The Jewish religious leaders worshipped the law.  I think that’s why the bible often refers to the strictest of the Pharisees as “Lawyers.” They did not know, love, or worship the lawgiver but turned the instructions God gave for healthy, happy community life into their religion, the object of their faith. The true believer in Jesus does not worship the law; he worships Jesus, the fulfiller of the law. In Seminary, there are courses in Bibliology. It’s the study of all things pertaining to the Bible. It’s great to learn about the inspiration of the writers, the transmission of the truths contained therein, the translation into many languages, and the content, author, and dates of all the biblical content. Some people confuse interest in God’s word with the worship of God’s word. It becomes an idol that beguiles us away from our love for God to our love for the law. There is a fine line between Bibliology and bibliolatry, the worship of the Bible. We often sing, “To God be the glory, great things He has done.” I’m old enough to have the tune ring in my mind as I wrote that last sentence. The book teaches us about all the great things God has done for mankind, from creation to redemption. Paul wants his readers to know that all glory belongs to God, so he says in Galatians 1:3-5, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

When we worship the written word instead of the living word, Jesus, we become legalists who miss the entire point of God’s giving us His word. The focus shifts from what God has done for us in His Son, Jesus, to what we do for Him. Paul always focused on his love for Jesus and his worship of God the Father and Jesus Christ, His divine son. Man cannot win God’s acceptance with the works of the law. As a matter of fact, without faith in God, it is impossible to please God at all, according to the author of the book of Hebrews. When my behavior, my knowledge of the law, or my commitment to the law becomes the key focus of my life, I fall from grace. It becomes about me! It must remain about Jesus! Paul’s opening words in his epistle to the Galatians make that clear. He commends Grace and Peace to his readers, which can only come from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. He then speaks of Jesus’ action of giving himself for our sins to deliver us from this present evil age as God had planned.  He emphasizes what God has done for us. Then in Galatians 1:5, he concludes, “To whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” If we focus on what we do instead of what He did, we seek our own glory.

Gromacki says it well in his commentary on this passage. He writes, “To bring glory to God, a believer must thank Him for who He is and for what He has done. He must admit, with Jonah, that ‘salvation is of the Lord’ (Jonah 2:9). He does that when he knows that the plan, provision, gift, and preservation of human redemption are all of God. This is the reason why Paul concluded his book with these words: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14). When a person adds works to faith as a prerequisite to salvation or as a basis for the retention of salvation, he takes away from the glory of God. To Paul, the difference between a true gospel and a false message was determined by whether God received all of the glory or just part of it. Evolutionists strip the glory of creation away from God, and the Judaizers were stealing the glory of redemption from Him.”