Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Galatians 3 -- Human Effort

The beginning of chapter three brings with it one of the most harsh criticisms of the Scriptures. "Oh you foolish Galatians...", In our day and age to be called a fool is not something to be cherished, yet in Paul's day calling someone a fool was pretty high on the list of insults. Remembering in the Proverbs the opposite of wisdom was to be a fool. What has Paul so worked up? The church in Galatia had reverted to human effort in their journey more than the grace and righteousness offered through Christ.

It appears the Galatian church had returned to the law as the mode of salvation not the grace of Christ. More than the grace of God, the people were using their own effort to to gain a right relationship with God. Paul is clear the law has its place and there is an effort which must be made by humans, still this is not where our righteousness is found. It all comes back to the work of Christ on the cross and the Christless tomb.

In our day and age one of the greatest challenges we have is our own ability. We are very capable people and technology has allowed to extend that capability further than ever before. The danger is we will begin to thing we know better than God. Our even worse we will begin to thing we do not need God for wholeness. Basically, we can begin to live our lives for ourselves by our own human effort. Ultimately this will increase the distance between us and God. When we realize our need for God, and our dependency on the grace of God, we being to draw near to God. As we draw near to God we experience the wholeness that comes only from the grace infused relationship with God. Our only effort is a willingness to submit to the will and work of God, from there all human effort will fall short.

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