The Galatians & The Prodigal Sons

By: Danny Chua

If at any single moment, you’re like the elder brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son (‘Sons’ rather, if I may propose), vehemently hating the life of sin and working vigorously in the Father’s house, something must go wrong.

We, ‘elder brother Christians’ (which many of us dangerously/nearly are?) live surreptitiously in the backdrop of our ‘younger brother’s Christians’ blaze of sin and prostitution. So as the Devil fluently ‘Screwtapes’ our hearts into an endless mechanism of self-righteousness, our Gospel amnesia sets in as we gradually grow cold and dull to showing, and also receiving the loving affections of the Father – the same loving affections shed upon our ingloriously, bullish heads and the foolish emptiness of the ‘younger brother Christians’. But both sons are fools, as we all are, at many regurgitating points in our lives. True story.

“Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified” (Galatians 2:16)

The aforementioned messages point to the fact that the same Grace is given to both sons, and the same Grace is incessantly pursuing us to live as True Sons. For True Sons, they acknowledge that their ‘younger-brother sin’ is always black, consistent, a little ineluctable, but nevertheless, clearly dirty. They know they occasionally fall into ‘older-brother slavery’, their merely contorted idolatry turned into a life of fruitless toil – why should they invest heavily in nothingness?

Thanks be to God that there is daily, this heavy reminder that the Grace bestowed upon hell-bound souls is offered and extended, albeit through cracked jars of clay that is me and you, is the Grace flowing like an endless river to those who need it more than ever, those at home, in the church, and oh-so-urgently, out of the church.

So… Why so serious? Because we are all mere immortals headed for Hell or Heaven?Shouldn’t rational beings adopt less nonchalance about such earth-shattering decisions? I suppose the last thing we should expect out of a fine and dandy story painting 2 irritating sons, that is the Parable of the Prodigal Son, should be anything in the form of apathy or disinterest. The weight of choosing True Sonship, or not, is beyond our imagination now, I believe. But there can only be one choice:

If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell. (C. S. Lewis)

In simple words, Jesus died for our sins, sins that would have sent us to eternal death (Romans 6:23), so that we can have eternal, picture-perfect reunion with God our Maker. (2 Corinthians 5:19). Good news to you? Good news to me!

“- so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles (us!), so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:14)

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