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01 - Introduction: the Gospel (1:1-5)
02 - A Different Gospel? (1:6-10)
03 - Paul's Call (1:11-24)
04 - False Brethren (2:1-10)
05 - Hypocrisy (2:11-21)
06 - Bewitched? (3:1-12)
07 - Redeemed from the Curse (3:13-18)
08 - Purpose of the Law (3:19-29)
09 - the Heir (4:1-7)
10 - In Bondage Again? (4:8-20)
11 - Two Covenants (4:21-31)
12 - Stand in Liberty (5:1-15)
13 - Walk in the Spirit (5:16-26)
14 - Bearing Burdens (6:1-5)
15 - Reap What You Sow (6:6-18)
Introduction: the Gospel - (Galatians 1:1-5)
But here Paul is making a specific point to not only name himself, but also establish the BASELINE for the epistle, that the words that follow, the message, is NOT PAUL's. This message is NOT FROM MEN. It is not man's ideas. The messenger, even, is not a messenger from his own initiative. The messenger (vs1) and the message (vs11) is not of human origins, but from God.
And why does he set such a stage? Major FALSE DOCTRINE has crept in that needs correcting. To use today's vernacular, Paul is going to be "chewing out" his readers. (1:6, 2:14, 3:1, 4:9, 6:17) He needs to set the stage that this chewing out is not FROM PAUL, but from God. They have taken up doctrines based on Judaism (vs13) and traditions of the fathers. (vs14) As he will also warn the preacher Titus about...
What do we need protection from? As sinners we are deserving of death. (Rom3:23,6:23) Jesus "gave Himself" for our sins. (vs4) What we would have had to pay, by dying; Jesus died for us and paid the penalty for us. We have been given "eternal life" (Jn3:16) if we "believe" into Him and "receive" Christ (Jn1:12)
--PEACE: we were at enmity. We now have "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom5:1) It's like waring factions that are at odds, somebody negotiates a settlement and the parties are at peace. There is no war. They get along. The communication lines are open. As long as we were in sin, God "does not hear sinners" (Jn9:31) As God says...
This is the central theme of this book. Living by GRACE in the Holy Spirit. Living in the flesh is to live by the decrees of law. And living under decrees assumes the accompanying 'penalties' for infractions. Living in the flesh drags us back to our former state in sin. But when Jesus died for us, not only did He pay the penalty, but He also provides us with a "birth from above" in the Spirit (Jn3:3,8) where we are given a new -nature- (1Jn3:9) where everything is "new" (2Co5:17)
In the OT Jesus had not yet died on the cross, and so sins and trespasses were regularly atoned with physical symbols of animal sacrifices, and rituals, symbolizing what Jesus -would- do IN THE FUTURE. One knew they belonged to God because they were physically circumcised. But when Jesus died the transformation was in the heart. (Ro2:27-28) It was a done deal, not needing 'updates' with annual rituals.
Rituals bespeak activities which WE DO, by which we go home -feeling- justified because WE -DID- SOMETHING. There is the feeling that we had "a little something to do with" our own salvation. But Grace, by definition, indicates that we COULD NOT DO anything. We were not even 'worthy', let alone 'able' to effect our own salvation.
But you see, the "traditions" of Judaism, not to mention all the religions of the world, rely on 'works'. Offer this animal, sprinkle some blood, say so-many prayers, light some candles, do certain "good deeds" that the priest will find meritorious to one's account. And somebody comes along saying that Salvation is a "free" gift? (Ro5:15-18) How can that be? It just doesn't -feel- right. And for somebody from a background in Judaism, that free gift is said to come from that "impostor" whom the "fathers" condemned and had crucified. After all, He was 'bragging' how He was 'doing away with the law'...which was why He was condemned to death.
They didn't understand that Jesus was not so much "doing away" with the Law, but FULFILLING it.
These and related things are covered more in-depth as we continue.
Of course, the Gospel is not complete without proper recognition and praise.
A Different Gospel? - (Galatians 1:6-10)
What does it mean to "marvel"? It is a combination of intellectual and emotional: surprise, wonder, astonishment, amazement, bewilderment. When a person is surprised, the eyes open wide and the jaw drops. With wonderment a person may emit a questioning "Oooooh?" With astonishment a person might utter, "NNNOOOOO!" Amazement might elicit a "REALLLLY?" And with bewilderment, "HOW COULD THEY? They know this, they have agreed with that. They have said and confirmed...so HOW IN THE WORLD do they come up with THIS OTHER THING? IT -JUST- DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!!!" It is beyond belief! It baffles the mind!
