Gal.4: “children of promise”

 

We have an example of faith that is knowledge, mysterious in that no direct experience prepares you in its exercise. Predestination explains God having foreknown us. But how do God and man connect? Thinking outside the box perhaps gives one an idea. In Bethany a woman exercises faith in the house of Simon the leper and Jesus was the recipient of her kindness, that is pure spiritual discernment. When the guests faulted her for her grand gesture Jesus had to explain. “ She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.(Mk.14:7-8)” The creative faith of God runs on the rails of Power and Wisdom and faith is the medium through which glory of God can be seen and understood.

Let us consider these lines,”The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork./ Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge./ There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard/Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,(Ps.19:1-4)” The sinful woman in anointing him her calling was outside her circumstances. She might have degraded her flesh in ways that only spoke of sin and her own narrow circumstance. But presence of Christ made her do what was needful.  In the Gospel of Luke we have the same incident, “And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head./ Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment./ Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little./ And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven(Lk.14:43-48)”.  A proper burial for the Son of man made a woman think beyond her immediate circumstance. Here faith combined with works erased her past and her future in line with eternity that is another reality and another Time zone. Flesh profits nothing. “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life(John 6:63)”. Unity of the Spirit translated her from darkness of flesh to light. Seeing her faith he forgave her sins. So faith is to connect (finger of God, as Jesus would say) so she was born after the Spirit even as Isaac was. Similarly the woman with an issue of blood for twelve years was healed because her faith transcended her circumstance of being born after the flesh (v.29)

When St Paul compares Isaac and Ishmael he is comparing children of the promise where faith is the key . Children of the bondwoman are in bondage of flesh. It is thus we need understand two worlds one where faith operates and the other that shall be like a shroud and it shall be cast away.

The woman who anointed the head of Jesus is of the children of promise. Jerusalem and New Jerusalem are entirely different as Jacob and Esau are. In vv.4-7 St Paul speaks adoption of sons is confirmed in his Son. It is faith and law of sin has no hold over those who are led by the Spirit. They are the sons(Ro.8:14) and heirs of God through Christ.

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,/ To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons./ And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father./ Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ (vv.4-7).

Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.

But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.

13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.

14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.

16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.

18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Posted in bible study, St Paul-Galatians | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Gal.3:14-29- “According to the promise”

That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith”.

Promise here we focus on is from God to Abraham. “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed(Ge.12:3)”.

God is promising here in two specific ways. Blessing covers Abraham, firstly  in his flesh and the other in his Spirit. So wherever Abraham would go he shall be blessed so whosoever dealt kindly with him God shall return the same with him. We see what God did with Abimelech for example. (Ge.20:18). Secondly all families of the earth shall be blessed. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ(v.16)”. It is the family of Special Relationships. In their relationship between God and Abraham what made the connection but faith? Abraham believed and it was counted to him for righteousness. Faith as a quality was made manifest by Christ and the emblem of the Lamb slain is the proof.

It is in this context we shall appreciate the aptness of this claim, “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58)”. The angry response of the Jews attests to their blindness. He was talking about the Father Son relationship.God is a Spirit and the Holy Spirit whenever uses the term spirit of Christ is differentiating this distinction. Christ as the heir to all things is the ‘spiritual Rock’ as St Paul uses in his epistle to the Church of Corinth.”for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ (1 Co.10:4).” Faith is that basis by which Abraham and Issac would be a model for the above Father Son relationship. The significance of sacrifice of Isaac made his faith of the same quality as of God. God does not tempt but make Abraham define the quality of his faith(Ge.22:11-12). The ram that was offered up on the mount instead is an example. The life of Isaac is spared. Ram is  substitutional symbol for Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God. There is also a secondary purpose for the Holy Spirit. God’s blessings to Abraham shall work through all nations so Moses Elijah, King David are all stand in for Christ. This typology is validated by this article of faith.

Putting on Christ therefore is to gather all those who are adopted in Christ to him. So the Spirit is an earnest given to those who made a covenant with him.”For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ (v.27)”Unity of the Spirit shall achieve the purpose so the Body of Christ is perfect fit for the Head. 

