January 25 – One Word Fulfills

“For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another..” Galatians 5:14-15 (NASB)

The promise that we find in this verse is that “love” is of paramount importance in the life of a Christian. Jesus said it was proof of discipleship. Apostle Paul in this letter to the several churches in Galatia (we don’t know exactly how many), that had been under attack by false teachers, the Judaizers. These Judaizers were aggressive in their legalistic methods to keep Christians as a sect of Judaism. In the fruit of the Spirit we studied yesterday, Love was the first of the list. Paul urgently writes in this letter and makes clear that such love needed to be mutually expressed in the Galatian churches.. As a result of the inroads of the false teachers they were insisting Christians uphold observance of the Mosaic Law as they interpreted and corrupted it with thousands of added legalistic requirements. The church was divided and engaged in bitter strife. The followers of the legalists and those who remained steadfast were biting and devouring each other. This was far from the biblical ideal of believers dwelling together in a loving unity, and threatened the churches with destruction and the loss of their individual and corporate testimonies.