Previously we looked at the message of the cross to new believers. What an incredible discovery! Imagine having no sinful past to bug you!
Well, something a bit like that happened to those people in Galatia as they listened to Paul preach. Look now at verses 3, 4 and 5.
First, Paul talks about ‘grace’. What does he mean? Well, all genuine blessings in life come to us from God. They are His gift to us. They are always unmerited— unearned. He favours us with these unasked-for benefits.
So here, in this verse, Paul is asking that the Galatian Christians might know more of God’s grace—more of His unmerited favour and blessing.
Second, Paul talks about ‘peace’. Once again, all genuine peace comes from God. We are only ever at peace when we have a conscience that is at rest. A conscience that is tranquil. Such a peace as this can only come from a sure knowledge that our sins are forgiven and that God is no longer angry with us.
The Gospel had brought this certainty to the Galatian Christians, and Paul is here wanting them to know it and to be living in it. Notice that both ‘grace’ and ‘peace’ come from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
These twin blessings come only from God, through Jesus. That’s why it’s a fruitless waste of time to be trying to get satisfaction in life from any other source than God Himself.
Third, in verse 4 we are told that Jesus Christ gave Himself up (on the cross) in order to salvage us from our sins. Paul knew that Jesus was Lord, because He had died and risen again. He knew that sin and death and evil had been defeated!
This means your sin and guilt has been taken by Jesus Christ and has been wiped out forever.
Verse 4 adds: Jesus died so as to deliver us from the stranglehold that this present world system has over us. It is an evil influence, whether we recognize it or not. It is headed up and master-minded by none other than Satan himself.
The enemy doesn’t care what we do or how we live, so long as God is not in the picture. But to succeed, he must blind us to our true state, and keep us constantly ‘under his thumb’. Only the Son of God can rescue us from that terrible servitude.
Verse 4 also tells us that all of this has happened because it was the Father’s desire and intention. He planned it all. He has sent His Son so that you might be forgiven and that you might be freed from the power and influence of this godless world in which we live.
What a fabulous thing to be forgiven our sins by God the Father! No wonder Paul thanks and praises God in verse 5. Glory to God! Praise to the Father! Thanks to the Lord Jesus Himself for what He has done!