Galatians 1:1-10: Jesus + Nothing = Eternal Life

Galatians 1:1-10: Jesus + Nothing = Eternal Life

PRAY: Humbly ask God to give you wisdom to understand this portion of the Bible and the faith to live out what He reveals to you.

READ: Galatians 1:1-10

I just returned from a two-month mission trip to Southeast Asia. Buddhism was everywhere and has ruled the day there since about the time the apostle Paul wrote 'Galatians'! It was eye opening to see their homes full of countless statues of Buddha and to hear their prayers to dead ancestors. Very foreign  to me. Not exactly the sweet-tea drinking, churchy, southern, Bible-belt Tallahassee folks I’m used to.

Don’t get me wrong, the Buddhist people were nice and they try to live moral lives. However, WHY they do leaves us worlds apart. Their hope is that if they are good enough, then upon death, they will be reincarnated into a wealthier or a more powerful person. Yes, they do believe in the idea of sin, but they wholeheartedly reject the notion that somebody else can pay the sin debt of another person.

So, when I attempted to explain that one Man (Jesus) could completely and fully pay for the sins of the world, many of my Buddhist friends looked at me like I was crazy!  And that was how the apostle Paul reacted when heard the Galatian Christians were flirting with a false gospel.

In Galatia, there were false teachers (aka the Circumcisers), who had entered the church and began teaching that circumcision was a requirement for salvation. No circumcision, no heaven! For real?  

Paul was shocked and annoyed by this! “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel” (Gal. 1:6).

The Galatians needed correcting, and to be informed of the seriousness of their actions. It’s likely they did not view their actions as apostasy; chances are they felt that they were improving upon, or enhancing, what Paul had already taught them. But they had forgotten the gospel equations:

Jesus+ Nothing = Eternal Life

Jesus+ Anything Else = Nothing

I have to say I’m thankful for Paul’s reminder. If I’m honest, there are many times when my life would look no different from that of a Galatian church member; I’ll live like I’m trying to earn my salvation and leave God’s grace behind. That’s called legalism, and it deeply affects my relationship with God.

Often I live like I’m trying to pay God back, instead of having faith that He will provide grace for the future.  And just like the Galatians, I need my legalism to be called out and destroyed. I need people to speak the gospel into my life and remind me that salvation is not about what I can do, but is wholly about what Christ has already done, and that He has done everything for our salvation, allowing Him to say “It is finished” (John 19:30).

Fortunately for the Galatians, Paul does not take them out to the whipping post and beat them. Instead, he leads them back to grace, and back to the foot of the cross (Gal. 1:1-4). When you and I mess up we must return to Jesus and the gospel that saved us. Don’t try to clean yourself up before going back to God! That will lead you deeper into the trap of trying to earn God’s favor. Return to Jesus and don’t delay!

As you head out into the city today, you will face an age of cultural relativism and pluralistic religious beliefs, maybe even a Buddhist friend that needs to hear about Jesus. Lets be bold and contend for the gospel as the exclusive way to eternal life. Salvation is by God's grace, through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Lets preach the gospel to ourselves daily! May we trust only in the completed work of Christ and ever swim in the ocean of His unfathomable grace.              



1.       In what ways do we add to the gospel? What are some “Jesus+ Something Else” messages that are taught today?

2.       When your Judgment Day comes, what will you say when God looks at you and says, “Why should I let you in”? Will you point to Christ, or will you point to your church involvement, good deeds, humanitarian work, etc.?

3.       What practical steps can you take to avoid legalism as you share the gospel with unbelievers?

4.       Why is approval from others such a large obstacle to standing up for Christ in Tallahassee?


MEMORIZE: Gal. 1:10

This week's devotional is written by Zach Jones. Zach is an FSU student and City Church Owner apprenticing to be a college City Group Leader.

Galatians  1:11–24: And they glorified God because of me.

Galatians 1:11–24: And they glorified God because of me.

