In this summer study, we read through Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. The occasion of this letter is to answer the question of whether a Gentile must become obedient to the Biblical Law in order to be a Christian. Within this letter, we encounter the pure distillation of Paul’s Gospel and its message of radical inclusiveness. For background on this study, I have used N.T. Wright’s Paul for Everyone: Galatians and Thessalonians and Justification, Martin Luther’s Commentary on Galatians, Luke Timothy Johnson’s The Writings of the New Testament, Troels Engberg-Pedersen’s Paul and the Stoics, and notes from David Bently Hart’s The New Testament. This summer study covers eleven weeks.
Paul’s letter acerbically refutes the teaching that legal obedience makes one a better Christian. Paul strongly affirms that we are made right with God through the faith of and in Jesus and that there are to be no divisions in the church based upon whether a person obeys the black-letter biblical laws.
The discussion tonight is to help us articulate how we reach moral conclusions of right and wrong. Dr. Sosis will give us some contemporary paradigms to think through what it means to be moral and how to discover that which God has impressed upon our conscious.
Whereas Romans and Galatians cover the same subject matter, in the former Paul employs a loftier discourse and more sophisticated arguments, and in the latter, he addresses those who are “senseless” and “foolish” and adopts a style appropriate for censure and not instruction.
The Lord Jesus Christ gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age according to the will of God the Father. Gal. 1:4
Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ. Gal. 1:10
But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace . . . Gal. 1:15
And from those who were reputed to be something (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who were of repute added nothing to me; but on the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised. Gal. 2:6-7
James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised; only they would have us remember the poor, which very thing I was eager to do. Gal. 2:9-10
A man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law. Gal. 2:16
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. Gal. 2:20a
Thus Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” So you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham. Gal. 3:6-7
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you. Gal. 3:1
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal. 3:28
So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian. Gal. 3:24-25
So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe. Gal. 4:3
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir. Gal. 4:6-7
Now this is an allegory. Gal. 4:24
Brethren, I beseech you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong; 13 you know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first. Gal. 4:12-13
“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in travail; for the children of the desolate one are many more than the children of her that is married.” Gal. 4:27 quoting Isa. 54:1
* For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Gal. 5:14 *
Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another. Gal. 5:26
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. Gal. 5:17
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Gal. 6:1-2
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen. Gal. 6:18