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Galatians

Post  James on Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:09 am

Chapter one basically recaps Paul's goal and his past

Starting from verse 6, Paul mentions how nobody should preach a gospel other than the one that was previously given to the church by Paul.
Paul reveals his true intentions of the gospel, stating that he'd have no reason to please men. "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."
Correlates to Jina's testimony on integrity, choosing between the world and God. Pleasing the world will get you nowhere; true joy comes from the Lord.
The chapter ends with Paul testifying that through grace he was saved. From persecuting Christians to living the truth, he flipped his whole life around.
As long as we keep seeking for the truth each and everyday, we're getting that much closer to God.
But hearing Paul's story, we're so guilty of diluting his situation in the past. How hard must it have been for him to resign as a Roman prosecutor? I'm more than sure that he saw his life as luxurious. To put that aside is NOT easy. Also, the humility and shame he must've felt was probably extremely hard for him to overcome. As he writes his letters, I'm more than sure he thinks about the people who ridiculed him and called him a hypocrite.

8: But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
12: I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
15-16: But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles.
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Re: Galatians

Post  James on Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:53 am

The beginning of chapter two talks about Paul being entrusted by God and by the Apostles. However, he saw that Peter wasn't acting in line with the gospel as he lived like a Gentile and not like a Jew. He reprimanded him, asking him how he could spread the gospel without living it. By the end, Paul wanted to clarify that we aren't justified through the law, but through Christ. Relating back to the first chapter of Galatians, it was through God's grace that we are saved. Although we may feel ashamed of our wrongdoings, the weight of sin was already paid for by Christ. Correlates to when he said that nobody is righteous in the eyes of the Lord within Romans 3:10-18. Simply, we have to remember that we'll never be perfect without Jesus. Our sinful natured capacities have already been reached as it doesn't even come close to God's standards. But knowing that we're eternally saved, how are we going to react? Jina mentioned this throughout the conference, challenging each and everyone of us, including herself.

16: So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
20: I have crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
21: I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!
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Re: Galatians

Post  James on Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:45 pm

In chapter 3, Paul talks about how scripture relates to us. In addition, he shares its purpose and how it affects us. Paul does an excellent job intervening faith and the law, explaining the medium amongst the two. By faith we receive the promise of the spirit, and through the law could we act on it. Similar to chapter two, he mentions that no one is justified by the law, rather through faith in Jesus Christ. "The righteous will live by faith."
But how could we forget about following His commands? It was given to us to help us realize how far we are from God, and to keep us in check, to hold us accountable to our sins. This directly correlates with Paul mentioning how nobody is righteous before God through the law. The law was given to allow us to recognize how sinful our hearts are. But through the atonement of Christ we may be saved. Verse 12 explains that Jesus will follow each and every law while mediating it, so that through the law could we be LIKE Christ. But as mentioned earlier, nobody is righteous through the law!

We need both James' and Paul's opinion on faith and the law to help us mediate between the two. It's just as easy to ignore the law through our faith as it is to ignore the faith through our deeds. Both are deemed as correct, as they're very similar, but I thought it was really helpful seeing Paul's view.

10-12: All who rely on observing the law are under a curse for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything within the Book of the Law. Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because "The righteous will live by faith." The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them."
14: He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
22: But the Scripture declares that the world world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
24: So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.

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Re: Galatians

Post  James on Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:00 am

To be honest, I couldn't understand Paul's example of Hagar and Sarah.

Other than that, in chapter four, Paul mentions that during the time when we are classified as children, we are in slavery 'under the basic principles of the world.'
And through Him, we are able to receive the 'full rights' as sons and daughters of Christ.
He breaks our chains as slaves so that we could be seen as a son or daughter of Christ. As our lives were deserving of hell, He was ransomed, so that we could be free of sin to have an everlasting relationship with Him.
In verse 8, Paul is genuinely concerned for the Galatians as it must've been evident that they were turning their hearts away from God. However, he is aware that they have already accepted the gospel. He challenges them as they already know the truth but don't choose to do anything with it.
Paul questions them if he was simply a waste to them.
And to think about that, wouldn't Christ be nothing more than a waste as well? If we don't seek for Him, his death on the cross would be in vain.
Whenever Paul states that we MIGHT receive the promise of the spirit, or we MIGHT be justified by faith, I don't think its God confirming the answer.
His hand is reached out for us, its only on us to receive it.
Lately, I've been thinking how patiently God has been knocking on my door. He's forever faithful, which is completely on us. God's always been yearning for a relationship with us; will we choose to accept it?

6-7: Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
9: Buy now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles?
11: I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
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Re: Galatians

Post  James on Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:10 am

Once again, chapter 5 begins with Paul reminding us that nobody is justified by law. In addition, he mentions that circumcision is practically useless as it takes away the grace component from Christ. To clarify, I think that Paul didn't want people devoting themselves physically to obey the law. Verse 13 has Paul stating that we were called to be free. And advises us not to take that for granted, but to serve each other driven by love. This is essential within the church today, the foundation is the fellowship. Welcoming others, making church an enjoyable place to enter, and especially seeking out for those while expecting nothing back. As we lift each other up, we're allowing God to enter our hearts. And when people witness how we treat one another, they'll begin to realize the characteristics of God. This is extremely important in relevance with Sam's most recent sermon. By our fruits we will be recognized. But not just by other people but God as well. The chapter ends with Paul differentiating the desires of sin and the living by the Spirit. They contradict one another, cannot serve two masters. A verse from a song that stuck out to me was "I am the still small voice that tells you what is wrong and what is right." Personally, differentiating the voices within my head is the next big step for me, and I'm more than sure that it'll get me closer to "living by the Spirit".

3-4: Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
6: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
13: You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love.
16-17: So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.
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Re: Galatians

Post  James on Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:20 am

In the final chapter of Galatians, Paul concludes by telling the church to carry out each other's burdens and to keep them accountable whenever they're struggling with sin.
Especially on praise team, we are probably more vulnerable to pride rather than anything else. But keeping an eye out for one another really humbles us. It would allow us to see what they see, feel what they feel, and experience exactly what they experience. As we build each other up, we have to remember that its because God loved us first. We're just carrying out the love and compassion that God has for us. This is truly God's work. That being said, we must be sincere or else it wont have an affect as the Holy Spirit wouldn't dwell among us. And one thing to remember is to always expect nothing back. Keeping each other accountable shouldn't be a trade. Although we have devo buddies, what good is it if we're not sincere with one another?

Paul finalizes his letter to the Galatians about circumcision. He just uses this as an example but I thought that the main message was to be proud of your faith rather than your outward appearance. Falsely testifying against God is probably the most senseless and useless thing we could possibly do. But who are we to judge? Are we not guilty of so many other things? And considering that its always between them and God, we have no right to put hate towards others. Verse 15 on chapter 5 said, "If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other."

2-5: Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.
10: Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
12: Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.
14: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
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