PRAY & READ:  Galatians 1:11–24

It is important for one to trust the messenger before one can trust the message. Football season is upon us and armchair quarterbacks are a dime a dozen. Sitting at an FSU football game, it is amazing to find out just how many coaches there are in the stands. Well, at least that is the way they come across.

Every play is scrutinized and fans shout what play should have been run that would have “obviously” scored a touchdown instead of resulting in a punt situation. When the temptation comes to join in the critical analysis, it is good to remember that my background does not give me a right to make that call. In fact, there is a reason why Jimbo Fisher is getting paid the big bucks to be down on the sideline while I am paying the big bucks to sit way up in the stands in a corner of Doak Campbell Stadium. He has the credentials to speak authoritatively to the team while I do not. Those players trust the plays called by Coach Fisher because they trust Coach Fisher and the experience and success he has had over the years.

It is important to remember that the main issue in the letter to the Galatians is to clarify that the good news (gospel) of Jesus is that we are declared righteous before God on the basis of our faith in the Person and work of Jesus on the cross alone and not on the basis of any good works. But would the Galatians even bother reading it if they didn’t trust Paul?

After the initial introduction of the letter, Paul quickly addresses the fact that many were turning away from this gospel (Gal 1:6–10). In order to convince his audience of the truth of his argument, he has to establish his own validity. In the same way that the FSU football team trusts the plays called by Coach Fisher because of his background, Paul is appealing to his own experience and background to establish his own authority. In order to trust the message, the Galatians have to trust the messenger. That’s huge when it comes to sharing our faith with our lost friends! Do they trust you?

Paul reminds the Galatians that he not only had years of experience as a Jewish scholar (Gal 1:14), but he was called by a revelation of Jesus Christ to be a witness for Jesus to the non-Jews, including the Galatians themselves (Gal 1:12, 15–16). Paul did not have to lean on the apostles to establish validity but the apostles validated his authority anyway because he was a changed man (Gal 1:22–24). The same holds true for us. Our story and background should demonstrate a changed life and our daily life should reflect a trustworthy messenger of the gospel to those with whom we share that message. Even Jimbo Fisher would agree with that!



1.       As a person who claims that the gospel of Jesus is true, does your life reflect the credibility of that claim?

2.       Do people trust you as a messenger of the gospel? Why or why not?

3.       Paul used his past failures (Gal 1:13) to demonstrate the radical change that has taken place in his own life (Gal 1:23–24). Does your past haunt you with feelings of guilt or are you allowing Jesus to use your story for His glory? 


MEMORIZE: Gal. 1:26 “And they glorified God because of me”

This week's devotional is written by Lance Beauchamp. Lance is a City Church Owner who has served as a City Group Leader, coach and elder. He is also a PHD and the BCM Director at FSU.

Galatians 2:  Gospel Centered?

Galatians 2: Gospel Centered?

PRAY & READ: Galatians 2

What does it mean to be Gospel-Centered? The idea behind it is to call the church back to what is Paul stated is “of first importance” in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. That is “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” Gospel-centered living is being able to stay up on the balance beam of the gospel without falling off either side. Some people fall off by abusing God’s grace as a liscense to sin while others like the Galatians were tempted to try and earn God’s favor by following the Jewish Law.

Galatians 2 tells the story of a critical crossroad in the life of the early church.  It was a time about fifteen years or so after the gospel had begun spreading throughout the Jewish and Gentile worlds. Then it happened. 

The church encountered one of its first big controversies over the question of what it meant to be a Christian. Paul confronted two different kinds of ‘influential’ people impacting the church and the message of the gospel. One from within and one from without.

  1. The “circumcision party”; which had infiltrated the church and was influencing a false gospel; where adding works of the Law was required for salvation. And…
  2. The apostle Peter (Cephas) and enterage; who were ‘influential’ church leaders from Jerusalem that preached the true gospel but needed to be confronted because of their hypocrisy. (See vs. 11-13)

What makes Chapter 2 unique is that here Paul not only guards against false gospels but he also confronts ‘influential leaders’ from within the church when he sees a disconnect between what they practice and what they preach. 

