1. Difference between law and grace
a. Paul's gospel from God - Galatians 1:1-24
b. Paul's relationship to others - Galatians 2:1-6
c. Justification by faith - Galatians 2:15-21
d. Bondage under the law - Galatians 3:1-29; 4:1-31
2. Application of grace, freedom in Christ - Galatians 5:1-26; 6:1-18
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. (Galatians 3:7-9)
Verse 8 caught my attention because of the foreseeing - but as I typed it out I was intrigued by the fact that the gospel was preached to Abraham. Jesus preached the gospel. I know I am re-covering ground, but I find this fascinating. The gospel is not solely that Jesus came, died, was buried and rose again.
Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Isa 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
I am going to have to continue to turn this over and meditate, read, study, research and pray. The depth of what the word 'gospel' conveys is beyond a simplistic statement. The wealth of what Jesus taught when HE came proclaiming the gospel, ahh, that our understanding would be fully enlightened.
Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. (Galatians 4:10)
The commentaries seem to suggest that the Galatians may have been attempting to keep the Jewish Sabbaths, new moons, festivals. I can see where it might have been difficult for them. They have come out of paganism, with all of its rituals, rites and feast days. It might have been easy to transfer that desire into something they considered holy. Especially if there were those who thought or promoted that keeping the festivals was in integral part of being a Christian.
I am trying to balance that with Paul's continuing to observe the feasts. The Word records it, what does that say to us? I know all of the feasts were a foretelling of an accomplishment fulfilled by Christ (at least the Spring and Summer). Was Paul keeping the feasts (not looking forward) but as a remembrance of what Christ's death had wrought?
Then there is the passage in Acts where only 4 requirements are placed upon the Gentile converts, yet specific attention is given to mention that they would continue to hear the law of Moses taught in the synagogues. I have never participated in a Biblical Passover - as I sat and pondered these things, it made me wonder: If a Jew, participated in a scripturally lined up Passover (or other fulfilled feast), rejoiced to see each portion fulfilled by Christ.
Act 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
I like Paul's comment - Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? (Galatians 4:16) When someone speaks, corrects and/or challenges us regarding something we are holding onto which may not be Biblical, do we bow up? Get defensive? Desire to search the scriptures to see if those things are so? Take it to the altar and lay it down before Him? Be willing to give 'it' up to Him? Even take the time prayerfully ask Him?
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9) - How much of the world, it's thoughts, attitudes, behaviors am I allowing to 'leaven' me? How different do I really look? Can anyone see a difference? Not because I want to be lifted up or glorified, God forbid. I tremble when I think of how sin saturated I am. The closer I draw to Christ the more I see the ugliness of the sin which battles me daily. Perhaps better stated, when someone looks at me, how much of Christ do they really see?
Works of the flesh: Adultery ~ fornication (harlotry, incest) ~ uncleanness (impurity) ~ lasciviousness (licentiousness) ~ idolatry (image worship) ~ witchcraft (medication, magic) ~ hatred (hostility) ~ variance (quarrel, wrangling) ~ emulations (jealousy) ~ wrath (passion) ~ strife (intrigue, faction) ~ seditions (disunion, dissension) ~ heresies (choice, party, disunion) ~ envyings (ill will, jealousy) ~ murders ~ drunkenness (intoxicant) ~ revellings (carousal, let loose).
I will probably never be able to write or say the word intriguing without thinking about this passage and specifically the word strife. I was just going to list the words, with no thought of placing the definition, until I came to the word variance. Perplexity - then a decision to look up each word. I ought not forget how vitally important it is to understand the words and their meanings.
Fruit of the Spirit: love (affection or benevolence) ~ joy (cheerfulness, delight) ~ peace (prosperity) ~ longsuffering (forbearance, fortitude) ~ gentleness (usefulness, excellence) ~ goodness (virtue or beneficence) ~ faith (persuasion, credence, conviction) ~ meekness (gentleness, humility) ~ temperance (self control).
I like the comparison between work (toil) and fruit (plucked). To my mind it invokes a picture of in progress (work) versus rest or completion (fruit).
As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)
Lord, let us ever be ready to pour out our lives as a sacrificial offering unto You, to whom ever You call us to do so.
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. (Galatians 6:14)
Father, help each of Your children to die daily to self, to die to the call and allure of the world, to desire with growing fervency to give a proper estimate of who You are in all that we say, do and think. Help us Lord to love, serve and represent You with the totality of our beings.