FRIDAY, JANUARY 7
Scripture: Galatians 3:1.2, 4:20
Galatians 3:1,2 says, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” Paul is going directly at the Galatians and bringing them back to the foundational gospel. He is doing it graciously, he is doing it lovingly but he is also doing it judicially and authoritatively. He starts the book with a double curse on any one preaching another gospel and then he uses Peter and Barnabas as people who fell into that. What do we think he is threatening Peter and Barnabas about? What is he warning the church of Galatians about? An-ath-em-ah would curl the hair of any believer threatened. Paul is making it clear that we have a choice and we do not want to continue going the way we are going. When we come to chapter 4, he says, I have doubts about you. You are not standing for the judicial Christ. You have wimped out. You are submitting to the culture around you. You are beginning to look like ineffectual Christians. What is this? Paul paints a real picture for the Galatians and he uses leaders they are familiar with. It gives us insight into what it means to carry the Kingly authority of Christ. Paul was not impressed by Peter’s reputation. Why are we impressed by the reputation of men who do not have any real judicial authority? It is time for the church to grow up.