By Grace Alone

As we begin to study the book of Galatians, it’s important that we understand that it’s all about grace. It’s the justification by faith alone, apart from works. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ’s work alone.

But do we live like it?

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast.—Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB

Journal: Share your understanding of “Grace” up until this point in your life.

Maybe you grew up thinking you had to earn God’s approval but always felt like you could never measure up. It wasn’t up to us, to begin with. God’s Word is a gospel based on Christ alone, not on what we do or say to earn our way. When we try adding to the gospel what isn’t there, we ultimately take away the best part: Grace.

And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.—Isaiah 29:13 NLT

Respond: What is something you do or have done in the past to try to earn God’s favor?

Because of grace, we don’t have to have it all together. We can come before Christ just the way we are. He loves and accepts us despite our flaws. If we’re rooted in Him, He will transform our lives.

And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done.—Colossians 2:6-7 TLB

Our spiritual root system must be planted by the living water, deep roots in the Word of God and not in church or the rules that we keep. The law changes the behavior without changing the heart. It’s when we allow the Holy Spirit to change our hearts that the behavior follows, and we can walk in the grace He so freely offers.

Read: Numbers 22:6-13

Respond: What was Balaam’s attitude towards God’s instruction?

God doesn’t want obedience out of obligation. He wants us to delight as we yield to Him. What’s in our hearts matters more than we may think. As we permit Him to have His way in our lives, He transforms us on the inside and gives us all we could ever want or need.

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.—Psalm 37:4-5 AMPC

Accepting God’s grace may not come easy to you. It may be that you’re just understanding it for the first time. He is good, and His mercy endures forever. You only have to receive. So ask Him to help you begin walking in grace today.

Activation: Make a list of things that you do out of obligation and not delight. Ask God to show you what you should do with those things.

Holy Spirit, teach me to delight in You. Please help me, I’m not really sure how to do this.
Teach me to roll up my cares, my anxiety, and my agenda and rest them all in You. It’s not in my strength alone, but Yours.
I desire You and only You.
I yield to You and only You.
I commit to You and only You.
I delight in You and only You.
Thank You for Your infinite mercy and grace. Amen
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