Galatians is one in a series of letters (Epistles) written by Paul the Apostle to churches, and individuals, to deal with problems at these Churches, or with religious leaders. This letter is written to the churches of Galatia.
Galatians is referred to as “Paul’s Manifesto of Justification by Faith” and as “the charter of Christian Liberty.”
It stands against the teachings of “legalism” by the “Judaizers”. Paul writes to refute their false gospel of works, and demonstrate the superiority of justification by faith alone
Question – If Paul wrote a letter today to the Christian churches in America what do you think it’s tone would be?
Galatians 2:16-21 (New International Version)
16know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
17“If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Instead of looking up on google what Christian ministers say about these verses I will give you my own thoughts.
“Observing the law” refers to the laws of the of the Old Testament. Jesus, as the son of God, brings you divine guidance, a new way. To be “justified by Christ” means to be acquitted of your sins by Christ. Christ has already paid the penalty for your sins.
You should observe the laws of the society you live in, at least those that don’t conflict with the guidance of God, because you should try to be a good citizen. This has nothing to do with redemption, Jesus is your redeemer.
Paul is his letter is rebuking the churches of Galatia for continuing to teach that you must follow the “law”(Old Testament) to be “justified”.
It was over the doctrine that you could pay for your sins by performing “good works” that lead to Martin Luther’s revolution against the Catholic Church.
What are your thoughts?
Casting Crows – All Because of Jesus