Sunday, May 23: Free
When I was younger, one of my friends became a Christian in dramatic fashion. He knew very little about Christianity, but he was excited about his new life in Christ. Because he was not connected to a church, I invited him to join me at mine.
That Sunday, my friend showed up to my church in his Sunday best. He attended the Sunday school class I taught, we sat together in the worship service, and we went out to lunch afterward. It was a great day!
But my friend never came back to that church.
I asked him later what had happened to discourage him. It took some time, but I eventually got an answer—many people in the congregation were well-off financially, and my friend had to spend a lot of money to buy appropriate clothing. He didn’t have the money to keep that up, so he stopped attending.
That was heartbreaking for me to hear. No one at my church intentionally made my friend feel “less than,” but I think we can all identify with his feelings. Maybe our financial situation has never made us feel “less than,” but other things can have the same effect: our past, bad habits we can’t shake, our family situation, or our knowledge of the Bible. It feels bad.
In the Book of Galatians, false teachers we now call Judaizers were making the Gentile Christians feel “less than” because they weren’t Jewish. These Judaizers were trying to shame the Gentiles into taking up the Jewish Law.
Paul was having none of it.
In Galatians 4:21–31, Paul illustrates his message to the Galatians by appealing to the story of Abraham and Ishmael in Genesis 16. It is likely that the Judaizers were using this same story to make the Gentiles feel “less than.” Through a masterful turn of phrase, Paul uses the same story to show the opposite: the promises to Abraham are inherited through faith in Christ and not works of the law.
Our sufficiency comes from faith in Christ, not works of the law! Join us this week as we look at implications of the cross—God is proud of us!
See you Sunday!
You can participate online at 8:00 AM, 9:30, or 11:00. You can also join us in person at 9:30 or 11:00. No need to register.