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Paul’s Theological Arguments

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from Google Images

Up until this point in his epistle, Paul was trying to reestablish his credibility with the Galatians which had been damaged by the agitators from Jerusalem. They claimed Paul owed his knowledge of the Gospel to the Apostles and had no authority to preach anything except what they were teaching at Jerusalem. Nevertheless, Paul began by logically showing the Galatians that he couldn’t owe anything to the Apostles, since he had been evangelizing areas around Damascus for three years before he had even met Peter. Furthermore, he spent so little time in Jerusalem during his first visit there that he couldn’t have obtained much from them in the way of training for evangelism. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Paul’s Third Argument with Peter

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from Google Images

One of the biggest problems of the first century Church was, and it still is today, understanding how we become righteous before God. How is a just God able to justify sinners? In our world those who break the law must be punished in accordance with that law. Some are punished with their lives, while others receive community service for minor infractions, but most receive a jail sentence for greater crimes against society. Often, after they have paid their debt to society, former criminals are not trusted by those among us who have never committed a crime. Yet, we are told that all men, no matter how grave the sin or crime, can be forgiven and justified by God. What would such a thing look like? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Paul’s Second Argument with Peter

from Google Images

from Google Images

Obviously, we cannot know who the men from James really were, but in another blog[1] I wrote some time ago I argue that they were probably very notable men, perhaps powerful Jews who worshiped with the brethren at Jerusalem. It is unlikely that either Peter or Barnabas would have been seduced doctrinally. That may have been a problem at Galatia with the new believers, as well as the new gentile believers at Antioch, but Peter and Barnabas were teachers of the word of God. Their seduction came by way of pleasing men. In other words, they were intimidated in the presence of men from James. They changed their behavior, not their doctrinal understanding. They acted hypocritically, that is, not according to what they knew to be correct. Read the rest of this entry »

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

 

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Paul’s First Argument with Peter

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from Google Images

Paul tells us in Galatians 2 that, while Peter was staying at Antioch, Paul confronted him over an incident that developed over a visit from men sent by James. It may be that after the death of James, the brother of John, in Acts 12 that Peter fled to Antioch, a place out of the jurisdiction of King Herod Agrippa. While Peter was there he had no problem eating with his gentile brethren. However, everything changed, when the men from James arrived. Presumably, they had been sent to alert the Christian communities among the gentiles (viz. at Antioch and the churches in Galatia) that the predicted famine (cp. Acts 11:27-29) had arrived and Jerusalem’s reserves for the poor were dangerously low. They needed help. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Paul and the Men of Reputation

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from Google Images

Who were the men of reputation, and why were they so called (Galatians 2:2; cp. verse-9 where they are called pillars)? Those named were James[1] (the Lord’s brother), Peter and John, but there could have been others, but these three were specifically called ‘pillars’ in the Church community. They were called men of reputation, because they were the leaders of the Jerusalem Church. They were called pillars by Paul because they were the supporters and the guardians of the truth of the Gospel (cp. 1Timothy 3:15). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Paul v/s the Apostles in Jerusalem

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from Google Images

According to Paul (Galatians 1:18), who is supported by Luke’s account in Acts 9, Paul was preaching Christ in Damascus and vicinity for a full three years before he ever met with any of the Apostles at Jerusalem! The indications are that Paul wasn’t silent during those three years after his heavenly vision, but began to obey the Lord by preaching the Gospel to those in Damascus and in Arabia (Acts 26:16, 19). If Paul learned the Gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection—that is, that Jesus was the Son of God—by revelation (via his vision on the Damascus Road), this means that his excursions into Arabia imply that he preached the Gospel there among the Ishmaelite people. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Take my Daughters—Please!

In Genesis 19 the men of Sodom come pounding at the door of Lot’s home, demanding that he give them the men he took in from the city square (cp. Genesis 19:1-5). Lot came out to them and told them the men had come under his roof and hospitality dictated that it would be very dishonorable for him to do as they demanded. He even went to the extreme of telling them: “I have two daughters who have not known a man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do you to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof” (Genesis 19:8). What are we to make of Lot’s offer? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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