Tuesday, Third Week of Epiphany January 26

Text: Galatians 1:18-2:10

“Paul’s letter to the Galatians"

Galatians has been called the “Declaration of Independence of Christian liberty.” The great reformer Martin Luther especially loved this letter; he called Galatians his “Catherine von Bora” after his wife; because, he said, “I am married to it.” Leon Morris wrote, “Galatians is a passionate letter, the outpouring of the soul of a preacher on fire for his Lord and deeply committed to bringing his hearers to an understanding of what saving faith is.”

Galatians is the letter from Paul to Galatia. Galatia is a huge Roman province extending almost from coast to coast through the mountain and plain of central Turkey. Paul had preached the gospel of repentance and faith.

Not Long after Paul’s first visit, other Jewish teachers arrived in Galatia. Whereas Paul had taught that repentance and faith were all that was needed in order to receive God’s forgiveness and the gift of new life, these men insisted that non-Jewish converts must also be circumcised and observe the Jewish law in order to be saved. When Paul heard this he was distraught. He saw that it struck at the roots of the Christian message. Salvation - new life –is God’s gift to all who believe.

This is why the letter to Galatia was urgent and so passionate. Paul felt that his teaching of God’s grace was being undermined by the “false” teachers. He reminded the people that they only needed to repent and have faith. The people did not have to follow the old laws to be saved by God. Even today, it is very hard to always remember and understand just how much God loves us and how little we must do to keep that love and forgiveness.

In our everyday busy lives, we often feel that we just are not doing enough for the Lord. God is not making marks on the chalkboard for every good deed we accomplish in his name. He accepts us as we are with all the flaws we possess.

~ Donna Gesell



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