Why We Need the Book of Galatians - Boasting and Worship

By Aaron LeDuc,

This is part 4 of a 4 part series.  Click these links for the rest: part 1, part 2, part 3

In his book, Reflections on the Psalms, C.S. Lewis said, "I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.”

The completion and fulfillment of anything we delight in is found in praising that thing.  When we truly love and cherish something the appropriate response is an overflow of exultation.  This response is not only appropriate, but it actually deepens our enjoyment and delight.  Heres another way to phrase a similar thought, "But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  (Galatians 6:14 ESV)

We need this study through the book of Galatians, because we need to remember our true boast; the cross of Christ, and thereby fuel our worship of Him.  Boasting is worship.  If you’re boasting in athletic prowess, income potential, knowledge, sense of humor, or anything else, you are worshiping (or attributing worth) to that thing.  The book of Galatians helps us to rightly place our boast, not in anything of ourselves, but in the God who is worthy of all honor and praise. 

We don’t just need Jesus to justify us before God, but we will need his justifying grace a thousand years into eternity.  You will never stand before God by your good works, but only by His grace.  Galatians helps us remember this and fuels our hearts for worship and causes us to realize that grace will always be amazing.  If we are not seeing grace as amazing its not because it isnamazing, it’s because we aren’t seeing the beauty of God’s grace rightly in it’s simplicity and power.  If your heart isn’t driven to worship, if you’re feeling dry, you can nonetheless remember the goodness of God to the praise of His glorious grace.  We need the book of Galatians because every one of us is susceptible to the same dangers the Galatian church experienced.

I hope youll commit your time, thoughts, and heart to marinating in the great encouragement and challenge that God has for us through the book of Galatians.  See you Sunday!

Why We Need the Book of Galatians - Division in the Body

By Aaron LeDuc,

This is part 3 of a 4 part series.  Click these links for the rest: part 1, part 2, part 4

What do you get when you take a bunch of sinful, selfish, passionate, suffering, and yet abundantly joyful people?  The church!  There is one thing that unifies us as the church: faith in Jesus Christ.  Sometimes there is more than that, but there is never less than that.  The Galatian church was at odds with one another (and with Paul) because of some errant theological convictions.  We are vulnerable to the same problem.  

There are plenty of outside agendas that put the simplicity of the gospel at risk.  Cultural pressures, unbelief, rights and freedoms changing, persecution (overt or otherwise), and false teachers to name a few.  The church is well aware of these most of the time, and is usually prepared to defend against the attacks of the enemy.  We often forget, however, about the possibility of attack from within that causes the gospel to become watered down.  This can happen when the simplicity with the gospel is encumbered with whatever passion any individual Christian might impose on the church at large.  This could be something potentially amoral like diet choices, schooling options for your children or your political affiliations.  This can also happen with morality based social justice activities like freeing people from the horrors sex trafficking or adopting and caring for orphans.  None of these things are bad things, but none of these things are the main thing that the church is to be about.

Whenever good works are elevated to the level of gospel truth, the gospel is lost.  Jesus is no less jealous for His own glory now in the life if the New Testament church than he has ever been throughout the ages.  If we allow other activities or passions to push Jesus out of the center, we are propagating an alternate gospel, which is no gospel at all.  Paul says that this anti-gospel emphasis is like leaven and goes throughout the whole dough.  It impacts our willingness to love each other and to bear one another’s burdens.  It infuses pride into our church which simply creates divisions and groups and sub-groups. 

We need the book of Galatians to remind us of the simplicity of the gospel that has united us as the Church of Christ.  What really matters when you distill it all down is that we are a group of people who have seen our sin and our inability to rescue ourselves and we have trusted in the Great Rescuer who gives it all freely to us as a gift of His grace.  

Why We Need the Book of Galatians - Powerless Obedience

By Aaron LeDuc,

This is part 2 of a 4 part series.  Click these links for the rest: part 1, part 3part 4

Yesterday, I shared how Galatians helps us to rightly understand our obedience and work for God as acts of worship, gratitude, and faith in God’s future provision of grace.  Today, were looking at how our propensity to earn our justification through works drains us and ultimately leaves us powerless.

Every person is capable doing things that would fall in line with Gods law.  I can love my neighbors and show compassion and be a good husband, and friend, and brother all in my own strength.  Anyone can do these things.  Everyone has a power supply to do good works in the world apart from the empowering work of God.  The danger is that this supply is limited.  Anyone can be a good neighbor, but you cant be a perfect neighbor.  Anyone can show compassion, but only to a certain degree.  The life if the Christian, unfortunately, is no different. 

Oftentimes, in the Christian faith, were pumping the groundwater of strength in our flesh.  You can actually get some things done as a Christian in your own power, but that power source is limited, prone to your own sin, and your own liabilities.  We can be so prone to forget the full access we have to the fathomless power of the Holy Spirit.  If we work in our own strength to obey, we will bear fruit, but it’s perishable and fleeting.  If we rely on the Holy Spirit, He will bear lasting, full, and bountiful fruit in our lives to the glory of The Father.  It’s a totally different power source.  At any given moment we can go one way or the other.  In Galatians Paul addresses this by pointing to the true work of the Spirit that can be found in the lives of those who follow Christ.  Stop trying to do these things in your own strength, and live in the beauty of the fact that you’re already justified by the grace of God!