Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of May 22, 2011


TURNING FROM GOD WITHOUT KNOWING IT

   

 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel …Galatians 1:6

 

Paul taught the Galatians how to be saved by grace and they responded positively to his message. He then taught them how to live by grace and they responded positively to that message.

 

After Paul left Galatia, false teachers arrived and convinced the Galatian believers that they were taking the wrong approach to living the Christian life. The message of the false teachers was that one pleases God in being obedient to His commands through their own wisdom and strength. Some of the Galatians evidently believed the false teachers and began trying to please God in the way they suggested. They had turned from God without knowing it.

 

The believers of Galatia must have been startled when they received the letter from Paul who was accusing them of turning away from God. Galatians 5:4 further explains what Paul meant. It reads, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”

 

Paul himself, according to Romans 7, had attempted to please God by keeping the law in his own wisdom and strength after he became a Christian. He ended up in a spiritual and emotional state that he called “death” because his sin problem became worse.

 

At some time or times in some place or places, God revealed to Paul that one successfully lives the Christian when he understands and experiences his spiritual crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

 

This is strange teaching for one who is passionate about pleasing God by obeying commands in is own wisdom and strength and has never heard about his oneness with Christ. Yet, according to what Paul teaches in Galatians 1:6 they have turned from God without knowing it.

 

There is great joy in the hearts of those who have attempted to serve God out of their own wisdom and strength when they respond positively to the message of our union with Christ.