Showing posts with label Galatians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Galatians. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Galatians 6

Paul suggested the Christian community to share and care for each other. He wants those who stumble to set right gently, and share the burdens of others.
Galatians 6:1-2 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
As a reminder, Paul said that whatever a man sows, he shall also reap. The flesh reaps corruption, while the Spirit reaps everlasting life.
Galatians 6:8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 
We are told to do good to everyone, and especially to those who belong to our family in the faith.

At this point, Paul takes the pen from his secretary and jots down those final lines.

It is the legalists who wish to make a good showing in the flesh, by coercing gentiles to be circumcised.
Galatians 6:15-16 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.
Regardless of circumcised or uncircumcised, what matters most is the new creation. We are made a new creation through Christ – and not by circumcision.

Galatians 5

Paul cautions Galatians that freedom is too precious to throw away. The current issue at hand is not just about circumcision, as what is appears to be.

Christian believers in Galatia had a good start. Paul wonders who has confused them and derailed them. He wished those who were spreading this yeast did not stop just at circumcision; instead went all the way and emasculated themselves.
Galatians 5:12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! 
Paul wants Galatians to love each other in the liberty of Jesus. If we are led by the Spirit, we are not under the law. The flesh and Spirit pull in opposite directions - they are in conflict always. Paul lists those acts of the flesh, those worldly things which we all are familiar with:
Galatians 5:19-21 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
In contrast, Paul lists those fruits of the Holy Spirit
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 
The law has no power over these things. Those who are in Christ have crucified the flesh. Paul suggests not to be conceited, provoking and envying each other.

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Galatians 4

Children, just like slaves, are under the care of guardians until they mature. We, like children, were in bondage to the elements of the world. In due time, Christ redeemed us from the law, and we were adopted as God’s sons – an heir to God through Christ.
Galatians 4:7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.
Galatians had responded eagerly to Paul's teachings and preaching. He now wonders what happened them to change.
Galatians 4:19-20 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!
Using the story of Hagar and Sarah, Paul, Paul drives the point that they now have freedom. Those under the law are like the son Ishmael, whom Abraham had with slave woman Hagar. Christians, on the other hand are free born heirs - like Isaac born of Sarah.

He wonders whether they want to throw their freedom away.

Galatians 3

Paul wondered who cast a spell over those Galatians. He asked, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit through the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" Again he asked, "Does God give you His Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?" Paul cited Abraham’s archetypal act of faith.
Galatians 3:6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Those who have faith are children of Abraham.

Citing Deuteronomy 27:26, Paul said that everyone who relies on the works of law are under a curse.
Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”
Paul points out Habakkuk 2:4 and said that Old Testament teaches us those who are righteous will live by faith. Christ became a curse for us and redeemed us from that curse of law. God's law was given to restrain our transgression, and it also reveals our sinful nature.

Before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law. The law was a tutor and guardian which is now no longer necessary - because Christ has arrived. We become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
Galatians 3:26-27 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 

Galatians 2

Paul recounts a later visit to Jerusalem that took place after fourteen years. This visit was to discuss the gospel he was preaching among the Gentiles. During that visit he was with Barnabas and Titus. The leadership in Jerusalem had accepted Titus, even though he was a Greek, and uncircumcised.

God shows favoritism to nobody, and they did not add anything to his message. The agreement was that Peter would preach among circumcised Jews, while Paul would preach among those uncircumcised Gentiles. The deal was that the poor should be remembered.
Galatians 2:9-10 James, Cephas (Peter) and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.
When Peter arrived in Antioch,  Paul publicly rebuked Peter, because he separated himself from gentile Christians and showed hypocrisy.
Galatians 2:11-13 When Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
Paul reminded Peter that they were justified before God by the work of Jesus, not by their observing the law. Paul said he has been crucified with Christ; it is no longer Paul who lives, but Christ is the one who lives within him.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Righteousness cannot be gained by following the law.

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Galatians 1

Getting straight to the point, right after greetings, Paul says that there is only one 'gospel of Christ'. He is not saying this to curry favor with the people. He is focused on God's approval only.
Galatians 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
Paul is teaching what Christ himself revealed to him. He has devoted his life for the sake of Jesus and his brief autobiography reveals that. He was separated from his mother’s womb and was called by God's grace. He also explains how he experienced divine revelation.

He met apostle Peter and Lord's brother James three years after his conversion. He then stayed fifteen days with Peter.

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Galatians - an overview

An Intro to Galatians

Galacia used to be a huge Roman province. Paul founded churches in the southern cities of Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe. Paul taught them that repentance and faith were all those ingredients required in order to receive God's forgiveness and lead a new Christian life. 

Not long after Paul left Galacia, other Jewish-Christian teachers arrived in Galacia. These teachers insisted that non-Jewish converts should be circumcised and observe Jewish law - almost become Jews. This was the same thing that took place in Antioch recorded in Acts 15:1. 

When Paul learned about this, he was distraught. He taught that salvation was God's gift to all. He also taught that Christians are free people only subject to Christ's law of love. This led Paul to write one of his strongly worded letters. Several years later, Paul used these same points when he wrote to the Romans.

The same year the Jerusalem Council met to resolve this very issue. Paul wrote this urgent letter to deal with the serious issue, which stuck at the root of Christian message.

The Book of Galatians has been called the “Declaration of Independence of Christian liberty.”