Galatians assaults the bondage of legalism more directly than any other Bible book and, except for Romans, most thoroughly develops the answer to the question: are we saved by believing or by achieving? The clear announcement of this letter to Christians could be put into three words: you are free.
Christians since the first century have been tempted to trade grace for a life directed by strict law and high-minded requirement. The Apostle Paul addressed the Galatian church on this very issue, warning them against trading God’s Gospel for a different, human-made gospel. As we hear the word to the Galatians, keeping our message grounded in grace will help our lives exude grace.
With the exception of the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation, the New Testament is epistle. This literary type is important to understand because we derive most of our biblical doctrine from the epistles and they decipher much of the Old Testament.
Christ has set the believer free but more often than not, Christians are uptight, inflexible, inhibited, cautious, and living like slaves. Why? Legalism.
What we received from our ancestors, they received from their ancestors all the way back to the apostles themselves. But what is the content of that heritage, and how can we make grace a reality in our lives today?
What do you see when you look in the mirror? How do you perceive yourself? Someone has said, “Perceptions are reality.” Someone else said, “Whatever you think you are—you are!”
Here is a bold statement: If you see yourself as a sinner, saved by grace, you will sin and your Christian life will be mediocre at best. You will be riddled with guilt and open to Satan’s attack along that line. In other words, what we believe about ourselves determines our behaviour. One of Satan’s most successful schemes is that of keeping Christians ignorant of their true identity in Christ.
To combat ageism, we first need to become aware of it in ourselves and those around us. We become informed by reading about aging and talking with older people about ageism.
The world system is at odds with God because Satan nurtures it. It’s a system designed to give us pleasure and distract us from God.
One problem with most bumper sticker theological statements is that they are made as blanket statements without considering the context in which the statements are made, the motives behind them, and the situations to which they are applied.