What makes someone spiritual?
How do we evaluate who is a good Christian and who is not?
This is the core issue in the book of Galatians. Paul went in preaching a message of Christ, not culture. The church in Galatia was being tempted to add Jewishness to their faith, and Paul wants none of it.
Try your best to read between the lines of Galatians 3:1-3.
It’s not too difficult to see Paul’s feelings. He is extremely angry. Nowhere else in Paul’s writings do we see him insulting a church so much! Paul is telling them they started with the Spirit. The beginning of their journey with God was salvation. Salvation was completely an act of God, nothing of themselves. Now they were changing the rules and relying on the flesh.
Why did they trust God to get saved but now trust something physical such as circumcision to be righteous, or pleasing to God?
The key to this passage is understanding righteousness as a gift and not as one that is earned by keeping the Law (or following any modern-day rules.)
Read the passage and then let’s take a few moments to examine righteousness.
Galatians 3:3-14(click on this and read the passage. Yes, this is included in the 7 minutes!)
Paul uses the ultimate Jewish example of Abraham to make his point. It was through faith, not works or even circumcision, he was made righteous. Believer’s of all time share this righteousness through faith in Christ.
The beauty of righteousness answers the question of measuring up.
We know we have been declared righteous in the courtroom through justification. The judge declared us righteous at salvation. Righteousness is defined as perfectly measuring up to a standard.
Imagine a ruler being held up to something, and we see that it is perfectly straight. It meets the righteous standard. A plumb line in construction is used to keep walls vertical. It is a tool that shows if the wall meets the righteous standard of being vertical. A standard that is righteous perfectly makes the mark; no more, no less.
The Law tells us the standard God has is perfection(Verse 10). Righteousness sees us as perfectly measured up to God’s standard of perfection! This includes every action, every thought, every word, and every attitude. If we fall short even in a single thought, we do not measure up.
Perfect is perfect!
Second Corinthians 5:21 tells us “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” The reason Christ took on our sin, was so we could measure up to God’s standard of perfection.
The blessing of righteousness is for Jew and Gentile equally. This truth applies for all the ways we divide ourselves today.
Believers of all sexes, denominations, races, economic, or immigration status are equally righteous before God.
Righteousness unifies believers, Law or rules divide.
Righteousness is a gift of God, not something to we accomplish. Through the eyes of righteousness, all believers measure up and are “spiritual”.
How will a proper understanding of righteousness limit the divisions we place on ourselves in the church?
What lies will you no longer believe if you walk in knowledge of being the righteousness of God?
Please comment and let’s learn from each other!
Portions of the passage above were taken from Death of the Modern SuperHero. Copyright 2011.