:) Finally had some time! Next week should be fun... we're heading into some messianic prophecies... :)

Happy studying!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Galatians Chapter 1

 Vs. 1-5- Greetings!

- Letter is from Paul to the church in Galatia
- Galatia is present-day Turkey, and parts of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.
- Paul lists his credentials. In effect, why the readers should pay attention to what he has to say.
- an apostle- appointed by Christ Himself and speaking under His authority
- Brothers and sisters in Antioch send their greetings along with Paul.
- May God give you grace and peace.
- Jesus gave His life to cover our sins. This was the plan! God had it all planned out. He planned our escape from sin.
- footnote- “God’s plan all along was to save us by Jesus’ death. We have been rescued from the power of this present evil world--a world ruled by Satan and full of cruelty, tragedy, temptation, and deception. Being rescued from this evil world doesn’t mean that we are taken out of it but that we are no longer enslaved to it. You were saved to live for God. Does your life reflect your gratitude for being rescued? Have you transferred your loyalty from this world to Christ?”
- Glory to God!

- Acts 20:18-32, 2:17-24, 9:15-16
- Romans 4:22-25, 5:1-2, 6-11, 8:27-37
- I Timothy 2:3-7
- Titus 2:11-14
- Ephesians 3:1-12
- II Timothy 1:8-12
- I Corinthians 2:1-9
- Jeremiah 29:11-14, 1:5,10
- Psalm 139

Vs. 6-10- What's Your Gospel?

- footnote- “Some people were preaching “a different way.” They were teaching that to be saved, Gentile believers had to follow Jewish laws and customs, especially the rite of circumcision. Faith in Christ was not enough. This message undermined the truth that salvation is a gift, not a reward for certain deeds. Jesus Christ has made this gift available to all people, not just to Jews. Beware of people who say that we need more than simple faith in Christ to be saved. When people set up additional requirements for salvation they deny the power of Christ’s death on the cross.”
- The truth was being blurred. People were twisting the gospel to make it fit their own conceptions of what constituted salvation and how they had to go about things in order to receive salvation.
- There is however only ONE way to be saved. Acceptance of the FREE gift of grace. No amount of work on our part is going to weigh in on God's decision on our salvation.
- You know... in the old Salem witch trials, there was a test... they'd put a person on one side of a balance scale and a bible on the other... If you outweighed the bible, you were a witch because sin/evil made you heavy and righteousness made you light as a feather. (There were some trials where they put a feather on the opposite side of the scale rather than the bible... now that was really gonna turn out well...geesh). Even keeping in mind that Gutenberg bibles are massive, the person was always going to weigh more.
- Now using this concept of weighing... No amount of self-righteousness is going to lighten our sin load. No amount of goodness is going to take our burdens away.
- The only one capable of taking such action is Christ. No one else has the authority to forgive sins.
- Paul says to let God's curse fall on those who preach a different gospel than the truthful one.
- Paul also remarks that even an angel will be cursed. Why would an angel preach? And if he's preaching... why would he change the gospel?
- Satan can appear as an angel of light. He is a deceiver. So, if an “angel” comes to you preaching something contrary to the Word... then that “angel” is not of God, but rather of Satan.
- Also means that WE have be careful what gospel we present. If we are worrying about people-pleasing, then eventually we'll find something that someone doesn't agree with. Will you compromise?
- footnote- “Do you spend your life trying to please everybody? Paul had to speak harshly to the Christians in Galatia because they were in serious danger. He did not apologize for his straightforward words, knowing that he could not serve Christ faithfully if he allowed the Galatian Christians to remain on the wrong track. Whose approval are you seeking—others' or God's? Pray for the courage to seek God's approval above anyone else's.”
- We aren't supposed to worry about the acceptance of people, but rather of God.
- There's been more than once that I've been faced with a situation where I have to openly disagree with a friend on a matter of lifestyle or religion. Not gonna lie... I struggle with those sometimes. The first time I knew I was supposed to say something, I almost walked away without opening my mouth. I was so afraid... but you know? It was so apparent, so oppressive a feeling that I was SUPPOSED to say something, that... I think had I walked away, there would have been consequences for me in my disobedience. (Jonah- ran away- ended up in horrible circumstances, only to have to go do what he was supposed to anyway... if God wants you somewhere... and you're the only person for the job... He'll use any methods necessary to get us where He needs us... even to put us in the belly of a whale...)
- So my thought process on those has become this: I'd rather speak the truth with a clear conscience and lose a friend for a time (even the rest of this life) and later gain them back for an eternity with Christ, than to keep silent and have a friend now, but lose them to the pits of hell for all eternity... Their blood on my hands...
- So if God says speak, I speak. (This doesn't mean we go nit-picking apart every wrong in our friend's lives. (go get the log out of your own eye before you worry about the splinter in your friends? Yeah...) It means if they are living in open sin, or if God says speak, we are bound to be obedient to the Word and follow through...)

