Galatians 1:1-10 (ESV)
Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
The term gospel means good news. The good news is that we have reconciliation with God because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. John the Baptist called Jesus the “Lamb of God.” Yet many did not follow Him–Jesus–because His teaching was different than usual. He spoke in parables. Many did follow Him, because they saw the miracles He performed, and His teaching was different than usual.
So we have this disparity between the crowd who followed Jesus, and those who did not. Most of the religious leaders of the day–the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, did not follow Jesus or have anything to do with Him.
A few did follow Him, secretly, like Joseph of Arimathea. But back to the Gospel. The reason it is called Good News, is that even with the Law–10 Commandments–and the 600+ laws of Moses, the way to God was nigh impossible. Why would God give laws that He knew that we could not fulfill? While we cannot answer this definitively, since there is no way that we can know the mind of God, we can theorize and it seems to make sense, that the reason is to show us that we need a Savior. We cannot fulfill the Law, because we are stuck in our sin.
Jesus took things to a new level, when questioned about the Law, when He said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire." Matthew 5:21-22 (ESV) Matthew was one of Jesus’ disciples and wrote his Gospel account for the Jews, to point out all the ways Jesus fulfilled prophecy. So with such standards, we needed someone ELSE to take care of the penalty of sin. That is why Jesus came as the Lamb of God. He was our sacrifice. He paid the penalty so we could have freedom in Him.
So live your life in gratitude for your freedom. Free from the bondage to sin, means we do not need to sin any more. Free from the consequences of sin, means we are forgiven when we repent of our evil ways. Our responsibility now is to live for Christ. Showing others His love and forgiveness. Bringing them to know Him. Discipling them to follow His ways. Live by the Good News that God loves us and welcomes us as His children. We get to spend eternity with Him. Amen. Alleluia!
by Virgil Stripes