A Rap Song Based on Paul's Letter to the Galatians

By Marjorie Foerster Eddington

Christians rejoice in Jesus' resurrection. Think of the impact this event has had on the world! One of the best ways we can show our love for the man who gave his life for us is to live a truly Christian life. Paul, who was changed by the touch of the Christ, told the Galatians what they could do to make a difference. A college student highlights some of Paul's ideas.

While Paul wrote Galatians as a letter specifically for the Jewish-Christians in Galatia, it applies to anyone wanting to understand Christianity. I've rewritten chapter 5:13-25 as a rap. Rhythm and music often help us remember ideas better. Paul's ideas on moral and spiritual life lessons are valuable for all of us who wish to live a Christian life.

Here's the rap:

It's time, my brother -- don't miss the beat --
To follow the Lord, so stop draggin' your feet.

All you need to do is love each other.
Just be careful you don't betray your brother.

How to do this? Well, just listen to me:
You must put the Lord first and act humbly.

Cast the things of the flesh far from your mind.
Take a look at yourself, and you will find

It isn't as hard as you might think
To follow the Lord and step back from the brink.

Simply watch for signs that you might be slippin':
Namely violence, greed, and promiscuous livin'.

By this I mean do not dwell on the flesh,
But keep a weather-eye out and do your best.

Love, rejoice, and follow the Lord,
And you will discover many opened doors.

So before I close this letter, having said my piece,
Remember, pleasing the Lord is all about deeds.

Paul is saying that the time has come for the followers of Christ to commit themselves totally to following the teachings of the Messiah. He explains how this can make a difference in our lives.

Paul knows that people cannot be faithful to both the old law and the Word of God, given by Jesus; they must make a choice. Paul makes it clear that attempting to follow the Spirit with anything but righteous intentions is foolish and counterproductive, leading nowhere.

Paul gives the Galatians behaviors and qualities to look for when assessing whether they are following the old or new law. Such delineations between the things of the Spirit and the things of the flesh make it easier for a Christian to judge how to behave in a God-fearing manner.

Continuing in the ways of the flesh will not land a people in heaven, but rather leave them out because fleshly ways are simply inconsistent with heaven, harmony. A life lived close to God is full of blessings. But we can't just talk about being Godlike. We have to prove our Godliness by our deeds. Loving our neighbors as ourselves is the best way to achieve closeness to God.

Ben, college student

Ben based his rap on Galatians 5:13-25. It's a familiar passage to us. Here is it from the Common English Bible.

You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only don't let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love. All the Law has been fulfilled in a single statement: Love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour each other, be careful that you don't get eaten up by each other!

I say be guided by the Spirit and you won't carry out your selfish desires. A person's selfish desires are set against the Spirit, and the Spirit is set against one's selfish desires. They are opposed to each other, so you shouldn't do whatever you want to do. But if you are being led by the Spirit, you aren't under the Law. The actions that are produced by selfish motives are obvious, since they include sexual immorality, moral corruption, doing whatever feels good, idolatry, drug use and casting spells, hate, fighting, obsession, losing your temper, competitive opposition, conflict, selfishness, group rivalry, jealousy, drunkenness, partying, and other things like that. I warn you as I have already warned you, that those who do these kinds of things won't inherit God's kingdom.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified self with its passions and its desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let's follow the Spirit.