Galatians 4 – 6
Hello to all, today we conclude the book of Galatians. This letter, written by Paul, once again focused on the negative impact of false teachers on new believers. The Judaizers spread false doctrine that in order to truly be saved, Gentiles not only had to believe in Christ Jesus but also had to comply with Jewish Law and rituals. These same false teachers also attempted to minimize Paul’s authority to preach the Gospel.
To counter these acquisitions, Paul spent time providing a history of why he was an authority on Jewish Law and how Jesus Christ chose him to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. In the letter, Paul goes through a process of explaining why the Law (the old covenant) was no longer the standard. He stated its purpose of providing guidance on how to live, its ability to convict people of their sin and how it drives people to have faith in Christ. Paul, however; continued to reemphasize that salvation could only be obtained in placing your faith in Jesus Christ (the new covenant), not by your own actions. The apostle proceeded to use Old Testament scripture and common life illustrations to support his stance on salvation.
For the remainder of the letter, Paul desired for the Galatians to avoid believing in the false teachings that emphasized customs over faith. He as well wished for the people to embrace the freedom that comes with believing in Christ but not to abuse it by engaging in sinful behavior identified in (v. 5:19-21). Instead, Paul gave other virtues we are to display (v. 5:2-23).
In applying this book to our daily lives, we need to be aware of people who influence our walk with Christ. We need to always remember that our salvation is based off of our faith in Jesus, not by rituals or traditions. We however perform certain actions because they exemplify Christ. We are to be the peacemakers, we are to show forgiveness and have compassion, we are to display self-control in what we watch, listen to, consume and say, we are to practice being faithful to Jesus and our commitments to others and finally we are to follow the greatest commandment, to love God and our neighbors.