Studying this epistle (the entire book--all 6 chapters) will
>> WEEK 5 OF BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION <<
November 15th, 2000, Wednesday Evening
"Defining the Doctrine of Justification of the Faith"
Paul's Defense of the Ministry - part 5
OPENING: Galatians 2:1-10, KJV
- aid you in witnessing
- prove that good works don't get you into heaven
- arm you for attacks from false doctrine
Here, Paul is continuing the theme of being attacked by the false teachers who
charge Paul is a self-proclaimed minister with a false gospel.
- Galatians 1:12: The truth of the matter is that Paul received
the gospel not from any man but from a revelation from GOD.
The beginnings of the books Acts and Galatians,
together, are important in that they can be cross-referenced to piece together
chronological bits of Paul's post-saved journeys.
- Acts 9:17-25: In the beginning, Paul was saved.
- Galatians 1:17-18 matching Acts 9:23: After being saved, he took
three years to receive a revelation of the gospel from GOD in Arabia. THUS: "many days" =
- Galatians 1:18 matching Acts 9:26: The above claim is true because in
both passage of scripture here, Paul is returned to Jerusalem (after his three year study).
- Galatians 1:22 matching Acts 11:27-30: The connection is, at
the time, the brethren were in "Judaea". But why are the activities of Paul not
expounded upon here in the churches of Judaea? Because he's too busy, here in the letter
to the churches of Galatia (which is the reason the book of Galatians was
written), defending himself against the false teachers.
Now with Paul saved, he preached
with fervor and fire. Yet, while the listeners were amazed (Acts 9:21) this
was the same Paul who severely persecuted the church (Galatians 1:13-14), Paul's
brethren--the other disciples--were afraid of him (Acts 9:26).
However, Barnabas vouched for him (Acts 9:27) because he had seen Paul
preach. Thus, the brethren feared Paul no longer as an adversary
Acts 9:31 then Acts 15:1: Then for a period of time, the church
had rest (Our church's first four years were of much needed rest). And of course, after
a period of time, trouble had to again stir in Acts 15:1.
- Acts 15:1: The problem here is that many in the world today
cannot get over the fact that good works do not qualify for
eternal salvation. Some people are still hooked
on Moses' Laws just because they'd been followed so many years and thus had become
tradition and a part of everyday life. Some people cannot change. Even if GOD has dismissed
the rules of old (Moses' Laws), people still believe in following those old rules
(also called a dispensation). The issue
here in that in Moses' Laws, one had to be circumcised to be acceptable to GOD. People
still believe that today. However, because of the "Dispensation of Grace" we're living in,
all that's required to be saved today is to have
faith in Jesus Christ.
- Today, some churches hold if you're not baptized their way or hold their
beliefs, you cannot be a member of that church. This is called "legalism" because that
church means to justify you by "the law" (i.e., Moses' Law). Legalism is wrong and not
supported by GOD. If anyone asks you to perform these rites of passage, ask where in the
bible it says to do that.
- Acts 15:5: You have to understand these people, the Jews, have
2,000+ years of history, testimony, and law. The lesson here is that no matter
how difficult it is to change, with Jesus Christ in your life, all things are changed--old
things pass away, all things become new! (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- The requirement for burnt offerings is no more; And just as its difficult to
give that up back then, today we can compare burnt offerings to the love and need for
music, money, and television ... people don't want to give it up!
- Cults are characterized by adding work to reach Jesus Christ when this work
is not required
Galatians 2:2: Getting back on track ... "were of
reputation" in this passage means the Jewish people. Thus Paul preached the one, true
gospel to both Jews and Gentiles!
Galatians 2:3: Even though circumcision was a traditionally
Jewish law under Moses' Law, we see that Titus (who's with Paul) is not compelled to follow
this age-old tradition.
- Why do some people today say you have to be baptized
to be saved? Because back in the days of Moses' Law,
baptism was required to be saved. Today, in the Dispensation of Grace, baptism is only
a public sign of identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While
this is NOT REQUIRED to be saved, it is highly encouraged by GOD's Word.
Acts 15:11,24: This is a confirmation that Peter and Paul preached
the same gospel and a summation of this lesson: you are
saved by faith alone and not by good works.
If anyone adds to this, they are promoting "legalism" and their claim is only a
(unnecessary) requirement of man ... not GOD.