Daily Devotional Thoughts Galatians 1:1-12 Monday - Introduction to the book. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20). Today we begin the study of the book of Galatians.  Paul's writing in Galatians has been compared to spiritual "dynamite," and many believe no other book in God's word has touched off more spiritual revival and reformation.  One might make a good case for finding the roots of Protestantism in the book of Galatians, although we wouldn't want to leave the book of Romans out of that scenario, either. As Martin Luther studied Galatians he was first touched with the wonderfully good news that Jesus died for his sins and that salvation comes by trusting in that loving sacrifice.  "The Epistle to the Galatians," Luther said, "is my epistle.  To it I am married." What is so powerful about this book?  It addresses crucial issues like the role of the law in our salvation, our saved condition in Christ, and the age-old question, How can sinful humans be made right before a holy and just God? Galatians may be Paul's earliest epistle, perhaps written in A.D. 49.  At that time the early church was in a fierce battle over the nature of salvation.  The question under discussion was, Am I saved by keeping the law or by trusting in God's grace as manifested in Jesus' death on my behalf?  Join me from day to day as we study this great epistle. Tuesday -  Called and educated by God. Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:  (Galatians 1:1-2). Paul begins his letter to the saints at Galatia by stating that his call to apostleship came NOT from man but rather he was called by Jesus Christ and God the Father.  Here in his own words he describes what happened after his Damascus Road conversion: But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord's brother (Galatians 1:15-19).  Instead of sitting at the feet of the the early church leaders Paul was taught by direct revelation. But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:11-12). What an awesome calling!  Called to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, to those who are not of Jewish parentage.  And directly taught by divine revelation.  With that calling and that education received directly from God, came great responsibility  And Paul carried that weight with integrity and enthusiasm for the rest of his life. Today’s key thought: Do I carry the responsibilities God gives me with enthusiasm and integrity.  Think about it. Wednesday -  God’s grace and peace to you. Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen (Galatians 1:3-5).  This is Paul’s customary greeting used in every letter he wrote to the believers with the exception of his letters to Timothy.  Grace is a BIG word it properly means “favor” (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible: Romans 1:7).  Adam Clarke lists 12 nuances of meaning for the word “grace” when used in God’s Word.  Of his 12, probably his meaning number four most closely matches today’s text.  He writes: “It signifies all the blessings and benefits which Christ has purchased, and which he gives to true believers, both in time and eternity” (Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible: Romans 1:7). The word translated “peace” according to Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries carries the idea of:  “peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.” And so Paul’s salutation expresses his desire that his friends at Galatia will experience the fullness of all the blessings which Christ purchased and that they would be at one and at peace with each other and with God. And that is the purpose and mission of All Southern Gospel Radio.  As I pray for you I pray “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.”  May that peace and the fullness of God’s grace be your today.  Amen. Thursday - Christ gave Himself that we might be delivered. Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen (Galatians 1:3-5). Here, in the very beginning of his epistle, Paul lays out the good news of the gospel.  “Jesus Christ, . . . gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age. . . .”  Don’t ever underestimate the importance of Jesus Christ giving Himself.  His life wasn’t taken from Him, He gave himself.   And He gave Himself willingly that you and I might be delivered “from this present evil age.” Think about it.  The whole plan of salvation was put in operation to save you and me from the ravages of sin.  Sin brought pain, suffering, broken relationships, betrayal, cancer and the lingering effects of old age followed by the often agonizing process of dying.  And sin separated us from God.  That wonderful relationship with our Creator was destroyed by the rebellion of sin.  Jesus Christ gave Himself willingly and in accordance with the will of God our Father so that sin would be destroyed, the effects of sin will be obliterated and the joy of our relationship with God will be completely restored!  Indeed, may glory be given to God forever and ever! Friday/Weekend -  Don’t be troubled by a perverted gospel. I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:6-7). Without hesitation Paul jumps into the primary reason for his letter to the Galatians.  He doesn’t mince words, he doesn’t beat around the bush.  And notice that while he is very straight foreword with them, he has already greeted them with Christian love and concern in the preceding verses. So what was his concern?  Very clearly this: he is concerned that they are turning to a different, a perverted gospel.  Paul writes: “There are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.”  Just what the differences between the true gospel and the perverted gospel remains to be seen as we study on into Galatians.  Paul is very clear though, that the gospel he preached was unchanged.  In strong words he says: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9). Paul is correct.  God’s grace is more than sufficient for our sins.  We will never, ever be able to earn our salvation by good works.  The good news of the gospel is Jesus Christ took our sins to the cross and offers eternal life in exchange!  Let’s take full advantage of God’s wonderful gift.
Share |
Bookmark and Share
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Many of the thoughts expressed in this series on Psalm 23 are inspired by Phillip Keller, A Shepherd Looks A Psalm 23, Copyright © 1970 by Word, Inc. Press <Control>+D to bookmark this page Made with Xara 2010 Marvin Glass, Inc. And now back to more great Southern Gospel Music!