March 24, 2015

Today you should read: Galatians 3:1-14

Do you live for your life for now or for the one to come?

In Genesis 3:1-7, we observe the conversation between Eve and Satan. Satan was successful in getting Eve to believe in two things. First, God is holding out on you. He taught her that trusting God was holding her back and that if she would take matters into her own hands she would be happier. Second, if she would disobey God and eat the fruit she could be like God and have it all right now. This led to the main sin issue of Pride that we all struggle with. We want to be God and we want to make our own way. 


Paul is discussing this issue of pride in today’s passage. The Galatians are being tempted by false teachers to turn to religious work for their salvation instead of having faith in the work that Jesus did on the cross. Paul is pleading for them to see that it was their faith in Jesus that saved them and made them new, not the law or their works. Why would anyone put aside their trust in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ for the duty of religious law? Wouldn’t grace be more attractive? We do not have to earn grace but it is given freely.


The issue comes down to trusting God verses trusting in yourself. Trusting God is putting your hope in Christ and trusting that his work was good enough. Trusting God means living for the life to come and hoping in eternity. To trustourselves means being God of our own lives and living for this life.  If we are in control then we get to gain what we want. Paul’s argument is very clear and summed up in v. 10 & 11, the righteous live by faith and those who trust in the law are cursed. 

So where do you place your trust? What do you live for?

 

Posted by: Chad Wiles

March 23, 2015

Today you should read: Galatians 2:11-20


Have you ever had someone close to you correct you, someone ‘call you out?’ 

That’s what we see in today’s passage; Paul calls out Peter because of the lifestyle he’s living. In traditional Jewish culture, there were a lot of rules, many of which specifically dealt with what they could eat and with whom they could eat. Now Peter was eating with the Gentiles until some of his old friends came to town, then he stopped. His hypocrisy caused others to follow him, even Barabas.  When Paul found out, he was not happy and publically rebuked Peter because he was living according to the old law, not the new covenant in Christ. 

 

Here is the issue:

Peter was preaching one thing and living another. Even though he shared the good news of Jesus, a loving savior who accepts “everyone who calls His name,” Peter wasn’t living a life any different from the other Jewish people.That should hit us hard. As Christians we should live a life that different, we do not have to live in the old mindset of good deeds, moral behaviors, and corporate success. Christ has set us free from the yokes of slavery to this world. We should live our lives in such away that people recognize something different.

 

Paul reminds us in this passage, that 

a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.” –vs 16.

 

If you are a believer today, you are justified before God through Jesus Christ. None of our good deeds matter to God, only the sacrifice and blood of Jesus. If I am truly a new creation with Christ living in me, then my life should look more like His and less like this world.

 

I like what Dr. Constable’s Expository Notes* comment on vs 20:

 

When a person trusts Christ, God identifies him or her with Christ, not only in the present and future, but also in the past. The believer did what Christ did. When Christ died, I died. When Christ arose from the grave, I arose to newness of life. My old self-centered life died when I died with Christ. His Spirit-directed life began in me when I arose with Christ. Therefore, in this sense, the Christian’s life is really the life of Christ (“Christ lives in me”)

 

How are you living you life? Does it look different from someone who doesn’t know Christ? If it doesn’t, what will you change today?


Posted by: Alex Boswell, ministry intern- Richmond campus

March 21, 2015

Today you should read: Galatians 2:1-10

We have one gospel but different mission fields. When the apostle Paul wrote this epistle there was some controversy to this statement because at the time the apostle Paul, the disciples and others couldn’t agree on that mission field. The apostle Paul would preach to everybody but felt especially called to preach to the gentiles while the disciples and especially Peter believed that the Gospel was a message to the Jews who awaited their one true savior. Although Peter would put his foot in his mouth again later in this chapter trying to require additional requirements for salvation for the gentiles, these first 10 verses shows how God revealed to all He entrusted with the Gospel in the early church to preach His good news to anybody and everybody.

 

This is a good reminder for us because if we’re honest, it’s probably easier to just reach out to the people we know, the people we’re comfortable with and the people we share the same interests with. In fact, because of those reasons, WE SHOULD befriend, share the gospel with and invite those people to church for those very reasons. However when reading Galatians 2:1-10 it’s hard to ignore the calling God has placed on Christians to those different mission fields and that we have to be united in our calling. It can be very easy for one inner city church plant to think they have a more important ministry then the stereotypical established suburban church. We can be called to different people but do we support each others Gospel efforts and encourage each other in the mission? So think about where God has called you and entrusted the Gospel for you to share with? Are you doing it? Are you supporting others with it? It took a while for the other disciples to get on board with the apostle Paul and his calling for not only jews but all people to hear and receive the Gospel. Don’t take as long as them to get on board with what God is doing at CPC and in the cities of Lexington and Richmond.  


Posted by: Erik Koliser

March 20, 2015

Today you should read: Galatians 1:11:24

You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion…(v. 13) 

 And they praised God because of me…(v. 24) 

These two phrases compromise the beginning and ending of a good testimony. he power of 

someone’s story should always look like this. Paul had an amazing story. If you don’t know 

Paul’s story I encourage you to read the book of Acts and find out but basically it’s this:  

  • He was a religious zealot (Jewish religion)  
  • He was on a self-proclaimed mission to destroy Christianity and all its followers 
  • He was ok with and even participated in the deaths of Christians 
  • On his way to do that very thing he and Jesus met face to face and it changed Paul’s life forever 

This story of a miraculous 180 degree change of life was and is amazing. Paul went from being a 

danger to and the fear of Christians to being one of the greatest advocates and witnesses for it. 

As you go throughout history and event in everyday people’s lives you can find story after story 

of lives that have been changed because of a face to face encounter with Jesus.  

The second part to the story was that this change moved people to worship God. his is critical 

in one’s testimony. A testimony without the gospel is just a good story. he gospel is key in 

turning your testimony into an opportunity for others to “praise God because of you”. People 

could easily pat you on the back and say “good job” and “way to go” about your testimony and 

all of a sudden something that God did has now been passed as something you did on your own 

strength and merit. Your testimony was given to you so others could “ praise God because of 

you”. Don’t waste this amazing opportunity God has given you. As often as you can share your 

story. ell people who you used to be and how you used to be. And don’t feel that is you were 

saved very young that you don’t have a story to tell. Your story is one of grace in delivering you 

from so much sin and sadness and heart ache by placing you in a great home or in a great 

church. Your story is amazing too. hen, when you share, point it all back to God so that, when 

you share it, they “praise God because of you”.