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Today we begin Paul's letter to the church in Galatia! Paul’s letter was sent from either point #1 to point #2 or from #3 to #4 in the image below:
~ Galatians ~
Author: Paul the apostle
Date: A.D. 48 or 49
Content: Paul had preached to the inhabitants of Galatia on his first missionary journey (Act 13:14-14:23). Shortly after his departure, a group of Jewish believers arrived to insist that the Gentile Christians submit to the laws of Moses in order to be saved. Paul writes to combat this error by showing that Abraham, who lived over four hundred years before the giving of the law, was saved by faith in the gospel – so how could it be argued that the law could either save a man or make a believer in Christ more perfect? Paul couples this with a vigorous defense of himself as an apostle and with a discussion of how a Christian ought to live.
Theme: Paul energetically defends the truth of the gospel, which is that man is saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ and nothing else. Any other teaching is a perversion of the truth of God (Galatians 1:7). We are made right in the sight of God by faith (Galatians 2:16) and become the people of God (sons of Abraham) in the same way, by faith (Galatians 3:7). Because we are free in Christ, we must never allow anyone to drag us back to the idea of working for our salvation, but must live out of the gospel. This involves submission to the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:16) and loving our neighbor as ourselves (Galatians 5:14). (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers “The One Year Bible Companion” pp. 25-26) More great commentary on Galatians is at this link
Wow. I have to share with you that Paul's words in Galatians chapter 1 verse 1 stopped me in my tracks today when reading them: "This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group or by human authority. My call is from Jesus Christ himself and from God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead." The thing that struck me about this was Paul saying that he was not appointed by any group or by human authority to be an apostle of Jesus Christ. His call was from Jesus Himself! And this just made me think about our modern world today, where I am afraid that sometimes we will only maybe do bold things in our life for the Gospel - for the Kingdom of God - if we feel like we have been appointed by some group or by some human authority to do it. When, in fact the important thing is if we have been called by Jesus to do it! I hope humbly here I can share with you that there are probably a ton of reasons of why I "shouldn't" be leading an online Bible study like this one. I don't have a Seminary degree. I am not an ordained minister or pastor. Yes, I have been in a Bible study before, and I do a lot of studying each day for this ministry. But - no group or human authority has appointed me to do this. I have just done it because I do feel very called to it! And I share this with you not to pat myself on the back, but to encourage you. Maybe you've never been to Seminary. Maybe you're not an ordained minister or pastor. Maybe you've never done _____, ____, or ____. (fill in your blanks) But, maybe God is calling you to do something bold for his Kingdom, and the question becomes when will you do it? When will you stop relying on an old excuse of not being appointed by a group or human authority to do it? If God is calling you to something, please, please, do it! Our time is short. Your time is now. The water is fine. Please, dive in!
Worship Video: Okay, with my comments above on Galatians 1:1 and the picture of the boy jumping into the pool, I want to share with you today Steven Curtis Chapman's amazing song "Dive." What in your life is God calling you to dive into? Dive in!
Have you dived into a relationship with God yet? Click here and dive!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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