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 May 16, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: 2 Chronicles 21 – 24
Audio: 2 Chronicles 21 – 24

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Memory Verse of the Week

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.
Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?
—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
(2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV)

Galatians 2 (ESV)

Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

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Next: Galatians 3

Back: Galatians 1

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Galatians 2:14 is the verse that jumped out at me today. Although I'm not always successful, I want my conduct as a Christian to be in step with the truth of the Gospel. Everyday I pray that Jesus will allow His light to shine through me, so that others can see it. 

  2. Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— 5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. Galatians 2:4-5

    A False Gospel

    One of the greatest deceptions in the modern church perpetrated by mostly well-meaning pastors is the heresy of "easy-believism." I've written about it, talked about it and will continue to. I've seen first-hand the damage this doctrine has on congregations. The message is appealing but the invitation to “be saved” is void of the meat of the gospel as preached by Jesus and the other New Testament writers. There is no need to confess sin. There is no need for repentance. There is no need to commit your life to Christ to be saved. I've heard it time and time again – all you have to do is believe. 

    One of the ways this doctrine has gained so much traction I believe is Paul's letter to the Galatians being taken out of context.

    In their zeal, they believe they are upholding the "true gospel" and go so far as saying "confessing sin" and "repenting" is a “work” then they quote Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast."

    But confessing sin and repentance is not a work. It's not something we do to deserve God's favor or to merit grace and forgiveness. Confession and repentance happens when we recognize our sin and offense to a holy God and cry out to Him for mercy, for grace, for salvation – and we do this in faith.

    Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 7:10, "For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death."

    Godly grief "sorrow" (over sin and unbelief)
    Produces a repentance (turning from sin and turning to Christ)
    That leads to salvation (salvation is the result of godly sorrow and repentance). 

    In Matthew 16:24-26, Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?"

    If the gospel proclaimed is not in the context of what Jesus said in Matthew 16: 24-26, it's a false gospel. 

    Cheap Grace

    In 1937, a German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a book titled "The Cost of Discipleship" where the phrase "cheap grace" was first used. Bonhoeffer said, 

    "CHEAP GRACE is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting to-day for costly grace.

    Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church's inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite.

    What would grace be if it were not cheap?

    Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian "conception" of God. An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be of itself sufficient to secure remission of sins. The Church which holds the correct doctrine of grace has, it is supposed, ipso facto a part in that grace. In such a Church the world finds a cheap covering for its sins; no contrition is required, still less any real desire to be delivered from sin. Cheap grace therefore amounts to a denial of the living Word of God, in fact, a denial of the Incarnation of the Word of God.

    Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything, they say, and so everything can remain as it was before. "All for sin could not atone." The world goes on in the same old way, and we are still sinners "even in the best life" as Luther said. Well, then, let the Christian live like the rest of the world, let him model himself on the world's standards in every sphere of life, and not presumptuously aspire to live a different life under grace from his old life under sin. That was the heresy of the enthusiasts, the Anabaptists and their kind. Let the Christian beware of rebelling against the free and boundless grace of God and desecrating it. Let him not attempt to erect a new religion of the letter by endeavoring to live a life of obedience to the commandments of Jesus Christ! The world has been justified by grace. The Christian knows that, and takes it seriously. He knows he must not strive against this indispensable grace. Therefore-let him live like the rest of the world! Of course he would like to go and do something extraordinary, and it does demand a good deal of self-restraint to refrain from the attempt and content himself with living as the world lives. Yet it is imperative for the Christian to achieve renunciation, to practice self-effacement, to distinguish his life from the life of the world. He must let grace be grace indeed, otherwise he will destroy the world's faith in the free gift of grace. Let the Christian rest content with his worldliness and with this renunciation of any higher standard than the world. He is doing it for the sake of the world rather than for the sake of grace. Let him be comforted and rest assured in his possession of this grace-for grace alone does everything. Instead of following Christ, let the Christian enjoy the consolations of his grace! 

    That is what we mean by cheap grace, the grace which amounts to the justification of sin without the justification of the repentant sinner who departs from sin and from whom sin departs. Cheap grace is not the kind of forgiveness of sin which frees us from the toils of sin. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.

    Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate."

    Costly Grace

    Bonhoeffer continues, "Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble, it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows
    him.

    Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.

    Costly grace is the sanctuary of God; it has to be protected from the world, and not thrown to the dogs. It is therefore the living word, the Word of God, which he speaks as it pleases him. Costly grace confronts us as a gracious call to follow Jesus, it comes as a word of forgiveness to the broken spirit and the contrite heart. Grace is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; it is grace because Jesus says: 'My yoke is easy and my burden is light.'"

    I highly recommend "The Cost of Discipleship" if you want to know what a true disciple of Jesus Christ is. 

    https://www.christianbook.com/the-cost-of-discipleship/dietrich-bonhoeffer/9780684815008/pd/83850?event=ESRCG

  3.  Verse 20 is a favorite .  I no longer live , but Christ lives in me.  It is my deepest desire that people would see Christ in my life! That He would shine always, through me, and brightly! That I would be an instrument for Him to touch the lives of others and they would be drawn to Him. Thankyou Jesus!✝️❤️😊

  4. Galatians 2:16 (ESV)
    16  yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

    "justified" A convicted criminal is declared righteous. Not because he has done something that outweighs the bad in his life, but because of the grace of God, he extends mercy. Legally, it is just as if I had never sinned. Mercy is a little different from grace. Mercy is withholding just punishment, it is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we don't deserve.

  5. I encourage everyone to read Romans 4 again. 

    Abraham was justified by God not because of anything he did, but ONLY because of his faith in God. He BELIEVED God.

    Abraham’s obedience to God was simply — very simply — a response to faith in God. But his faith had already justified him, before he did a single thing. 

    GOD, in His infinite mercy and grace, did not justify Abraham because of anything but Abraham’s faith. Otherwise, Abraham would have something to point to or boast of. 

    Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a [self-righteous] wretch like me!! I once was lost [in my pride and self-righteousness] but now am found, was blind but now I see!! God’s grace saved me!! 

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