DAILY DEVOTION, Sept. 23, 2021
And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16).
Paul prays for peace and mercy on those who walk according to this rule. What does he mean? He refers to the Gospel he expounded on in the first five chapters of Galatians. He refers to Jesus, Son of God, Savior of the world, our resurrected redeemer. He has been urging the Galatians (and us) to hold fast to the one true Gospel as their rule of faith and practice. Any deviation from this rule will lead us astray. There is only one Gospel, and those who want to tinker with it are accursed (Chapter 1). This is serious business.
Then comes another cryptic statement. What is “the Israel of God?” Paul understands that “Isreal” has two meanings: the physical nation, and those Jews and gentiles who belong to Jesus. It is the latter he has in mind. We who believe in Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, are the Israel of God. Jesus has broken down the division between Jew and Gentile. In Christ, there is no Jew and Gentile, male or female, etc. The Israel of God is simply the church of Jesus Christ consisting of every tribe, nation, people group, etc. —- all who have placed their trust in Jesus.
Gracious Father, thank You for Jesus our Savior and Lord. Thank you that all who believe in Him and one family. Human racial and ethnic distinctions vanish. Help me to live in the light of that truth. In His name, Amen.