I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong.
Thoughts for Today:When I first became a believer and was born-again, a man at my church (who had been a Christian for decades), decided to take me on as a new disciple. However, the more I studied Scripture with him the more I realized how consumed he was with following rules and regulations. He was so fearful of losing his salvation that he had lost his joy and freedom. How? By erecting all sorts of conditions and behaviors which he thought were mandatory to both earn and maintain salvation. I believe God placed this man in my early Christian life so I would begin to understand what it meant to have freedom in Christ Jesus. How? By his contrasting example.
In our passage today, Paul is pleading with the Galatians to join him by rejecting the Judaizers and their approach of using the Law to earn justification before God. Although Paul was a Jew by birth, he understood the Law was not the way to reconciliation with God. He said, "Be like me (free from the Law), because that's the way you really are." And by remaining free from the Law, he was living more like a Gentile, than a Jew.
Paul's teaching and example was the opposite when compared to the Judaizers. Whose life do you think would provide a more compelling example -- Paul's, or one of the Judaizers?
Questions to Ponder:I asked many questions of the man who discipled me in my early Christian life. As I studied Scripture I realized there were some very important pieces of what it meant to be in Christ that he had missed. Are you missing any of the most critical components? How did God intend for us to live -- in strict adherence to the Law or by the blood of His Son? What does your faithfulness and joy say about your walk? Is what you believe supported by Scripture? (1 Corinthians 1:30: "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.")