Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Big Moose, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. Commentary in blue:

    1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead),One does not receive apostleship from any recognition or announcement from mere humans. 2 and all the brethren who are with me, We all need a support structure.

    To the churches of Galatia:

    3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. That's it, hit them with the Gospel right up front.
    6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. Paul can't believe that these believers can be led astray so easily. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. That is why any teaching HAS to agree with the Bible. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. WARNING: don't mess with God's Word.

    10 For do I now persuade men, or God? If someone is making a change in the Gospel, not only do they have to persuade men, but also God. What a tall order. Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. If you are seeking to please the desires of other people, you are not pleasing Christ and you are not serving Him. More verses later. Feel free to add comment.
    Glad4Mercy and KingJ say Amen and like this.
  2. 11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. This is the Gospel of Christ, not some made up invention of man. Just as in the previous verse, what Paul is preaching is not a popular cult of counterculture. Many will not be pleased with it. Some will try to use this faith to gain power and stature. This Gospel is obviously not conjured up by human intellect. Servanthood is not an idea to base a movement or a kingdom.

    13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. Paul admits his previous life, of how he was the most hostile to Christianity, actively bent on destroying it, all the while standing up for the Jewish tradition of keeping the Law. He would be one of the least likely to become an apostle. Again, this could not be man's doing, but God's.

    15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, (reference to his rebirth) 16 to reveal His Son in me, (in me, not to me) that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, (Again, it was not man who directed Paul towards the Gentiles) 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. His ordination and teaching was from the Lord and not from even the apostles, who most would have thought to be necessary to become an apostle. Confirmed by the Lord, not from the Church.
    Glad4Mercy likes this.
  3. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. This puts Paul on equal footing with Peter, as they conferred with each other, probably as to what Paul's calling was. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) This isn't so much an oath, as it is reminding the recipients that he must say the truth before God and will answer for what he says.

    21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. Confirmed in Acts 9. 22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. Also confirmed in Acts 9. 23 But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God in me. This would be like Rosie O'Donnell preaching against gay marriage.
  4. Chapter 2:(Even the NKJV is difficult to understand on some verses, so the NLT is included with each verse in red)
    1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. 2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain. 2 I went there because God revealed to me that I should go. While I was there I met privately with those considered to be leaders of the church and shared with them the message I had been preaching to the Gentiles. I wanted to make sure that we were in agreement, for fear that all my efforts had been wasted and I was running the race for nothing. Seems Paul had some doubts as to whether what he was doing was in vain. He at least was open to correction from the brethren, at least on the minor points.
    3 Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), 4 Even that question came up only because of some so-called believers there—false ones, really—who were secretly brought in. They sneaked in to spy on us and take away the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. They wanted to enslave us and force us to follow their Jewish regulations. I can just hear the accusations of Paul promulgating a conspiracy theory. Even the leadership in Jerusalem had fake Christians taking part in their deliberations. We shouldn't be so surprised when they infiltrate our ranks today.
    5 to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. 5 But we refused to give in to them for a single moment. We wanted to preserve the truth of the gospel message for you. Here we see disunity in the leadership of the Church. Or you could say the division was between true believers and false believers looking to bring back the bondage of the Law.
  5. Chapter 2: NKJV and NLT
    6 But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. 6 And the leaders of the church had nothing to add to what I was preaching. (By the way, their reputation as great leaders made no difference to me, for God has no favorites.) Many think that they must follow a church leader, or give precedence to someone of a perceived higher rank, allowing man's teaching to trump God's word or revelation. As we know from the Bible, God often works wonders thru the most unlikely of candidates. And this is the case with Paul. The Bible teaches, even thru Paul, that we must respect our elders and leaders put in charge of us. So when there is an absence of unity within leadership, someone is not following God's direction. We must all then look at our own thinking and reconsider if God is with you. 7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter 8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), 9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. I think the apostles were not totally sure of Paul and his calling. But it was undeniable what God had worked thru Paul. These men had seen many miracles in their lifetimes and this former persecutor turned apostle was yet another wonder to behold. 10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do. 10 Their only suggestion was that we keep on helping the poor, which I have always been eager to do. There was obvious unity in their teachings, and this meeting reassured them of this. This was more of a plan of action meeting than a "let's get on the same page" meeting.
  6. Paul sets Peter straight.
    2: NKJV NLT
    11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. Here we see we must take a stand against serious offenses or wrong teaching or even wrong examples in leadership.
    12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 12 When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile believers, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. Hypocrisy must be guarded against. A good example of wrongly worrying about what others think of you. Offending a weaker believer is not the question here.
    13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. 13 As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. How easily a leader of the church can lead others into hypocrisy being people pleasers.