- II Corinthians 11:1-21
- Titus 1:10-16
- II Timothy 4:1-5
- I John 1:5-10, 2:1-6, 18-29
- Deuteronomy 4:1-10
- Revelation 22:18-19
- Ephesians 6:10-18
- I Thessalonians 2:4-6, 13
- Acts 20:28-32

vs. 11-14- Truth From Where?

- This gospel is not a gospel from human hands. Our minds cannot grasp fully the concept of Grace. Human reasoning falls short.
- Paul received the revelation of the gospel from Christ Himself. No man revealed truth to him.
- footnote- “There are two possible meanings consistent with the grammar of the phrase, “direct revelation from Jesus Christ.”
- 1. This was a revelation by Christ to Paul that spelled out the gospel message, or
- 2. it was a personal revelation by Christ of His true identity that suddenly confirmed the gospel message against which Paul had been in bitter conflict.
Within each meaning the fact remains that God provided the revelation and its content was the gospel.”
- More than anything, I think it's important to note that Truth comes from God and God alone. No one through their own study and search can reveal truth to themselves. (Romans 1:21-22). God only can open our minds to understanding to grasp fully the truth behind His own concepts.
- Paul gives a short history of who he is/was before he came to know Christ.
- His persecution of the church.
- His unprecedented zeal.
- A true Jew to the letter of the law.
- However, despite Paul being caught up in all the religious rightness and his zeal for who he thought God was... Christ had a plan of grace to enact in Paul's life before he was even born.
- Just as He does for every man if we so choose to accept it...

- I Corinthians 2:10-16
- Acts 8:1-3, 9:20-22, 22:1-21
- Isaiah 42:1-10, 18-25, 66:18-23

vs. 15-24-

- God revealed Himself to Paul so that he would then go to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles.
- Which is also our job. God saves us, bestows His Grace, reveals truth, so that we in turn can go be witnesses for His greatness to the rest of the world.
- When Christ was revealed to Paul, he didn't go running off to any and all to double check himself.
- Our first response to something new should not be to consult just anybody. (Especially if it's a foundation shaking kind of new thing...) It should be to consult first the Word PRAYERFULLY.
- THEN after reading and studying prayerfully and spending some concentrated time with God also in prayer, then go talk to other believers. But don't trust their advice first before you have a solid enough understanding to know truth from falsehood.
- And the people you take advice from should be well founded and solid men/women of the Word.
- Paul was selective in his teachers... only Peter, and James, Jesus' brother. How much more first hand can you get? Ha ha
- People in the churches didn't know Paul personally at this point, but they rejoiced because they heard he had converted and was now preaching.
- Can you imagine hearing that bit of news? The man who has been hunting you down all over the place BECAUSE of your faith... has CONVERTED to your faith and is PREACHING?!
- I think I'd let out a shout of praise at that one too... (It's like Hitler converting to Judaism... ha ha). Not only is my life safer, but God has so DRASTICALLY changed this man... what other miracles can He accomplish in a life? What kind of move does that mean in my life? If God can use this man... this sinner... this corrupt one... SO greatly... what more could He do? And if God can have such grace and forgiveness for this man... can he not have the same for me? A sinner as well... maybe not in the same way or in our eyes, to the same extent... but a sinner nonetheless... OH! The love of God... How vast and how wide the grace of He who loves immeasurably...
- footnote- “Paul's changed life had brought praise from those who saw him or heard about him. His new life had astonished them. They had praised God because only God could have turned this zealous persecutor of Christians into a Christian himself. We may not have had as dramatic a change as Paul, but still our new life should honor God in every way. When people look at you, do they recognize that God has made changes in you? If not, perhaps you are not living as you should.”

- Romans 1:14-17
- Colossians 1:25-29
- John 16:13-15, 17:6-26, 18:37

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