I make no bones about going through “dry spells” when I can’t even find my Bible but have I read this Book before? I don’t remember this at all. We see or hear tidbits of it all the time. A pastor quotes it, in a song, on a coffee mug…but reading it with the audience in mind as a whole book is rocking my world!
I did this read-through with a brand new Bible (not because I couldn’t find my old one smarty pants) but because I wanted to see what God would highlight totally new! This one grabbed me: “9 But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—”
Such a deep statement.
Paul continues to express his concern for the Galatians since they have changed their way. They have gone backwards and it has caused them to lose their joy.
The story of Hagar and Sarah. This would make more sense to the Jewish converts than the Gentiles. Paul uses the story of Sarah and Hagar to illustrate two different covenants: the New Covenant, based on grace; and the Old Covenant, based on the Law. In Paul’s analogy, believers in Christ are like the child born of Sarah—free, the result of God’s promise.
Those who try to earn their salvation by their own works are like the child born of Hagar—a slave, the result of human effort. Sarah had no business offering her servant to Abraham, and Abraham had no business sleeping with Hagar. And Sarah was wrong to mistreat her servant as she did. Yet God worked through these situations. Hagar was blessed, and Abraham and Sarah were still the recipients of the promise. The Promise was open to both!
Chapters 5 and 6:Our Freedom in Christ. What does that really mean? It is not a “pass” to do what we want.
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
From the Flesh verse From the Spirit?
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
The read gets a little personal so I am reluctant to comment on the last chapter. I am sure God has brought something to your mind that is a 1:1 with you and Him. But I will end with a conclusion of the whole book in 1 simple verse:
15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.