Archive for the ‘Galatians’ Category

December 2nd, 2015

The Gift of Gentle Restoration

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2 (ESV)

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we have a responsibility to hold each other accountable, encouraging one another to greater Christ-likeness. We are to speak life into the areas of our fellow heirs to the Kingdom of God that are commendable, exhorting them to greater devotion, but we are also commanded to truthfully and graciously speak rebuke over those areas that are of the flesh and preventing growth in their walk with the Lord. We cannot, as someone who is of the same family, turn a blind eye to a transgression that mars both the progression of the individual and the message of the gospel of Christ.

Now, there are two worthy points of note for Paul in remembering this call to rebuke. Firstly, we are to confront our fellow recipient of grace gently. When we point out sin in another, we must first remember the power of the gospel in our own lives, remembering the depths from which Christ so victoriously pulled us. When we have that proper perspective, we will not approach our fallen brother with pride or misplaced zeal but rather with humility and the goal of restoration. Secondly, we are to bear the burden of our spiritual sibling. We are not called to simply point out the flaw; we are called to struggle with them as they seek to overcome. Repentance is messy. Turning from sin can be a very hard process, full of both victory and failure. Let us remember, however, that we do not celebrate perfection in the redeemed but progress. The only perfection we praise is that of Christ.

Are you willing to graciously and gently help your brothers and sisters grow in Christ-likeness by speaking truth into their lives? Or will you allow them to continue down a path of destruction that you know will never satisfy them? Further, will you commit to do the hard work of ministry in restoring them to a place of victory over sin through the power of Christ? May we be a people committed to one another as we each seek to walk worthy of the calling of God on our lives.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Confrontation, Galatians, Restoration.
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December 1st, 2015

A Different Gospel

“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–” Galatians 1:6 (ESV)

Paul’s epistle to the people of Galatia has a very different beginning than his other epistles. Normally, there is a section of commendation in which Paul encourages the church in its faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here, however, Paul includes no section of thanksgiving, preferring instead to immediately address a dangerous issue both to the church in Galatia and the advance of the gospel as a whole.

The Galatians found themselves in the midst of a familiar struggle in the early formation of the New Testament people, disagreeing about the place of traditional Judaism in the face of this new theology rooted in the grace of Christ. This disagreement was so profound that it was causing division and motivating some, so-called “Judaizers,” to demand Gentile converts to be circumcised in order to be considered Christians. This act of man to secure salvation, however, is inherently opposed to the message of the gospel that Paul proclaimed. Salvation is entirely an act of God; man has no part in the securing of salvation, as he would then be able to share in the glory that is both God’s alone and the primary motivation for the act of the gospel in the first place. To say, then, that someone must perform a ritual in order to add to Christ’s salvation makes the gospel indifferent news rather than good news, for truly nothing has changed.

We must guard against adding to the message of grace inherent to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Either it is entirely a work of the Lord or it is not. Paul’s concern is legitimate, for when we add to the simplicity of salvation by grace through faith, we truly change the central message of the New Testament, for earned salvation is inherently impossible, as we could never earn enough to satisfy the wrath of God. Rejoice in the grace given by the Lord through Jesus and seek to work in response to that grace rather than participate in securing it.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Galatians, Gospel, Grace.
Interact No Comments
December 2nd, 2012

The Gift of Gentle Restoration

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2 (ESV)

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we have a responsibility to hold each other accountable, encouraging one another to greater Christ-likeness. We are to speak life into the areas of our fellow heirs to the Kingdom of God that are commendable, exhorting them to greater devotion, but we are also commanded to truthfully and graciously speak rebuke over those areas that are of the flesh and preventing growth in their walk with the Lord. We cannot, as someone who is of the same family, turn a blind eye to a transgression that mars both the progression of the individual and the message of the gospel of Christ.

Now, there are two worthy points of note for Paul in remembering this call to rebuke. Firstly, we are to confront our fellow recipient of grace gently. When we point out sin in another, we must first remember the power of the gospel in our own lives, remembering the depths from which Christ so victoriously pulled us. When we have that proper perspective, we will not approach our fallen brother with pride or misplaced zeal but rather with humility and the goal of restoration. Secondly, we are to bear the burden of our spiritual sibling. We are not called to simply point out the flaw; we are called to struggle with them as they seek to overcome. Repentance is messy. Turning from sin can be a very hard process, full of both victory and failure. Let us remember, however, that we do not celebrate perfection in the redeemed but progress. The only perfection we praise is that of Christ.

Are you willing to graciously and gently help your brothers and sisters grow in Christ-likeness by speaking truth into their lives? Or will you allow them to continue down a path of destruction that you know will never satisfy them? Further, will you commit to do the hard work of ministry in restoring them to a place of victory over sin through the power of Christ? May we be a people committed to one another as we each seek to walk worthy of the calling of God on our lives.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 329:  Galatians 4-6)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, December 2nd, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Confrontation, Galatians, Restoration.
Interact No Comments
December 1st, 2012

A Different Gospel

“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–” Galatians 1:6 (ESV)

Paul’s epistle to the people of Galatia has a very different beginning than his other epistles. Normally, there is a section of commendation in which Paul encourages the church in its faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here, however, Paul includes no section of thanksgiving, preferring instead to immediately address a dangerous issue both to the church in Galatia and the advance of the gospel as a whole.

The Galatians found themselves in the midst of a familiar struggle in the early formation of the New Testament people, disagreeing about the place of traditional Judaism in the face of this new theology rooted in the grace of Christ. This disagreement was so profound that it was causing division and motivating some, so-called “Judaizers,” to demand gentile converts to be circumcised in order to be considered a Christian. This act of man to secure salvation, however, is inherently opposed to the message of the gospel that Paul proclaimed. Salvation is entirely an act of God; man has no part in the securing of salvation, as he would then be able to share in the glory that is both God’s alone and the primary motivation for the act of the gospel in the first place. To say, then, that someone must perform a ritual in order to add to Christ’s salvation makes the gospel indifferent news rather than good news, for truly nothing has changed.

We must guard against adding to the message of grace inherent to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Either it is entirely a work of the Lord or it is not. Paul’s concern is legitimate, for when we add to the simplicity of salvation by grace through faith, we truly change the central message of the New Testament, for earned salvation is inherently impossible, as we could never earn enough to satisfy the wrath of God. Rejoice in the grace given by the Lord through Jesus and seek to work in response to that grace rather than participate in securing it.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 328:  Galatians 1-3)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, December 1st, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Galatians, Gospel, Grace.
Interact No Comments