You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? (Galatians 3:1-2)
My life changed when I went to church with a friend and discovered that by God’s grace Jesus removed my wrongdoings and wanted a personal relationship with me. I had no reason to feel guilty any longer and enjoyed the peace I felt while worshipping and being in God’s presence.
Then people from that same denomination turned on me. I was a pariah when I got divorced. They thought others weren’t saved when not baptized by immersion and looked down on those who didn’t tithe. They pointed fingers at those whose transgressions were apparent while hiding their own sin.
Paul calls those whistleblowers foolish and bewitched. He thought those unloving, legalistic Christians were under the spell of the enemy. Unfortunately, legalism is still prevalent in many denominations and causes many to backslide as it did me. My Christian ex-friends may never realize the harm they inflicted on me and others.
God’s salvation is easy—declaring Jesus as our Savior. Churches should exist only to teach the Bible, support its members, and spread God’s love. We have only one commandment to love God and each other.
Father, I praise you for the Bible’s teachings. I’m not guilty because of your love and grace. Convict me when I point fingers at others and act unloving. Let your Spirit work within me to spur myself and others toward love and good deeds. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.