it doesn't add up
"What must I do to inherit everlasting life?" —Luke 10:25
St. Paul founded the churches of Galatia on his missionary journeys. He preached that people were set right with God not by any efforts or actions of their own, but by having faith in Jesus Christ (Gal 2:16; 3:22, 26). Eventually, Paul moved on to other cities to preach the gospel.
A few years later, traveling evangelists visited Galatia. These men taught that more was required to be justified with God. They accepted that faith in Jesus was necessary, but then taught that people needed to go beyond "just faith." They probably accused Paul of being soft on the Gentile converts of Galatia, that he watered down the gospel by making it too easy. These men demanded the Galatians add circumcision and dietary restrictions to faith in Jesus. This message probably sounded challenging to the Galatians, and so they went over to a gospel other than that taught to them by Paul (Gal 1:6).
If we depend on anything besides what Jesus did for us in His death and Resurrection, then we "treat God's gracious gift" of salvation by faith in Jesus "as pointless." We act as if "Christ died to no purpose!" (Gal 2:21) Paul said this: "Pay close attention to me, Paul, when I tell you that if you have yourselves circumcised, Christ will be of no use to you!" (Gal 5:2)
For the next ten days, the Church proclaims to us the letter to the Galatians. Read Galatians as if for the first time. Examine anew the basis of your faith. Is there any way in which you are telling Jesus that His death and Resurrection were inadequate for you? Are you adding anything to Jesus? Subtract the additions. Simply accept Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God by faith.
Prayer: Jesus, may I never consider You to be a puny God.
Promise: "He has sent deliverance to His people; He has ratified His covenant forever." —Ps 111:9
Praise: Paul had made an exception for himself when reading Jesus' "hard teachings." He repented and followed Jesus in obedience.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 31, 2016
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