March 25, 2016

Today you should read: Galatians 3:15-29

Law-abiding citizens


It’s true, that if we abide by the law, we will probably remain in right standing before human judges.  As long as we obey the rules and keep our paths straight on the road that our system prescribes, we will normally be free from ever being declared “guilty.”  You see, the law is set up in order to be a frame of reference, a catalog, or a plumb line to expose when something is not right.  Once being declared “not right,” we face the punishment appropriate for our crime.

Well, much is the same for the law that comes from God.  In our passage we see some deep stuff.  A main issue that we can dive into is that God has prescribed His law, His Word, and His principles to expose our guilt.  It has set a standard, as a plumb line, to expose something that is not right, namely us.  We are not right.  On our own we are in wrong standing with God, the Judge, because according to His law, we are declared guilty.  We haven’t kept it.  

This law exposes our sin, and just as with the earthly law, we deserve punishment appropriate for our crime.  And since we have committed this crime before an infinitely Holy God, our punishment must be eternal.  

You see, the law wasn’t given so that we could keep it and earn our right standing before God, because indeed we cannot.  But it was given to expose our guilt and expose the need for another way to be made “right.”  So what’s the only way? 


Today’s “Walk-a-Way”


What does this mean for us?  


Well, for a lost world, this means that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  We cannot be in right standing with God through being good enough.  It must only be through the One who paid our debt and freed us from the guilt of our sin.  Our works cannot get us to God.


And for those who have already come to know Jesus, it means that we don’t have to earn our way to stayingin right standing with God.  Our successes and our failures do not dictate our standing before God.  If our sin has been paid for, we can never do anything to change our standing before God.  Our debt has already been paid.  It cannot be “un-paid.”  We can hear this and believe it…that God never looks on us with anything but love, and our status before him will not and cannot change.  That’s true freedom.  


Does this give us license to sin?  No.  It gives us freedom to live right!  We are already in the family.  We don’t have earn our adoption.  We are already in…adopted…part of the family… heirs to our Father’s inheritance…coheirs with Jesus Christ… and now we have the freedom and joy to live within the household rules, under Dad’s care, knowing that we are permanently His kids.  Our last name has already been changed, our future is secure, and our Father,now, just wants to protect us and help us to flourish under the family rules that are set up for our good.


So, today, we can be encouraged.  We can believe these truths.  And we can let it give us joy and encourage us to align our lives with God’s Word, not fearing failure or abandonment, but rejoicing in our freedom and our righteousness that comes from Christ.  

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione


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