Galatians 3:1-14: The Power of God
May 19, 2019
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Where does the power come to live for God? Is it through true grit, personal determination, clever human tactics – or is it the power of the Spirit received and accessed through faith? According to Paul, there is only one answer to that question! Here are five key principles of transformation that can only come about through the gospel:
First, keep your eyes focused on the cross of Jesus Christ. It is easy to become distracted, even “bewitched” by other agendas, ideas, philosophies. Remember Christ and him crucified. Focus there.
Second, the preaching of the gospel in the power of the Spirit has the goal of portraying Jesus Christ as crucified. What an amazing statement Paul has here: “before your very eyes Jesus Christ was portrayed as crucified.” Of course, they were not physically present at Calvary. And yet when the gospel comes with power, we are able spiritually to see the truth of the cross, and so believe.
Third, we are not only saved by faith in the cross, we also continue by the power of the Spirit. “After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” The law cannot save. The purpose of the law, as Paul will explain later, is to lead us to Christ. The law convicts us of our inability to do what it is that God wants. It is like a school master leading us to Christ. It is only Christ and his Spirit that can give us the power to obey the law and to follow Jesus. We, who are born again, who have the Spirit of Christ, are therefore to work hard at following Jesus, to be disciples and to be disciplined as disciples, all in the power of the Spirit that he gives us. We work with his energy that is so powerfully at work within us.
Fourth, this message of the faith is the message of the whole Bible – including Abraham! – and not just the message of Paul or the New Testament. Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. He believed looking forward; on the other side of the cross, we believe looking back to the cross. But in either case, we are saved by faith!
Fifth, God’s worldwide, global, all nations blessing promised to Abraham is ours who believe in Jesus Christ! “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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