Salvation

The Right Way to Think About the Law (Galatians 3:7-14)

This is part of a commentary series through the Book of Galatians. It began with Galatians 3:1-6. This series will progress until the book is finished, then circle back and cover ch. 1-2.

Here, we begin the most difficult portion of Paul’s letter—the relationship of the Mosaic Law to saving faith. Before we begin, I’ll restate some principles from the first article that will help you understand the position this commentary takes. Here they are:

2340 reads

Bewitched?

About once per month, I’m going to slowly write my way through a short commentary on the Letter to the Galatians. I’ll deliberately skip the usual analysis typical of this genre—no “scholarly” questions, text-critical issues, and minimal formal interaction with opposing viewpoints. I’ve taught through the book four times now, and feel I’m in a position to have something competent to say on the matter. My aim is to write for normal Christians who just want to know what the text means. So, here I stand.

For reasons that aren’t important, I’m publishing this series beginning with Galatians 3:1-6. That is this article. The real fun stuff, of course, comes in Galatians 3:7ff. You’ll have to wait for next time for that!

First things first …

Here are some conclusions of mine, up front, so the reader can know the lay of the land:

1897 reads

The Tale of the Two Builders

Recently, our family drove from Washington State to Tennessee, to drop our oldest son off at college. One day, in the wilderness of western Colorado, I spied a shiny new Corvette ahead of me. It was plodding along at about 65 mph on a stretch of interstate where the speed limit was 80 mph. Yet, there he stayed—at 65 mph.

I was driving a rented Toyota Prius, set to “eco” mode. In the fast lane travelling at 85 mph, I rapidly ate up the distance between us. I felt certain the Corvette driver wouldn’t let this happen. Yet, I passed him like he was standing still. The driver was oblivious. The wind was in his silver hair, and he had a big smile on his face. He didn’t care about me or my Prius. We left him behind, the Prius whirred onward in “eco” mode, and the shiny Corvette was soon lost to sight.

That man obviously didn’t buy the Corvette to use it. The car was eye candy, a toy to show off, not a “real” car.

Jesus says our faith isn’t eye candy, something to be pretty but not really touched—it’s a serious thing, not a hobby. The problem for too many of us is that it is external, it is eye candy, it never touches our hearts, it never renovates our lives—or it renovates only the most convenient parts of it. We build our lives on other things, while putting Jesus on our dashboard like a divine bobblehead—“I spend time with Him everyday!”

904 reads

They Profess to Know God: Do They Know Him? (Part 1)

Reposted from Rooted Thinking.

The Disciple-Maker’s Challenge

Everyone who seeks to make disciples in obedience to Jesus Christ faces the same difficulty:

We all try to discern whether or not those we lead to profess Jesus Christ have genuinely believed.

None of us wants to give an unbeliever false hope of salvation if they have not yet repented and placed their faith in Jesus. And so, we all face frustration.

Christians try to deal with this problem different ways. Some decide to take every profession of faith at face value. This is especially true if the new believer knows how to answer basic Gospel content questions. Those who deal with the problem this way usually baptize those that profess Jesus as Savior right away. If you question them, they will point to the book of Acts and respond, “We just trust the Lord with the true results.”

Others, genuinely concerned about false professions, seek to be more careful and discerning. They do not give new believers in Christ assurance of salvation until after they have studied the Bible for a while, come to church, have completed a certain number of lessons, or a certain length of time has passed.

1494 reads

“Salvation is indeed simple and free, but it’s not just a single event at one point in time.”

"I’ve been a believer for 60 years now, and I’m still amazed every day at how much spiritual growth still lies ahead of me—at often I tell myself, 'Dan, after all this time, you really ought to be better at this.'" - Olinger

560 reads

Salvation by Faith, or Allegiance Alone?

Pages