The Book of Galatians – Righteousness and the Law of God
Up Close and Personal with the Apostle Paul
Galatians 1:9-10 (KJB) As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10 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.
No person can ever rightly Keep the Law of God in his own strength, this includes you and me. Though a person may try to be a good and moral person, do good works, serve others in the name of Jesus, attend church, give their financial means away to many good and just causes, and even listening to ministers in the pulpit, some who are misguided and accursed for spewing lies in preaching about the necessity of keeping the law of God.
Please know that this false doctrine does not in any way represent the Truth of God. Yes, the book of Galatians stands out boldly against a man attempting to keep the Law or practicing religious strictness and legalism such as the Pharisees practiced in ancient times, and which “religious” hearted men still seek today. This valuable biblical book blows holes in this kind of “religiosity”, swinging widely and cracking such beliefs and false teaching and breaking it down into bite-sized pieces searching hearts can read and spiritually digest.
Paul presents treasured doctrine, certified to be of God and given by revelation of God to him and not simply powerless words generated by mankind (Galatians 1:10-11). The Apostle Paul sets the stage in showing the divine value and spiritual veracity of what he is about to preach for correcting the false doctrines taught by others. Though it is true, that perhaps at the outset, Paul was an unlikely messenger in the eyes of these people given his dark past, it is true that he received this doctrine from a direct revelation of God. Paul was used of God in great ways during his time of ministry, writing, and missionary journeys, including his skillful unraveling of this vital spiritual truth concerning a believer’s freedom in Christ.
Good works will mean nothing when rightly understanding the work and will of God. No person can claim any personal merit, for having a new spiritual heart condition for it was made possible through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ plus nothing else. Only Jesus Christ’s finished spiritual work on the cross at Calvary can place a man in good righteous standing with God, both now and for all eternity.
God’s law is necessary for pointing to sin, failures, and lukewarm attempts made at simply being a good person. When any heart comes to understand the purpose of the law of God, it is then a man can understand that he cannot keep the law in his own accord and that he must choose to apply the gift of God(John 3:16), through the fuel of faith in unwrapping on the supernatural nature, power, and righteousness of God, available only inside a personal relationship with God
Yes, please recognize ultimately it is God who a man must please. The only way a man can satisfy God and be justified is to deny himself, turn his undivided attention the power and presence of God, and allow Him to work and will in his heart with new spiritual life (Galatians 2:20).
You see, a new spiritual life and good spiritual standing before God is all about God and nothing to do with man as he is made more and more like Christ (John 3:30). Yes, simply put, it is the righteousness of God which allows a spiritually regenerated man to stand spiritually tall before God and nothing of his own doing.
The spiritual mutilators of the gospel message of God, those individuals who preach and teach a false gospel are loud, lewd, and rambling lies in podiums across this evil world. They proclaim to many listening ears that there are freedoms and liberty in following their heart, doing good works, loving others, and in pleasing people. However, take note, true liberation only comes to those who find lasting, or eternal freedom in Christ. Any attempt at keeping the rudiments and traditions of man, in being a good-hearted person, and in serving others rather than God, is spiritually lame and without any spiritual shine or eternal luster. Eventually, it will lead a man nowhere other than the fires of Hell upon his physical death in this world.
On the other hand, following the will of God made possible through the finished work of His Son Jesus Christ leads to only perpetual light, love, liberty, and life according to His works and not our own.
In closing, this letter addressed to Galatians was written by inspiration given by God to the Apostle Paul in ancient times to a geographical, spiritual, and political hotbed in an area aptly named Galatia. This letter, rather than penned to one individual church congregation like other letters from Paul, was written to this area collectively. It was an up and coming, or popular area which was filled with rampant sin, idolatry, and false teaching about God. Just like today, there were many Pharisees and preachers situated in podiums proliferating false messages. Giving advice and appeals for giving necessity of being circumcised which was accomplished with the new covenant. Ultimately these messages were empty of any vital New Testament news of the need for every man to personally know God.
The book of Galatians is filled with powerful spiritual pronouncements concerning Christian liberty. Though this liberty is certainly never meant to be a license to sin, it does give freedom from these kinds of religious rudiments put in place by ancient men in the Old Testament in an attempt for keeping the law. A spiritually regenerated heart in the New Testament times requires no new shed blood sacrifice or rituals, but he simply desires to live by faith in the power of God and live and walk worthy daily inside a personal relationship with Christ. On the other hand, a lost heart condition will naturally choose to follow his own will, works, and to align with the evil and darkness of the god of this world. As once did Paul when he chose to relentlessly pursue and persecute Christians, prior to his dramatic spiritual change of mind and heart is now laboring for the salvation of souls.
Yes, the cross on the hill of Calvary provides an avenue for eternal life and liberty from serving sin for every person. Every individual can be delivered forever from the curse of the law. Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross frees every spiritually regenerated man from the penalty and pull of sin. However, each man must let go of his sin, his works, and allow God work in his heart and life by making a personal choice to agree with God about the nature of sin and death.
It is important to note that the book of Galatians, as well as other books by Apostle Paul, including Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon, were written in a precarious time as Paul was being attacked, persecuted, or was imprisoned in stark Roman barracks, in a pit, or perhaps held at bay by a quaternion of Roman soldiers, or even chained to one. It is true, even in the darkest of dark times, Paul’s mind and heart were continually focused on the goodness and grace of God, rather than concentrating on his dreadful past, or dismal circumstances at work about him, or even to complain about his captivity, he sought to tell others the Truth of God, in starting a personal conversation concerning things of God with anyone he comes across, including jailors and potential cellmates.
Yes, Paul used what might have seemed to others to be unfortunate circumstances, trials, and even captivity to further the gospel of Christ and so can we today!
Paul’s life included many wonderful examples of how God can and will use His unlimited mercy and grace to further His gospel message. God can counteract any feeble attempts a man might attempt in adhering to the tenets of the law to the power and presence of the mercy and grace of God. Especially in misfortunes and adverse circumstances God’s mercy and grace can be employed for advancing the gospel message to spiritually hungry hearts. This teaches a man about the importance of walking, talking, and living inside the supernatural power and presence of Christ while sojourning in this wicked world. God can and will use a man in any situation of life to sow seeds, correct false doctrine, and certainly in furthering His gospel message.
**In the next devotion in this series Up Close and Personal with the Apostle Paul will be titled
Ephesians- The Riches in Knowing Christ.
Please read other devotions in this series: