RSS

Category Archives: Epistle to the Galatians

The Authentic Boast

from Google Images

from Google Images

“Before concluding his letter Paul returns once more to the antithesis of cross and circumcision, setting them forth this time as representing respectively the true and the false ground of boasting, and thus carrying a stage further his polemic against the Judaizers and their way of legal observance (Galatians 5:2-12).”[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on The Authentic Boast

Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Liberty Has Responsibilities

from Google Images

from Google Images

Our liberty in Christ (Galatians 5:1) is not simply freedom to do as we please. Our liberty in Christ is true freedom only as we accept the responsibilities that the high cost of freedom brings us. All other so-called expressions of freedom end in slavery or addiction of one sort or another. Liberty in Christ is manifest in the fruit of the Spirit of Christ not a mystical experience. True spirituality is very practical and not so mystical as to be of no earthly good. Paul tells us that, if we follow after the Spirit of Christ, it will be evident in both our relationships and in the manner in which we use our wealth, whether that wealth is our time (life) or our material goods. Read the rest of this entry »

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Fulfill the Law of Christ

from Google Images

from Google Images

Christ tells us that we have responsibilities toward one another (1John 3:16). We are not on our own; Christ is with us (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5). Neither are we alone with respect to one another, for we are called to come to one another’s aid (Luke 22:31-32). No man lives to himself (Romans 14:7); he has responsibilities to others, others have responsibilities toward him. In the world we are made to feel success and failure are personal matters, and each of us bears that responsibility individually or alone. This is not so in Christ. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Fulfill the Law of Christ

Posted by on May 17, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

How Victory Is Won

from Google Images

from Google Images

The New Testament uses the word nikao (G3528) and its derivatives, nike (G3529) and nikos (G3534) in order to show us how we gain victory in our walk with Christ. We overcome (nikao) the world through the blood of Christ (Revelation 12:11), because Christ has overcome the world, and has given us the victory through his death and resurrection. Moreover, although our victory is a gift (1Corinthians 15:57 – nikos), we come to it after many struggles, but we overcome them, because greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world (1John 4:4; Luke 11:22). Victory over the world is attained as we place our trust in Christ (1John 5:4-5 – nike). Finally, victory comes to us wholly when our mortality is swallowed up by eternal life (1Corinthians 15:54 – nikos), which is attained at our death (2Corinthians 5:1-4) or when Christ returns (1Corinthians 15:51-53). Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on How Victory Is Won

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

War Between the Flesh and the Spirit

from Google Images

from Google Images

Walking in the Spirit is a matter of choice, but it is more complicated than simply a matter of choice. To begin with, the flesh is at war with the Spirit (Galatians 5:17). In other words, the flesh or the natural man (1Corinthians 2:14) will not embrace the things of the Spirit, because spiritual matters are foolishness to the natural order of things—or how the natural man (viz. the spirit of man) understands his world. The natural man compares physical evidence with physical evidence in order to draw his conclusions, but the spiritual man compares spiritual matters with spiritual matters (1Corinthians 2:13). The natural man has no frame of reference in spiritual matters, because they are spiritually discerned, i.e. they are understood through the Spirit of God which is given to believers (cf. 1Corinthians 2:14 and Galatians 5:17). Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on War Between the Flesh and the Spirit

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Walking in the Spirit

from Google Images

from Google Images

“Walking is a metaphor used from time to time in Scripture to denote spiritual progress. People in the first century could not travel as fast as we do, with our cars, planes, trains and the like, but even so, for them as for us, walking was the slowest way of going places. But even though walking was slow and unspectacular, walking meant progress. If anyone kept walking, she or he would certainly cover the ground and eventually reach the destination. So, for the apostle walking was an apt metaphor. If any believer was walking, that believer was going somewhere.”[1] In this case, walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) meant walking in the life of Christ, the will of God. We are going somewhere in our relationship with him. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Walking in the Spirit

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Living Without License

from Google Images

from Google Images

In Galatians 5:13 Paul addresses the Galatians as brethren, showing he doesn’t consider that they have lost their salvation, as some assume through a misapplication of Galatians 4:19. If asked if I thought the freedom we are offered in Christ was absolute or liberty in measure, I would have to say that such freedom must be absolute. Otherwise, we are not free at all. We would continue to be subject to the authority of something (or someone) else. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Living Without License

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Battle for the Good News

from Google Images

from Google Images

The question at this point is: why is circumcision (or anything we do) unable to make us right with God (Galatians 5:6; cf. 3:10, 21)? Just as the wages we earn have nothing to do with being a gift we receive, so circumcision or anything we do can have nothing to do with making us right before God, because righteousness is imputed (i.e. it is a gift), and what we do looks for a wage (reward for services rendered). It is Christ who makes us righteous (through grace, a gift), and we can only trust it is so, just as we trust that any gift we receive is entirely a gift—no strings attached. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on The Battle for the Good News

