We are continuing our reading through the Psalms that would have been relevant to and/or sung by the restored people of Jerusalem.
These Psalms depict a Jerusalem at peace, secure in the protection of God. The restored community experienced the fulfillment of God’s peace in part. We look to the final and “full” fulfillment of His peace in the new Jerusalem!
This peace is made possible by Jesus, the Son of God, who put on flesh so that he might die in our place and take the penalty for our sin. And because of his resurrection, we too can share in his life. Jesus offers this new life to all who believe, both Jew and Gentile – and because he perfectly obeyed the law on our behalf, we are no longer under the law, but under grace.
It is this concept of grace, or unmerited favor, that has become a stumbling block for the Christians in Galatia. For false teachers were infiltrating the churches in Galatia trying to convince the newly converted Gentile Christians to be circumcised.
This is the context in which Paul is writing to the churches throughout Galatia. He begins by asserting that the gospel he preached is the only gospel and he defends his authority to preach this gospel. This authority was given to him by God, alone – in Christ, alone – by grace, alone!
Just like Paul, we have nothing to boast in apart from our life in Christ. The peace we have in our relationship with God and the peace that we will experience in the new Jerusalem is accomplished by God, alone – in Christ, alone – by grace, alone!!