This post was sent to us by a guest blogger, Not So Certain
I am very impressed with the book of Galatians. You can read it quite quickly, it is only 6 chapters. It needs to read from start to finish at one time to get the story line and follow it through. I have never been so impressed with this book before. It speaks loud and clear about our relationship to the organized church.
You should read it both in the King James and in a more modern version. You can glean more that way and understand it better. There are some passages in the King James that are hard to understand but others that are more clear.
They were having trouble with some brethren saying they needed to keep the Jewish Law. This affected the church and they were starting to believe it was necessary to do these things to be saved. Paul makes it very clear that this is bondage and in
Galatians 5:4 he goes so far as to say “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” This makes trying to follow the law a very serious sin!
To try and find favor of man is also a serious sin. Galatians 1:10 says “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Galatians 2:4 “But it was because of the false brethren who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5 But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.”
On the incarnation of Christ there is also a very clear scripture in Galatians 4:4, “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,” This is from the King James version. The modern English versions tend to say “born” instead of “made” but the Greek is clear on the meaning “made.”
In Galatians 6:14 he says “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” When people start to glory in any church, religion, work, or performance other than the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, they will go lost. Our church background glories very much in its lineage, its institutions, its doctrines, and its unity. This is very dangerous. These things do not produce true humility.
Consider the depths of true humility, when we allow ourselves to be stripped of “everything” including what we have always believed to be right! Consider what this meant for Jesus, to be finally hung naked on a cross for all the world to see! Complete and utter destruction of the flesh! People in organized religion say that to accept what the religion teaches and what “the brethren” say, is true humility. They say if we follow the teachings of a man or men, the conference, the ministers, or certain books we will be safe. But this still gives us something tangible to hang on to, something in which we can feel secure outside of the cross of Christ.
Jesus taught a different way. His example of true humility was to be stripped of everything including his life. And this at the hands of his beloved church people! He has made it clear that His children are those who are willing to be crucified with Him. We need to be stripped of everything including religion and only then can we really begin to experience Christ the way we should. Like the words of the song, “There is nothing in the world like Jesus, He’s the treasure of my soul!” We hear “there is nothing in the world like our church; I would give my life for the church!” I have noticed in the Messenger lately that often the obituaries state how someone served the church, loved the church, and was faithful to the church. Giving our life for the church will not save us! But giving our life for Jesus will! We need to learn what it means to be a nobody, to let go of everything we have held dear, and to be left with Jesus only. All those of us who truly do this will be able to fully and sweetly fellowship with each other in a deeply spiritual and loving way.
Paul says in Galatians 5:14 “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” He says again in Romans 13:8, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Notice the list Paul uses to describe what commandments need to be kept, and that it is complete and all inclusive!
Consider Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Christ did not destroy the law it is true. He fulfilled it! All the requirements have been met! We meet these requirements when we accept Christ by faith. All is complete. We don’t need to “DO” anything anymore because we will automatically do what needs to be done as a result. Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” The tree produces this fruit automatically, it doesn’t need to “try hard.”
Romans 10:1 “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks thus, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart “– that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
John 8:36 “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed!”