(Orange, Texas)

January 19, 2013

God’s love alone provides God’s grace

Charles Holt
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — It’s going to be a very bad year for a number of people beginning on January 1. As we all know, it is now 2013. This creates a special problem for people who have a superstition about the number 13. This superstition has a name. If you would like to try a turn at pronouncing it, it is called TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA—fear of the number 13. If you are one of these persons may I suggest that you grab a horseshoe and nail it over your front door or perhaps buy a rabbit’s foot and carry it wherever you go. Do you suppose that the big serving of black-eyed peas one ate on New Year’s Day will be sufficient to ward off the inevitable bad luck?

Myths and superstitions have plagued Christians throughout the ages. They still linger, and affect, multitudes. One of the clearest examples of this idea of mixing myth with superstition can be found in the NT book of Galatians. Everywhere Paul preached in the region of Galatia his message was based solidly upon and rooted solely in the grace of God to save. He was a “grace alone” preacher and teacher. The Gospel he preached and taught was: “even when we were dead in trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)….For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:5-9).

The Galatian Christians had changed their minds and actions by adopting rules and teachings the ancient Law of Moses had prescribed.  Paul’s concern for these Christians could not be hidden. “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?” (Galatians 3:1 NKJV). “I told you very clearly about the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. But now it seems as though you have let someone use their magical powers to make you forget” (3:1 ERV). “O you poor and silly and thoughtless and unreflecting and senseless Galatians! Who has fascinated or bewitched or cast a spell over you, unto whom—right before your very eyes—Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was openly and graphically set forth and portrayed as crucified?” (3:1 Amplified Bible).

Church membership will not do it. Being a good person will not do it. Trusting Jesus alone is the only saving answer. What do you believe? Are you sure?