introduction: The Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Galatians to the believers of this local church at a time when they were beginning to reject the gospel of grace and were instead moving backward toward obedience of the Mosaic Law as the means of winning favor with God. Paul’s purpose in writing was to point out the dramatic differences between Law and Grace.
Human Power vs. Divine Power
LAW ~ “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders,drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).
GRACE ~ “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. … But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:16-18, 22-23).
summary: The bottom line of understanding Law vs. Grace is a theology of “DO or DONE!” Are you still trying to DO things to earn your salvation, or do you understand that it was DONE for you on the Cross of Calvary by Jesus Christ—you only need to accept/trust His provision on your behalf?
“Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). “Not by works of righteousness which we do, but according to His mercy He saves us” (Titus 3:5a).
notes: (1) The fourth Tuesday of each month during 2013 ALN will look at one aspect of “Law vs. Grace” as seen in the Book of Galatians.