15 We are Jews by birth. We are not sinful Gentiles. 16 Here is what we know. No one is made right with God by obeying the law. It is by believing in Jesus Christ. So we too have put our faith in Christ Jesus. This is so we can be made right with God by believing in Christ. We are not made right by obeying the law. That’s because no one can be made right with God by obeying the law. 17 We are seeking to be made right with God through Christ. As we do, what if we find that we who are Jews are also sinners? Does that mean that Christ causes us to sin? Certainly not! 18 Suppose I build again what I had destroyed. Then I would really be breaking the law. 19 By the law, I died as far as the law is concerned. I died so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. I don’t live any longer, but Christ lives in me. Now I live my life in my body by faith in the Son of God. He loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not get rid of the grace of God. What if a person could become right with God by obeying the law? Then Christ died for nothing!
When Paul wrote to the Galatians, ‘Christianity’ was the new kid on the block. Many Christians were Jews and they knew that they were called to keep the Jewish Laws and customs. In doing so they showed themselves to be God’s people. But they failed. Nobody could show themselves as being worthy of God. These Jewish Christians were being tempted back into a way that did not bring them closer to God.
A little under 2000 years down the line, and ‘Christianity’ is the largest religion in the world. Christ has brought God near to us, not the other way around. Yet, I can fall into the same trap, thinking that my prayers, my devotional times, my good deeds, my tithing, my church attendance, etc, bring me closer to God.
Lord thank you for drawing near to me, this is a fact. All these things help open my heart to you, the God who is already near.
Written by Andrew Mellor