"How could you be so stupid?" —Galatians 3:3
"Hey, Galatians," St. Paul shouts, "wake up! You heard me preach that Jesus saved you by His death and resurrection. You accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, and then received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Then, after I left town, you listened to false preachers, set Jesus aside, and tried to get right with God on your own. How could you be so stupid?" (see Gal 3:1-5)
No doubt the Galatians were stunned by Paul's charges. The fact that they preserved Paul's letter shows that they did wake up and repent of giving Jesus less than first place. They set aside their erroneous beliefs instead of setting aside Jesus. They renewed their belief that they were justified with God by faith in Jesus and nothing else (Gal 2:16).
Jesus is the only name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12). "There is no salvation in anyone else" (Acts 4:12). He is the "Way" to the Father; "no one comes to the Father but through" Jesus (Jn 14:6). Once we know this truth and then relegate Jesus to a second-class position in our lives, we're worse off than before we ever accepted Jesus (2 Pt 2:20-21; Mt 12:43-45). We think we're relying on Jesus, but in reality we've made Him just another item in our religious collection. We've traded eternal life for a short-lived distraction. We are "stupid" (Gal 3:3).
Give Jesus first place. Accept Him as Lord. Then keep Him as Lord.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, by my standards I think I'm awake, but by Your standards I'm sleeping. Give me Your urgency and Your wisdom. Come, Holy Spirit!
Promise: "Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you." —Lk 11:9
Praise: James tries to keep himself rooted in the Truth and to stay awake in Christ by reading his Bible, Catechism, and papal encyclicals.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2006
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