In Galatians Paul is arguing for and pleading for the integrity of the gospel of Jesus Christ – the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Saviour, the Redeemer, the Lord, the King.
That reminds us of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.
Speaking of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ in these present times is becoming increasingly dangerous. It was in the first Century and it is becoming more so in the twenty first Century. How do you stand with regard to the reality?
Paul realised that the truth and purity and integrity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was at stake and that is one reason as to why he wrote this letter to the Galatians and today one of our main ‘battles’ is over the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is not just one among many. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is unique and that very through and expression has become anathema to many.
Have you noticed that people will tolerate almost anything except the Name of Jesus Christ?
Have you noticed that people who appreciate tolerance and speak about the importance of tolerance can become quite intolerant when it come to the person and message and ministry and uniqueness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
We are in Galatians Chapter 5 where we read that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
It is not so much - what is freedom - but WHO is freedom. Jesus Christ is the perfect picture of perfect freedom.
We all have that desire - that yearning - to be other than we are.
There is that longing - and Jesus can bring that desire to fruition. Jesus can even produce that degree of satisfaction.
Having been given that freedom in Jesus - and from Jesus - God wants us to keep that freedom - and not lose it - and that is what this letter is all about.
These disciples of Jesus Christ were on the point of returning to slavery - into that prison of what men expected of them - into chains – the chains of religious rules and regulations.
That is why Paul takes the time to write as he did - and his appeal to these brothers who had come to real faith through his ministry is - "Stand firm - do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
“Stand firm” is a word so needed in these present times. It was needed then. It is needed today.
There were Jews who were insisting that these male disciples be circumcised. "Just accept this little operation of circumcision - the world will not see it - the world does not really need even to know."
O, it is all very subtle. But we know that they had a whole agenda and they were preparing to present these believers with these weak and miserable principles and religious regulations.
If they had succumbed - they would have lost their freedom in Christ - because if you look to one part of the law regarding righteousness in the eyes of God, then you have to keep the whole law. You are "obligated to obey the whole law".
Succumb to one part of the law - and you have to keep the whole law - which meant the sacrificial system - which then meant that for such people the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross - our Passover Lamb - would have no value.
“Risen and living and loving Jesus, in a day when so few know very much about You, and when they do not consider You to be unique – help me to reveal or reflect Your grace. Amen.
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