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“To be convinced in our hearts that we have forgiveness of sins and peace with God by grace alone is the hardest thing.” ― Martin Luther,
Religion or Christianity?
The gospel is this: Jesus performed perfectly and paid completely.⇦Tweet that! Now, due to His perfect life and His death on the Cross, we are forgiven and cleansed, accepted and adored. All of this by grace—it’s an undeserved free gift, through faith—believing in Jesus by putting the weight of our trust for eternity on Him and what He has done for us.
What a contrast. Religion is humanity’s attempt to be good with God. The gospel is God’s endeavor to make people right with Him. One identifies what men and women are trying to do, the other identifies what God has done.
Tragically, it’s religion and not the gospel that determines most people’s view of Christianity.
When it comes to the Christian life, the issue Paul addresses in Galatians is serious. Spiritually, it’s a matter of life and death.
Paul’s Hardest Hitting Introduction: This is serious!
Today we pick up our podcast with the first five verses of Galatians, Paul’s most unique and severe introduction to any of his letters. Emphasizing the authenticity of his apostleship and previewing the contents of his letter, his point is clear: Glory to God who sent His Son to deliver us from our sin and this evil age!⇦Tweet that!
But it’s the way Paul makes his point that’s jarring. He will not tolerate this false gospel—that works are essential to salvation—to take root in the lives of these new Christians and churches. On the eve of the Jerusalem Council, Paul writes his most passionate letter, reminding the church of the real basis of our salvation.
The Apostle begins his epistle uncharacteristically. After a customary salutation, there’s no thanksgiving or commendation. An ominous precursor to an uncompromising letter focusing on the essential truth of Christianity: It’s not our works but God’s grace that matters most.⇦Tweet that!
Question: Are you sure you have trusted in Christ so that you have been delivered from your sins and this present evil age? If not, how can I help you?