Okay, our deep dive into the Book of Galatians this week brings us to a rather uncomfortable scripture in which the Apostle Paul states that those who preach a gospel not in accordance with God inadvertently place themselves outside of God’s inclusion. It’s a tough message but then it should be considering what is at stake for those who lead others astray for the truth of Christ Crucified, the hope of glory.
The foundations of the Church are based on the truth that the Word of God – Jesus Christ – part of the Trinity who with the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters (as named in Genesis1) as God Almighty brought order from chaos. While God motioned and the Spirit hovered and the word was spoken to bring into being that which did not exist before that, we encounter the plan and purpose of God for the creation and redemption of the entire universe.
Of course, it is thousands of years later before all this comes into being – Jesus has to be prophesied as the coming Messiah, then at age 33 year sacrificed on the cross. It seems like an absolute disaster but Jesus resurrects from the dead to show that he (and only he) is the One destined to save the people of the world, not from physical death but spiritual death and alienation from God.
Only problem is that not everyone is content in accepting that God’s salvation for humanity comes at the price of Christ being crucified. Instead, people dismiss Jesus’ words and teaching preferring to forge their own route to salvation in which Christ’s sacrifice is set aside or diluted into human works and sacrifice rather than endeavours to elevate Jesus, be open to and filled with God’s Holy Spirit and then follow after him.
All of which explains Paul’s annoyance at those who would divert people away from the gift of God in Christ Jesus who sacrifices Himself in order that the slate will be wiped clean and the Holy Spirit enable to enter into every person who is open to the infilling of the Holy Spirit through their belief in Christ’s death and resurrection then claiming it as their own.
While it may seem like an argument between those who believe in Jesus death and those who don’t, the significance is in God and His intervention in the world. That is why those people who teach otherwise and delight in persuading others to reject Christ were treated so harshly to the point where it seemed as if they were alienated in a way in which they seemed outside of God and His blessing. A very sombre scripture.