Day 69: It’s All About Him Deuteronomy 16 - 18, Psalm 38, and Galatians 2
It’s All About Him
Deuteronomy 16 - 18, Psalm 38, and Galatians 2
The law can’t save us. But the law will humble us, that’s for sure. The law instructs us. It teaches us our need for God’s grace. The law, ironically, will instruct us on the way of grace. That is its purpose. It was never meant to save us. Peter would lose sight of this. Tragically, he was swayed by James’ friends. - people who were not followers of Christ. They were people who trafficked in fear and legalism. Peter was living free and generous-hearted toward these new Gentile believers in Antioch until this group of guys shows up. They tapped into that fear-based brain that tries to pacify God with piety and performance. They conjured up a storm of fear that grabbed ahold of Peter’s heart, and spread out into Barnabas’ heart. It began to choke them out. Thankfully, Paul is relentless with the Gospel. He verbally slaps some grace into Peter, even though this was, no doubt, an embarrassing rebuke for Peter. I’m sure, in the end he was glad for it.
Living in fear is no way to live. Fear is infectious. This virus had spread even to Barnabas, who was known as the Son of Encouragement. But God’s grace is infectious too - one we don’t want a cure for. We need to recognize our need to be renewed in this message all the time. If Peter and Barnabas needed to be renewed in the message of God’s grace, how much more do you and I need to be renewed in it?
That old religion of fear shows up all the time. So we need to be ready with the Gospel - ready to remind ourselves that the Gospel is not about fear, condemnation, performance, or piety. It’s not about us at all. Galatians 2:20 tells us:
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
That, my friend, is the antidote to fear-based religion. It is the pathway to freedom, generosity, and love. Let’s live in that Truth today.