In his commentary on Galatians, Martin Luther reflects on the simple phrase “who gave himself for our sins” (Galatians 1:4). First, Luther emphasizes the verb “gave.” Jesus is the giver, not demander or judge. And what does Jesus give? Not a new law, but the gift of himself!
Next, Luther emphasizes the pronoun “our.” It’s not enough just to say that Jesus gave himself for the sins of the whole world. That’s true, but it doesn’t go far enough. For Luther, this message – this gift – is very personal. Jesus gave himself for “our” sins – for yours and mine. In the context of the letter, Paul’s “our” includes himself along with the Galatians. They – we! – are all in this together as recipients of God’s grace and peace through Jesus Christ.
This message is excerpted from the Bible study “Galatians: Christian faith and Christian freedom,” by Kathryn A. Kleinhans in the January/February 2017 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Martin Luther, renewer of the church, 1546. Please pray for the women who will gather online today for a leadership event, For Such a Time as This: Spirit Fed Spirit Led.
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