Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Gal. 1-3


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Galatians Chapter One

  1. Paul’s letter to the Galatians was addressed to the local churches in the Galatian region of modern Turkey (Gal. 1:2).
    1. These were the local churches established by Paul & Barnabas on their First Missionary Journey (Acts 13&14).
    2. This letter was a rebuke for the Galatians’ departure from grace and return to Judaistic legalism (Gal. 1:6).
  2. Those who proclaim a Gospel message other than the Biblical Gospel message are ἀνάθεμα anathema #331: anathema; delivered up to God for immediate destruction.
    1. False gospel messages can be preached to unbelievers, obscuring the true issue and hindering salvation (Matt. 23:13).
    2. False gospel messages can be preached to baby believers, confusing the true issues and hindering edification (Gal. 1:7; 3:1).
  3. Paul admonished the Galatians that the Truth he delivered to them was not of human origin, but personally given by the Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:11-12).
  4. In order to make this point clear, Paul composed a bit of an autobiography.
    1. He detailed how his former manner of life was transformed (Gal. 1:13-16a).
      1. Saul of Tarsus was a champion of Judaism (vv.13-14).
      2. The grace of God shepherded Saul through physical birth (v.15a) and spiritual birth (v.15b; 2:16) likely in his childhood (cf. 2nd Tim. 3:15).
      3. “Called me through His grace” (Gal. 1:15b) describes a conversion event, but “Revealed His Son in me” (Gal. 1:16) describes a crossover event “so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles” as an Apostolic commission (cf. Acts 9:15-16).
    2. He detailed his Church Age seminary training in Arabia (Gal. 1:16b-17).
    3. He detailed his cursory association with other true Apostles, noting how his Syrian and Cilician ministries were independent of any other Apostolic contributions (Gal. 1:18-24).

Galatians Chapter Two

  1. Paul’s autobiography comes about to the very issue he is addressing with the Galatians—the problem of a believer falling away from grace and returning to legalism.
  2. Paul described a journey to Jerusalem in the company of Barnabas and Titus (Gal. 2:1-5).
    1. Some associate this trip with the Grace & Law conference of Acts 15.
    2. It is better to associate this trip with the famine relief mission of Acts 11:27-30.
    3. On this journey, false brethren (Jews) infiltrated Jerusalem Bible Church✝︎  intending to subject the believers there to legalism (Gal. 2:4).
  3. The Apostles Paul and Barnabas parted ways from the Apostles James and Peter and John (Gal. 2:6-10).
    1. They parted in fellowship with one another.
    2. They understood that each Apostle had been given a different burden.
      1. Peter’s was a burden to the Jews, and he used his Aramaic nickname Cephas to minister to the Aramaic-speaking Jews.
      2. Paul’s was a burden to the Gentiles (despite personal patriotism for his fellow Jews).
    3. They agreed to the principles of grace and the unity of the Church.
  4. Paul saw how the dangerous threat of legalism in Jerusalem affected Peter on a subsequent visit of Peter’s in Antioch (Gal. 2:11-21).
    1. The influence of false brethren in Jerusalem developed into a distinctive “party of the circumcision” (NASB) or “circumcision party” (CSB) (v.12b).
    2. The Apostle James got caught up in the Judaistic legalism (v.12a).
    3. When the Apostle Peter compromised on the grace issue, Paul rebuked him privately (vv.11-12).
    4. Peter continued in the hypocrisy and influenced many others in the same manner—even Barnabas was carried away (v.13)—so Paul launched into a public rebuke and exhortation to grace (vv.14-21).

Galatians Chapter Three

  1. Having established that the message of Jesus Christ is a message of grace (Gal. 1), and that even Apostles like Peter, James, & Barnabas can be side-tracked into legalism (Gal. 2), Paul returns his focus to the Galatian local churches (Gal. 3:1).
  2. Paul’s logical argument was phrased as a question: Was your salvation achieved by the Law, or by faith? (Gal. 3:2)
  3. This logic showed how spiritual maturity must likewise be achieved through faith rather than through the Law (Gal. 3:3).
  4. The Galatians were encouraged by the reality that their faith in Christ justified them in the pattern of Abraham’s faith as “sons of Abraham” (Gal. 3:6-9).
  5. The Law was a “curse,” but salvation by grace through faith is a blessing (Gal. 3:10-14).
  6. The Mosaic Law, coming 430 years after the Abrahamic Covenant could not and did not invalidate or nullify the promise of blessing through the Seed (Christ) (Gal. 3:15-18).
    1. The Law served an instructive purpose in the Dispensational plan of God.  It taught the inability of fallen man to measure up to God’s standard of righteousness (Gal. 3:19-22).
    2. By virtue of the work of Jesus Christ to fulfill the Law, the new Dispensation of grace teaches the grace of God to provide His very righteousness to man in response to each person’s faith in Christ (Gal. 3:23-29).
    3. Christ is the end of the Law for all who believe (Rom. 10:4), hence the present Church reality. For Israel, however, the future New Covenant reality is delayed and awaiting Israel’s acceptance of Christ by faith (Heb. 8:7-13).

✝︎ Pastor Bob’s nickname for the local church founded in Jerusalem. They didn’t really call themselves that.