Archives For Galatians

Gospel Versus Religion

October 6, 2015

I’m teaching Galatians this week in Cape Town. In my preparation, I came across a comparison floating around the internet of the gospel versus religion by Tim Keller.

I thought it was worth sharing with you all here at

It is worth chewing on, searching our hearts for the subtle differences which can creep into our lives.




Below is a very insightful comparison between “religion” and “the gospel” drawn from the sermons of Tim Keller (Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan). Tim does a remarkable job of probing hearts and revealing how easily we slip into self-dependence mode. As I’ve been saying each Sunday, real slavery according to the Bible is self-reliance. So, read the comparison list below with humility and care. It will do your soul good. 

RELIGION: I obey-therefore I’m accepted.

THE GOSPEL: I’m accepted-therefore I obey.

Boasting in Jesus

February 6, 2012

We are wrapping up our 7 Minutes a Day series in Galatians today. Paul finishes up the letter by challenging the believers to walk out grace in a few specific areas of their daily lives. 

Read Galatians 6

1. He starts by telling them to walk together in this life of grace, bearing one anthers burdens. Grace is a message that unifies, works compete and divide. 

When one’s life is focused on grace, not works, it affects how we deal with others who are struggling. A believer’s response to sin in another’s life is to be one of gentleness; helping them walk through the struggle and eventually change.

2. Grace is generous. Paul encourages the believers to share resources with each other, even with your teacher. In doing so, Paul gives place for those who work as pastors, teachers, or missionaries to earn support through the work of the ministry.

The Anti 12 Step Plan

January 30, 2012

We left off  with Paul showing the futility of adding works to Christ, attempting to gain the favor of God. Now he is giving the Galatians the secret to success as a Christian. Don’t miss it!

Read Galatians 5:16-26.

Wait a second!
Where is the 12-step plan?
Where is the formula?

Again Paul uses the contrast of spirit and flesh. The “secret method” he gives is to “walk or live by the Spirit.” In other words, live a life of trust and dependence on God. Do not rely or trust in yourself or your own works.

He reminds the Galatians they were saved by trusting God without any of their own works or effort involved.

How do you live and grow? The same way.

Jesus + ? = Success

January 17, 2012

 Yesterday, we examined Galatians 5:1-15 in our 7 Minutes a Day series. Paul actually advocated that the false teachers in Galatia not only circumcise themselves, but to go the whole way to castration. He was exposing the error of their thinking. For a refresher, have a look at yesterday’s post.

I left off mentioning that I have spent years asking audiences what is inserted into a “Jesus +” formula in the modern church

Here are the most popular answers:

prayer                church attendance     missions                        Sunday school
worship              tithing                      spiritual gifts                   volunteering
Bible reading      obedience                relationship not religion    not being lukewarm

If you have been following the 7 Minutes a Day Series, you know that the issue Paul is dealing with in Galatians is a false teaching of Jesus + circumcision. According to these false teachers, it was the secret to the successful Christian life. It is into this situation that Paul writes his letter to the Galatians.

As you read, ask yourself if you are as serious about a “Jesus +” mentality as Paul was.

Click HERE to read the text : Galatians 5:1-15

Galatians 5:1 has echoes of redemption and righteousness, showing the Galatians were set free from trying to measure up to the Law. Why would they go back to it? Works based salvation is equated to slavery. By trying to improve the work of Christ with the act of circumcision, the Galatians are going back to the Law (a works based system).