What can we learn from this encounter between Paul and these influential people?  

First, “What is of first importance?”  The gospel. This is a real issue in our world today, as the temptation to change the gospel in order to be accepted by others is very strong.  Many make the argument that we must change the gospel to fit our culture, to make it more appealing, or the church might not survive, but to do so would be as Paul says in verse 21 to attempt to “nullify the grace of God.” 

Second, “Who is of first importance?”  Jesus.  Lets’ admit it. We live in a celebrity culture and the church is not immune to the effect of celebrity.  Just like the early church we look up to those that “appear influential” or have thousands of twitter followers and we rely on them for our authority, often without giving Jesus our first attention. Paul makes it clear in Galatians that he is not afraid to confront influential people when the gospel is on the line. Neither should we be.

Bottom line: Lets keep first things first today and remain gospel-centered. You and I, as ambassadors of Jesus need to keep our identity, our hope, our lives and our everyday conversations centered on Jesus and His gospel. That is of first importance!



  1. Do I truly understand the gospel myself?  Have I fallen off either side of the gospel? (Either trying to earn God’s favor through works or abusing God’s grace in pursuit of sin)
  2. In what ways am I tempted to twist it or go around the gospel to make it more palatable for me or others?
  3. What ‘influential person’ or Christian celebrity do I run to for truth before I turn to Jesus and His Word? 
  4. How might I speak the loving, freeing, glorious truth that Jesus died for all in everyday conversation today?

MEMORIZE: Galatians 2:19-20

This week's devotional is written by Michael Strickland. Michael is a City Church Owner and serves as a City Group Leader and in the band. He works in the FSU College of Music as the IT Director.

Galatians 3:1-18: I am a Chronic Forgetter

Galatians 3:1-18: I am a Chronic Forgetter

PRAY & READ: Galatians 3:1-18

 “ Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” Galatians 3:13

I am a Chronic Forgetter. I forget to take out the trash. I forget to text people back, or bring sunscreen to the beach. I often forget to bring a towel to the gym, and even on occasion, I forget people’s names.

The Galatians were Chronic Forgetters as well. In the opening of Galatians 3 Paul calls them “foolish” for forgetting the gospel of Jesus Christ; foolish for forgetting that our salvation was won on the cross through the perfect life of Jesus, not through our own works.

False teachers were trying to convince the Galatians that the gospel alone was not enough. That works needed to be added to the end. They believed that salvation through faith in Christ was too simple, and too easy.

In Galatians Paul reminds us that the law was given in order to reveal our sin, not give us the requirements needed to remove it. The purpose of the law was to point us to our need for Christ. It is like a mirror that reveals our dirtiness, but cannot make us clean. Only Jesus can do that.

Some of the Galatians had forgotten the simple truth of the gospel. As we read this passage we need to ask ourselves, “Have we forgotten it too?”

Have we forgotten that it wasn’t our actions that convinced Jesus to take up his cross; it was the father’s love for us? Have we forgotten what Galatians 3:13 tells us that, Jesus “redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us?”  Have we forgotten that we don’t need to earn the reward of God’s love? We just need to realize that we have already received it through Christ.

I forget these things all the time.

I am a Chronic Forgetter. I am a foolish sinner who needs to be reminded again and again and again about the free grace given through the cross of Christ. I am a foolish sinner who needs to be lovingly rebuked like the Galatians and led back to drink of the gospel of Jesus Christ.



1.       What are some aspects about God or the gospel that you tend to forget? Why?

2.       What is it about God or His gospel that you need to remember most today at work/school/home?

3.       Are you ever tempted to think we can somehow how to earn God’s love? How will you remind yourself that you have been redeemed by Jesus if you have trusted in Him as Lord and Savior?


MEMORIZE: Galatians 3:13

 “ Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.”

This week's devotional is written by Hunter Leavine. Hunter is the Youth Pastor here at City Church.

