Galatians 2:14-3:4 – June 20
The Bible is basically a compilation of love letters from our Father in heaven, His loving words breathed onto each page. Over the next several months, as we study the letters of the Bible, Galatians through Jude, I pray that You will experience His eternal love in new ways and that it will transform you. These letters were written by Christians leaders, most of them by Paul, to establish and grow the Christian Church. For us, they are filled with love and gold nuggets on living a Christian life. Join along in our study by reading today’s scripture, journaling on it using SOAP, then sharing how God spoke to you today. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
Galatians 2:14-3:4 – Paul Opposes Cephas
14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
17 “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.
19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Faith or Works of the Law
3 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain?
It Is My Will To Live For God | Becky Newman
The Galatian church was influenced by Greek and Roman culture, then add some missionaries teaching that the Galatians needed to follow Jewish laws like circumcision in order to be true Christians–they were confused. Paul’s letter is seeking to set out Christian theology which he has received through enlightenment by God to calm the confusion, re-focus them on love instead of rule-following, and set them on a path of following Jesus. Justification occurs at the time of salvation and can only come from God through belief in what Jesus did for us. We can’t earn justification; it’s a gift from God. Sanctification occurs after justification and is the process of being set apart for God’s work and being conformed to the image of Christ. Sanctification requires a willing human who will let the Holy Spirit transform; it’s a process. Justification is the only way to heaven. If I never get anywhere in the sanctification process but I’m justified by God through belief in Jesus, I’m going to heaven. However, justification should lead to seeking God which is sanctification.
A meme I saw on Facebook says something like a strong-willed child will grow up to lead the world as long as the parents don’t break his/her will in the meantime. I have a strong-willed child, but after reading Proverbs and today’s verse, I think this meme is just wrong. I want my daughter to use her God-given leadership skills for His glory, which means her will must submit to God. I can’t teach her to submit to God if I never teach her to submit to my will or her dad’s. God gave us to her as parents to teach her this basic life principle so she could learn how to submit to God’s will as she grows older and becomes an adult. She asked me that question just last night — Mom, who’s your boss? And I had the opportunity to tell her it’s God, and that in order to obey God, I had to first learn how to obey my parents. We all need boundaries, and the law provides that; the law teaches us right from wrong, even the law that parents lay down. But once we believe and invite the Spirit in, we can live for God rather than living for the law, and God will grow righteousness in us for His purpose — to further His Kingdom.
Lord, I am thankful for the moments You give me to teach my children, especially abstract things that are hard to understand, when You give me the words to make it clear. Thank You for justification and through sanctifying me that I may live for You and do Your work. Keep sanctifying me, Lord! And help me with my strong-willed child. I pray that she grows up to become a strong Christian leader.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.