Galatians 1:6,7 You are already following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who twist and change the truth concerning Christ.
I guess after this question the Galatians kinda knew where Paul was going and he obviously wasn't happy about it. So much for saving your point to the end of the letter Paul. No, Paul wanted this out front and out in the open. A fact, I'm sure, the Galatians weren't excited about.
And for us, how easy it if for us to sit back and point and giggle at the Galatians like they were our younger brother being scolded by the parents once again.
We giggle, that is, until Paul turns to us with an accusing finger and shouts, "And you!..."
The sad thing is we are guilty of this in the same measure as the Galatians were. So we can giggle all we want but we are victims of the same elastic amnesia. Yes, we forget and then we twist.
The Galatians had been instructed in the truth of the Gospel. That faith in Jesus was all they needed but some among them had started to teach that wasn't enough and that a combination of faith in Jesus and keeping the law was required to be sure you were safe.
But we do the same thing today. We replace the truth of Christianity, the freedom the gospel brings with a list of "Do Nots". Paul scoffed at that when the Galatians heard it and I'm sure he'd scoff at it now. (Gal 5:13,16) For you have been called to live in freedom--not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves.
Let me summarize with some key beliefs of Paul's--
- Faith in Christ brings real freedom.
- Real freedom is never spent on yourself.
- Real freedom always serves others.
- A "do not" gospel is a twisted, selfish version of Jesus' gospel that brings bondage.
- The best way to be in harmony with the law is to live in service to others.
- The true gospel brings new life smothering the desire of the sinful nature.
The sad thing is, 2000 years later, we still think we can add to the gospel and improve upon it. "Faith in Jesus is great but faith in Jesus and (fill in the blank) is even better." We forget and we twist. And we bring bondage.
How about refusing to add conditions to the Gospel? How about trusting that God's plan (to smother and stifle the sinful nature with the new creation's desire to serve others) will actually work?
Let's remember. Remember that every time we try to add improvements to the gospel we actually take chains and begin to bind. Every time we add extra steps or extra lists or extra "do nots" we add weight to their bindings. The end result is a person who is not free but a slave to self.
Jesus offers true freedom....we have a front row seat...let's not get in the way!Religion
>>>> DISRESPECTING THE STATUS QUO
Dale Swinburne Jr. Â© 2005