July 18 Living by Faith

Scripture reading: Galatians 1:6–10

Key verse: Galatians 3:1

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?

In the apostle Paul’s day, the Judaizers (Christian Jews who tried to impose the Jewish way of life on gentile believers) became indignant at the idea of salvation taking place by faith and God’s grace. They viewed this concept as an affront to the Law of Moses and an open license to sin even more. But God’s grace should never become a point of contention.

Warren Wiersbe asserts:

First century Judaizers are not the only ones afraid to depend on God’s grace. Legalists in our churches today warn that we dare not teach people about the liberty we have in Christ lest it result in religious anarchy. These people misunderstand Paul’s teaching about grace, and it is to correct such misunderstanding that Paul wrote the final section of his Ephesian letter.

Paul turns now from argument to application, from the doctrinal to the practical. The Christian who lives by faith is not going to become a rebel. Quite the contrary, he is going to experience the inner discipline of God that is far better than the outer discipline of man-made rules.

No man could become a rebel who depends on God’s grace, yields to God’s Spirit, lives for others, and seeks to glorify God. The legalist is the one who eventually rebels, because he is living in bondage, depending on the flesh, living for self, and seeking the praise of men and not the glory of God.

Lord, I receive by faith Your gift of salvation. Thank You for delivering me from bondage, the flesh, self, and the praise of men.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 209). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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