St Paul is appalled by the Galatians tendency to move back to living according to the outward observances of the Law even though they have heard the Gospel – the call to focus on our interior or spiritual response to God’s word. The latter is much easier to do and to measure and hence perhaps this is why we tend to always slide in that direction. The challenge for us all is to maintain a consistent approach to looking at our spiritual response to the Gospel and to ensure that we do not neglect this aspect of our lives.

 

St Paul asks the Galatians to reflect upon their experience of conversion. Did their conversion, and hence salvation, depend upon their obedience to the Law or was it the work of God that we freely receive in through faith in the power of the Holy Spirit? They know the truth – now it is up to them to live it! This means making decisions to place spiritual realities at the forefront of our lives. We cannot afford to ignore God’s call to obedience, or if we do, we do so at the peril of our salvation. In Paul’s mind only a fool would ignore the Gospel demands of spiritual renewal once having embarked upon such a path simply because by this time one has already been convinced of the truth of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ or else one would not have embarked on the journey of faith in the first place!

 

This is what Paul cannot understand with the Galatians – they know the truth but seem to be happy to ignore it and go back to their old way of life! Where is the sense or logic in that? Before we too stand in judgment over the Galatians let us be sure that we have not fallen into the same error. Let us be sure that we maintain constancy in the life of the Spirit and do not allow a preoccupation with the Law to lead us astray. Let us be sure that our lives are truly submitted to both the Word of God and the Spirit of God lest we too fall into the same trap as the Galatians.

 

In my faith walk with Jesus do I tend to measure how I am doing according to precepts of the Law or the demands of the Spirit? The Law is important but without the Spirit it will merely be legalism.

 

Holy Spirit, help me to live a life under your grace and power, always seeking to live the truth and the law under the power and grace you give to me.