    14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? Peter and the rest tried to have it both ways. Trying to keep everybody happy.
    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 faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. 16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.” Obeying the law is not wrong, obeying the law for the wrong reasons is. Without saving faith, you obey the law to show how good you are, and you inevitably fail. With saving faith, you obey the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. The spirit of the law is love, the letter of the law is unforgiving and cold.

    17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not!
    17 But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not! If by having faith in Christ means that we do not follow the letter of the law, then so be it, for the letter of the law shows how sinful we are. Love is not gained by strictly following it.
    18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 18 Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. By forcing law on others which were taken away, we are sinning.
    19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. There is no grace in the law. The law condemns sinners to death.
    20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Christ took my condemnation in the law, paid for it in blood, and left it on the cross and in the grave.
    21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. The law does not make me right with God, it shows how wrong I am. Christ becomes my righteousness for God so that I can be accepted. Redeemed by the blood, not the law. My worthless house needed to be remodeled by the carpenter's son, and now it can be lived in.
  7. Galatians 3:
    1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? Here we see again Paul reiterate that someone(s) are leading the Galatians astray. So far, Paul has brought up the problems of hypocrisy and the false belief of being saved by works/following the law.
    2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Having people answer questions for themselves is a great teaching tool. Someone I respect once said that to convince someone of something, you often need to get them to think they are convincing themselves. Many people will only change their thinking if they think they have discovered it on their own. Obvious question here. Of course by hearing of faith.
    3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? It is foolishness to go from living by faith and being Spirit led, to limiting the Spirit by following the law and concentrating on works as a teaching.
    4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 4 Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it? NLT Paul wants them, and us, to concentrate on what brought us salvation. Not what kept us from salvation.

    5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— Jesus performed miracles by faith, not by the law.
    6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Believing and counting on God's promises is the faith of righteousness. Honoring God with obedience is part of that faith.
    7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. Put your faith in God and be part of the family.
    8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”
    9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. Being part of the family of faith in, on and of God; we will be blessed.
  8. 3: NKJV NLT
    10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 10 But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” If one thinks they need to follow the law, inevitably they will teach or insist others follow the law as well. Their thinking would be, I follow the law to be holy, therefore, you should also follow the law because I want you to be holy, too. This soon degenerates into judging others in a condemning way, for with the law comes judgement. Otherwise the law is meaningless if you are not required to follow it. And we know that as we judge, so shall we be judged. I might be persuaded to call that a curse.
    11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” This is from Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith. Without faith in goodness, one becomes cynical and distrusting. The proud has faith only in himself. If you do not believe in what is right, what do you believe in?

    12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.” 12 This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.” Can you or do you trust in a law? No, you can only trust that a judge will uphold a law and law enforcement will enforce the law.

    13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
    14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.
    Isaiah 11:10 “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse,
    Who shall stand as a banner to the people;
    For the Gentiles shall seek Him,
    And His resting place shall be glorious.”

    One of the great prophesies: That the Gentiles would be brought into the fold thru Christ. The Holy Spirit is our guide and that is our goal, to make Him so.
  9. 3: NKJV NLT
    15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. 15 Dear brothers and sisters, here’s an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or amend an irrevocable agreement, so it is in this case. Paul is speaking of promises made in contract law. Once signed, one party cannot change it without the others signature.
    16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. 16 God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn’t say “to his children,” as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says “to his child”—and that, of course, means Christ. Paul is getting very literal in his interpretation of the scripture. The promise or covenant was Abraham's connection to Christ.
    17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 17 This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise. God, by making the promise, was bound to fulfill the contract. The law He gave did not affect the original contract. The law was meant to help prepare His chosen people to be ready for the fulfillment. When Moses led the people out of Egypt, they were no where near ready for Christ to come to live among them. So much had to happen before the contract could be fulfilled. The Israelites would not have understood very little of what Jesus taught.
    18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 18 For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise. Laws are requirements. They do not give gifts. Entering into a contract is a choice, not a requirement. God wanted to bless Abraham because of the faith he showed openly. Abraham lived his faith in God. We see this again in David. God delights in this open faith when we allow it to project from us. Let everybody see it. Not only will they see it, they will experience it interacting with you. Affect, infect and effect with faith today.
  10. 3: NKJV NLT
    19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
    Christ fulfilled the law. Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. Most think that means He followed the law. It really means that, as the law was given as a contract with the mediator Moses, Jesus fulfilled the contract, finishing it. Just as you pay off the mortgage, the contract is over. He filled the last requirements of the law.
    Just like a contract bill of sale. One pays for items listed in the contract. When items or services are delivered the contract is over. It gets filed away and life moves on.
    20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. 20 Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham. The covenant with Abraham was more of a gift than a contract. Negotiations are not needed to give and receive a gift.

    21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! It was a contract of rules to train the chosen people. The people agreed to follow them. For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. A law can help protect life, but it can't give life.
    22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 22 But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. And the law showed us our sin, convicting us.
    23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.
    24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Again, the purpose of the law was to train and teach the Hebrews, and us, making us ready for faith in Jesus.
    25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. The teaching of sin is over, and faith with the Spirit is our teacher.

    26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
    27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Christ is our new identity and the family name we are known by, just like a surname.
    28 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. Christ: the unifying force of perfection.
    29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Christ is the seed of Abraham and since Christ is part of us, we wear Him on our spirit, we are now become the seed of Abraham also. We inherit what God is giving. Let us make a spiritual fashion statement.
  11. Galatians 4: NKJV NLT Commentary in blue.

    1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. = Both are under the direction of others, until the heir is of age.

    3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world. =We needed the direction of the law because we were not ready for the concept of faith and redemption, nor freedom from the law. Also, many of the Gentile cultures were not ready in terms of civilized behavior. Earlier in history, if you had gone out to preach the Gospel, and said, “Jesus can save you from your sins.”, they would likely say, “What is this ‘sin’ you are talking about? And why do we need saved from it?” Many peoples needed some time and experience of laws governing moral depravity. Only then could one understand what sin is. As Paul says, “…I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”-Romans 7:7.

    4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. =Here we see that the timing had to be right, based on where humankind had progressed. The mission’s intent was to redeem the house of Israel, all the while knowing most would forsake or dismiss God’s Son.

    6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. =Since Christ is in our hearts, we are endowed with the seed of God and are truly children of God, and therefore heirs. The Holy Spirit is crying out to the Father from within us. As we do not know what to pray for or how to pray, the Holy Spirit makes the intercession for us.
    Lord, may Your Seed grow and produce great wonders through us for Your glory. In Jesus' name, Amen.
  12. 4: NKJV NLT
    8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. Before knowing God, we served other people, even gods of our own making, honoring them, trying to please them to gain men's applause.
    9 But now after you have known God, (1 John 4:16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.) or rather are known by God (1 Corinthians 8:3 but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.) , how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 9 So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? How easily we are influenced by people and traditions around us. How do we live holy lives? Most would say follow the commandments; all the more back then with so many Jews still practicing works and law following. So many missed the point of the law, to teach us how to love.
    10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. Consumed by the physical world, worrying how to please God.
    11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain. Strong words, he might offend someone. Don't squander what you have been given through great hardship.

    12 Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all. This verse takes some digging. The following verses help with understanding the first half. Paul speaks of the great concern and generosity the Galatians showed him before. So Paul says he loved others as they loved him. Now he says they should follow his example and show the same concern and understanding Paul has for them. Paul then says you have not offended him nor harmed his attitude.
    13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first.
    14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 14 But even though my condition tempted you to reject me, you did not despise me or turn me away. No, you took me in and cared for me as though I were an angel from God or even Christ Jesus himself. Paul was probably damaged physically from one of his many beatings or stonings prior to the first preaching to Galatia. They showed love to him.
    15 What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. Paul says you had nothing to gain by treating me well. Yet you showed great love.
    16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth? Now as Paul has been honest with their wandering back to old ways, he is hoping that they will not be offended, just as he was not offended by them. As in, don't take this as a personal attack.

