Pastor’s Pen – October 2014

Paul had established churches throughout Galatia teaching the good news that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Following Paul’s successful campaign Judaizers arrived. They were Jewish Christians who believed that a number of the ceremonial practices of the Old Testament were still binding on the New Testament Church. This caused Paul to write his letter to the Galatians.

While this letter is almost 2000 years old, it could have been written to the church today. There remains segments of the church that insist on all sorts of rules and regulations. Introducing additional requirements for salvation perverts the gospel of grace and brings the church under the bondage of legalism.

Justification comes from faith in Jesus Christ – nothing more and nothing less. We are sanctified not by legalistic works but by the obedience that comes from faith in God’s work for us, in us and through us by the grace and power of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

It was the rediscovery of the message of Galatians that brought about the Reformation and it is often referred to as Luther’s book because Martin Luther relied so strongly on it in writing his arguments against the prevailing theology of his day.

Over the next few weeks we will examine the book of Galatians. I pray that like Luther you will all be encouraged and inspired by the knowledge that salvation does not depend on our own efforts, it is the free gift of a gracious God to all who will receive it.

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