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Wednesday After Fifth Sunday After Pentecost Galatians 3:19-29

June 27, 2018
By Bo Giertz

WEDNESDAY AFTER FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

The law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:24

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What is the purpose of the Law? Why was it given to us if it can't get us to God? The usual assumption is that God approves of us if we keep His Commandments. That's correct, Paul answers, if there was a law that "could give life" (Galatians 3:21). He means a law that could unite us with God so His life flows in us. However, it is just the opposite: The Law is death. It reveals inexorably that we are criminals, hopelessly separated from God. Whatever we try to do, the Law exposes the wrong in it. The inadequacy lies in devotion to God and love to our neighbor. "But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin" (Galatians 3:22). No distinction is made. Not one of us will be vindicated when the Law is put to the test (the correct test!). We can never truthfully say: "Lord, all You commanded, we have done."

On the other hand, the Law can lead us to Jesus. We don't come to Him as righteous individuals, but as exposed sinners, disciples who have failed, poor in spirit. Yet we are greeted with the unbelievable message that we are blessed and that the kingdom of heaven belongs to us. We are God's children for Christ's sake.

That applies to all believers—no exceptions. Although there are many differences among us, we are all one in Christ, united as members in His body. Paul enumerates several of the differences that are most prevalent, such as differences in nationality, social status, and gender. These differences are not invalidated. However, all the different members are now one body. They are all one in Christ. Their differences no longer divide them. All the members are equally important. The person who received one shilling is just as important as the one who received ten shillings. Each receives in accordance to his gift, in its place, and after his Lord's desire and command. However, all the members serve one another. What Paul describes here is the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We are one body, one spirit, and have been called to live in one and the same hope, that which belongs to our call—"one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all" (Ephesians 4:5-6).

We Pray:

My Lord and Savior, You make us all one through faith. Help me to understand that I am one with all who believe in You. When You bring us into Your fellowship and allow us to be a part of You, we become one with one another. Help us to see all differences in Your light. Help me to be joyful over the gifts others have that I don't because they are gifts from You. Help me to be excited about the tasks that weren't given to me with a warm and interested heart. They are tasks You have given Your people. Send Your loving Spirit, He who bears witness to You, to make us all one in the true faith and true love. Amen.

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