Links Daily Devotional

No Band-Aids Needed, Part 1

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospelwhich is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-7, NIV)

Fundamentals. The best golfers in the world work on them diligently, though it is tedious and seems somewhat simplistic. When they “lose their swing,” they go back to fundamentals. Jack Nicklaus himself said: “Learn the fundamentals of the game and stick to them. Band-Aid remedies never last.” Based on his experience and resume, I am thinking that this is a good principle for the game of golf.

Yet, we are all guilty of slacking on fundamentals, attempting to add bells and whistles to our game on a rather sloppy foundation… and we are all guilty of tinkering in hopes of finding that lightning in a bottle before a big match.

Now, what are the fundamentals of the Christian life? In today’s passage, the apostle Paul stated it clearly and passionately: the Gospel of Christ.

But what is the Gospel? He presented it in the preceding verses: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

We can trust Paul as an authority on the Gospel; his resume is like none other. He was an expert in religion, saying that he had advanced in Judaism beyond many of his own age and had been extremely zealous for the traditions of his fathers (Galatians 1:14). In fact, he had been such a fervent proponent of Judaism that he had persecuted Christianity and tried to destroy it. But his experience on the road to Damascus, when the resurrected Christ appeared to him, changed his life (Acts 9). He had such a drastic conversion, with nothing to gain except God himself, that no other explanation other than the truth of Christ makes any sense. He had direct revelation from Jesus (Galatians 1:12) and wrote 13 books in the New Testament. You would think Paul, having obeyed the Law in all morality and zealousness, could have found God through his own efforts… but he didn’t! God instead found him in Jesus Christ. Paul knew firsthand that it was by sheer grace (Galatians 1:15) anyone could be saved and that Jesus was the way. He said that any other way is foolish (Galatians 3:1).

Fundamentals are never glamorous. But if we try to live without them in place—if we try to live without Jesus as our righteousness—we are destined to keep “losing our swing.” We’re just applying the Band-Aids of morality and sentimentalism. What lasts is an adherence to what God has already done for us. He has sent his Son to be our life!

Isabelle Beisiegel

April 24, 2013

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