God Thought 2/14/24

Because of God's approval, we aren't insecure or intimidated.

YouVersion Bible Study
Galatians: Accepted & Free
Day 4

'You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified! The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so much for nothing?—if it really was for nothing. Well then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.” For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed. For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, “Whoever does the works of the law will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brothers and sisters, I give an example from daily life: once a person's will has been ratified, no one adds to it or annuls it. Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring; it does not say, “And to offsprings,” as of many; but it says, “And to your offspring,” that is, to one person, who is Christ. My point is this: the law, which came four hundred thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance comes from the law, it no longer comes from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise. Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring would come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained through angels by a mediator. Now a mediator involves more than one party; but God is one. Is the law then opposed to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could make alive, then righteousness would indeed come through the law. But the scripture has imprisoned all things under the power of sin, so that what was promised through faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise.'

Galatians 3:1-29

We probably have all felt less than. We probably have all compared ourselves to someone that we thought had it more together and Paul tells us one of the most beautiful encouragements that you can ever find. He says, now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. We don't need the law because we have faith in Jesus. For in Christ Jesus, you are all sons of God through faith. You, Gentiles, you, everybody, we are sons of God through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ Jesus, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek. There is neither slave nor free. There is no male and female for you're all one in Christ Jesus, and if you are in Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring.

Do you know that our identity in Christ supersedes any other identity that we have? The identity God’s given you is greater than if you're a Jew or Greek or a Gentile. It doesn't matter, but it's at the foot of the cross. We are all equal. The grace is distributed evenly. It is yours. I want you to know today that there is not anything, anything in your past, anything in your future, nothing that you do, nothing that's been done to you that will ever be a stronger identifier than being heirs to the promise of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes we can be so focused on needing people's approval that we forget the power and the strength of the Holy Spirit within us. See, this thing about being accepted in Jesus, it gives us freedom from needing to be part of the in-crowd. I don't know about you, but you probably experienced junior high or high school, and what it was like not having a place to sit in the cafeteria or worrying about being invited to different things. You don't have to have that burden when you have acceptance in Christ. I see it now. Even with my own kids, they're worried about what people are going to say about what they wear or the decisions they make. My son and I just had a conversation about whether or not he should wear a jacket when it's 30 degrees outside because it isn't cool to wear a jacket.

I think that as we get older, we still forget the lesson that our Father's acceptance of us will always outweigh what other people think. When we're not convinced of that acceptance, it can make us want approval from anybody who's willing to give it. We've seen it. We choose relationships that aren't healthy.

We follow friends that aren't good for us because we want somebody's acceptance. When we're not convinced of the acceptance that we already have in Jesus, we find ourselves in the category this Paul is talking about. We become charmed by something else, something lesser, and then we try to work for this grace that we already have. I think that sometimes the simplicity and thoroughness of God's grace can literally blow our minds. We don't think it can be that good or that it can be that free, and so we create work for ourselves because truly we need some kind of way to measure how well we're doing. It can overwhelm us so much that we try to work for something that we already have or we forget the suffering and the hardship that we already have had to endure for the sake of Christ.

Paul even asked the Galatians in verse 4, did you suffer so many things in vain? You have a story, you have a past, you have a history, and it's not all sunshine and rainbows and unicorns. There are hard things that you've been through. Why, in any form, do we want to create those hard things that God has set us free from? He's already delivered us. He's already given us freedom. He's already given us acceptance. So the question I'd like you to wrestle with is, whose approval am I seeking out? Why do I need to feel approved? Why do I need to feel accepted? There's not a promotion or a house or car or status, a husband, a child. None of those things are going to give you the acceptance that Jesus has already given you. And if you don't understand what's pulling for your attention, you might be bewitched by the wrong thing.

No Comments