we have lost our salvation but what it does mean is we are no longer relying solely upon Christ because we are counting on ourselves to do something. God’s way is the way of grace and if we are trying to make ourselves right with him by what we do or don’t do we have turned away from his way and gone our own. The two cannot cohabitate; they are mutually exclusive. Either we are trusting completely in him or we falsely think there is something we can do to help our eternal state. We were dead in our sins. We didn’t need to be made good we needed life. “If a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.” No amount of law-keeping could give us life only Christ, who is the life, could.
God’s reason for giving the Law in the first place was only to expose our sin and lead us to Christ. Once we come to Christ the Law no longer has a purpose in our lives. If we find ourselves off of the path of grace we automatically will be back under the Law. Hopefully those U-turns back will be less and less frequent as we mature. Each time we find ourselves in condemnation or saying things like “I should have done that” or “I shouldn’t have done that” we know we are operating under the Law again. The Law is there to continuously lead us to Christ where he holds out his hands saying, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
Written by Louie