Author: Ron Graham
Seven Lovely Things
—Prologue to a study of Galatians
In Paul’s letter to Galatians there are seven short passages that are well known and loved by every believer in Christ. In these portions of scripture we find seven lovely things, much more lovely than any worldly thing.
1 Christ’s gift to deliver us (Galatians 1:4)
"Christ gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father".
Even though the cross of Christ is ugly, in a sense, yet many songs have been written expressing the loveliness of the cross. Christ’s sacrifice is lovely and precious to us because we need it so much. We could not satisfy God with our own righteousness without the "one who was willing to die on the cross that a soul so unworthy might live".
2 The life dedicated to Christ (Galatians 2:20)
"I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me; and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me".
If Christ was willing to give his life for you, it makes sense for you to dedicate your life to him. To do so fulfills God’s purpose for your life. To be dedicated means exactly the same as to be holy or sanctified. Your life is set apart for God’s purpose.
3 The unity and fellowship of saints (Galatians 3:28)
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus".
We are not islands. In the yielding of our lives and hearts to Christ, we come into his fellowship, and thus into the fellowship of all his people. We come into one body, the church of Christ, where all barriers are broken down. God loves every soul, and there is no partiality with God. He accepts every one equally who is dedicated to him.
4 The hope of our inheritance (Galatians 4:6-7)
"Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!' Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir of God through Christ".
We have a wonderful hope in the inheritance reserved for us in heaven. When things go wrong here below, it is wonderful to think that we have an inheritance of unimaginable glory and beauty which can never be spoiled. God has made us all his sons (regardless of whether we are male or female). We are all equally heirs of God.
5 The Christian graces (Galatians 5:22-23)
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control".
The "Christian graces" are beautiful attitudes, and there are many others besides those mentioned here. When a life becomes characterized by these attitudes, even the enemies of the cross will respect that life.
6 Our works of righteousness (Galatians 6:9-10)
"Let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith".
This doing good is the companion of the attitudes previously discussed. Whenever we find someone in need, we minister to them that which is good and needful. These works of righteousness befit those who are blessed with God’s grace. When we do these things, it is not our own righteousness that we are doing, but the righteousness of God.
7 The humility of the cross (Galatians 6:14)
"God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world".
Jesus had to humble himself to leave his glory and become one of us, and to accept death upon the cross. Paul knew of this humility, because he was once a man of great pride. He followed what he thought to be right.
But when he encountered Jesus, Paul had to have the humility to change. He went on to live in that humility, saying "Christ lives in me". Paul would not boast except in the cross of Christ his Lord. Let us also kneel at the cross.