Prevent the Crash
On Monday, October 29, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 took off at 6:20 AM from Jakarta, Indonesia, on a routine flight. Only twelve minutes after takeoff the plane crashed into the Java Sea killing all 189 passengers and crew. Five months later on March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 took off from Addis Ababa and six minutes after takeoff, this plane crashed killing 157 more.
The FAA frantically analyzed the flight recorders and examining the wreckage to determine the exact causes of the crashes, but the preliminary assessment was that a computer system that was supposed to protect the pilot from pitching the plane too high which would cause a stall, malfunctioned, and pitched the nose down. The pilots in both crashes did not know how to override the malfunctioning system that caused the deadly dive.
At Sinai God gave Moses the tablets of stone and in Exodus through Deuteronomy, he spelled out the rules of the Sinaitic Covenant. Moses is clear. If his people obeyed these commandments, they would live, but if they disobeyed them, they would die. As we read the rest of the Story in the Old Testament we learn that even Moses never entered the Promised Land because he disobeyed. David, Israel’s greatest king, shattered the commandments against adultery, lying and murder, and both the Northern and Southern Kingdom were destroyed because they disobeyed God.
The point? The Law was good and would bring life to those who obeyed, but the hard fact is that none of us obey and therefore, the Law condemns all of us to death. And this leads us to the gift of God’s Son who perfectly obeyed his Father, and then gave his life so that all could simply admit their sin and trust in the sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
This is the Gospel Paul proclaimed on his first missionary journey to the Galatians, and the message many of them received. Then soon after he left, Jewish Christians, like those in Jerusalem who argued against Peter, Paul, and Barnabas at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) came to Paul’s churches and declared that he was wrong.
Faith in Jesus was not enough. One must get circumcised and then obey the Mosaic Law. This was the only way to guarantee salvation and overcome sin in our daily lives. Now some theological debates are over trivial matters, but this debate in the Book of Galatians decides whether we will fly safe to Jesus or whether we will crash into eternal destruction.
Paul is usually not one to point to his credentials, but when it comes to the truth of the Gospel, check out how Paul begins this most heated of his letters.
“Paul, an apostle, not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—and all the brothers with me.” Galatians 1:1-2
LORD, Paul saw your resurrected Son on the road to Damascus and your Spirit revealed the true purpose of the Mosaic Law and how it pointed us to your Son, the only Savior who ever rose from the dead. Help us to carefully track Paul’s argument and move those who read these Devos to clearly understand the Gospel and to not allow dependence up any religious system to cause them to crash to their eternal death.
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