Faith is the hallmark in the kingdom of the Son so angel of the Lord appears to Abraham restraining his hand from killing Issac. By the same token when Christ was in agony at Gethsemane an angel appeared to him “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him (Lk.22:43)”. Faith is the oxygen throughout the kingdom of God and even when the Son finally hands over to his Father so God is all in all it is the same glorious faith.

 

15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Posted in bible study, St Paul-Galatians | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Gal.3:1-14 “faith”

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

Heresies are half truth as in the case of Arianism that we discussed in the previous post, and these are passed around by enemies of Christ who thereby deceive the mind of others. Taken in by subtle shifts in emphasis a believer may come accept it as true. So one is without independent mind to understand the truth. Same result as one who is bewitched. One of the cult groups taught that there shall be Order of the Levites restored in eternity. Their line of argument was that God could not be wrong and He shall prove with the very sacrifices where the nation of Israel failed. While they emphasize omnipotence of God what they gloss over is the direct quote:”For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified(He.10:14)”. Sacrifice of Christ is the point. Similarly limited salvation is a heresy. Such false brethren want to control the liberty of believer in Jesus Christ by changes in the order and clearness of God’s Holiness as stated in the Bible. It is thus all heresies or trickery practiced on the mind. “He  (God) fashioneth their hearts alike(Ps.33:15a).” Whereas mind of man can be easily be twisted around by sophistry. Truth written in inwards the heart is alike so faith is where the enemy tries to get at. In vv.3-14 St Paul argues of faith by which alone the believer can make the Spirit of promise keep him connected with God.

This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Promise of God to bless all families through Abraham meant Isaac had to receive it by his own faith; similarly Jacob had to and it was at Peniel he found his faith which was hitherto dormant in him. He vowed to pay tithes which is a clue inserted by the Spirit that he was on the right footing with God. Faith with works is a covenant of sort. It has nothing to do with Law of Moses and the law of tithes. So faith made Jacob on the right standing with God according to the everlasting covenant and the foundation of the world. Creative faith of God (He.11:3) and that of the Lamb slain (Re.13:8) connected the dots to Abraham and to himself direct. So faith determined of what family Jacob the heel catcher belonged to. Thus it is God’s promise all families through Abraham works. This is where faith works with individual so Unity of the Spirit becomes meaningful.

Faith is one and every individual had to receive the promises of God by faith. That establishes the nature of families; not of flesh and blood but of family of special relationships. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple(Lk.14:26).

Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Posted in bible study, St Paul-Galatians | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Gal.3:1 -“Deception”

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

God as the creator of the heaven and the earth is the sovereign Lord God. God is a Spirit and when God has given his Spirit as a gift there cannot be any other. This being the truth we are to examine what does the Spirit mean by St Paul’s question ‘who has bewitched you? The Spirit is qualified as Spirit of truth. So whatever bewitches a believer is a deceiving spirit. In the Book of Exodus we read about the magicians  who could repeat the wonders performed by Moses before Pharaoh. “And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the LORD had said(Ex.7:22)”. Before long they had to give up because they were no match for divine Power and Wisdom.

Here St Paul implies deception practiced by by Judaizers who by clever play of words changed the truth that was in Christ. The Greek word baskainõ means bewitch or deceive.”Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience(Ep.5:6)”.Mind of man can easily be deceived and modern man who set a premium on rational thinking shall never get it right unless he knows what is truth. When God set truth in his inward parts it is exactly in order as the cart is tied so the horse can lead it to  destination. What man has done is the other way around so we see him chasing every fake news as it is placed in the social media by mischief makers.

Here is a piece of news in today’s BBC online service:

“Conspiracy theories claiming 5G technology helps transmit coronavirus have been condemned by the scientific community.

Videos have been shared on social media showing mobile phone masts on fire in Birmingham and Merseyside – along with the claims.

The posts have been shared on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram – including by verified accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers.

But scientists say the idea of a connection between Covid-19 and 5G is “complete rubbish” and biologically impossible.

The conspiracy theories have been branded “the worst kind of fake news” by NHS England Medical Director Stephen Powis.”

There is only one truth and the Spirit is given to every believer so he may be led to truth. Faith is one and which is inextricably bound up with the word of God. For this reason the Bible tells us,”So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God(Ro.10:17).”

Traditions and cultural baggage carry many falsehood that for anyone who is in Christ shall prove to be inconvenient. In the Parable ““Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, 48 which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away(Matt.13:47-48-NKJV)”. 

At the height of Arianism Athansius Bishop of Alexandria who stood for truth had to escape his more powerful enemies which were protected by Queen Helena. There came one George earlier a pork contractor for Roman garrison at Cappadocia who was vicious and unscrupulous as a person. Supporters of Arius* quickly made him the Bishop of Cappadocia and he became the leader who hunted the venerable Church father(‘Athansius contra mundum’) He was the most eminent Church leader opposing Arianism on the basis of the creed adopted by the Council of Nicaea in 325. Awed by miraculous manner he escaped was attributed to magic. This conflict between George and Athansius was lost in similar legends so much so St George became the Patron saint of England and the princess and the dragon barely resemble the true facts.  The world throws up legends and these have no business in matters in worship. We are exhorted to worship God in truth and Spirit.

*Arianism: the main heresy denying the divinity of Christ, originating with the Alexandrian priest Arius ( c. 250– c. 336). Arianism maintained that the son of God was created by the Father and was therefore neither coeternal nor consubstantial with the Father(wikipedia).

Posted in bible study, St Paul-Galatians | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gal.2:16-21 “by the faith of Christ”

What is the quality of sound that rings when we let Christ in us speak? What makes it understood as coming from Christ? “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;(2 Co.4:13)”. St Paul is quoting here the Psalmist (Ps.116:10). Our ministry is not in our personality or name but in Christ Jesus who conquered the world.

God commanded,’Let there be light.’  It was so. It is faith which is one. So when we consider faith it has only one source. “Whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also-(1 John 2:23-NIV)”.  Those who say they are saved but pursue the world and its lusts are of two minds. “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?(1 Co.14:8)” We speak therefore by the same faith of Jesus Christ so our actions create a context for another to hear and also understand. Here the emphasis is on faith,  the word and truth. The latter is the risen Christ whose spirit is with us. The Spirit of truth leads whosoever hears what Christ in us speaks. A froward heart may resist but if the person is of sound mind and sincere shall certainly come to grips with it and it is not our own cleverness that settles the issue. The savior shall desire ‘will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth(1 Ti.2:4)”. Our faith is to work with the faith that Jesus made manifest in his own body. ‘It is not I but your will’. “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done(Lk.22:42)”. So in our submissive spirit we are hitching our faith to that raised his Son from the jaws of hell. It is creative faith (He.11:3). When spirit of antichrist speaks ‘to make your faith wrest from the hand of God riches so you could show off your wealth it is something else. Faith is one.  It is not spirit of Christ that you may well rob Christ of his glory and stand at the pulpit to preach God.

Is there any difference in the spirit of Christ and indwelling Spirit? There is one Spirit. Unity of the Spirit speaks of many members which make up the Body of Christ. The same Spirit but several gifts operating through each. Now consider faith similarly. Faith is one which is same in the Father also operating through his Son. By the faith of Christ we exercise not another but the same faith. ‘ We also believe, and therefore speak.’

Christian Living is marked by liberty in Christ whereas bondage to the law is the opposite. It is where the nation of Israel failed. They merely observed the provisions of the law but the spirit of Christ and faith that connected its fulfillment were absent. Their complacency rested in their flesh as having fulfilled the outward observances. Liberty in Christ on the other hand lay in the confession of St Paul.  “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (v.20).”

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Posted in bible study, St Paul-Galatians | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Gal.2 “liberty in Jesus Christ”

We see in these first two chapters St Paul’s self defense on his apostleship. He would not let criticism of others weaken him; it was Christ in him that should answer those brethren and liberty in Christ was to let the quality of Christ fully shine through. “But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. (1 Co.9:12).” For those who do ministry fully committed to give satisfaction has the liberty that the world knows nothing of. It is for this reason St Paul faulted the Church of Corinth for going to the court of law and let the ungodly determine their case. “Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?(1 Co.6:6)”The liberty to suffer injury is not because of any masochistic indulgence but affirmation that we are indeed translated from this world of unjust men for whom worldly honors and adulation matter so much.

