Friday, July 21, 2006

Galatians 3 Good Enough

Read Galatians 3:1-14

Paul Calls the Galatians foolish. A fool is not someone who is ignorant of the truth, but rather someone who knows the truth, but does not live according to it.

Foolish - those who knew better, but failed to use what they knew
- Hospital story this week. This Tuesday morning I was suppose to go to the hospital and sit with my neighbors wife during his heart surgery. On Saturday night I looked out the window and I saw them. I knew I need to talk to them about the detail and the big detail was I didn’t know their last name or have phone number. On Sunday Gabi and I were headed to Madras and I got paper out to write them a note and ask for their name and phone, but I decided to wait and get it Monday night. Monday night turned into getting home after midnight. I figured I would get up early and wait for them to leave. They left 1 hour before they were suppose to be there. So I go down to the Hospital to find Rod. No last name. I had to talk to 4 nurses before I found one merciful enough to break Protocol and give me his full name. Then I could go to the information desk. This was Foolish. I knew better.

The people of Galatia Started their relationship with God by Faith by believing in Jesus, but now Paul says they are trying to finish it on their own.

As I reflect on this idea this week I started to think it might be a human tendency, but maybe it is just my tendency. I am often humble in my beginnings I always ask Gabi were to find everything, but I rarely let here finish telling me before I have run into that room and started trying to find it on my own. The other day I was taking out my dish washer and I got stuck, I asked Gabi to take a look she found a screw that I had missed I pulled it out and as she said "what about lowering the tensioners." I promptly pulled forward and chipped the front of the counter top.

In our relationship with God their seems to be this same temptation to get some forgiveness to get some healing and then start working again at being good enough to earn our place in Heaven and in Relationship.

Paul gives a great example of something we simply can’t earn. Healing. Being Good or not being Bad never healed anyone –

Give all the kids a Fan. I have just given you all a new, perfectly good fan. I invite you all to use it to cool yourselves. Try spinning the fan with your finger. Try waving it in your face. What is wrong with you Fan? What can you do to fix it? The only thing that will make your fan work is electricity, power, from a battery.

Paul is trying to tell the people of Galatia that Faith in Jesus is were the power is for miracles and for salvation. What we have to remember is that it is easy for us to see our hand working the Fan, and we can feel good about trying to make it work, but if we want to see the fan work right we have to have faith in the electricity we cannot see.

Abraham followed and believed the voice and call of God. No strategic plan, no child. Those who faithfully follow the voice and call of God are called his children.

Abraham is Blessed to be a Blessing to the rest of the world. Paul reminds of this covenant and that God has fulfilled the blessing in Jesus. Genesis 12:3 “All families of the earth be blessed”

Paul uses the phrase “works of the law” three times. In reference to laws being the source of salvation or being “IN”

Verse 10 may sound a little funny to us. Cursed are those under the Law. My first thought was why are those who keep the law cursed? Huh. I can understand that we do see the spirit move, but why cursed.

To bless and be blessed is to give and receive the favor the grace of God. Everything good comes from God.

To curse or be cursed is to LIMIT or be LIMITED.

In Joshua (8:30-35) the Israelites are told to renew their covenant with God. They are instructed to do something incredibly interesting. 6 tribes were gathered on Mount Gerizim, the Mount of Blessing, and 6 tribes were Gathered across the way on Mount Ebal, the Mount of Cursing. The blessings of God were read and the people responded with “Amen.” Then 12 curses were recited and after each curse the people recited amen. The curse covered immorality, idolatry and disobedience to God (Deuteronomy 27:15-26). Essentially they are calling a Curse (limit) on themselves if they are disobedient according to the Law.

So if you want to be blessed by following the law you must do it perfectly or you will incur a curse.

I want to bring us back to our video clip. Most of the people in the video are Cursed. They are LIMITED by an understanding of life that says that their goal and objective is to be Good enough according to a set of rules. For many of them they are creating their own set of rules, but the outcome is the same. They want their lives to and they push the fan. Every time they sin they make the fan harder and harder to push. While all the time the power of God is available to heal their fan and drive their lives

The curse of the Law is seen as the Limit and the Spirit is seen as Power.

How do we share with our Friends the Limits of a Good Enough theology?


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