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Letters to the Churches – Galatians

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Galatians 1:1–10

There are some things that you can improve on over time, things that need to be shored up, sharpened, or need a fresh coat of paint now and then. There are some things that are pretty easy to destroy by messing around with. In the Navy there’s a constant cycle of chipping away old paint and laying down one or two new coats, but something you don’t mess around with is the emergency breathing equipment. The SCBA (“self-contained breathing apparatus”) is a device that lets shipboard personnel breath safely during otherwise unsafe conditions. It’s a system that functions and is life-giving by being completely self-contained. If a random sailor decided to punch in a new ventilation outlet in an oxygen tank, or to paint over a connection port in their favorite color, the SCBA would no longer work, and it would lead to death for anyone who used it.

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul writes to address some folks who are messing around with things they don’t need to be messing around with. He addresses the random preachers who have decided to add a layer of religious paint over the gospel message. The trouble with trying to add things to a self-contained system is that you end up with something that doesn’t work anymore and can only lead to death for anyone who uses it. Even with the best of intentions, adding on to the already complete gospel can only distort it into infectivity.

Join us this week as Paul addresses the sufficiency of the gospel apart from any cultural, religious, or works-based efforts on our part, and as he explains the consequences of doing so. See you Sunday!


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