Cover to Cover
Paul writes to the Jewish believers in Galatia, teaching them the purpose of the Law was to lead them to their need for redemption through Christ, their Messiah. He used the illustration of a child with an inheritance in a trust, unable to receive that trust until the child was of age. The inheritance was always theirs, but it wasn’t until Christ that their inheritance could be received. Paul was trying to teach the Galatians that they were now free of the Law and righteous in Christ; and not only the Jew, but for anyone that would enter into Christ through faith.
As Christians, we also have to be careful not to slip into legalism, which is simply a human attempt to control God and to control others through behavior. The desire to earn this good standing with God or to get to a certain level to receive from the miraculous is a carnal human effort to relieve ourselves of the sin conscience (shame, guilt, and fear) and control the conditions to try to receive from God. Our choice and discipline to do the right thing because of our determination and discipline can become self-righteousness. Is the right thing important? Absolutely! But our right way of living is found in surrender, not performance. Thank God for grace!
God is God, and we are not. As God, our loving authority and source of life, we are to have a holy reverence, or fear, for Him. We need to know our place of submission. We also need to recognize the place another person, group, or even nation has underneath His authority. He is over them as much as He is over us. He wants us to put our trust in Him. Even if others may oppose us, if our faith is in God, then we should not fear what a man or woman can do to us. If we do fear them instead of putting our faith in God, that timidity is offensive to God. It’s like a slap in the face to the powerful God He is. Let’s trust Him to care for us instead.
“The Lord of hosts – regard Him as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety], and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread [lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him].” Isaiah 8:13