Lent Devotional: Galatians 2:15-21

by Jonathan Haefs

Galatians 2:15-21 (click here)
I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (Galatians 2:21)

You cannot earn a gift… otherwise, it is not a gift, but wages.

This is one of the reasons that Santa Claus has always confused me. I know it is April right now and no one is thinking of Santa, but stay with me. Santa gives gifts to those who behave. I mean, he is always watching… so you better watch out! (It’s a little creepy if you thinking about it)

But the most confusing part to me is that we then have the audacity to call what Santa delivers to boys and girls “gifts!” But they are not gifts in the truest sense… for they have been earned! If you want to put it in really stark terms… Santa is pretty much anti-Gospel.

The Gospel is that God has given the greatest gift, not to those who have been good and deserve it… no… precisely the opposite… Christ died for the ungodly and freely gave them the gift of his righteousness! Out of sheer grace, God made us right with himself through Christ!

If we earned that righteousness, then Christ died for no reason at all! That’s what Paul proclaims in Galatians 2. To try and earn what is actually a free gift is to nullify the grace of God!

In other words… what I’m really trying to say is that Satna ain’t got nothing on Jesus! We’ve got better Gospel good news than Ol’ Saint Nick. Our great God gives the greatest free gift to the naughty list! And I’m so thankful… because that is the list on which I was born and on which I would die were it not for Christ!

So, you better watch out St. Nick… and feel free to cry… grace has come to town and put you out of a job!

*All previous devotionals may be found at 
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.