Paul wrote his letter to the churches in Galatia to address the temptation that many of them were facing to abandon crucial elements of the Christian faith and smuggle in elements of Judaism. This supposed gospel of faith and law prompted Paul to defend the gospel "by faith in Jesus Christ" which makes the believer "justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law".
Yet this is not just an issue for the Galatians of Paul's day. Today Christians are still faced with the temptation to preach a gospel of faith and works. Of "grace and ______".
Paul's question is as applicable today as it was then: "After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?"
Are you trying to earn God's favor by reading your Bible, attending church, tithing your money? Is your obedience motivated by love or by an effort to merit something before God? Worse yet, are you "preaching" and projecting such moralism onto other Christians? Or even the non-Christians around us? Do the unbelieving around us think that Christianity and salvation is fundamentally about grace and faith and obedience motivated by love, or do they think it's about working through a check-list of moralism every week under human effort?
This week, consider the motivation of all your obedience before God. Examine how you talk about Christianity to your friends, family, and co-workers. And dwell on the grace and love that has been lavished on us by the Father until your obedience is an outpouring of your gratitude and love.