Galatians 3:19-29: Our Promise Keeping God

Galatians 3:19-29: Our Promise Keeping God

PRAY & READ: Galatians 3:19-29

I love when people keep their promises and hate when the break them. Have you ever broken a promise? Sure, I’ll pay for lunch next time or I swear I’ll never do that again. People will let you down.

God keeps His promises. You can bank on that!

In the previous verses of Galatians 3:15-18 we see that God made a promise before He put in place the Law. This promise more specifically stated that God would set aside a people for Himself. He would be there God and they would be His children. This promise runs like a golden thread all the way through the Bible.

“I will always keep my promise I have made to you and your descendants, because I am your God and their God.” Genesis 17:7

God made this covenant promise to Abraham way before Moses was ever given the Law and it is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. God makes good on His promises. So why is this important for you and me?

There are days we need to know that our God keeps His promises.

There are days we are tempted to loose heart, to give up, to question everything. There are days when suffering surrounds us and we need to know that God is with us, even if He doesn’t end our suffering right away. There are days when we have blown it and we need to know that God delights in us and that we are blood bought and forgiven in Christ. There are days we need to lay our lifeless bodies and exhausted souls in the mighty arms of our promise keeping God.

Sometimes we think can be good enough, keep it all together, and work hard enough to fix our situations. Often we think that we can even do all of this so well that God will accept us more or love us more because of what we do. Really? What can we do that God can not do infinitely greater? How can we be good enough in the presence of self-sustaining, all-sufficient, Holy God?

Simply put, we can’t.

Here is the theological catch point. When we try to earn God’s favor by being good, we are declaring that what we do is greater than His Promise and redemptive work Jesus did on our behalf.

We must be saved and upheld by God’s original promise that He would be our God and we will be His people. This comes by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. God does not lie. He keeps this promise even when we are at our darkest times. Find comfort there weary soul.



1.       Have you ever felt like God doesn’t love you or accept you because of what you have done on not done? If so, this is the great freedom found in the Gospel. That God loves us not by our works, but because of the work of Jesus Christ.

2.       If we become an “heir” to this promise we just looked at above, does it matter how we live? Why?

3.       What are the promises of God you need to remember today?

4.       What are some places in your life now that you need to trust Him? List out some actual steps you can take to be faithful in the promise God has made to you.


MEMORIZE: Galatians 3:29 “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” 

This week's devotional is written by Bryan Bair. Bryan is a local church planter of SouthPoint Church, which we support as a sister church in Tallahassee.

Galatians 4:1-7: We are not orphans

Galatians 4:1-7: We are not orphans

PRAY & READ:  Galatians 4:1-7

Would you prefer to be a slave or a son? A wife longs to be loved as a desired bride not a maid. A little boy or girl desires to rest their head on their daddy’s chest rather than be parentless in an orphanage. We would all rather own property or be property of a task master? One of the great things about being a follower of Jesus is that we are not orphans, slaves or maids. We are adopted as ‘sons’ of God.

Paul begins Chapter 4 by contrasting a believers life before salvation with their life after salvation. He does this using an analogy of a child’s coming of age. A child, or heir, is "under guardians and managers" and is basically no different than a slave. Just as a child is too young to receive his inheritance, also the Israelites were under the Law until the "fullness of time had come." (vs.4)

In Bible times, sons were often treated like slaves until they reached the age of maturity. In Roman culture once a son reached that age he was formally adopted and acknowledged as a son by his father. That may sound weird to us today but it is important to understand Paul’s ‘slave to son’ analogy.

For the Israelites, the inheritance was promised during the covenant with Abraham but Israel lived in a time before this promise was realized. But not so with Christians; Jesus changed all that!

Paul tells us that we were once slaves under the Law until Jesus freed us and adopted into God’s family. Jesus lived under the Law in order to free those who were slaves under the Law (4:4-5). Slaves became sons!

By Jesus' work, we have been redeemed and receive "adoption as sons." (vs.5) As God's adopted children, we receive the future inheritance, beginning with His promised Spirit. We not only get legally adopted into God’s family, we get the experience of having the Perfect Father and something unique happens in us that transforms us from the inside out.

