a new year letter from Paul

galatians 3

O foolish…(fill in the blank) :

You have entered by faith and started this kingdom of God super-abundant more than conquerors living by the Holy Spirit, in Christ Jesus. But why now you have gone back to man’s way of trying to be perfect in God’s eyes so that you can bargain with God to give you the healing? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. (Paul says). 

For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Not only making yourself outside the grace (undeserved favor) of God, you have made others stumble like you. Why have you disregarded the teachings of Jesus and His apostles? Why have you made the death of Christ of no effect? Are you saying that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is not enough for you? 

Don’t you remember how you were first saved and called? How the Holy Spirit has convicted and converted you to Jesus? How your ministry was started by the Holy Spirit? Repent. Return to your first love – Jesus. Not your own efforts.

This is the message to all who still teach and seek healing by your own efforts. You focus on the enemies and make them bigger and more powerful than what you already have inside of you, the Holy Spirit, the only supernatural power that gives life to your mortal bodies. By believing in using the laws (rules, regulations, customs, traditions, religious rituals and practices) which by themselves are letters that cause death, you forego the power Jesus has given you in overcoming the devil.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
The grace of God and the righteousness of God are given by God, only through Jesus Christ, are light and easy, just as Jesus has declared:
Matthew 11:27-30 New Living Translation (NLT)

27 “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.

For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
Jesus has warned the following false teachers: 
[ Jesus Warns of Offenses ] “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.
 Matthew 23:13-15 New Living Translation (NLT) 13 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either.[a]

15 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell[b] you yourselves are!

Footnotes:

  1. 23:13 Some manuscripts add verse 14, What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! You shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, you will be severely punished. Compare Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47.
  2. 23:15 Greek of Gehenna; also in 23:33.
but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.

For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

[ David Celebrates the Same Truth ] But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,
just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Meditate on this chapter today. Let the grace of God

Galatians 3 New Living Translation (NLT) (highlight added)

The Law and Faith in Christ

Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced[a] so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?

I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.

In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”[b] The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.

What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.”[c] So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.

10 But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.”[d] 11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”[e] 12 This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.”[f]

13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”[g] 14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised[h] Holy Spirit through faith.

The Law and God’s Promise

15 Dear brothers and sisters,[i] here’s an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or amend an irrevocable agreement, so it is in this case. 16 God gave the promises to Abraham and his child.[j] And notice that the Scripture doesn’t say “to his children,[k]” as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says “to his child”—and that, of course, means Christ. 17 This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise. 18 For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise.

19 Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. 20 Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham.

21 Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises?[l]Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. 22 But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.

God’s Children through Faith

23 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.

24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith.25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.

26 For you are all children[m] of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.[n] 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile,[o] slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children[p] of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:4 Or Have you suffered.
  2. 3:6 Gen 15:6.
  3. 3:8 Gen 12:3; 18:18; 22:18.
  4. 3:10 Deut 27:26.
  5. 3:11 Hab 2:4.
  6. 3:12 Lev 18:5.
  7. 3:13 Deut 21:23 (Greek version).
  8. 3:14 Some manuscripts read the blessing of the.
  9. 3:15 Greek Brothers.
  10. 3:16a Greek seed; also in 3:16c, 19. See notes on Gen 12:7 and 13:15.
  11. 3:16b Greek seeds.
  12. 3:21 Some manuscripts read and the promises?
  13. 3:26 Greek sons.
  14. 3:27 Greek have put on Christ.
  15. 3:28 Greek Jew or Greek.
  16. 3:29 Greek seed.
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