I’m now going to begin posting from the third of the foundational books of the New Testament – Galatians. It was written by Paul at the same time and place that he wrote 1 Thessalonians (Click here for review).
Just to remind you; James was written as a Christian primer for new believers and 1 Thessalonians was an encouragement to a new church. Now, with Galatians, we’ll see how Paul handles a long-standing church that was beginning to fall into legalism.
Many call the book of Galatians our spiritual Declaration of Independence. In it, Paul lays out the true relationship between the Law of Moses and God’s will for the church. There are many believers who fail to recognize the total package that Christ purchased for us on the cross.
It’s the principles in this letter that sets Christianity apart from all other religions. We’re not just a sect of Judaism. Christ is doing a whole new thing in the church.
Paul, an apostle — sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— and all the brothers with me, to the churches in Galatia…
This opening line is the key to understanding Paul’s mission and authority. Becoming an apostle was not his idea. It wasn’t something he studied and trained for. He had no MDiv. He never stood before a denominational ordination committee.
Think about how far we’ve fallen from those days. In many circles, becoming a pastor or preacher is simply a career choice based on personal preference. You go to school, get a degree, and then get ordained. Next, you candidate at a church for the position of pastor, they vote, and you’re elected.
Yes, I realize that a great number of ministers are there because of the clear call of God on their lives and I’m one of them. But for too many, it’s just a choice they made to pursue a career that they liked the sound of.
Please understand that the ministry to the body of Christ is not something to enter into lightly. It’s a spiritual battleground that can destroy you if you’re not prepared. Each year, hundreds of pastors and leaders drop out of the ministry because of this fact. I personally have had many minister friends who are now selling cars or insurance because they couldn’t handle the pressures or demands.
When we read Paul’s letters, we’re not just reading the suggestions of an intelligent teacher. We’re hearing God’s heartbeat for the church. This is something Paul learned by spending years at the feet of the Holy Spirit – listening and obeying what he heard.
The book of Galatians is saturated with the Word of freedom to the church. Serving Christ was never meant to be about following a set of rules. God never intended us to figure it out on our own. The Holy Spirit is our Guide to lead us into His truth.
Hopefully, as we go through this study of Galatians you’ll find a spiritual freedom that you never knew existed. It’s my prayer that it will cause you to rise to a new level of faith and power in Christ.
Question: What does spiritual freedom mean to you?
© Nick Zaccardi 2017