Paul's Letter to the Galatians is as fresh as if he wrote it this morning. To "walk in the Spirit" is to believe that God is holding on to your hand, not vice versa (5:16-25). But the common idea is that you've got to hold on tight to God's hand or you'll be lost. Get it straight: you must believe He is holding on to your hand! (Isa. 41:10, 13).
We cannot truly help someone else unless we can put ourselves in his place ("there but for the grace of God go I"). That's the basic principle of corporate guilt and corporate repentance (6:1-6). The final mark of the beast will be "persecution for the cross of Christ." "The truth of the gospel" as it is in Galatians will therefore be part of the final "loud cry" message that will lighten the earth with glory (6:12, 13; Rev. 18:1-4).
To understand and believe this gospel of the cross delivers one from captivity to worldliness in all its forms. The malls and new car showrooms all will lose their charm for you if, like the Galatians who heard Paul preach, you "see" Christ crucified for you (3:1; 6:14).
"The third angel's message in verity" is the full liberating truth of the new covenant (4:16-31). Salvation by faith cannot be understood unless faith is understood as that which "works by love [agape]" (5:1-6). Proclaiming "the truth of the gospel," the kind that lays the glory of man in the dust, always brings persecution on its proclaimer (5:11, 12). Genuine liberty inherent in true faith never produces license. It produces the glorious liberty inherent in self-control (5:13, 14). Just as light is stronger than darkness, love is stronger than hatred, grace is stronger than sin, so the Holy Spirit is stronger than the "flesh" with all its sinful addictions.
Therefore, if one understands and believes Paul's "truth of the gospel," he finds it easy to be saved and hard to be lost (5:16-18; compare Matt. 11:28-30; Acts 26:14). This is shocking to most Christians, but it is what Galatians says. This book is dynamite! Let Paul have his say, and people will love it or hate it. Nobody can sit on the fence after understanding Galatians.
--Robert J. Wieland