Many thanks to Gordon Cheung for this introduction to the book of Galatians.
Change is hard at first. It needs commitment. It needs to be followed through. It requires effort – especially when you are going against the flow…
Paul knew this, which is why he wrote to the churches in Galatia. On his missionary trips Paul planted a number of churches in the Galatia region of Asia Minor. Many of these new Christians came from Jewish backgrounds. The problem was that many of these people started to look backwards. Judaism had a large number of customs and rituals and the new churches seemed to have kept practicing these while adding a layer of new Christian thought on top. When Paul heard about this he quickly wrote to the new churches. You don’t have to be bound by the old ways of living, he told them, Jesus came to set you free from them. There is a new and better way to live. You have to look forwards, not back!
As we read through the letter we’re going to discover –
• that true servants of God seek his approval, not that of other people
• that when anyone becomes a believer we should praise and thank God
• that real love of God shows itself in care for people in need
• and that trying to live a life which depends on following rules leads to us comparing ourselves to each other and hardens our hearts away from God.