Paul is writing a letter to the people of Galatia reminding them of the true message of the Gospel (Jesus’ story), and not adding to it. Galatians can be broken down into three big themes. These are all things that I think we do from time to time without even realizing it.
Jesus+: What do we add to the Gospel? [ Galatians 1:6-10]
We add: Be a good person, do the right thing, do good for others, respect, actions that bring us closer to God, etc… We’re all adding to the gospel kind of like the Galatians did at times. The law that the Galatians used did its job, but they missed so much of the bigger picture.
- What are situations where there are so many rules that it is hard to follow?
- Do you feel like you ever add rules to the Gospel? Do others?
the checklist: Why do we do what we do? [Galatians 2:16]
Why do you come to CREW or to church? To grow closer to God? Because it is something we should or ought to do? There are times for sure where CREW may seem like another item on the checklist, but I hope that your main reason of coming is to grow in faith. The main point of this though is looking at our intentions, and not letting our intentions of faith growth be cluttered by a long to do list of faith moments.
The Galatians had this same problem. The Galatians as we all know were making faith so complicated and added so many steps/rules to knowing God that they lost sight of who God really was. Paul was speaking against the law a lot in Galatians because the Galatians were spinning their wheels trying to get the law right to get to God. God was speaking through Paul saying forget about the law…Look to me.
With Love: [Matthew 22:36-40 & Galatians 5:6]
Paul’s main point was Love. Love is the greatest command, look at Matthew 22:36-40. How do you love your neighbor?
The law was miss understood, it wasn’t a benchmark to grade how good a Christian is it is to show how we always fall short of the glory of God. Just like earlier Paul summed up the entire law: For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Through Christ coming for us the old law isn’t going to be necessary, but something just as important is our relationship with others and our relationship with God. Through faith and love we get to our end goal, but at the same time we are strengthening the entire community of believers and affirming them in their faith.
Growing in faith is our new goal and love is how we get there
Take 15 minutes at some point over the next week to just sit without distractions to spend time with God. Ask him to help you focus on him and loving others.
Take the masks off: Take your Wed/Sun mask off and be the same person everywhere you are. We can get in habit of just putting on our church mask and then have the school mask.
I don’t think that we intentionally make our faith life harder, but sometimes we make it harder for ourselves. We are made right with God through faith (trusting in Him). We don’t have to work to earn His love, or take all these extra steps. We are called to love one another that is the greatest command. Though freeing, it can seem too simple, and we need to add more to it. I urge you to not do this and just focus on the true message of the Gospels.