Thursday, June 24, 2010

This Week’s Project Ezra - Galatians 3

Greetings Project Ezra brothers and sisters. This week’s reading is Galatians 3. It is the central principles in this chapter that distinguish Biblical Christianity from every other religion on the face of the earth. Every other faith is about meriting a better afterlife, or sometimes this life, through good works. Christianity is about Jesus becoming a curse for us that we might be justified by faith.

In the beginning of this chapter Paul seems to be somewhere between pleading and exasperation in speaking to the Galatians. It’s almost as if he’s saying “They’re going to put their faith in the flesh? Again?? After Christ was publicly portrayed to them as crucified? What is WRONG with these people?” The idea that works could ever justify anyone makes no sense after even a cursory reading of the New Testament, and clearly Paul and the other disciples have covered this ground with the Galatians before. If we could be justified by the law, why did Christ need to die? Wouldn’t following the law of Moses be enough?

But not only does Galatians 3 stress the necessity of grace over works, but it indicates the true purpose of the law. Verse 24 says the law was our guardian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. Some other versions say the law is a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ. But whether the law is a guardian or a schoolmaster, the principle is the same. The law was meant to protect us by showing us our failure to meet God’s standards, so we would see our need for grace and be driven to the savior.

When you are sharing the gospel, whether one-on-one or through open-air preaching, most people will proclaim their own righteousness. Most people think that, if there is a heaven, they are good enough to get there on their own. But, of course, none of us are. So stand them in front of the mirror of God’s law, so they can see their own reflection and know themselves in truth. There are a couple focus points below which may give you some ideas for sharing the gospel:

No salvation comes by works

Salvation is by faith and by faith alone.

Those who rely on works under a curse, and those who do not keep all of the law are under a curse

Christ redeemed us by becoming a curse for us, being hung on a tree

The law was our guardian and schoolmaster until Christ came, that we may be justified by faith

All are one in Christ, whether Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female.

We are just over a week away from 1st John on July 4th. There are few other times of year where there will be as many crowds of people out in the streets, so it’s a great time to publicly share the gospel. We have about 60 people signed up right now, and I KNOW we can do better than that! Please check your schedule and carve out some time to join us in reading 1st John in the open air. Also, please post the event information on your Facebook or other social networking site, and invite your believing friends to join Project Ezra and take part in the event and, of course, let us know where you will be participating so I can add you to the participation map. I would like to post some more participant videos and pictures in the near future, so please document your reading if you can and send it over. Have a great independence day and don’t forget to tell people where real freedom comes from.

All for HIS glory!!


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