NT Fire Starters – Day 257: Galatians 1:1-24
READ: Galatians 1:1-24
THINK: Not everything or everyone that claims to be “Christian” is Christlike. Not everything that seems to come from the Bible is the truth. Few people who wear a cross are willing to accept the humiliation that accompanies its message. And most people who identify themselves as spiritual are not actually led by God’s Spirit. There are a lot of people spreading a lot of messages that sound good, but in reality they distort the real “good news”–the gospel message of Jesus Christ as we have it in the Bible. That message is the measure of truth. Anything that is not consistent with God’s Word–the stuff that’s easy to take and the stuff that’s not so easy–is a “different gospel.”
RESPOND: What can you tell about Paul’s sense of purpose from his opening remarks in verses 1-5? How does Jesus’ sacrifice “rescue us from the present evil age” (v. 4), and how should this affect your attitudes, choices and behaviors? Why were some of the Galatians “turning to a different gospel” (v. 6)? (See 1:4 note.) In what way were false teachers distorting the true message of salvation through faith in Christ? (See 1:6 note.) Why is Paul’s warning so strong against the false teachers, and in what way is this a warning to us? (See 1:9 note.) How and with what attitude should you respond to false teachers and their teaching? What are some key elements of the message of Christ and spiritual salvation that we must never compromise? (See 1:9 note, sub point 3.) Why can’t we be effective in influencing others for Jesus if we are overly concerned about what they think? (See 1:10 note.) In what way are each of Jesus’ followers “set apart” to serve His purposes and to spread His message? (See 1:15 note.)
PRAY: Ask for discernment regarding how ideas, messages and behaviors measure up to the truth of Jesus. Pray for a proper balance of firmness and gentleness in dealing with situations and people that distort the truth of God’s Word.
ACT: Who are the most significant influences in your life–whether they follow Christ or not? Do their words and lifestyles set a worthy example and support the truth of Christ? Do something to encourage those who have a positive, godly influence on you. Do something to positively influence those who might cause you to compromise your commitment to Christ.