Daily Devotional ThoughtsThis Week’s Study: Galatians 2:21-3:11Monday - I do not set aside the grace of God.I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain (Galatians 2:21).Let’s back up and review the preceding verse to put this one in it’s context.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).In the last devotional I mentioned that to me Galatians 2:20 is the key to living the victorious Christian life. Daily dying to self, daily allowing Christ to live in me. When we give ourselves to God every morning, the first thing in the morning, then we can truly say “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.”In today’s verse Paul reinforces his clear gospel teaching that our salvation and our righteousness MUST come through trusting in God’s grace and the resulting sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Paul says, “If you could be righteous through obedience to God’s law, “then Christ died in vain.”He is hammering away at our save-ourselves-by-our-own-righteous-works mentality. “By the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” (Galatians 2:16). How then are we justified (judged right before God)? “By faith in Christ Jesus” Galatians 2:16.Today, I invite you to put your trust in Christ Jesus. He died that you might live eternally. You can be His, just now, for eternity.Tuesday - Who has bewitched you?O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? (Galatians 3:1).Why would Paul call the Galatians foolish? And then go on to say “Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth?” Of course he is seeking to make a point. And the point is to be so foolish you must be bewitched! Who did it? What is all the ruckus about?Someone has come along behind Paul seeking to undermine his strong teaching about God’s all sufficient grace. Paul is just amazed. He writes, We “clearly portrayed among you” Jesus Christ “as crucified.” We’ve taught you that Jesus died in your place. Your sins are forgiven. God loves you. You go free. It is the best possible news. And yet you are turning around and trying to pick the burdens of your sin up again.Foolish people! You can’t ever be good enough (be saved by obedience to God’s perfect law) to atone for your past sins or earn a seat in heaven! You just can’t do it.Friend, I in turn appeal to you today. Don’t be foolish. Believe God loves you and Jesus Christ died for you sins, and it will be counted to you as righteousness! (Galatians 3:6).Wednesday - Are you so foolish as to think you can be made perfect apart from the Spirit?This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?—Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? (Galatians 3:2-4).“Let’s talk,” writes Paul. “So how did your first receive the Spirit? Was it by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? Surely you are not so foolish as to believe you can begin in the Spirit and be made perfect by the flesh (obeying the law in your own power apart from God’s Spirit). Have you gone through and suffered so many things in vain? Surely it is not in vain.”Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (Galatians 3:5).Paul is trying to break through the stubborn mindset of the Galatians. He writes, “Do you really think God works all His miracles among you by ‘the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?’”When we stop to answer Paul’s rhetorical questions the answer comes clearly. Righteousness does not come by slavish obedience to the law. It only comes by faith. Cling to that truth. It supports all that is important in your Christian journey.Today my friend, on what are you basing your hope of eternal life? Is it on the good deeds you produce or are you trusting in God’s way of salvation?For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).Thursday - Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.Just as Abraham "BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham (Galatians 3:6-9).In our devotional text today, Paul quotes from Genesis 15:6 as he shows the most eminent of the patriarchs was not saved by obedience to the law. Here is the original statement: “And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). In Romans 4:3-5 this theme is developed in depth.Here are some important take-aways from today’s devotional:1) Even in Old Testament times, Abraham was accounted righteous when he “believed God.” Believing God, Trusting God, Having faith in God are all essentially synonymous. We are saved as we believe on God (see Romans 4:5).2) All (“only those”) who are “of faith are sons of Abraham.” This is restated clearly in Galatians 3:29 “And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Spiritual Israel today is comprised of all who are living by faith in God. Ancestry has nothing to do with it today.3) “So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham” (Galatians 3:9).I want to be part of that blessed group of people don’t you?Friday/Weekend - I know longer live but Christ lives in me!For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT CONTINUE IN ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO DO THEM." But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH" (Galatians 3:10-11).This verse can be challenging sometimes. When Paul states “as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse” what does he mean?As many as are seeking to be justified by yielding obedience to the Law. . . . The proposition is . . . designed to show that . . . it is impossible to be justified by the works of the Law, since, under all circumstances of obedience which we can render, we are still left with its heavy curse resting on us. . . . Having failed by all [our] efforts to yield perfect obedience, [we] must, of course, be exposed to the curse which the Law denounces on the guilty (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible: Galatians 3:10).Because in our sinful human state we fail to “continue in all the things” written in God’s law, we find ourselves cursed and without hope apart from God.Paul puts it succinctly, “That no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident.” He is absolutely correct but the good news brings hope! "THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH" (Galatians 3:11).May God help us, each one of us, to live by faith from this moment forward.