NIV Discover God’s Heart Devotional Bible

Duration: 365 days

GOD’S COMPLETE RESCUE

Galatians 1–3

God’s Story

A dangerous, destructive teaching is infecting the churches in Galatia. So God inspires Paul to write the believers an urgent letter.

For centuries, God worked within the family of Israel to bring forth the world’s Savior, Jesus. Jesus’ death paid the price for sin. Then God raised him back to life, and Jesus now offers that life to anyone who wants it, even if they’re not a part of the family of Israel. God is building a new family, a single family, an in-Jesus family.

But teachers have come to the Galatian churches and are teaching that Gentiles, people who aren’t from the family of Israel, have to keep the law that God gave Moses—especially the sign of the covenant in circumcision—in order to be Christians.

That is not God’s teaching.

People are declared righteous through faith in Jesus. We died, in his death, to the law; we are raised, in his resurrection, to new life in him. No one—Jew or Gentile—is declared righteous by following the law. Righteousness is a gift God gives.

Paul rebukes the Galatians. They received God’s Spirit by faith, yet now they’re going back and acting like right standing with God is based on works. And that’s incredibly dangerous.

The King’s Heart

God wanted the whole world to see his good heart through his people Israel. But they were just as infected with sin as the rest of the world. So to keep them living in a way that showed his goodness and his purity, God gave the Israelites the law to follow until he came to rescue them from sin forever through Jesus. The law was never intended to save them.

The false teachers in Galatia were encouraging the believers to follow the law again—which means turning their backs on Jesus and his work. He’s the only one who can save them; following the law can’t. Paul’s words are strong because their very salvation is on the line.

God loves us so much that he gave his life to make us righteous. It is a gift and is to be received as a gift. Salvation can’t be earned. While that may sound too good to be true, it isn’t. Our God is just that good.

Insight

Peter got used to eating with Gentile believers—a big change for a born-and-raised Jew. But when Judaizers came to Antioch to visit, Peter withdrew from the Gentiles in order to gain the Judaizers’ approval (see Galatians 2:11-12). Paul rebuked him for it; he was being fake. And beyond that, he was discrediting the gospel.

Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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