    17 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. 17 Those false teachers are so eager to win your favor, but their intentions are not good. They are trying to shut you off from me so that you will pay attention only to them. It is so obvious that misguided and false teachers will try to lure you away from truth in the Word, and as you try to join them, they deny you entry unless you renounce those who had shown you the new way. Peer pressure back then also.
    18 But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you. 18 If someone is eager to do good things for you, that’s all right; but let them do it all the time, not just when I’m with you. Don't be hypocritical in your desire and excitement in the Lord.
    19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 19 Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives. Paul is having to do the hard work of convincing and teaching freedom from the law all over again.
    20 I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you. 20 I wish I were with you right now so I could change my tone. But at this distance I don’t know how else to help you. Paul is perplexed as to what to do to help them. Should he be harsh? Or gentle and encouraging? Paul knew that it made a huge difference when he was present with the people. The Holy Spirit's power was evident in Paul. He must have spoken with authority and persuasiveness.
  13. 4: NKJV NLT
    21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 21 Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law actually says? My question is “who would want to be under the heavy hand of the law?” Do we choose this of our own accord? No, we have been inculcated with the directive to follow the law, because it is good and holy. But that makes it man’s teaching when the burden is instilled or required by elders or contemporaries.

    22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 23 The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise. Note here that God promised Abram an heir since he had no children. Sarai and Abram took it upon themselves to fulfill God’s promise. It turned into a mess. But when God fulfilled His own promise, that is when His plan for Abraham was realized. This shows how it can be hard to tell when God wants you to take action or when you should wait on Him.

    24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— Here we have the juxtaposition, that the Jews who are of lineage of Isaac, are doing what Sarai tried to do, which is use your own strength to fulfill the law. Paul is saying that they, thru their efforts, are making themselves children of Hagar and by inference, Ishmael.

    26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. 26 But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren,
    You who do not bear!
    Break forth and shout,
    You who are not in labor!
    For the desolate has many more children
    Than she who has a husband.”

    28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 28 And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just like Isaac. God’s doing, thru Jesus, has brought about fulfillment of the law, using grace and mercy and overwhelming love to cause us to believe in the name of Jesus thru faith. Faith and promise goes hand in hand. If one does not believe the promise, then one tends to take things into their own hands.

    29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 29 But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit. What a parallel. This means there is jealousy and self righteousness in the same way Ishmael thought since he was there first, he had authority and privilege.

    30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” Here is the excerpt from Genesis 21: 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.” 11 And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham’s sight because of his son.

    12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called.
    In this we see that, as Sarah represents the Spirit’s fulfillment, we should listen to the Spirit’s call and not worry if the law is not upheld as the standard. Cast out the legalism and its burdens, for following the law shall not be heir to eternal life, but only thru the Son of promise, Jesus Christ, shall one receive eternal life.

    31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free. We are not saved or born again thru the law. We must be born of the Spirit and saved by the blood of the Lamb, Christ. Amen.
  14. Galatians 5: NKJV NLT
    1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Stand fast means persist, stick with it. Why would you NOT want to be free?
    2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. If you could keep the law perfectly, then you would have no sin. What would you need Christ for? What do you think Christ came for, why should have He died? For those weak people who cannot seem to follow the law?
    4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 'You have become estranged...', literally an "inactive separation, deprived of force or power" when you try to earn or cause justification for yourself. "...fallen from grace", grace, here, is not saving grace, but favor. You may lose blessings thru chasing the requirements of the law. God's will will be difficult to know, for the mind of Christ will be far from you. As it is written, you cannot serve two masters. Either God's will thru the Holy Spirit is your master or the letter of the law is.

