Galatians, Lesson 4

Lesson 4

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we claim the promise that all Scripture is inspired by You and is beneficial for doctrine, correction, reproof, correction, for training in righteousness, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians 1: 11-16, Paul’s apostolic authority

VV 11-12, 11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Paul’s apostolic authority came directly from the Lord Jesus Christ. He did not receive the gospel through the teaching and preaching of men. It was a direct revelation from Christ. Christ appeared and spoke to him in a vision on the road to Damascus, Acts 9: 1-19. After his baptism by Ananias, Jesus commissioned him to be an apostle to the Gentiles.

Acts 9:5, And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

Acts 9:15, But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel”.

VV 13-14, 13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

Before conversion, Paul was an exceedingly zealous Pharisee, a cruel persecutor of Christians, and was all out to harm the Christians and destroy the church. After conversion, he became an exceedingly zealous apostle, church planter, and evangelist.

Acts 9:1-2, “Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem”.

Philippians 3:5, “circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee”.

VV 15-17, 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

Paul alluded to Psalm 139 when he said that God had chosen and sanctified him even before he was born. Greek for apostle is “apostolos” which means someone who is sent out on a mission. Jesus revealed Himself to Paul and appointed him to be an apostle to the Gentiles. After conversion, Paul did not meet up with any of the apostles in Jerusalem but chose to isolate himself in the desert of Arabia for 3 years before returning to Damascus.

Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be’”

Application:

Today, we learned about Paul who was called by God to be an apostle to the Gentile. His encounter with Christ and his subsequent conversion was sudden and dramatic. From a zealous Pharisee, he became a zealous apostle. Let us imitate Paul even as He imitates Christ.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for this inspired Epistle of Paul to the Galatians and for preserving it in the New Testament canon for our benefit. Help us to emulate Paul as our role model, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians, Lesson 3

Lesson 3

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, teach us Your words so that we will not conform to the world but be transformed by Your words. We seek to please You and do Your will, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians 1: 6-10, the Judaizers

VV 6-7, 6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Greek for marvel is “thaumazo” which means amazed, astonished, or awestruck. Paul was amazed at the Galatians Christians’ gullibility in turning away from grace and to law. They were influenced by the false teachings of the Judaizers. These were Jewish Christians who previously belonged to the Pharisees sect. They disputed the authenticity of Paul’s apostolic credentials. They falsely taught the Gentile Galatians Christians that in order to be saved they had to undergo circumcision, observe Jewish rituals, and keep the Mosaic laws. Greek for pervert is “metastreho” which means corrupt. The Judaizers came to corrupt the gospel of grace, mixing it with circumcision and legalism. They corrupted the gospel by saying that salvation and justification by grace alone, by faith alone, and by Christ alone is not sufficient. It had to be combined with circumcision, rituals, and keeping the Mosaic laws.

Acts 15:1, Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”

Acts 15:5, Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”

VV 8-9, 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

Paul rebuked the Judaizers for preaching a corrupted gospel and even pronounced a curse on them.

V 10, For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

Paul’s apostolic authority came directly from Jesus Christ who appeared to him in a vision on the Damascus road, Acts 9. Paul was not afraid of men and did not compromise his position just to please men. Greek for bondservant is “duolos” which means slave. Paul sought to please Jesus Christ and not men.

Acts 9:6, So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”

Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Application:

Salvation and justification are by grace alone, by faith alone, and by Christ alone. Christ alone is sufficient, nothing more and nothing less is needed. Do not fall into the deception that you must earn your way to salvation.

Ephesians 2:8, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking to us. We claim the promise of salvation by grace alone, by faith alone, and by Christ alone. Help us to apply Your words into our lives, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians, Lesson 2

Lesson 2

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we acknowledged that You are Almighty God, creator of the heavens and the earth. We acknowledged we have sinned against You. Thank You for speaking to us through Your Words, Amen.

Galatians 1: 1-5, Grace and Peace.

V 1-2, 1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia:

Galatians began with a greeting from the author Paul and his co-workers, to the churches in the region of Galatia, Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe, or modern-day Turkey. Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who resurrected Him from the dead.

V 3, Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,

Paul pronounced grace and peace to his audience, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace always precedes peace. Reconciliation with God through justification by faith results in peace with God and peace from God. Greek for Lord is “kyrios” which means master. Greek for Jesus is “Iesous” which means God saves. Greek for Christ is “Christos” which means the anointed one or Messiah in Hebrews.

Romans 8:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.

VV 4-5, 4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the punishment of our sins for us, to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the Father’s will. To God be the glory throughout eternity. Amen is a Greek word that means let it be so, or truly.

1 Tim 1:17, “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen”.

Romans 11:36, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”

Philippians 4:20, “Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Revelation 7:12, saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for the life of apostle Paul. Thank You for preserving the inspired writings of Paul for our benefit, learning, and edification. Thank You for the profound truth that we are justified by grace alone, by faith alone, and by Christ alone, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians, Lesson

I will be starting a 15 lessons series on Galatians.

Lesson 1

Introduction:

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we come before You with reverence and awe. Help us to understand Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. We pray for the enlightenment and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for preserving this book for our benefit, learning, and edification, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Date, authorship, destination:

Paul wrote 13 New Testament Epistles. Galatians is believed to be the first epistle written by Paul. It was written to the churches in the region of Galatia, Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe, or modern-day Turkey. Galatians was generally believed to be written between AD 48-49, in Syrian Antioch, soon after his first missionary journey, but not after the Jerusalem council in Acts 15. Other scholars suggested later dates. Some scholars believed that Paul wrote Galatians from Corinth, while others believed it was from Ephesus.

Occasion:

The Galatians Christians were Gentiles. Paul founded the Galatians Churches during his first missionary journey. Soon after he left Galatia false teachers from Jerusalem, called Judaizers, came to indoctrinate them to undergo circumcision, observe Jewish rituals, and keep the Mosaic laws in order to be saved. Paul said this was a perverted gospel. Greek for perverted is “diastrepho” which means distorted or corrupted. The Judaizers disputed Paul’s apostolic authority saying that he was not one of the apostles chosen by Christ. Paul defended his apostolic authority, saying that Christ appeared to him in a vision on the Damascus road, and gave him direct revelations. His wrote Galatians to bring his audience back on track, reminding them that justification is by grace alone, by faith alone, by Christ alone, and not by works of the law. They were to live out their new life in Christ in the freedom of the Holy Spirit.

Theme:

Galatians is the Magna Carta, or charter of liberty on Christian freedom. Christ alone is sufficient for salvation and justification. Nothing more and nothing less is required. Some scholars said that Galatians is a mini version of Romans. The Protestant reformation’s battle cry of justification by faith is taken from Galatians and Romans.

Galatians 2:16 is the theme, ‘’knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified”.

Application:

Justification is by grace alone, by faith alone, and by Christ alone. We are not to add in other legalistic demands. Teachings that observing the Sabbath, or undergoing water baptism as requirements for salvation are contrary to justification by grace alone, by faith alone, and by Christ alone.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we acknowledge that You are the only true God. We confessed that we have sinned against You. Thank You for justification by grace alone, by faith alone, and in Christ alone. Thank You for the gift of salvation and eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.