“Paul was emphatic in his confirmation of a single true gospel, with its universal nature open to all peoples through faith (chaps. 1-2). He went on to show that only this true gospel places believers from all peoples in the true people of God and gives them God’s identity marker of the Holy Spirit through their faith in Christ (chaps 3-4). Finally, Paul proclaimed that only the true gospel provides deliverance from sin’s power through the giving of the Holy Spirit (chaps 5-6).” (HCSB)

1:10: “For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.” Walter Russell has noted that in regards to 1:10, “Paul’s preaching the true gospel did not curry people’s favor or please them but brought him great suffering. His opponents’ false gospel helped them avoid suffering.” The number one need among us is to be accepted. It is necessary to keep in mind, that God already loves and accepts us for who we are. We do not need to be someone else. No matter what we do, we will never be able to please every person in this world, so we might as well just be ourselves and allow others to come and leave our lives as suitable for them. There is no escaping any suffering in this life nor is there any step program to get through it quickly. The only thing we can do is keep our faith in God and allow Him to guide us through every trial that comes our way.

In regards to 1:13-17, “Paul’s radically changed life served as powerful evidence of the truthfulness and reality of the gospel he received, altering his insulated identity and behavioral pattern as a zealous, rapidly advancing Jewish rabbi. It was not other apostles, but rather the universal nature of the gospel, that caused these changes in Paul’s life.” (Russell) Once a person accepts Christ into their lives, that moment will be a beginning of a life-long changing process. When we start to comprehend the books of the Scripture, we will have the desire to utilize what we have learned to our everyday lives. The more time we put in to meditating on Scripture, the more transformed our lives will become.

We must be very careful when we study the Scripture, especially in the Old Testament. God wants us to become like Him because we were made in His image. In the Old Testament, we are given the Ten Commandments as well as many other laws to obey for holiness. Not one person has been nor will be able to uphold every law that was set. We must never act like we are perfect because we are only human and make mistakes. God understood this and allowed His Son to come to earth to demonstrate the life to live, His death by crucifixion to pay the penalty of our sins, and His resurrection for assurance of a new life in Him.

We read in Galatians 2:19-21: “For through the law I have died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.” and then in 3:19-20, 22-23: “Why the law then? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise was made would come. The law was ordered through angels by means of a mediator. Now a mediator is not for just one person, but God is one. But the Scripture has imprisoned everything under sin’s power, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed.”

In regards to 3:28, “Christianity did not erase ethnic, slavery, and gender distinctions; it made them irrelevant to entering into a fully privileged covenantal relationship as a child of God and of Abraham. This was radically different from the Greco-Roman culture that emphasized honor and status based upon one’s family or wealth.” (Russell) It does not matter who you are, where you have been, or what you have done; God is waiting for you and will always have His arms open to welcome you home. Once a person accepts Christ into their life, they are considered a brother/sister to Him and joint heirs for the kingdom of God.

4:4-9: “But when the completion of the time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. But in the past, when you didn’t know God, you were enslaved to things that by nature are not gods. But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and bankrupt elemental forces? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again?” Becoming slaves in this world is easy to do with time and money being at the top of the list. When we submit our lives to Christ, we become slaves of Christ and in turn become free. We are no longer bound by sin. All concerns become more insubstantial as we keep God and His will as the main focus of our life.

5:4-6, 13-14: “You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace! For by the Spirit we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness from faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love. For you are called to freedom, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself.” It is amazing that every command we have been given by God is summed up as loving our neighbors as ourselves. Something that sounds so simple can also be the most difficult task. It is easy to love someone who is nice and easy-going, but then there are people who are hard and ruthless and have a tendency to push our buttons. Naturally, we are unable to put up with people with such hard hearts, which is why God gives His Spirit to facilitate the love that needs to be given.

5:16-26: “I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar, about which I tell you in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

In regards to 6:2,5, “The Spirit-influenced community must help bear one another’s heavy spiritual burdens, while each simultaneously carries his own light (military) pack; that is, all are individually accountable to God.” (Russell) What are we accountable to God for? Well we read a little later in 6:8-10: “because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.” Discernment plays a major role when it comes to sharing one’s problems with others. God wants us to take all of our troubles to Him in prayer. There are certain issues where we may need to seek assurance from other believers, especially those that make us feel that we can no longer be able to keep the joy that God has granted us in Christ. Everyone has bad days and it is important to not let the difficult circumstances get in the way of the tasks God has set us to do. For it is when we are facing adversity, that people pay the most attention to how we react to it.

6:14-16: “But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For both circumcision and uncircumcision mean nothing; what matters instead is a new creation. May peace be on all those who follow this standard, and mercy also be on the people of God!”

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