By J.A. Medders
If Martin Luther’s 95 Theses registered as a 9.0 earthquake on the Reformation’s Richter scale, his commentary on Galatians was the aftershock. Galatians is a nuclear rod of grace. Whatever it touches is transforms, sets free, enlivens and revitalizes. The church in Galatia needed a reviving around the gospel of grace. Honestly, who doesn’t?
Paul wrote this spicy letter to the Galatians because they were toying with the gospel. Because of false teachers in their community, the Galatians were about to tamper with the gospel of grace, diluting it by adding their own works. But we don’t make the gospel better by adding to it—that’s how to de-grace the gospel. Christ alone and none of our works makes us righteous before the Father. This is why Paul wrote to the Church, and this is what we still need to hear today on the regular.
As Paul gets off the starting block, he goes right into the full-flavored gospel. “Grace to you”—it’s not you climbing toward grace, reaching for it. Grace to you. Grace always runs downhill, meeting us right where we are. Only Jesus can deliver us from our sins—past, present, and future—and we cannot deliver ourselves and make our relationship with God right. Only Jesus can rescue us from this dark, post-Eden, pre-New Jerusalem age. Faith alone in Christ alone is the only way we are saved. Simple. Supernatural.
Right now, in the heavenly places, the risen Christ lives for you. The Father raised the Son out of Joseph’s borrowed tomb, defeating the biggest threat in your life: death. Jesus cracked the jaws of death when His eyelids flung open that Sunday morning. Were any of our works present that first Easter? No. But our risen Savior was there, dying in our place.
Grace alone. Grace always.
And that leads us to say, “Glory to God alone!” As Paul says, “To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.” And that’s what the book of Galatians is all about: God alone gets the glory. We can’t smuggle in any works, impressiveness, or goodness along with God’s grace. It’s just grace. It’s just Jesus. He is more than enough. Glory to God.
Written by J.A. Medders