Starting today I am joining Jenilee and Christina in their month long study of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians--Pauls Epistles. These are four of my most favorite books in the Bible. I have spent much time in them in the past--but it's been a while. I look forward to revisiting their truth and application to my life.
I love the contrasts between verses 3-5 and verses 6-9. Paul begins this chapter by greeting the Galatians with the grace and peace that accompanies any follower of Christ. He gives the Gospel in a nutshell--"Jesus Christ gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present age." This sets me up to believe the Galatians a great godly people. But NO!
In the next paragraph, Paul wastes no time. He immediately jumps down their throats for their disdainful decision to believe in a different Gospel. Though Paul does admit that they've likely had the wool pulled over their eyes by another who calls himself God's servant, that is never an excuse to abandon the Gospel of God.
He says even if Paul himself or an angel begins to preach a different gospel they should run from this falsehood, and the preacher will be eternally condemned. This is not a light matter.
I love verse 10b--"If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." It is the perfect introduction to the next section. Paul was quickly becoming one of the greatest Jewish leaders of his time. He had a zeal that could not be held back. He believed in the strict enforcement of the ancient Law of Moses and he would stop at nothing to see "justice." This included the persecution of the followers of Christ Jesus.
But then, Paul himself received the call from God. He immediately gave up his status among men and began preaching the Gospel of Christ. He was no longer living to please men, but to serve God.
This is the concept that strikes me at my core. We followers of Christ are not called to live out the American dream. We are not called to be comfortable. We are not called to be rich or famous or noteworthy. Though many of us would desire the praise of men, the entire point of the life of one called by God is to boldly preach Christ crucified and to live out the changes only God to bring to a life even in this "present evil age" (vs4)
I want to live a life worthy of the calling I have received.