Links Daily Devotional

Called Out

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. (Galatians 3:1, ESV)

The fellowship in Galatia, which was a church plant of Paul’s (and one that he loved very dearly), had gotten away from the true message of the Gospel. The Gospel may be stated like this: Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect life, died on the cross to pay the ultimate penalty not for his sins but for ours. He was then resurrected in order that all who believe in him for their salvation might live eternally.

The Galatians, however, started believing what outsiders were telling them—that true salvation comes by faith plus works. They taught that both God and man had to do their parts in order for people to be saved from their sins.

This is a false gospel, one that Paul really hated. He made sure that the churches he planted were rooted in the one true Gospel, where salvation comes to a man through God’s perfect and loving grace. It also amazed Paul that these wayward people were those who had seen Jesus with their own eyes.

Have you ever been called out on something? I remember many instances of being called out in my life, which can be uncomfortable and painful.

I can remember certain golf lessons where my coach would call me out for not practicing enough or not practicing the right things. I often found it embarrassing and unsettling. Although he gave me things to work on and put into practice and, at times, I did not do them the correct way or practice hard enough. I deserved to be called out.

Likewise, the Galatians deserved to be called out. They were following and teaching something that was wrong. What is so bad about the “grace plus works” false gospel? It is bad because it is a direct slap in the face of God, telling him that what his Son did for me on this earth (his perfection, his death, his resurrection) was not completely satisfactory for the payment and remission of my sin.

Brothers and sisters, what Christ did for us is completely satisfactory and acceptable to God as payment for all sins! Did you hear that? ALL SINS! This is so hard to believe. We must fight to believe this truth, every day, moment by moment.

Our flesh doesn’t want to believe that Christ’s work on the cross could be fully satisfactory for our salvation. There’s something in most (I might even argue all) believers that urges us to continue to try to earn our way to salvation or acceptance by God.

Believe this today and every day: There’s nothing you can do (or not do) to make God love you any more or any less than he does right now. That is the beauty (and scandal) of the Gospel. God loves broken people, God saves broken people, and God will eventually glorify his broken people by allowing us to spend eternity with him.

This is why Paul called out the church of Galatia. They had stopped living in the freedom and beauty of the Gospel and replaced it with a binding, works-based fake gospel. The truth is this: “For freedom Christ has set you free; stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1, ESV).

We are free in Christ; he loves us this much, even through our brokenness!

Rosson Anderson
September 1, 2015
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