The Holy Spirit not only dwells within us and gives us a desire for God but He also fills us with an intimate toddler-like cry for God as “Abba” (daddy) in prayer. I love the sound of my kids voice when they call for their ‘daddy’, how much more do you think God loves to hear our voice?



1.       How do you feel about being an adopted into God’s family?

2.       What does it mean to be God's adopted child?

3.       Have you ever felt the freedom to call out to God as “Abba”? How do you see God? How do you think He sees you?

4.       How does Paul contrast living under the Law and living by the Spirit?


MEMORIZE: Gal. 4:6

This week's devotional is written by Todd Inserra. Todd is a City Church Owner who has served as a City Group Leader and is a local fire fighter.

Galatians 4: 8-31:

Galatians 4: 8-31:

PRAY: Before you begin reading today, ask God to help you understand His Word & also to help you understand your own heart & mind…attitudes & areas in your life where you need God to help you become more like Jesus.

READ: Galatians 4:8-31

“No turning back, no turning back.” If you’ve been around church for a while you may recognize those words as the closing for each verse of the hymn I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.

For a follower of Jesus Christ the battle to consistently & intentionally live out the Gospel is a war waged in our hearts & minds…multiple times a day. Paul knew this all too well in his own life. In his letter to Christians in Rome (Romans 7:15ff) he becomes transparent about the struggle to follow Jesus in obedience. 

For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. Romans 7:19 

The Christians that Paul was writing to in Galatia were no exceptions to the fight, & neither are we. It would be easy for us to boil following Jesus down to a list of do’s & don’t…seasons or holidays that we celebrate (or that we don’t celebrate). Daily goals & tasks that could be completed & checked off our Christian “to do” or “to don’t” lists would seem to make life more manageable. Crossing off those action items or making it another day without giving into that specific temptation moves the authorship of our faith from Jesus to ourselves. It’s not all about us!

Paul bluntly called out the Galatians struggle with people pleasing. For the sake of the Gospel Paul would spoke to them like a spiritual parent saying, 

                “My children, I am again suffering labor pains for you until Christ is formed in you.” (Gal 4:19)

Paul saw that they were trying to manage their sin rather than die to it; that had fallen into the trap of becoming their own functional saviors rather than trusting and growing in Christ.  

We need to be reminded that Jesus lived a perfect & sinless life so that He could die in our place as the blameless, sinless, unblemished sacrifice. Jesus’ work on the cross & through His resurrection is the work which reconciles us to God…not anything that we can do.

So as we seek to follow Jesus with all of our life, our aim is that we wouldn’t turn back to the old way of life where we used to find temporary satisfaction. Our goal would now be to faithfully walk toward Jesus & not be distracted by what others may say we need to add to faith in Jesus. 

The ambition for Christians is now to daily (maybe multiple times a day) die to sin & self. That’s a lot easier said than done, but we start by asking the Holy Spirit to help us. After that Paul would say that we need to have other Christians in our life to encourage & support us as we seek to live out the Gospel. 

Through the power of God’s Holy Spirit & the community of God’s people we can walk out the truth of the third verse of I Have Decided to Follow Jesus: The world behind me, the cross before me. No turning back, no turning back.



1.     What causes you to get distracted from genuinely following Jesus? Do you tend to choose to go back to old things from before you were a Christian, or do you trade the joy of following Jesus in for a checklist of do’s & don’t’s?

2.     Paul knew it was important to have others involved in our life, especially those that would seek to encourage us to live for Jesus day in & day out. Who do you have in your life currently helping you do that? Do they really know the areas where you are struggling? If you don’t have at least one person who can encourage you in living for Christ, why not?

3.     Sometimes it seems like the first step in following Jesus is to stop doing something. There are also numerous aspects of Jesus’ life that we need to begin implementing in our life (i.e. pursuing humility, practicing patience, boldly & gently speaking truth, etc.). What is one attribute of Jesus’ life that you can ask God to begin cultivating in your life this week?


