In 2nd Corinthians 13 Paul closes his letter to the Church at Corinth.  It seems that some people in the Church were continuing to sin and Paul let them know that he would confront them when he came.  He even called them to examine whether or not they are in the faith.  Some people can show up when the church assembles, yet not be born again.  If someone has the Spirit of Christ living in them, it will be evident to some degree.  Paul ended his letter with,”The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” Paul calls on the Triune God to grant the Church at Corinth His grace.  His grace alone can empower them to be all he wants them to be.  Lord, help me rely on your transforming grace to make me more like Jesus.

In Galatians 1 Paul does not take long to get to the heart of why he is writing.  Some in the Churches of Galatia were abandoning the Gospel and falling into legalism (earning their way to a right standing with God).  He tells them that their “Gospel” is really not a “Gospel” at all.  Earning your way to a right standing with God is not “Good News,” but “Bad News – because it is impossible to meet God’s standard of perfect righteousness.  There a many things that Christians may disagree on or get wrong, but the “Gospel” is not one of them.  The only true Gospel is by God’s Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, for the Glory of God alone.  Paul understands that their error is the difference between heaven and hell. He has no time to beat around the bush, but condemns those who teach contrary to the only true Gospel.  This is a loving thing for Paul to do, because he understands what is at stake.  Lord, help me to take the Gospel seriously and rebuke any so called “Gospel” that is not Your Gospel.

– Bryan McKenzie

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