A SEASON IN GALATIANS
(Below is an approach to reading Galatians that our church Cross of Christ Fellowship here in Naperville will be attempting this year)
Reading the Bible regularly and consistently is a vital spiritual discipline for Christians. It is here that we HEAR the voice of God, learn true truths (as Francis Schaeffer called them) about ourselves, God and reality. It is here that we can fill our minds and feed our hearts with the wisdom and knowledge of the God who made us and loves us.
Sadly, we live in a day of rampant biblical illiteracy. Many professing Christians in America today have very little basic knowledge of the Scriptures. Here’s a piece that highlights the current state of professing believers (including those would call themselves evangelical) in America: http://thefederalist.com/2016/10/10/survey-finds-american-christians-actually-heretics/
As we strive to be disciples of Jesus who makes disciples, it is vital that we as a church are committed to reading and knowing the Bible. This will not only safeguard us from heresies and false doctrine, it will also feed our souls and helps us in our fight against sin, along with stirring up fresh love and devotion in our hearts for God. As humans, we are so quick to forget and we need constant reminders of the gospel and the truth of Scriptures. We need to hear God’s voice regularly; we need His voice in our minds and hearts even more than social media, news, or entertainment. God is our life and His word is the ‘light unto our feet.’
So, along with encouraging everyone to make Bible intake a regular and consistent spiritual discipline, as a leadership team we thought that we would encourage everyone in the church to spend 2017 getting to know one book of the Bible much better. We desire to make 2017 a season of studying the book of Galatians together.
Galatians is a letter that the Apostle Paul wrote. In it, there is a very clear explanation of the gospel and the doctrine of justification. The book was used mightily by God in the hearts of the Reformers, in particular Martin Luther. It is timely as well for us to study Galatians, since 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the Great Reformation, where many of the precious truths of the gospel and justification were recovered and proclaimed.
So, to help us in this, we would encourage you to consider making Galatians a book that you come to know VERY well in 2017, that we might individually and corporately be shaped and transformed by its message and content.
To help facilitate our study of Galatians in 2017, we will be having one Sunday (October 29th) where we will spend the morning considering the book together. As we do this, we would love for you to spend the next 9 months investing time and energy to better understand Galatians as individuals, couples and families. Then when we do meet for worship together on 10/29, we will all have had plenty of time to soak in the book’s truths and message.
Here’s some practical ways you can come away with a better understanding of Galatians these next 9 months:
1. Read through Galatians 20 times. Here’s a gospel coalition article about how doing this with each book of the Bible over time dramatically changes how we think and feel: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-change-your-mind1
2. Memorize some verses in Galatians that are particularly relevant to you.
3. Memorize a larger portion of the book (several chapters or one chapter)
4. Memorize the entire book of Galatians.