Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Bible Study Series - Galatians Chapter 1

Epistle to the Galatians

This letter had been written around the 1st century to the churches established in the southern region of Galatia. This letter is included in the bible as it serves an instruction for all Christians today.
This letter from Paul is to address the wolves that have crept in amongst the church, making claims that Christians must follow the Jewish Mosaic laws, to be Torah observant, including circumcision to be saved. These false teachers were trying to usurp Paul’s teachings and essentially leading them away from Christ.
These teachers would tell the people that “they needed to go further; you need to obey the laws and ordinances”.

This letter to the churches in Galatia is to rebuke these teachers and explain to the churches what the Gospel really is.

Chapter 1 – Greetings from Paul, called of God

Paul always begins his letter with a salutation to his audience, in this particular salutation however he elaborate more on who he is, and on who’s authority he comes with.
Galatians 1:1-5 “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) and all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Paul, is an Apostle not of men, neither was he commissioned by men but by Jesus Christ and God the father. So Paul makes it a point in his greeting that he was not commissioned by men. Paul also makes it clear in these statements about our Lord Jesus Christ, that he died for our sins to deliver us from the evils of this world, according to the will of God our Father.

Another Gospel

Galatians 1:6-10 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if anyman preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.10 for do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

Paul expresses great wonder and amazement that the people in the churches of Galatia have been subverted and moved away from the Father, who called these people into the Grace of his son for by which reason; of following another Gospel. Paul tells them that they are basically deserting God, and instead; they are giving their allegiance to the Law taught by these false teachers. The message these false teachings; were of bad news not good news, leading the people into believing that they had to keep the elements of the old covenant, the elements that our Lord Jesus Christ came to rescue us from.

In verse 7 he makes it clear it is not even another gospel; it’s not a gospel at all, but there are people amongst the believers who seek or wish to distort the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Verses 8-9 Paul gives a very powerful rebuke and warning, for if anyone or an angel from heaven come preaching something different to the one that they have been given; let them be accursed.
In fact he hammers the same message home twice with verse 9. Any man or angel preaching another message contrary to the message of the Lord let him be accursed! There I’ve hammered this again as well.
Paul is not asking people to be loyal to him; he is asking the people to be loyal to the message of Jesus Christ.
Lastly in verse 10 asks the following questions, does he seek to please men or God? If he were trying to please men, then he is certainly not a servant of the Lord.

Paul, Called by God

Galatians 1:11-14 “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14 and profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.”

In Verse 11-12, Paul attests to the brethren that the Gospel he preached was not sourced by men. He did not receive and taught it by men; it was a direct revelation from Jesus Christ himself.

To support his reaffirmation to the brethren, verses 13-14 he tells them about his previous life before his conversion. The brethren had heard in his previous conversations that long ago while he was still a devout follower of Judaism, being extremely passionate about his religion, and traditions of his fathers, far exceeding that of his peers; he had committed to a very great extent, persecution of the church of God and the Christians. In fact, Paul uses really strong language here, it says he “Wasted It”, we hear this term used in our everyday life, meaning he had little to no regard for them. My goodness, no wonder why our Lord Jesus Christ chose this man!
Galatians 1:15-18 “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16 to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17 neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.”

Verses 15-17 Paul says that when it pleased God to reveal his son in Paul, so that he might go forth and preach among the Gentile nations, he did not tell any man about it. Rather, he travelled directly to Arabia and abode there; he did not go to Jerusalem where the other Apostles were staying. Paul does not state how long he was in Arabia before returning back to Damascus, but what is really interesting here is that there is strong evidence and support that the real Mount Sinai is located in Arabia (very interesting study can be done on this topic) and not Egypt. It is believed among scholars that this is the time Paul would have received his instruction and schooling from the Lord.

From Damascus after three years, Paul decides to head into Jerusalem to meet with Simon Peter; spending a total of fifteen days with him.

Galatians 1:19-24 “But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. 20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; 22 and was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: 23 but they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. 24 And they glorified God in me.”

During his stay with Peter, he did not see any of the other but the Lord’s Brother, James.
He says these things he has spoken of before God; are true it is not a lie, Pauls accusers would have been saying that Paul had been trained by the Apostles; by men rather than a revelation from the Lord.

After leaving Jerusalem, Paul headed into Syria and Cilicia. Syria is situated NE of Jerusalem and about 487km away as the crow flies, Paul must’ve gone to Antioch, and in Cilicia which is located in the southern region of modern Turkey; he must have stayed in the city of Tarsus.

Verses 22 we read that the Judean Churches did not know Paul by his face, but only heard of him; being of which; he who had persecuted the saints in Judaea long ago now preaches the faith which he had once tried to destroy. And the saints glorified God in him.

Go to Chapter 1 2 3 4 5 6

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading the Article, I appreciate your feedback
Sometimes you get spammed so please be patient for your comments to be published.