Monday, 4 January 2020
“Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?”- Galatians 3:3
As Christians all through our lives there will be a war within us to either live by God’s Spirit or the works of the flesh (the do’s and don’ts of the law). Paul in Galatians exhorts the believers that blessings come from God on the basis of faith and not by the law. The law constantly declares us guilty but faith in Christ Jesus leads us to freedom and liberty that results in a fruitful life.
In today’s reading we see Paul reprimanding the believers in Galatia for having digressed from a life of faith to their own good works. How often we also are caught in this trap. It’s so much more easy to lay own our own rules and run our Christian life on them than heed to God’s Spirit nudging in our lives – How can we get out of this cycle?
Paul reminds us this morning the 3 gifts that God has given to make us perfect – These gifts can be received only when we put our faith in Christ. If we remain in these we will be able to live a victorious Spirit-led life.
Declared Righteous - Paul first takes us back to the life of Abraham and points to the one act of his that made him acceptable to God (V.6) He put his faith in what God told him, resulting in God declaring him righteous. Righteousness is the first gift of faith. No amount of good works can earn us this title. Isaiah 64:6 says: “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” If this is how God looks at good works, we don’t stand a chance to be righteous through good works. Is this where you stand? Have you slipped from a sure foundation of being clothed in Christ’s righteousness (2Cor 5:21) that you received by putting your faith in him, to working out your righteousness by your making that puts you in the spotlight in the eyes of the world but in darkness on spiritual things? It’s time to stop striving and start believing His word.
Righteous Living -Paul secondly highlights that the just shall live by faith (v.12). Not only has our faith in Christ made us righteous, giving us a new position in the eyes of God, those who have begun this journey with Christ will continue living a life of faith. What does this mean? As human beings we are unable to keep the law of God perfectly. When we fail here we die. So what is the way out? We the righteous need to continually put our faith in the One who did not fail to keep the law. In Matt 5:17 we see Jesus state that ‘He came to fulfill the law.” How did he do this? He became a curse to redeem us from the curse of the law (V.13), His perfect righteousness in our failures and his blood in place of ours—on this truth we continue to build our Christian life. Are you living your life through Christ or by observance of the law?
Blessing of the Holy Spirit -Lastly Paul goes on to tell us the most wonderful blessing that we Gentiles have received (that was reserved only for God’s people) is the promise of the Holy Spirit, we receive through faith. When we became sons of Abraham through faith (v. 4) every spiritual blessing that was exclusive became inclusive. Paul says in Ephesians 1:3 – “we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.” Everyone who has received this blessing will operate in the new law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus where:
We become His dwelling place (Eph2:22)
Self is crucified (Gal. 2:20)
Live to God (Gal.2:19)
Have you received these gifts? If not, put your faith in the Saviour—He is ever willing to give them to you.
Quote for the Day: The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. [Gal 2:20 The MSG]