Galatians "God's Grace Through His Love Fulfills the Law"
Each book in the Bible gently guides God's people into a more intimate relationship with their Creator, as He knows must occur, for His people to receive Him in the depth of the relationship that He purchased for them. Each day we are covering, in sequential order, one of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament and expecting people’s lives to change through the revelation of His leading in this way.
Today is the ninth day of the series, and the book is, Galatians, the ninth book in the New Testament as it appears in our Bible. Galatians is a letter written to a Christian community that had gone astray to a false doctrine of a works mentality, which is easily done for new believers that are attempting to please God in their own way and many people stay in this state of Christianity throughout their physical lives, but it is not necessary. Paul clarifies the difference of self-works and God’s grace coming through His people by them being led by the Spirit and living the life that is not possible for any human being to achieve, but is an automatic way of life to those who are living in the Spirit.
Paul first makes his case that he was approved by the Church and has the authority to lead and guide people into the truth and concludes this by saying, “And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”
Paul then talks about how he rebuked Peter for withdrawing from the Gentiles to impress others of the Jewish-Christian faith and told him, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Thereby telling the one who Jesus instructed to “feed My sheep” to change his hypocritical ways and start living in love instead of a legalistic way that has never made anyone righteous, yet Christ came and gave righteousness to His people.
Paul continued by asking the Galatians, “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” and followed it up with, “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Paul is not telling people to go and fulfill the lusts of the flesh. He is describing how the lusts of the flesh are overcame by the freedom from sin in the liberty that Jesus Christ has given His people, and this will be proven through the rest of this blog.
Paul tells the people, “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” this being “known of God” is actually being a part of Him and not only known by Him. This “being known” is the most intimate position anyone can have with anything, and being “known of God” is waiting for every person that shall call upon His name, but few ever experience the depth of it while they are in their physical bodies.
Paul then gives the people the “allegory” of Hagar and Sarah, “Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” Hagar’s son was a portrait of mankind living under the Law, and Sarah’s son is the portrait of God’s people living by His promise. The man who focuses on the Law and places himself under the Law will always be subject to the Law and never be able to fulfill it, but the man that understands the promise of God and focuses on God’s grace and love will automatically fulfill it with God’s love that flows through him. This is again explaining the freedom from sin and not freedom to sin.
Paul now makes a definitive statement about sin and righteousness, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
When we look at the four groupings of sin that Paul speaks of, from the worst thought of by humans to the level that any human being would think “everyone does it,” it helps us to understand the level of perfection that God requires of His people.
The four groupings of sin that Paul listed are:
1 Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (adultery is sexual offense against a marriage partner; to, lasciviousness is “just” sexual desires in general)
2 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations (idolatry is creating false gods; to, emulation is “just” desiring to have something that is not yours)
3 wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, (murder; to, “just” anger)
4 drunkenness, revellings (over consumption of alcohol; to, “just” enjoying oneself in an unruly way)
The fruit of the Spirit is as follows:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
The ten offspring of the Spirit are the fruit itself as a whole that delivers love that supplies the ability to be sin-free in every moment of a person’s life.
This all being said, we need to remember we are not on this journey alone. God is not only with us, but has given us the ability to receive His Spirit in us, and has placed us in His body of believers as it pleases Him; which, Paul clearly states in his last chapter of this book by writing, “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
The examples in this blog are only a limited sample of the deepening relational revelation described through the letter to the Galatians which displays how God’s grace through His love fulfills the Law like no human being can do in their own power.
The intent of the blog is to demonstrate the difference in the revelation that God gives to His people as they intently follow Him and focus on what He has told them through their individual lives and the revelation they’ve received through the Holy Spirit and His Holy Bible.