Saturday, June 6, 2015


Galatians 3
by Jonathan Hill

When I played basketball in middle school, my eighth grade year our team went undefeated.

We started that season like every other season with lots of running, lots of drills on the fundamentals, and going over the plays.

As the season wore on and we continued to pull out victory after victory, we started developing rituals.

One of the guys wouldn’t wash his socks until he we lost a game.
I always had to have two pairs of socks (black underneath and white on top).
Another guy had to drink an orange Gatorade.

We started ascribing our success to our “good luck” rituals… until we entered a tournament at Christmas break and by halftime we were losing by twenty points.

The coach was letting us have it and going over the key mistakes we were making. One of the guys made the mistake of referring to one of our “good luck” rituals and the coach reminded us in no uncertain terms that to trust in socks to win a game was stupid… we needed to trust in what got us to that point, executing the plays!

We came back out and ended up winning the game by nearly twenty points!

In Galatians 3:1-9 (ESV), Paul writes with a passion and urgency to the Galatian church.

He uses harsh language. He calls them foolish, and forces them to remember what really pleases God--faith.

The Galatian believers had something bigger at stake than a game of basketball, they had their lives on the line.

They were living according to a standard, a set of rules, that ultimately amounted to nothing more than a ritual.

They had bound themselves to it and lost their power to overcome sin and temptation.

They garnered a false sense of confidence and began living a deceived life. So much so that the apostle Paul compares their state to someone who is under a spell.

In effect he says, “this isn’t you, you’re not in your right mind. You should be smart enough to see through this scam!”

When the young believers in Galatia switched their focus from trusting in the work of Christ to trusting in what rituals and traditions they could keep, they also lost their humility.

Their confidence was no longer in the work of Christ, but in their own deeds

They imagined that their rituals gave them power or right standing before God, but all it really did was expose that they were far from him.

Paul writes and reminds them of the gospel that is good not only for salvation, but for daily living.
The power to overcome sin and temptation isn’t something we can drum up, it is found though trusting Christ alone. (tweet this)

The gospel is the only true source of power for living a life that glorifies God.  


This article submitted by guest blogger Jonathan Hill

Jonathan lives in Pensacola, FL where he writes and speaks about leadership in family and ministry. He is a husband, father, and committed follower of Christ. He has over eighteen years’ experience as a student pastor. He has been a guest speaker in a variety of settings including student camps, disciple now events, student and college retreats, family conferences, and revivals. You can find more of Jonathan’s devotional, theological and biographical writings by checking out his blog,
The Hill House.

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