Bible Tips And Tidbits:
Savoring God’s Word One Bite At A Time.
Grace’s Grip
All we are, have, do, or gain is the result of God’s grace, not our merit! Our salvation and our service are first for God’s pleasure, not for our benefit. Paul makes this truth clear in his testimony about God’s call (Gal. 1:15-16). Paul writes, “But when God, the one who marked me off from my mother’s womb and called me by His grace, delighted to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the nations, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood.” Click to read more…
Our Missional Purpose
God saves us to send us. Every Christian serves Christ’s mission from the moment of conversion to the last breath of life. We must not live aimlessly but purposefully. Paul illustrates the urgency of this mission in Galatians when he tells us that God revealed Christ to him “so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles” (Gal. 1:16). The purpose of saving was sending! Paul did not go up to Jerusalem to be credentialed by the apostles but went straight to Arabia before returning to Damascus (Gal. 1:17). 
Avoiding Isolationism
Paul established his apostolic independence by stressing that he received the gospel through a revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:11-12) and not through the instruction of the other apostles. He spent the first three years of his ministry preaching in Arabia independent of any apostolic credentialing, approval or support. Paul needed no one to validate his missional calling to preach Christ to the Gentiles
(Gal. 1:16-17).
Anathema!
The gospel divides! It is good news to those who accept God’s grace, but it brings anathema on those who distort the truth. Paul wrote, “But even if we or an angel out of heaven preach a gospel to you other than the one we have preached to you, let him be anathema” (Gal. 1:8). Paul repeats the statement in the next verse with the slight change of a gospel “other than what you have received.”
 
Religious Pacifiers
Many today offer religious pacifiers instead of the true gospel. Some sell a watered-down gospel of cheap grace and easy believism to attract crowds. Others peddle moralism or ritualism to give people a false sense of security because they can keep selective rules or practice special rituals. Religious pacifiers appease people by offering them something they can do to be right with God. But when we preach to please people, we distort the gospel and displease Christ.
 
A Rabid Devotion
There is a zeal for God and country that ravages all compromisers – a devotion that becomes destructive, a patriotism that breeds fanaticism. Paul possessed a rabid loyalty to Judaism that drove him to zealously protect the traditions handed down from his forefathers (Gal. 1:13-14). His misplaced zeal justified his persecution of Christians as enemies of the Most Holy God and corruptors of his national traditions. There are few emotions more unholy than a holy zeal gone rabid. 
Unpacking The Undeserved Gift
Bonus time! Our employer hands out the end of the year bonus. We appreciate it and look forward to it, maybe even bank on it each year. It’s a gift, but it feels like we deserve it. After all, good employees deserve a share of the profits, we think. The gift becomes a wage we earn not an undeserved gift. We, Christians, may develop a similar attitude with Christ’s gift to us. We would never say it like that, but we come to treat His gift like the company bonus.
The Big Gospel
The gospel is more than the good news about justification by faith in Christ’s death. Paul writes, in his opening words to the Galatians, that Christ “gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age” (Gal. 1:4). The Galatians accepted the first part but corrupted the second part which is why they were in danger of turning back to the elemental principles of this world (Gal. 4:3,9).
Foggy Doctrine
Many churches intentionally tolerate fuzzy theology to attract a wider audience. They say, “We don’t care about doctrine here. We just love Jesus.” A murky picture of Christ emerges through the haze. Paul argues in Galatians that fuzzy theology actually denies the Christ we claim to love. Foggy doctrine leads us to betray God. “I am astonished that you are so quickly betraying the one who called you by the grace of Christ for another gospel” (Galatians 1:6).

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