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Freedom and Authority

from Google Images

from Google Images

I may have freedom of religion while living under the authority of the American Constitution, but, if I choose to live under the authority of Iran, the American Constitution cannot profit me there, if I’m concerned about such freedom. Similarly, Christ cannot profit me, as far as freedom is concerned, if I choose to live under the Mosaic Law and trust in it for my salvation or my moral walk (Galatians 5:2). The Law doesn’t have power to give life, but it does have power to take it. Neither does the Law have power to make anyone righteous. It was never intended to have such power. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Freedom and Authority

Posted by on May 3, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Standing Fast in Liberty

Yoke

from Google Images

At this time Paul takes us from theology to ethics, from dogma to living out one’s faith. What would our being devoted to God, yet living without the Mosaic Law, look like? If the Mosaic Law is discarded as a premise for Christian conduct, what would happen to moral living? This was the problem that the New Testament Church had to answer, because it was, no doubt, put to us by both the legalists who opposed the believer’s posture, and the legalists who were genuinely interested in the answer. If law takes away real freedom, how does one keep from embracing the opposite extreme of living so freely that one becomes addicted to lust, greed, wrath and the like? Obviously, such behavior also takes away true freedom. The answer to this dilemma lies in maintaining the image of Christ within us, which is kept through faith as we shall see. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Standing Fast in Liberty

Posted by on April 30, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Hagar and Sarah According to Paul

Children of Promise

from Google Images

In Galatians 4:21 Paul returns again to Scripture in order to conclude his argument about relationships. He asks those, who wish to embrace Judaism, if they really took seriously the claim the Law has upon them. Perhaps it is true that often we accept something that appears to be true, even Biblical, but we never really consider the consequences the truth under consideration has upon the truth as a whole. Certainly much of Judaism is based upon the word of God, yet Jesus called at least some of what Judaism taught “your tradition”, that is, tradition of men and said that it contradicted or took away the power of the word of God (Matthew 7:8, 13). Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Hagar and Sarah According to Paul

Posted by on April 28, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Paul and Zealous Evangelism

from Google Images

from Google Images

Jesus once revealed that some of the most zealous people in evangelism were those who tragically made their recipients or those who embraced their teaching twice the enemies of the Gospel than the offending teachers were (Matthew 23:15). What a testimony! How can anyone, who believes he is serving God, end up being an enemy of the work of God? I believe Paul addresses this very idea in his argument about relationships in Galatians, the fourth chapter. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Paul and Zealous Evangelism

Posted by on April 26, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Paul’s Argument of Relationships

from Google Images

from Google Images

In Galatians 4:12 and following Paul concludes his fifth argument for justification before God coming through faith in Christ and not through keeping the law. He does this by again pointing to Abraham. Anyone who shares the faith of Abraham is already his son and heir and doesn’t need to keep the law to make it so, whatever false teachers may say. The Law was given as a temporary custodian to prepare the Jews for the coming of Christ, but it was through Christ that both Jew and gentile would receive the blessings God promised to Abraham. The Law was to bring men to Christ by showing them that not only couldn’t they keep its demands, but its very nature tempted them to do those very things it told them not to do. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Paul’s Argument of Relationships

Posted by on April 23, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Fullness of Time and the Gospel

from Google Images

from Google Images

In Galatians 4:4 Paul mentions something called the fullness of time. This was when God sent Jesus into the world. The time of the “coming of Jesus” was predicted 483 years earlier during the time of Daniel, which he records in his 70 Weeks Prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27). It was a time for which God had prepared the world—it was during the Pax Romana when the nations enjoyed relative peace and freedom of travel wasn’t hindered. It was a time when the Greek language was understood throughout the west and in parts of the east, so the Gospel could be understood by many. It was a time when sea travel was safe and roads, built to permit swift military travel throughout the Roman Empire, allowed very good personal travel throughout the civilized world. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on The Fullness of Time and the Gospel

Posted by on April 21, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Coming of Age in the First Century AD

KARMA

from Google Images

Paul uses the practice of both Jewish and gentile children coming of age in the first century AD and likens this with how God treats mankind since the coming of Christ. A Jew came of age or received his bar mitzvah about the age of 12. Similarly, “a Roman child became an adult at the sacred family festival known as the Liberalia, held annually on the seventeenth of March. At this time the child was formally adopted by his father as his acknowledged son and heir and received the toga virilis in place of the toga praetexta, which he had previously worn.”[1] The Roman youth came of age at the time appointed of his father, usually between the ages of 14 and 17. In Galatians 4:9 Paul likens the Galatians’ practice of Judaism as an adult returning to the days of his youth in order to live as they did as children under a guardian. Read the rest of this entry »

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 19, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , ,