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The weakness of law verses the power of faith working through love

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1 The weakness of law verses the power of faith working through love

2 Galatians is a mini-Romans
What’s in Galatians? Doctrinal information about salvation through faith in Christ Jesus – Paul’s gospel of the Grace of God Warnings about our human tendency to want a religion based on works of law – Judaism! Practical daily life lessons about living by a faith that is motivated by love Galatians is a mini-Romans

3 Outline of Galatians 1-2 Answer challenges to Paul’s authority & the origin of his gospel 3-4 Expose the false teachings of Judaisers who perverted the truth of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus 5-6 Explain the impact of faith working through love on the way we live and treat each other (what James calls “be doers of the word”)

4 Paul’s 1st Journey Acts 13-14

5 Antioch Paul preached Jesus as God’s son, raised from the dead & salvation by faith! Acts 13:38-39 38 "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; 39 "and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

6 A great multitude of Jews and Greeks believed (14:1)
Iconium A great multitude of Jews and Greeks believed (14:1) Paul & Barnabas spoke boldly and worked many miracles (14:1) Unbelieving Jews poisoned the minds of the Gentiles (14:2) City became divided (14:4) Both Jews and Gentiles made a violent attempt to abuse and stone Paul & Barnabas (14:5) Paul fled to Lystra (14:6)

7 Probably met Timothy here Paul healed a crippled man (14:10)
Lystra Probably met Timothy here Paul healed a crippled man (14:10) The people wanted to make Paul & Barnabas gods (14:11-12) Jews from Antioch and Iconium convinced the multitude to stone Paul (14:19) Disciples gathered around Paul, he rose up, and went into the city (14:20) The next day he went to Derbe

8 Preached and made many disciples (14:21)
Derbe Preached and made many disciples (14:21) Then returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch Strengthened the new disciples Warned them: “we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (14:22) Appointed elders in every ecclesia Paul went back to Antioch in Syria Judaisers set out to overturn Paul’s message & make Gentiles get circumcised & keep the Law

9 Letter to Galatians was written:
From Antioch (Syrian) at a critical time when Judaisers were challenging the inclusion of Gentiles by grace. These Gentiles were not circumcised and did not keep the Law. Acts 15:1, 5 1 And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." 5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses."

10 Letter to Galatians was written:
Paul & Barnabas dealt with Judaisers in Antioch of Syria, but it was harder to reach the new Galatian converts Paul’s authority was under attack too Probably written between 1st and 2nd journeys, just before Jerusalem conference in Acts 15

11 Paul defends his Authority
An apostle by the will of God, not men (1:1) Judaisers claimed Paul was not one of the original apostles like Peter and James Jesus gave him the gospel by revelation (1:12) Formerly persecuted God’s ecclesia and wanted to destroy it (1:13) God separated him from womb and called him through grace! (1:15) [cp Jer 1:5] God made Paul a preacher to Gentiles (1:16) Accepted by the other apostles (1:24) It’s hard to believe how much these Judaisers discredited Paul – an apostle with spirit gifts who was called directly by Christ!

12 No commendation: no praise, no thanks
Paul wouldn’t give the Galatians any basis to think it was OK to agree with the Judaisers Rather than thanking God or them, in 1:6, Paul marveled they were turning away so soon to another gospel This was a major error that would destroy all the work God had commissioned Paul to accomplish Even all the apostles, working together, could barely hold back the Judaiser movement to return to the law and circumcision

13 Principles of Judaism Emphasizes procedures that we must do to be saved Leads to comparing ourselves with others and judge others Motivated by a work/payment system: “I do, therefore I earn” Hard to refute because it relies heavily on the Bible, especially the Law Claimed that even Jesus kept the Law, so we should too! Not motivated by love! The NT contains a lot more warnings about Judaism (legalism) than it does about liberalism!

14 Simple example of Judaism (legalism)
A husband and wife do family Bible readings together after dinner. The husband checks off his Bible companion, reads quickly, thinking about what he wants to do when the readings are over. The wife considers each reading, looking for lessons and answers to solve issues she’s facing in her family. Both satisfied the requirement to read the word, one as a legal requirement, the other out of love for God’s ways.

15 Galatians balances James
Liberals: Christ did it all, so I don’t need to do anything or change Judaisers: I must work to earn my salvation James corrects this Galatians corrects this “Faith working through Love” (Gal 5:6) God has forgiven us in Christ. We follow Christ’s example & live for God and his family because of our love for them.

16 Paul’s authority (1:1) An apostle – not of man – but by Jesus Christ & God the Father The same God who raised Jesus from the dead God – the Father of us all (v.3,4) a theme Paul will pick up again in Gal 3 The Law treated Israelites as slaves, but grace offers us adoption into the family of God as sons and daughters!

17 Grace and Peace (v.3) Grace (a Gentile term) – the undeserved kindness of our loving Father who desired to save us Peace (a Jewish term) – the wonderful relationship we now have with our Father because He has adopted us as His children Jesus Christ gave himself for our sins willingly All according to the will of God

18 Turning away to a different Gospel O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you? (3:1)
So soon – implies Paul wrote this letter soon after his 1st journey Turning away from God – not Paul (v.6) Some who trouble you = Judaisers Different gospel – based on works of law, not faith in Jesus Christ (2 Cor 11:4 “another Jesus”) Angel from heaven: some claimed angels taught them in visions (Col 2:18) Let him be accursed (8 & 9) – this is a critical issue

19 Challenges to Paul Paul’s Defense:
Paul is just trying to please people – the Gentiles Paul got his gospel from Peter and other apostles in Jerusalem Paul is inconsistent: he circumcised Timothy, not Titus Paul’s Defense: He tries to please God as a faithful servant of Jesus Christ (v.10) God separated him from birth (v.15) He got his gospel direct from Jesus Christ (12) He spent little time in Jerusalem or with apostles (16-24) God told him to go to Jerusalem by revelation (2:2) Paul’s mission was to the uncircumcised (2:7-9)

20 Origin of Paul’s Gospel
Jesus Christ taught Paul direct Paul didn’t get his gospel from his earlier life Paul didn’t get his gospel from other teachers Only stayed in Jerusalem 15 days during his first visit, and had limited contact with Peter and James

21 Paul’s mission is not personal
He personally persecuted God’s ecclesia & tried to destroy it (v.13) Paul was zealous for the traditions of the fathers (v.14) – no man could have changed him! God called Paul through His grace (v.15) God decided to reveal His Son in Paul, so he could preach to Gentiles (v.16) God is responsible for Paul’s mission! God wanted Paul to show Gentiles how Jesus Christ lived.

22 A warning to us because we all do make many mistakes…
It’s easy and tempting to attack the motives and authority of our brothers and sisters when we have disagreements It’s easy and tempting to gather ecclesial support for ourselves when we have disagreements with others Resist the temptation – aim for unity & peace (on most issues) Pray for understanding of our doctrines and principles so we can present God’s gospel, not our own.

23 In Galatians 2 we will continue with Paul’s defense of the Gospel of Grace


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