March 30, 2015

Today you should read: Galatians 5:1-15

The message of the cross can actually be offensive. Maybe for you, the idea that you need a Savior, or that there is nothing you can do to add to your rescue, is a little hurtful. Truth is, in our culture, one of the greatest obstacles to sharing our faith is the sobering message that we cannot save ourselves. People don’t like to hear that. While it may be disheartening or offensive to some, it is truly the most beautiful, freeing message we can ever share. This passage illustrates the process of God liberating us from the obligation of keeping the whole law. Circumcision, before the time Paul was writing, was the way to separate the righteous from the unrighteous. It’s what made a person “good enough” to be a covenant member of God’s people. After Christ, though, circumcision was a mere tradition; it didn’t have the same effect. Also, any person who becamea member of God’s people through circumcision bore a certain obligation to produce moral characteristics and uphold the law. Paul iterates here that if you maintain the belief that circumcision is part of salvation, then you obligate yourself to uphold the whole law.

Christ came and sacrificed himself, paying ultimately the debt that each person owed. Now, because of his death and resurrection, righteousness is through faith in the blood of Jesus, not in any act or tradition we uphold. This is good news for us! If we choose to stay our hearts on any other hope except salvation through Christ alone, whether it’s hope in other people or ourselves, we are fooled by empty promises and are “severed from Christ,” (v. 4). What a great truth that we are justified, made right through Jesus’ death (our debt paid), and given new life and freedom from the shackles of performance through his resurrection!

Paul explains here that no one is righteous apart from Christ. No amount of religious practices or good deeds will save anyone. We must remind ourselves of the “offense” of the cross:  we are not good enough; he is infinitely worthy. Our hope will not be in ourselves; it’s in Jesus. Obligation to the law is slavery; justification by faith in the grace of God is liberty. Paul once said he decided to know “nothing except Jesus Christ, and him crucified,” (1 Cor. 2:2). I don’t know a better message than this:  Christ died, he arose, and salvation is in no other name.

Maybe you have experienced the pain of carrying a load that’s far too heavy for you to bear. That’s what “saving ourselves” would be. You know that there is no life for us in that pursuit. There is only slavery and death unless we place our faith in the all-satisfying Treasure–Jesus,whose sacrifice atones! One thing I know:  Christ satisfies. He is worthy, and there is REAL life in Him.

“O, the wonderful cross, bids me come and die and find that I may truly live.”

Posted by: Taylor Gilliam- Ministry Intern; West campus


March 28, 2015

Today you should read: Galatians 4:21-3

Have you ever seen someone in an authority type position that delights in making sure everyone is following the rules but cannot follow the rules themselves? This could be a teacher, a boss, a politician or even a family member? The apostle Paul starts off today’s Scripture by asking the question..


Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law?


He then goes back to Genesis 16-17, 21 where there were 2 sons born to Abraham, one who was born to a woman who was a slave and the other who was born from a woman who was free in which the promise ensued. He asks that question before making this allegory for one who lives under the burden of the law instead of the freedom found in Christ because he’s trying to show 1. The bondage/slavery of the law. 2. The impossibility to follow the law we expect others to follow. Majority of this book deals with these issues as the church of Galatia was in danger of going back to their former ways of religion and rule keeping instead of grace and freedom in Christ. But only one side comes with a promise and that’s the freedom that comes with the Gospel of grace. God was revealing it all the way back in Genesis as He used the illustration of freedom and slavery with grace and the law. Paul doesn’t mess around and even goes as far as saying that the ones who teach the false gospel of justification by works through the upkeeping of the law should be cast out of the church. So let this be a warning to us at CPC on the dangers of going back to rules over grace. We will be holy and obedient to God’s standards the more we grow in grace and give grace instead of trying to upkeep rules and tell everyone else to when it’s impossible to.

Posted by: Erik Koliser

March 27, 2015

Today you should read: Galatians 4:8-20

I have been trying to teach my 1 and a half year old daughter Noel some basic things for a little while now. Some of things I have been trying to teach her are to be careful, to wait and to be nice. Many times I feel like I am talking to a brick wall. She has gotten to the point where she knows the phrases and repeats them, sometimes with attitude, but she hasn’t yet learned what they mean for her. If you are a parent reading this or work with kids you definitely know the feeling. Paul knew the feeling too.  

 Paul was a great missionary who started many of the first churches ever so he clearly was dealing with spiritual “babies”. He constantly would tell them what they should and shouldn’t do and that they were free from the burdens of the law because o what Christ did. Our passage today is Paul trying to reason with the baby Christians in Galatia that are being swayed by some false teachers back to a life under the slavery of the Jewish laws. Paul spent so much time as a teacher and example to them about how they can live in freedom from this slavery but they apparently haven’t quite got it. He reminds them of what he has taught them and of the joy and peace that came with living in that freedom. He also airs a little frustration towards them as well.  

 Again, if you have kids you know this all too well but I think all of us have someone in our lives that, even thought they know what is right to, we are constantly having to lead them back to the right path or correct them in their wrong doing. Know that you are not alone in this. We all have this in our lives, including Paul.  

 Maybe you aren’t Paul in this passage but you are the Galatians. If that is you, let me encourage you to live in freedom and to walk in God’s ways. Don’t return to whatever it is that used to enslave you. “ it is for freedom that Christ has set us free” and “if Christ has set you free, you are free indeed”. Don’t let sin enslave you again.  

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

March 26, 2015

Today you should read: Galatians 4:1-7

The truths of the gospel are on vivid display in this passage.  Let’s dig into verses 1-7 a little.

In verses 1-3, a comparison is made between a slave and a child.  A child, much like a slave, has no authority over the owner and his property.  The difference between the slave and the child is that the child is actually “owner of everything.”  This means that the child is an heir who was destined to receive everything that was the father’s.  The slave, on the other hand, was not in line to receive what was the father’s.   

The child would be much like a slave, in regards to authority and ownership, until an appointed time when the father would determine him “of age” to receive what is his.  The slave would always be under bondage.  Paul used this as an illustration of how God’s children were in bondage under the law and the “elemental things” of the world until an appointed time, which leads to verses 4-5.

The appointed time of rescue from our bondage comes when Christ is revealed to us by the Spirit of God.  Jesus was sent to this earth (vs.4) so that he might redeem all who were under the law in order to adopt us as His heirs (vs. 5).  

Paul wanted believers to recognize that they were all once in bondage, exactly like a slave.  It was only at an appointed time when the Father revealed His Son to them that they had the opportunity to be free from the bondage.  Not only were the believers freed from bondage, but they became heirs to receive all that is the Father’s.  

Verses 6-7 point out that not only did the believers receive an inheritance, but they received sonship.  They were adopted by God.  They were no longer slaves to the law, but instead they became His children.  As the parent of an adopted child, this resonates with me because I know that Sawyer was once not my child and now he is just as much my child as Millie (our biological daughter) is.  And, everything that is mine is also my son’s.  

In summary, Paul reminded the Galatian believers that they wereno longer slaves to the old religious system.  They were free from the bondage of self-righteousness and had become children of God.  He exhorted them to rest in the freedom of having been redeemed by Christ.

What a great reminder today for those of us who struggle to rest in His grace and think we have to keep God appeased with our “righteous deeds.”  If you are a follower of Christ, be reminded today that you are a child of the King, you are no longer under bondage, and you’ve received an inheritance from the Father…some of which you are experiencing now and some you will experience in eternity.  It’s already yours AND it’s awaiting you.

Posted by: Rich Duffield