In the Galatian churches, open, unmasked error was supplanting the gospel message. Christ, the true foundation of the faith, was virtually renounced for the obsolete ceremonies of Judaism. The apostle saw that if the believers in Galatia were to be saved from the dangerous influences which threatened them, the most decisive measures must be taken, the sharpest warnings given.
This week’s Scriptural Pursuit reveals Paul’s genuine concern, worry, hope, and love of a good shepherd for his wayward flock. He was not just correcting theology; he was seeking to minister to those whom he loved. The letter to the Galatians in a broad sense also shows just how important correct doctrine is. If what we believed were not that important, if doctrinal correctness did not matter all that much, then why would Paul have been so fervent, so uncompromising, in his letter? Paul encourages the Galatians to be genuine followers of Christ.
To be a follower of Christ is more than just the profession of faith; it involves a radical transformation into the likeness of Christ. Paul was “not looking for a few minor alterations in the Galatians but for such a transformation that to see them would be to see Christ.”—Leon Morris, Galatians (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1996), p. 142.
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Lesson 9 for November 19-25