Regular readers of Encouragement From the Word know that I ordinarily end my thought with Scripture. This week, though, I’m going to start there instead. Read this through a couple of times, slowly.
“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.
“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. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.
“For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you” (Galatians 3.23-29, NLT).
The context around the letter to the Galatians is that doctrinal troubles had arisen in churches there, due to the influence of what were called “Judaizers” – followers of Jesus who believed that in order to become Christians, Jews and Gentiles alike had to follow Jewish rituals. The apostle Paul wrote this letter to disabuse the churches of Galatia of the notion that they had to follow certain rituals in order to be welcomed into the family of faith in Jesus.
In our context, it has any number of applications that I won’t bother to list here. But I will say this: so often, we find ourselves wanting to be significant, wanting to be ‘somebody’, and we uplift ourselves at the expense of others. We’ve seen examples of this at both opposite extremes in the news recently.
Ultimately, though, if you want to be somebody, live by faith in Jesus.
Now, read that passage one more time.