Reading: Galatians 3: 23-29
Paul writes of the Law being put in charge to lead people to Christ. For those living under the Law, the prophecies and teachings of the Old Testament certainly shaped Jesus, the disciples, and all the other followers of Christ who had Jewish roots. The basic way of life of a practicing Jew as established by the Law and Old Testament is the life Jesus lived out. After all, Jesus was God incarnate, in the flesh, so all that God is in the Old Testament is embodied by Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
Many of the believers, however, were Gentiles. They did not have the basic way of life down since birth. It would be logical to assume that some of the basic customs such as offering hospitality to the stranger would have been practiced because they were cultural norms. But concepts such as Sabbath, fasting, loving neighbor as self, loving your enemy, and serving only one God would have been new to many Gentile believers. So it was necessary for the Law to be replaced by the teachings of Jesus shared by His followers. As the church grew, people in their local communities came alongside Peter, Paul, Timothy and the other apostles to teach, mentor, correct, and witness to the people of God.
This process of learning, accepting, maturing, growing in, and defining our own faith has been continued by the generations right up to and through many of us. Some are first generation Christians, but for each of us someone poured into us and helped us along as we grew in our faith. For each believer we can name parents, pastors, friends, and others who guided us in the development of our faith. In turn we have and will pass faith in Jesus Christ along to others. Each and everyone who calls on the name of Jesus as Lord and Savior are witnesses to and teachers of the faith. May all we do and say serve to draw all we encounter each day closer to the one true King, Jesus Christ.