Paul makes sure to include this warning in all of his letters to the churches. “To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you” (verse 1). He makes sure EVERY church gets this message. That message is salvation through grace and not works.
There are those out there that are preying on the young believers. They are convincing them that they need to convert to Judaism and follow the Old Testament laws to be saved. Paul shouts NO to this! He makes sure that every church he works with gets this information, even if it is a repeat.
As a Jew, Paul had much to brag about. His whole life was lived in accordance with the Old Testament laws. His parents started him out right from the beginning and until he had his encounter with Jesus, he had lived the model life.
But none of it mattered. He couldn’t earn his way into heaven. The law wouldn’t get him there. Only faith in Jesus and His grace. Everything Paul counted on in the beginning was worthless. It was a total loss.
Once he met Jesus though he was willing to give up ALL claim to righteousness. He had to lose his dependence on himself and depend only on Jesus. THEN he truly gained! He gained eternal life. He gained a personal relationship with Jesus. He gained Sonship from the Father. He gained power through the Holy Spirit. NOTHING he had ever had compared to this and it was worth everything to him. That was why it was so important that everyone he met understand the whole truth.
The truth of salvation by grace and not by works, no matter how good those works were. The truth that bondage comes by trying to enter any other way into God’s Kingdom than through His Son Jesus Christ. The truth that He did all the work for us with regard to salvation. The truth that there are going to be costs to follow Him, but the prize is SO worth it. The fact that knowing Him is worth any price.
Father God, thank You for drilling this truth into my soul. I wish everyone would know it fully. I’m sure there is still more for me to learn on this issue too. I know I have issues with guilt when I don’t write or “pray enough.” I don’t believe that guilt comes from You. I believe it is Satan trying to discourage me and tell me what a poor excuse for a Christian I am. Yes, I KNOW You desire to spend time with me but You don’t beat me over the head when I get pulled into other things during our time. Tonight You even let me come in starts and stops because of the demands of my “job.” Thank You for meeting me this way too. I treasure our time together even when it is delayed or deferred.
You are still with me even when I’m not sitting down and concentrating on Your word. You are with me in the songs that I sing or the snippet prayers that I send to You. You are even there when I’m feeling frustrated and discouraged by being called repeatedly. Thank You especially for Your reminder to be loving even then. Your Spirit’s voice then is GREATLY appreciated!