Keeping Christ at the centre (Galatians 1:1-3:22)
‘A revelation of Jesus Christ’(1:12) – This is what the Gospel is all about. Christ is the Gospel. Without Him, there is no Gospel. What was Paul’s testimony? What did he preach to others? – God ‘was pleased to reveal His Son in order that I might preach Him…’ (1:15-16). We have no other testimony. We have no other message. Christ is our Testimony. Christ is our Message. Paul’s conversion, Paul’s preaching – All of this comes from a very long time ago. So much has changed. Things are so different now. We listen to this kind of talk and we wonder, ‘Is the Gospel still relevant?’. Should we not leave Christ in the past and ‘get on with living in today’s world?’.We listen to the world’s talk and we are filled with doubts. Listen to God’s Word: ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever’(Hebrews 13:8).
Who is the Christ who stands in the centre of Paul’s testimony and preaching? He is the crucified Christ – ‘I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me’. He is the living Christ – ‘I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me’. In Christ, there is love- ‘He loved me’. In Christ there is life- He ‘lives in me’(2:20). The world tells us to forget about Christ – ‘He’s out-of-date’. The Word of God calls us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, to keep walking in the Spirit. Don’t be a fool. Don’t let the world’s ‘patter’ drown out the Lord’s warning: ‘Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?… Are you so foolish? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?’(1,3).