MEMORIZE: Galatians 4:8-9

This week's devotional is written by Zach Allen. Zach is the College & Connections Pastor here at City Church. 

Galatians 5:1-15: Freedom not to sin

Galatians 5:1-15: Freedom not to sin

PRAY & READ:  Galatians 5:1-15

This passage contains some of the strongest language in the New Testament: Paul sarcastically says he wishes that those who were perverting the gospel would go castrate themselves. When I first read that I LOL’d. That’s taking circumscision to the next level!

Is this inappropriate language for Paul to use? Maybe they strike you as a little too ‘un-Christian’ or Bible-belt ‘nice’. But In Paul’s mind, there is nothing more important than the gospel, which was being corrupted in Galatia. The true gospel is the power of God for salvation; false gospels are a ticket to slavery and hell. That is a big deal! So Paul uses this appropriately strong language to convey how truly important this is to understand. In other words… ‘listen up Galatians’!

Paul wants Christians to realize that they are free in Christ. We often think of this as freedom from something—the removal of restraint. However, Christian freedom is also freedom to something.

We have been set free from the curse and burden of keeping the Law, and we have been set free to live for the glory of God. Our Freedom is not a license to sin; that would be an abuse of God’s grace.

We were created to live for the glory of God.  However, due to the fall we have been slaves to sin ever since Adam and Eve’s rebellion in Eden. We were powerless to fix this on our own, so God sovereignly intervened. Enter Jesus. Now at salvation, the debt Jesus paid to ransom us from our sin slavery is applied, and we are set free to live as we were originally designed. Though, this won’t be perfectly realized until we are glorified with God after death. We are free not to sin! Today you are free to glorify God at work, school and in your everyday conversations.



1.       Do I take the gospel as seriously as Paul, such that I can explain and defend what it is? (That is not just “Jesus died for you,” but the necessity of justification by faith alone.)

2.       Is there an area of my life where I abuse my “freedom” by living for myself (which is actually slavery) instead of living for God?

3.       Why do you think the entire Law is fulfilled in the command to “Love your neighbor as yourself”? (Vs. 14)


MEMORIZE: Gal. 5:14-15

This week's devotional is written by Brian Seagraves. Brian is a City Church Owner and serves as a City Group Leader. He is a blogger and author, writes and teaches on apologetics, and is a software developer.

Galatians 5:15-21: The Works of the Flesh are Obvious.

Galatians 5:15-21: The Works of the Flesh are Obvious.

PRAY & READ: Galatians 5:15-21

Let’s keep it real: Christianity has a lot of rules. When I first surrendered my life to Christ­­­, I was generally confused by so much on the “right and wrong” list. I thought it was simple —love God, be kind to your neighbor, attend church, and don’t sin. It’s the “sin” part that seemed to always trip me up.

I had a five-word, mental catalogue of what I thought sin entailed. Included were: lying, cheating, drinking, drugs, and cussing. Sounded easy enough for me! Abstain from those five and you were a goody-two-shoe Christian fit to carry the cross through the end zone and spike it like a champion for Christ.

Throughout the book of Galatians, and specifically the fifth chapter, Paul addresses the sin nature that every human being owns and reminds us of how our flesh — our bodies — are the very instruments that both tempt and lead us into areas of destruction.

“But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh…” Galatians 5:15-16.

Here’s where it gets complicated (and uncomfortable). What exactly does Paul mean by “walk in the Spirit” and “ not fulfill the lust of the flesh?” In simple terms, I used to interpret it as: be perfect and don’t have sex.

As a single, Christian woman, the struggles of my flesh are many — from controlling my tongue and not spitting out a sarcastic quip to conquering my emotions and avoiding a contentious argument. The struggle is real and yes, living a single life void of fornication is included. But the lusts of the flesh are many and they have no hierarchy. One sin is not better or worse than another one regardless if you are single or married. So what are the works of the flesh? Here’s where Paul keeps it exceptionally real:

“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (vs.19-21)

Paul doesn’t play guessing games with us in Galatians. He unapologetically outlines the works of the flesh and makes plain the consequence: “…those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” God has given us His Spirit, and as we walk with/in Him daily, He not only gives us power to overcome temptations but power to live godly lives.

