As we approach Sunday take time to read the passage: Galatians 1:1-10 and consider these questions:
- Note any words that standout to you.
- Compare the opening verses of Galatians with that of Colossians and Philippians.
- How do they differ and what do you think this says about the Paul’s heart and motivation?
- What do you think the problem was in Galatia?
The Called out:
Have Hearts driven by the Gospel
- Love Jesus
- Love others
- Know their role
Galatians is a passionate letter, the outpouring of the soul of a preacher on fire for his Lord and deeply committed to bringing his hearers to an understanding of what saving faith is. Together with Barnabas, Paul had been responsible for the founding of the Christian congregations to which he was writing, and it grieved him beyond measure when some of those churches departed or were in the process of departing from the essentials of the gospel.Leon Morris, Galatians: Paul’s Charter of Christian Freedom
The anxiety and anger that Paul expresses is the same that any loving parent or friend would experience if a child or companion was going seriously astray.Timothy Keller, Galatians For You
Pauls heart was driven by the gospel because he believed in the wonderful hope of the gospel.
The Called out:
Have the Hope of the Gospel
Paul will explain to us that the truths of the gospel change life from top to bottom; that they transform our hearts, our thinking and our approach to absolutely everything. The gospel—the message that we are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope—creates a radical new dynamic for personal growth, for obedience, for love. Galatians is all about the gospel, which all of us need throughout all of our lives.Timothy Keller, Galatians For You
Jesus is our hope. We are rescued, taken out, from our old life by the power of the gospel.
Romans 5:6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Because of the hope of the gospel which he had shared with others his desire was that they would:
The Called out:
Hold only to the Gospel
As Christians there are two dangers we can fall back into our old life as Paul talk about the flesh or we can be templed to add to the gospel and reduce the place and power of Jesus in our lives.
It is human nature to think that we can save ourselves.
this is the humbling truth that lies at the heart of Christianity. We love to be your own saviours…. So we find messages of self salvation extremely attractive, whether they are religious (keep these rules and you will earn eternal blessing) or secular (grab hold of these things in your experience blessing now). The gospel comes and turns them all upside down. It says: God in Jesus provides a rescue which gives you far more than any false salvation your heart may love to chase.Timothy Keller, Galatians For You
As we think about this we need to ask ourselves:
- What could you be adding to the gospel?
- Who are you listening to?
- Why do we listen?
This week take time out to reflect on this passage.
Focus on the Gospel and how it is the centre of our faith: the wonder of Jesus’ birth, life and resurrection.
Take time to consider are there any practices or traditions in your life that you are adding to the gospel?
As Paul finishes this section stating that he serves Christ not man, allow this statement to challenge you to live as Paul did.
Allow these verses from Philippians to encourage and challenge to this week.
Philippians 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death–
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
As I reflect what have I found interesting?
As I reflect what has challenged my life, attitudes and actions?
Is there one practical step I can apply to my life to help me to become more like Jesus?
How would this help me to introduce others to Jesus?
Is there there anything I need to pray about, explore further or extra help I need?
Is there someone I should share with, pray with or encourage?