Galatians 1. As we read the letter to the Galatians, we see that Paul is addressing the Galatian churches. He challenges a heresy that was threatening the churches and the purity of the Gospel he had preached to them. Paul spends this first chapter of the letter warning the Galatian Christians that they are in great danger of abandoning the truth of the gospel as he had received it ‘by revelation from Jesus Christ’ (verse 12). The passion we see here in Paul’s words shows how serious he saw this threat to them as churches in Christ.
I am struck at how often we take for granted the privilege we have, in that we have heard the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and that we are in a church that seeks to faithfully teach that gospel. ‘To know Christ and make Him known’, as our church mission states, is an awesome blessing and privilege. I think we would do well to remember that with that knowledge comes the responsibility to be faithful to that true gospel in our own thinking and our own speaking. How seriously do we work to understand and know the gospel better? How often do we check ourselves against scripture, our beliefs and behaviours? How seriously do we take potential threats to the grace we have received in the true gospel, when we are subtly tempted to add to it, to expect more from ourselves or the brothers and sisters around us? Or how often do we forget to extend grace in the disputable matters, which we learned from Romans 15 this past term? We can only discern and fight these temptations faithfully if we ourselves are sure of the gospel we have believed, the truth of how we can have any hope of salvation.
We have a responsibility to grow in our understanding of the true gospel and in turn, this keeps us personally, as well as guards our church, encouraging our brothers and sisters to do the same.
May we have the passion Paul has for our Lord, Jesus Christ, and His Gospel, His means to save us, and our dying world.