Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Theological Education For the Confirmation of FaithChristians Marching Forward
Galatians 3. 1-14
Christian life always involves a movement forward. The coat of arms of Australia (the formal symbol of the Commonwealth of Australia) bears both an Emu and a Kangaroo. Neither of these animals can move backward (because of the three-toed feet of Emu, and the long tail of the Kangaroo). In like manner of moving forward, we are supposed to be transformed in our minds and hearts have accepted Christ and now we have to move forward, and make progress in our spiritual journey, if our new life in Christ is to be of any avail. To put off the old sinful, decadent and contemptible self is obligatory in the Christian life.
In Galatians instead of moving forward, they digressed and turned to their old way of following law over faith. Their spiritual father Paul seriously condemns their acts and admonishes them by calling them, " You foolish Galatians. " Paul talks to Galatians that they are Justified by Faith in God’s Work. Their response reminds us of the Ephesus church in the book of revelation, which abandoned the love they had at first. Paul straightens the church by emphasizing the faith of Abraham to whom they drew their lineage “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness" (Gen 15:6). Paul further substantiates his argument that "Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” (Hab 2:4). Finally Paul put a nail on their love for law over faith by re-establishing that the redemptive act of Jesus on the cross paves way for the blessing of Abraham to be available for all those who believe in Jesus Christ.
What is here for us to take away? Galatians had law before faith, what do we have before our faith in Christ? Does our relationship with God hinder any other priorities like money, position, power, gadgets (materialistic love), philosophies, other relationships etc? If we confirm that we have hindrances then Paul reminds us to call ourselves " fools." Let us not fool ourselves by prioritizing other things before Christ but rather live a life worthy to be known as Children of God.
O Triune God, we confess that at times we lived away from you. Bind us together in your love to be called your children. In Jesus' name we, your children pray... Amen.
Dan Thomas George
Mar Thoma Theological Seminary,