This week we will be reading through Galatians 5:16-26. It is in these verses that we see the ethical (person-to-person relationship) dimension of Paul’s Gospel. In his book Paul and the Stoics, Troels Engberg-Pedersen has a beautiful understanding of these verses, pp.157-77. If you have the opportunity, please read the attachment. Engberg-Pedersen sees Paul as not giving us a list of vices to avoid or virtues to adopt, rather he sees Paul teaching that being “in Christ” necessary causes a personal transformation in attitudes and outlook from an ego-centric point of view to an other-centric point-of-view. Throughout chapter 5, Paul shows us that a directedness towards Christ (being in Christ) necessarily results in a directedness towards others (love your neighbor) which invariably results in a different practice (fruit of the spirit). In other words, being in Christ generates a faith that is active in love. The question of whether this transformation occurs depends upon our willingness to allow the spirit to work, which can only come about when we realize that acting properly towards others (love, patience, kindness, etc.) is the purpose and result of being led by the Spirit. Paul’s exhortation throughout chapter 5 is to remind his audience and us of this fact.
Dinner is at 6. The menu is chicken parmigiana. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.1 Corinthians 13:1-3