    5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope (expectation) of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. Physical performance does not save. Only faith working through love. Not faith working thru our efforts or good intentions. So love must be there for faith to work. It always seems to tie into the greatest commandments. Again we see that the law is our teaching device. And our knowledge gained is our starting point to exercise our faith from.
    2 Peter 1:
    2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

    5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. (Here we have the "bookends"- Faith and Love. Between them are the things to add to get faith working thru love.) 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
  15. Galatians 5: NKJV NLT
    7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? 8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. This is a great lesson for us. Here we have new Gentile Christians doing well following the Faith. Along come Jewish Christians who are appalled that these new Christians are not following the law, and specifically, not being circumcised. I am sure that these new Christians were under the impression that these Jewish Christians had authority and knew what Christianity was all about. How could they argue with them?
    But we see that Christians with seniority, so to speak, can give wrong direction at times and must be verified by the authoritative Word of God. This is a great example of why the Bible is so important to us, and why individuals revelations must be put to the test, even if they are considered scholars.
    9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 9 This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! This phrase is the same analogy which Jesus uses to portray how even a small amount can affect the vast majority. Leavening is less than 1 % of the total quantity of mixture, yet it affects all of the mixture greatly. I worked in construction, and in mixing plaster, there is a similar mixing of gauging into the plaster mixture. The amount of gauging controls how fast the plaster "sets up" , or in layman's terms, starts the hardening process. As with leavening, less than 1 % of the plaster material is gauging. Such a small amount causes changes to the whole.
    Same with errant teaching in the church. Jesus gave us freedom from law and sin, and we should not try to change the requirements to suit ourselves.
    10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. f0 I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you. Stay strong in the Lord to withstand false teaching.

    11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 11 Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended. Apparently, these unnamed persons were insinuating or outright lying that Paul required circumcision. Yet they still criticized him. Here, Paul is equating the cross with freedom. Oh how freedom causes many to be offended.
    12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! 12 I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves. Wow! What a statement from Paul. "Trouble" here means to upset, unsettle, disturb or cause an uproar. "Cut" and "mutilate" means in reality to amputate. That hurts just thinking about it!

    13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. This is an important directive. Don't serve yourself with this freedom. This may be one of the verses in scripture which inspired the Reformation, the founding of America and the abolition of slavery. What a history changing concept!
    14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Again, Paul reiterates Jesus. Love and freedom go hand in hand.
    15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! Paul's warning against division and argument leading to damaging one another. Implosion and infighting is the major threat to freedom, not external forces. Similarly, Jesus says it in this way... A house divided against itself cannot stand.
  16. Chapter 5 NKJV NLT
    16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Stay connected to the Spirit. Continually renew that connection. The "flesh", or sin nature of our bodily desires, craves to be gratified. This shows we have to be wary of what "feels good". This really spotlights the world's push for acceptance of anything that satisfies the carnal nature. Lust of the flesh = broad road to destruction, Walk in the Spirit = narrow road less traveled.
    17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. This is the war within all believers, though some would have you believe that one can minimize or eliminate this battle by the desire to be in the Spirit. The problem is that if a difficult temptation or life altering event comes along which interferes with this connection, one can lose the hope they have in their faith. Having the flesh(sin nature) rear its ugly head back into one's life after believing it is gone or rendered impotent can have devastating effects. We must be aware of the powerful lure of the flesh and stand guard with the battle armor of Ephesians 6.
    18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. This seems to direct us to the inverse: If you are led by the flesh, you are under the law. If you are led by the Spirit, then you love in a Godly way. If you love, the law is irrelevant, for you do things for the right reasons. You don't need to follow some order or rule to pursue holiness. Holiness becomes part of you.

    Many places in the Bible tell of certain people being "full of the Holy Spirit" while working miracles or preaching in a masterful way. Thus, one could be "not full" of the HS. Therein lies the battle for us to overcome. Stay connected. Follow the Spirit.
  17. Greetings Big Moose,
    I have to disagree with you on the following sir,
    This is the war within all believers, though some would have you believe that one can minimize or eliminate this battleby the desire to be in the Spirit. The problem is that if a difficult temptation or life altering event comes along which interferes with this connection, one can lose the hope they have in their faith. Having the flesh(sin nature) rear its ugly head back into one's life after believing it is gone or rendered impotent can have devastating effects. We must be aware of the powerful lure of the flesh and stand guard with the battle armor of Ephesians

    Now then sir,
    The bold is not only true but scriptural. You sir even quoted the verse explaining how this is done. 5:16 walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the lust or desires of the flesh. Ring a bell with you ?

