We are hoping to start offering somewhat regular devotions here on the website. To get us started, Wade is going to be offering some devotions he wrote in the parish on the first half of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. If he has time, he will write more to get us through the entire letter. Today is our first installment. Rather than inserting the biblical text into each devotion from a translation, we’re hoping you can dust off your Bibles and read the verses from whatever you currently use. If not, you can always find them online. If you find these helpful, please do share away. We definitely appreciate it.
Today we begin a new epistle, St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. This epistle is paramount for a correct understanding of the distinction of law and gospel, which, together with Jesus Christ, who is the heart and core of Scripture, is the key to understanding God’s revelation to mankind. Paul begins by explaining who he is to write such an epistle, to teach in the church, since no one is to preach or teach in the church without a call, as we are reminded in the Augsburg Confession. Paul’s call originated from the same place as the call of every pastor and teacher, but it came to him in a quite different fashion than calls received today. While pastors today are called by Christ through the church, St. Paul was called directly by Christ. Call to mind his conversion account again, which he will retell later in this epistle. Paul was called, and not only to be a pastor, but to be an apostle, an office in the church of much wider scope and unique to the time immediately following our Lord’s ascension. Paul was called through Jesus Christ and God the Father to bring the gospel to Jew and Gentile, to Israel and, in particular, beyond its borders to the Gentiles. The Galatians knew this. Paul had already preached and taught among them, but now as he must warn them against false teachers and admonish them for their failure to hold fast to the pattern of sound words and teaching, he reminds them of this, so that they dare not question who he was to take such a task upon himself and why in the world they should bother to listen to him and not to the preachers whose self-serving and convenient words tickled their ears and appealed to their old Adams. Continue reading “Galatians Devotions (Getting Started)”