Old Testament: Deuteronomy 21 & 22
Psalms Reading: Psalm 87
New Testament Reading: Galatians 3
Despite much of the media’s focus, there are many good people in the world. Our current culture has a strong humanistic viewpoint, with many people claiming to be “spiritual”, but not Christian. Many spiritual people have strong moral values often aligning with Christian perspectives; they are kindhearted and they do good works. These people (typically) believe in a “higher power” but not necessarily God, and they may feel like Jesus was a good man but don’t acknowledge the power he held or the magnitude of his sacrifice for everyone. People with this perspective live what I would call a good life, and yet they are missing something so critical.
Paul writes in Galatians 3:5, “…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.” (NLT). The Message translation writes that God lavishly provides his Holy Spirit to his people, not because of their “strenuous moral striving”, but because of their trust in Him. We, as Christians baptized in the faith, have access to the power of God, His Holy Spirit. THAT IS A BIG DEAL. That is something that no other religion or humanistic worldview has. Christians are unique in this way, and yet just like the Galatians, we all too often get caught up in following the law, or looking good to others, to remember we have access to this incredible power simply by believing in the message of Christ. Just by recognizing that the man Christ Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was raised again for our salvation is enough for us to invite the Holy Spirit into our daily lives.
There are good people in this world, but Christians should be standing out against the crowd of “good” by being AMAZING because of what we have access to! This makes it all the more important for Christians to maintain their moral good; while we know keeping the law does not make us right with God (v. 11), breaking the law is not a reflection of receiving the Holy Spirit and does not show the world why they should believe the message of Christ. If a “spiritual” person treats the widows and orphans with more kindness and love than someone who has the Holy Spirit, we have failed. In the same way, if we think our kindness and love will sustain and save, we are just as foolish as the Galatians were!
We are no longer confined or imprisoned under the law, but we are justified through our faith in Christ (v.23-24 HCSB). In our justification, we have been given the Holy Spirit… does your life reflect that amazing power?
-Sarah (Blanchard) Johnson
There are some great verses in Galatians 3 that dig even deeper into the law, who we are in Christ, and overall Abrahamic faith. What stood out to me may be different than what stood out to you! What did God put on your heart while reading this Scripture?
What characteristics of God did you find from our passage today? And what can you discover about His son Jesus from your reading?
God, thank you for sharing your son with us so that we may have access to your Holy Spirit, and ultimately, eternal life. Lord I pray that our works bring you honor and glory, that we boldly call on your Spirit each day as a way to show the people in our life just how amazing you are. God, you are a good God; gracious, loving, powerful, and kind. We praise you and thank you. In your son’s name, Amen.