Thursday, October 07, 2004

How to Be Wise - Galatians 3:1-5

First, a great post on Mrs. Albert Einstein here.

But anyway, I taught a bible study or maybe our bible study went through Galatians 3 last night. The passage is just remarkable.
Paul makes a great point, yo duh eh. Anyway, first he calls the Galatians foolish. Why are they foolish? He says, "You foolish Galatians who has bewitched you. Having started in the Spirit are you now trying to be made perfect (mature) through the flesh".

The Galatians had through the preaching of Paul come to faith in the work of Jesus Christ. They had seen him publically crucified for them. They saw in this act of God their freedom and having believed they had recieved the Spirit of God as a gift of grace. They were empowered and being transformed. Then, after Paul left some false teachers came in and put some requirements between them and salvation, namely circumcision and other jewish customs of the Law. Paul gets furious and says, "No, this is foolish." The whole purpose of God's dealing with man is not to make you follow law but to get you filled with God's life by the Spirit.

Paul's entire religion is based on the Holy Spirit. Paul is a Jew and a zealous Jew for his people and their traditions, but he is far more zealous for the Holy Spririt. The Redemptive hope of all of us has to do centrally with "receiving" from God. This is a posture before God.

How much of our religion is based on power and how much is based on law? If we are to be wise, then we seek to become perfect not by law and the flesh (natural power) but by seeking to change our "doing", our observed life, by power from God.
Practically, what does this mean but a change of our paradigm with respect to our relationship with God. We are not lifting up a moral life to God, but God is sending down a morally beautiful life to us by the HOLY Spirit through faith in Jesus.

There is a lot of talk these days about "deconstructing" our approach to Christianity. Does not the root of our deconstruction need to focus on this simple truth: "Is our religion about receiving from God? Is our gospel an arrow downward?" If it is, we will be wise and develop the skills of receiving and staying in a receiving posture.

Our faith is that Jesus is the Living word. Jesus is the natural moral law of the universe distilled. His life in our souls is our path to moral beauty.

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