The churches in Galatia were planted by St Paul and several others but who gave them fruits but the risen Christ? Who are those false brethren that caused division? They did not come by the front door but as we read in v.4 ‘who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:’ They really had no business in the matter of their salvation. St Paul therefore would not let his ministry down; nor let the weakness of his flock wean them away from truth. “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.(1 Co.9:22-NIV).” St Paul offers a good example to us as to the correct attitude of a servant of Christ. Patience of God, His long-suffering towards us is best revealed in daily mundane tasks so learning of him is a sign of spiritual growth. Babes in Christ ever needing mollycoddling is not what what the Lord (who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light) would delight in. As with the Parable of the Fig tree the master shall ask,”why cumbereth it the ground?”(Lk.13:6-9) In loss of fruits neither the ministry benefits nor the unprofitable servant. “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come(Matt.24:42)”.

When we died to the world and to sin we did it because love of Christ constrained us. Baptism for the dead is a contract. Either we honor it or bring to dishonor when our love shall grow cold by our negligence.  Remember the might Samson, who took his vows lightly? ‘And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.(Jud.16:20b).

Having made a covenant with our Lord Savior is like putting our hands on the plough. “Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.(Lk.9:62).” How shall we compare those ministers who took vows to poverty sit on thrones in  purple and show themselves as princes?
‘But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid(v.17)’.

Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Posted in bible study, St Paul-Galatians | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Gal.1:6-24 “to reveal his Son in me’

What is the meaning of witnessing? Have we not seen how nations send their accredited ambassadors who present themselves in their finery in the foreign countries? In their best the nations make a statement of sorts. Any discourtesy to him by the head of the host nation is received as an insult. So an ambassador must have a quality in his bearing and character an intrinsic value that shines through. Secondly he must have the right papers signed and sealed by the nation he represents. Without presenting it to the head of the foreign government he cannot be accepted officially or due privileges accorded. When a voice from heaven spoke as Jesus came out of water we have the classic accreditation: “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:/ And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased(Matt.3:16-17)”.The triune God was present there so to speak. In his baptism he fulfilled the righteousness, signifying an example or the way for all men to follow. What did he bring but the Word made flesh endorsed by his Father. The Gospel of God made his role very clear. In his death and resurrection  the Son on the other hand made the gospel very clear so there is only one official version put out by the Holy Spirit on divine Will and its fulfillment. Any other version is another gospel.

Those who espouse another gospel is compared to a thief.”Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber(John 10:1)”. A close parallel we have in this Age of social media. In 2016 in connection with US Presidential election we have had PizzaGate: How 4Chan Uncovered the Sick World of Washington’s Occult Elite” on fake news websites The totally false conspiracy theory claims that Hillary Clinton and her former campaign chair, ran a child sex ring at the basement of a pizzeria in DC, Comet Ping Pong (which doesn’t have one). Over the following few weeks, Donald Trump supporters and white supremacists on social media pushed the conspiracy theory across fake websites that took on a life of its own.  A man walked into a pizzeria in Washington, DC, with an assault rifle and fired one or more shots that luckily did not injure or kill anyone. Fake news in our world is same as another gospel. When false ministers from pulpits all across the Christian world take up such heresies put out by anti-christ the consequences replicate these fake websites. Wealth and what passes for hedonistic lifestyles sound acceptable indeed. It is how simplicity that is in Christ becomes corrupted.

St Paul as the apostle presents to the Galatians as one separated by the Power and Wisdom of God,’God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace(v.15) must address them by his credential which is the Gospel of Christ. There is no other.  The early church suffered great many persecutions that did not wipe out their faith. In their poverty was spiritual vigor of truth. How far Christianity forfeited it when Constantine Great adopted the state religion shall pose a great riddle. Arianism was a heresy, support for which had come from the palace itself. Yet we have the icon of Queen Helena venerated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church hagiography.

 

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 any man 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.

11 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.

15 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.

19 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

Posted in bible study, St Paul-Galatians | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment