The Law, the Christ, the Promise

The Law, the Christ, the Promise

Coming in March 2025 from Zondervan Reflective.

A troubling, postmodern trend called “deconstruction” is infiltrating our churches and affecting friends and family alike. It is a big reason we’ve seen well-known musicians and pastors walk away from the faith in recent years. The best defense against such ideologies is a robust understanding of the Word of God. Christians not only need to know what we believe, but why we believe it. Such is the goal of Professor R. L. Solberg’s verse-by-verse study of the book of Galatians. In his passionate letter to the believers in Galatia, the apostle Paul addresses false teachers who have infiltrated the community of believers and were leading them into spiritual bondage. He masterfully demonstrates how biblical literacy and rightly understanding the Word of God is both the vaccine and the antidote for false teachings.

Paul’s letter to the Galatians serves as an extended argument against the false teachings of the Judaizers, and Solberg skillfully leads the reader through its three major movements. In Chapters 1-2, Paul is a church historian, sharing fascinating insights into the early years of the Christian faith, how he learned the Gospel, where and when he first met the other apostles, and more. In Chapters 3-4, Paul is a theological professor putting on a master class. He traces several powerful themes from God’s grand story of redemption, including justification, righteousness, promise, and inheritance. Paul draws a direct line from God’s promise to Abraham to its fulfillment in Christ and explains what that means for Christians today. In the process, he reveals when and why the Old Covenant law was given and its role in our relationship with God. In chapters 5-6, Paul is a concerned pastor providing practical applications for living out our faith by walking in the Spirit and bearing one another’s burdens. This is where we find the famous passage about the fruits of the Spirit and learn how Christians rightly live out their freedom in Christ.

Paul’s powerful defense against the Judaizers has a lot to teach us about the risks and rewards of our freedom in Christ. The apostle cautions his readers against ditches on both sides of the road; lawless antinomianism on the left, graceless legalism on the right. And he shows how these “isms” can cause us to miss out on the beautiful Gospel of Jesus and the true freedom it brings.

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