“For Luke, true faith is what happens when someone looks at Jesus and discovers God’s forgiveness; and the sign and proof of this faith is love.”
Today’s sermon from Galatians 2:15-21 was all about personal transformation in connection with the Gospel message. The two main questions were:
- How are we transformed?
- What does that transformation look like?
Since the fundamental reason we need to be transformed is that we have a relational rift with God, we begin by answering yet another question: How are we made right with God?
The first step is realizing that you need to be transformed and accepting the forgiveness that God offers you and all people in Jesus Christ.
It’s when you fully acknowledge your own need for forgiveness that you then are able to extend that same forgiveness and grace to other people. That’s where the healing and transformation takes place.
Some further thoughts
Too often today, the Church behaves in a way similar to Peter–giving other Christians the cold shoulder because they come from a different cultural or socioeconomic background, when in fact the substance of our faith is the same; we are broken people in need of healing only Jesus can provide.
Sometimes, the Church can also act as if we think we are somehow better or more deserving of privilege than people that disagree with us on God and morality. While we must certainly never waver from our convictions regarding the truth, our faith should spur us to approach others with humility. After all, the only claim to anything of worth we have is to Jesus Christ, who died for us when we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). Just like everyone else, we are deeply needy for a savior. We don’t see those that disagree with us as enemies, but as people loved by God, also in need.
There is no room to be holier-than-thou if you really believe your holiness is only because of Jesus.
 Wright, T. (2004). Luke for Everyone (p. 92). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.