Pastor Tony Pierce
AUGUST 22, 2022 ~ 52 WEEKS THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT
AUGUST 22 READING…GALATIANS 4
I know you have all enjoyed and been enlightened by the terrific job that Dan Pena did in the last two weeks on the daily devotions. I appreciate Dan so much, and his willingness to serve the Lord, His church, and the Pastor in any way possible. Thank you and bless you Dan.
Paul’s concern for the genuine Gospel permeates everything that he writes in the book of Galatians. He begins the fourth chapter reminding us that because of the finished work of Christ on the cross and by His Resurrection we now are no longer slaves, but are now the very children of God. This is why we speak of our salvation in the terms of a relationship, and not a religion. We now know God, and even more important, we are known by God. This term know(n), speaks of an intimate relationship, it speaks of the type of relationship that is found in healthy families, but in a real sense, even more intimate. God is our “Abba”, a term of endearment that speaks of God literally being our “Daddy”, not some distant father figure. This relationship brings us great and complete freedom from both sin, and the law. It’s not that these two are equal for one is evil, while the other is holy. The point is that both bring bondage from their different perspectives. Sin brings bondage that controls us in ways that are contrary to God…while the law brings bondage to expectations that we can never attain, no matter how hard we try. Interestingly, they both lead to death. While our relationship with God through His grace brought to us by Jesus brings freedom and life.
Paul reminds us that it really is all about the grace of God. By God’s grace we receive that which we do not deserve, nor are we able to earn. The grace of God and the law cannot coexist. This is futility of the teachings of the Judaizes in Paul’s time, and the false “gospel” of modern-day religions that require people to observe the law in order to either come to Christ, or to sustain their relationship with Christ. Paul uses the experience of Abraham and his two sons to help us understand the incompatibility of the law and grace. Ishmael was Abraham’s son by the works and plans of man trying to help God fulfill His promise. This is not possible, so Ishmael, no matter how much they wanted him to be the son of promise, could never fulfill that role. The miracle of Issacs’s birth was clearly a work of God alone…for Sarah was far past the time to be able to produce a child. The son of promise was given by God, he was a miracle that humans could not produce. In like manner our salvation is solely a work of God, it is impossible for man’s religion, or effort, to produce the salvation of God. It is by His grace alone, brought to us by faith alone.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW’S READING…GALATIANS 5