    Here is how this is done or another words how one Gets Qualified to live such as an overcomer as this.....
    Romans 12:2 ....
    And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God

    (( Get His word in you each and every day and speak His word each and every day ))

    2 Corinthians 10:4-5
    4... For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to pulling down strong holds
    5... Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

    (( Begin to practice the words you speak and thoughts you think for our thoughts and words to control how we act or react and believe. Our own words do more do influence our thinking then most of everything else. ))

    Galatians 5:16
    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh

    (( The more you do the first two the more you will begin to walk in the Spirit and you will be amazed to say the least. ))

    All done through the Grace of God who maketh all grace abound to me. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

    Now Sir to the underlined
    What if tragedy comes or the fire gets turned up or what if this or what if that happens.........

    The problem with this type of thinking sir is that you are allowing lack itno the thinking. Lack of Gods word or the power of His word in you.

    When one has learned to "renew" the mind unto Gods word. Which is living Gods way. Which is doing things Gods way. Which is responding Gods way.

    Then they are equipped and able to walk in the Spirit in any situation.
    Faith and Patience work hand in hand.
    To be the same consecutively constantly the same at all times. This means in the Good times you are strong in Christ and have no wavor. In the bad times you are strong in Christ and have no wavor. When a sudden tragedy Hits - ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh then You are the same strong and have no wavor person.

    It is this type of person who does not have to go dig up more faith for they have their faith built up and are ready at all times for they walk the same - consecutively and constantly the same in their faith. It is this person who has over come their flesh through Gods written word. It is this type of person who has enabled them selves to live as God has directed us to live.

    Bottom line sir - It is our choice - we must choose to get His word in us so much that it is the only thing that can and will come out...
    God Bless my Brother
    Cturtle likes this.
  18. I have a verse that goes with this
    1 John 5:4
    For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
    1 John 5:18
    We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth (guards) himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

    I also thought i would share an example....say you have a basketball player who in practice shoots a thousand jumpshots a day. When in a game, and the oposing team is trying to stop him from making the shot...he is not nervous in any way because all he has to do is do what he has done every day in practice. He is consistently and constantly doing the same thing all the time so when opposition comes if he will just stay his course, he will be victorious. The same is with a believer who is consistently walking by faith and in the truth of the Word. If he will stay the course when opposition comes he will be victorious because it is what he has been doing all the time. Just like building muscles and working out. If you don't use it you will loose it, but if you keep working out a little every day then you will be strong when you need to lift something.

    God Bless
    Mykuhl and Fish Catcher Jim say Amen and like this.
  19. First off, no need to call me sir. Way too formal for me.

    I agree with most of what you say, but most Christians are not full of the Word nor mature in the Faith. Galatians is, I think, written to less than mature Christians who were being confused and led astray into believing the law needed to be followed.

    The verse that one should not miss is: 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

    NLT:17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

    Pretty clear to me that we will fail at least occasionally at refraining from sinning. My wife is more in your camp, in that, she thinks that if you know you will fail at some point, then you are setting yourself up to fail. I believe Paul was just being honest and telling the truth, that the sin nature is in the flesh and will always desire its gratification, until we get our new perfected bodies.
    To believe that I will not sin again sets me up for major disappointment. Too many disappointments bring doubt. This is why Paul warns us many times to avoid destructive fleshy desires. We must be aware.
    Bless ya
  20. I agree with both you and your pastor put it this way....if we believe we will fail, then it will be sooner than later. Of course we are going to sin....i goof a lot some days. But when i repent and get back to walking in the spirit then eventually the goofs are further and further away, because i am focused on the spirital things and not on the sin. And because my heart (inner man) is not full of a sin conscious then it will not condemn me (1 John 3:21) and then i keep steady in walking in the spirit :) because my confidence is in God (that His Spirit in me will keep me on the right track, if i obey it) and not in my flesh
    Big Moose and Fish Catcher Jim say Amen and like this.

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