The book of Galatians is one of my favorite books of the Bible.
Actually, the Pauline letters all rival for 1st place as my favorite books. I could just read them over and over….and well we should!
But the book of Galatians starts differently than every other letter penned by Paul to the churches.
Rather than commending the Galatian church for their faith and perseverance, once he has written his greetings he immediately begins to rebuke them.
And there was good reason for this.
Legalism had begun to take over the church and the gospel was being perverted. No longer was salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone, Gentile Christians were being required to become circumcised in order to be fully saved.
They were placing on these Christians the burdens of the law that Jesus Christ had fulfilled because to them, faith in Jesus was not adequate enough for salvation.
Now Paul is writing to the church a defense of the gospel, that salvation occurs by faith in Christ alone, and that making fulfillment of the old law as a prerequisite for salvation is a perversion of the gospel.
And this message is so critical for us today.
There is the tendency to shift to one of two imbalances: an imbalance of grace that tolerates sin or an imbalance of legalism that burdens believers with man-made requirements for complete salvation.
But Paul urged the Galatians to come into proper balance: walk in liberty, but walk according to the Spirit!