The story of religion can be summed up as the story of making and trying to keep divine laws. Even Biblical religion can be described in this way. There is no doubt that God gives laws in the Scriptures and that the laws that he gives are good. But the greatest gift that God gives to humanity is his Son, Jesus.
The message about Jesus is what is referred to in shorthand as the Gospel. We call it Gospel because it is good news. Even though the law might have been good, it was not necessarily good news for sinners who could not be saved by the law. Jesus, however, comes with the expressed purpose to save sinners. He is the Gospel.
Galatians is written to a church climate in which there was a battle between following Jesus and following the Mosaic law. The emphatic position of God through the Apostle Paul is that Jesus is superior to the law in every way. Read together this week’s passage.
The three reasons presented as to why Jesus is superior to the Law are:
- Jesus is the pathway to be in God’s family.
- Jesus frees us from the curse of sin (whereas the law only places under a curse of sin).
- Jesus precedes the law.
We must understand the Gospel as something that stands apart from religion. Our salvation is fundamentally based in a faith relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. We have no other means to God beside him.
- How would you describe the word faith to somebody who has no reference point in Christianity?
- Why can a Christian rightly be called a descendent of Abraham?
- How is faith deeper than a mere belief in facts?
- How is the law anti-faith?
- How have you sometimes mistaken that a law helps faith when in fact it detracts from faith?
- In what ways does the law curse us?
- What is Jesus’ role in creation?
- Why is the doctrine of creation important to understanding that salvation comes through Jesus?
- How can you refute somebody who argues that an older religion is a better religion?