Gal 1:11-24 for Sunday, May 24

gospelPaul writes in Gal 1 the very essence of the Gospel saying, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age…” (vv3-4). Note the words he uses, setting up the rest of the letter: Grace to you and peace from the Father…” – What Paul is saying is grace comes TO us, not because of us! He says “This grace is a foreign grace, not of you but of another – Jesus Christ!”

And then he says we have “peace”. Peace is not just a lack of conflict or war with foreign lands and kings, but with God Himself. The only way to have real peace is to know there is no conflict between you and God. To know that “It is finished” and the scorecard has been tossed into the garbage.

It is Finished

And how did this happen? “[Jesus] who gave Himself for our sins…” Nothing else can or will ever take away our sins but Jesus. He is sufficient and all we need. Rule keeping, scorecard keeping and self-salvation projects fall short and never give us peace, only frustration and anxiety.

 

Knox Theological Seminary professor Jono Linbaugh says regarding the head banging attempts to use the law to justify ourselves:

Freed from the burden and bondage of attempting to use the Law to establish our righteousness before God, Christians are free to look to commandments, not as conditions, but as descriptions and directions as they seek to serve their neighbor. In other words, once a person is liberated from the commonsense delusion that acting righteously makes us righteous before God, and in faith believes the counter-intuitive reality that being made righteous by God’s forgiving and resurrecting word precedes and produces righteous action, then the justified person is unlocked to love.

 

In other words, the ears of faith are free to hear a commandment without a condition because the Christian conscience listens not to the condition and curse of the Law, but to the Christ in whom there is no condemnation (Rom 8.1)

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