It’s not an easy commute or quantum leap to travel from accepting Salvation to learning to “Walk in the Spirit.” With this newfound awareness,­­ you can wake up each morning knowing that you can either walk in the Spirit or on your own. Don’t get out of bed before praying to God for help living out the gospel today. God desires for you to journey through life with Him each day so that you not only inherit the kingdom of God, but can know God and enjoy Him forever.



1.       Which “works of the flesh,” are challenging your spiritual life and how are they hindering your growth?

2.       Why do you think Paul had to take such a forthright approach in outlining the works of the flesh in Galatians chapter 5:15-21?

3.       What is one specific way ‘walking in the Spirit’ today would change the way you normally live?


MEMORIZE: Gal. 5:15-16

This week's devotional is written by Penny Dickerson. Penny is a City Church Owner who serves on our Guest Services Team. She is also a professional journalist.

Galatians 6: Conflict, Money & Compromise

Galatians 6: Conflict, Money & Compromise

PRAY & READ:  Galatians 6

In Paul’s concluding chapter to the Galatians he revisits the Galatian church’s problem with the Judaizers (Circumscizers) in some practical ways. He gives concrete illustrations of what it means to live as a Christian individual within a community when that community is guided by freedom in the Spirit. Paul solidly roots personal responsibility and communal accountability in the theme of Spirit-led freedom he discussed in chapter 5 (5:1, 13-14, 22-25).

I hate conflict, drama and don’t like to confront people. How about you? Verse 1 gives us guidance on how to confront and restore a Christian caught in sin. The principle behind this is that those who “live in the Spirit” are entrusted with the responsible care for one another (2). Sometimes to love someone is to say something really hard for them to hear. While doing this, we must be guard our own spiritual lives so that we do not become prideful and fall into sin ourselves (3-5). This is accomplished only by living in the Spirit (4a), and not simply comparing out spiritual state to that of others (4b).  Because ultimately we will all give an account to God (5).

I not a very generous person and my stingy heart hates opening my wallet. This is especially true when it comes to giving to our church if I’m honest. But God is changing me. I almost like to give now. Spiritual people are to be supportive of those who instruct them in righteousness (6). We are to be generous with our earthly things with those who are generous with Spiritual things for us.

Caring for God’s church and ministers is a spiritual responsibility for every believer. Paul compares this to sowing seed, recognizing that you will ultimately reap what you sow. Not in a prosperity gospel sense where if you give to the church or a pastor you will receive that money back and more, but in a spiritual sense. It’s not a pay-day loan. Paul says your giving is spiritual and you will reap spiritual rewards, just as your selfishness and pride are carnal and will reap corruption.

I struggle with pleasing others and wondering what you think about me or what I’m writing. But I’m learning that if strive to please people I cannot be a servant of Jesus well. (Gal 1:10)

That is why in 11-16 Paul describes the difference between living to please God in the Spirit and living to please men with religion. The Judaizers of Galatia wanted Christians to keep the Law simply to avoid religious persecution from religious Jews, rather than boldly proclaiming the cross of Christ and the freedom it brings. Paul instead exults in the cross and any suffering it may bring. He knows and maybe even enjoys suffering a bit if it is suffering for Christ’s sake. Simply put, Paul is dead to the world and the world is dead to him. (14) This thought keeps me focused and free from the slavery of people pleasing for the rest of my life.



1.       How are we to help “carry one another’s burdens”? What are some dangers of this to be aware of?

2.       How is giving to the church my spiritual responsibility?

3.       What are some ways I attempt to please others instead of living in the God-exulting freedom of the cross? Where do you draw the lines of spiritual freedom and living however I want? How are those determined?


MEMORIZE: Galatians 6:14

14 But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world.

This week's devotional is written by John Wells. John is a City Church Owner who serves as a Redemption Group Leader and works for the IT Department of UF.