Monday, September 26, 2011

What Paul Tells Us in Galatians

What Paul Tells Us in Galatians
A Bible Study
By Robert J. Wieland

1. He warns against a false gospel opposed to "the truth of the gospel" (1:6-12; 2:5, 14).
2. Paul's understanding of that "truth" forced him to contend with the leadership of the church of his day. His understanding was more clear than that of the apostle Peter, or James (1:16-20; 2:12-14).
3. The "all men" who are sinners are not put right with God by any good thing they can do, but "by the faith of Jesus" (2:15-19).
4. Honest human hearts identify with Christ on His cross. As with Him, the natural result is: self is crucified. The slightest taint of legalism "frustrates the grace of God" and denies the cross (2:20, 21).
5. The alternative to "the truth of the gospel" has to become a form of Spiritualism. "The hearing of faith" is a heart-appreciation of the Good News in the gospel; it works miracles (3:1-5).
6. All believing humans repeat the experience of Abraham's unbelief followed by his learning to believe (3:6-9).
7. "The curse" of the law is not obedience to it but disobedience. Christ's experience on His cross was that "curse," the horror of our second death (3:10-14).
8. The law was written in stone because of Israel's old covenant unbelief; but that does not invalidate God's promise in the new covenant to write it in the heart (3:16-21).
9. The law written in old covenant stone served as a policeman driving Israel under legalism until they should come back to Abraham's experience of justification by faith (3:22-29).
10. All who live under a sense of condemnation and fear are like the barefoot boy bossed about by slaves on the ranch, while born to be the heir of the estate (4:1-3).
11. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception denies the truth of Christ's full genetic identity with our fallen human race, which is necessary for true redemption from sin (4:4-7).
12. "The third angel's message in verity" is the full liberating truth of the new covenant (4:16-31).
13. Salvation by faith cannot be understood unless faith is understood as that which "works by love [agape]" (5:1-6)
14. Proclaiming "the truth of the gospel" always brings persecution on its proclaimer (5:11, 12).
15. The genuine liberty inherent in true faith never produces license (5:13, 14).
16. The Holy Spirit is stronger than the "flesh" with all its sinful addictions. Therefore, if one understands and believes Paul's "truth of the gospel," he finds it easy to be saved and hard to be lost (5:16-18; compare Matt. 11:28-30, Acts 26:14).
17. To "walk in the Spirit" is to believe He is holding on to your hand, not vice versa (5:18-25; compare Isa. 41:10, 13).
18. We cannot truly help someone else unless we can sincerely put ourselves in his place ("there but for the grace of God go I") (6:1-6)
19. The final mark of the beast will be "persecution for the cross of Christ." The "truth of the gospel" as it is in Galatians will therefore be part of the final "loud cry" that will lighten the earth with glory (6:12, 13).
20. To understand and believe this gospel of the cross delivers one from captivity to worldliness in all its forms (6:14).
Copyright © 2011 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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