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Nov. 4, 2020

November 5th, 20

November 5th, 20

Daily Radio Bible Podcast

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Today’s readings are Job 30, Psalm 120, and Galatians 3 – 4.  We are reading from the New Living Translation.

I painted the most beautiful, captivating, clear, concise message of Christ’s death on the cross for you, as if I were Michaelangelo himself.  I couldn’t have been more clear and precise, the way I illustrated the meaning of Christ’s death. And now you are behaving like a fools.  That’s what Paul seems to be saying here in Galatians 3 and 4.

Christ lived a perfect life and died a perfect sacrifice for us, because we will never do either.  We will never live the perfect life and our best life will never be perfect enough to atone for our sins.  Paul asks,

After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? (Gal 3:3 NLT)

This journey into God, that provided you with forgiveness of sins, that gave you a joyful and grateful spirit, that made you a caring and generous person – that journey began by faith.  It began when you believed and trusted in Christ’s work for you, and Christ’s life in you.  None of that happened by trying to become a good law keeper.

These dear people in Galatia are being told that they must become circumcised and become converts to Judaism.  They are being instructed to follow all the laws of Moses, the dietary laws, the dates, the deeds.  All of it would be necessary if they wanted to be counted among God’s people. They were being told that Jesus was, in effect, a kind of ‘first step’ to this new life and community.  As Jewish converts, they would have to take the next step and be circumcised, obey the dietary laws, observe the dates and all the deeds. It’s out of these pressures that Paul is urging them not to trade their freedom for chains, and the blessing of life for the curse of the law.  Paul is saying that Jesus is the first and only step.

The law was never meant to make us right with God.  The law was given to come alongside of us and convince our hearts of our need for redemption and the Savior.  It’s there to point us to the Cross. We are to rely on Him and live in him.  No merit badges are required and no surgeries.  It’s faith in Christ alone.

That is Paul’s plea, not only to the Galatians but to you and me. We, too, can live like fools and lose sight of that beautiful picture that Paul has painted for us.  Christ’s death on the Cross is more than enough for us.  Paul wants us to keep our eyes fixed on that beautiful painting.  

We can gaze on different paintings.  We can look at the painting of Moses, our own pious creations, or the paintings that the world puts in front of us, of the ‘good life’.  But none of it is enough.  None of it will produce that joyful, encouraging, strong spirit, that the Spirit of God produces in us.  That generous and joyful heart is only produced by Christ’s life in us- his abiding Presence in us.

Fix your eyes on Christ, your Saviour – His beautiful life and sufficient death.  Continue looking to Him in faith, growing in Christ, until he is fully formed in you.