In the previous lesson notice that the Baseline of the Gospel is "Grace" provided by Jesus Christ. Paul's readers have TURNED AWAY from the "grace of Christ". They have turned away from the Gospel. In our vernacular, if we consider that "Grace" equals "Salvation"; they have TURNED AWAY from Salvation. Later when Paul speaks of "fallen from grace" (5:4) notice very carefully that Paul is not talking about "losing" one's Salvation. They are TURNING AWAY from it. They were not walking along, got to their destination and "Oops! Where's my Salvation? I had it here someplace. I must have dropped it along the way." No... they rummaged around in their pocket, found it, crumpled it up, and tossed it aside; either littering or into the garbage.
It is like the case Jesus speaks of the person who grabs the plow and "looks back" (Lk9:62) It is the person who "draws back" that the passage says God is "not pleased with him" (Heb10:38) If God is "not pleased" does that not create a situation where there is no peace.
And "...the way of the wicked shall perish" (Ps1:6)
When God first made Adam and Eve it says that His creation was "extremely good" (Ge1:31) So, why did Eve deviate from God's command? Somebody came along with an alternative. Put some doubts in Eve's mind, planted seeds of dissatisfaction. Satan's own personal intent was to "be like the Most High" (Is14:14) His intent is to usurp God's authority and works. His method is to pervert God's Truth.
It's like fishing. I'm not an angler, but know just enough to catch bullheads...which is why I'm not an angler! One does not simply drop a 'hook' in the water, and the fish come along and happily bite down and submit to the filleting knife. No. The hook might be covered in the body of the worm, or fancy 'lures' are made to trick the fish into thinking they are biting into a worm, bug or minnow.
These different 'gospels' are from "-some- who trouble you". And they are -DETERMINED- to pervert God's Gospel. What does it mean to determine?
DETERMINE: decide, establish, cause to come to a conclusion, give direction, to limit in scope or extent, to explain or limit by adding differences. (these: from the American Heritage Dictionary)
Likely one of the best examples of this is modern "facilitation" of the 'dialectic' towards 'consensus'. It happens in religion and politics. According to the agenda the facilitator 'guides' the discussion. Perhaps as some points are raised by participants the facilitator will repeat -parts- of the topic, leaving other parts out; which everyone discusses. Then the facilitator adds differences, and they are discussed. By the time the topic has been dissected and added to, certain key things of importance are left out, and certain other false things are added into the mix. And when it comes to the Gospel, God's love becomes all-inclusive, He doesn't judge for sin or misbehavior. Now, while the doctrine is different in this book, and Judaism...in today's dialectic, this is the basic pattern. They will talk about "love", but it is not God's love. They will talk about "salvation", but it is not Biblical Salvation. They will talk about "forgiveness", but it is a generic, nebulous meaningless forgiveness where people 'feel' the pain of the evil-doer and blanket forgiveness is given without the guilty person ever repenting or asking forgiveness...but the one who extends forgiveness 'feels good' about themselves for having forgiven. In politics they might talk about sustainability, which on the surface sounds noble; but the nitty gritty involves killing off 90% of earth's population, giving earth back to the wild animals, and is earth worship and the progressivism of communism towards one-world government and religion. It is appropriate to say these last things because part of what calls itself "church" today, with leaders like Rick Warren, is embracing and proclaiming the UN Agenda21; and for many churches "saving the planet" is right up there with "saving sinners". In fact, saving the planet is probably MORE important to them, than saving sinners; because in their own minds, man has already 'achieved' and doesn't need saving. Part of their "gospel" is, in fact, worship of the "created things more than the Creator" (Ro1:25) But Paul says, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners..." (1Ti1:15)
BUT... there is reprisal to those who pervert the Gospel.
What sorts of false doctrines come from angels? (Understanding that demons are fallen angels) The angel appeared to Joseph Smith which was the basis for the establishment of the mormons, where they progress to become gods and goddesses. Under the auspices of Babylon/Rome there are many periodic apparitions of the Queen of Heaven, claiming to be "Mary". In these modern "new apostolic" times people are claiming visions of Jesus, new revelations, new doctrines. All of these are -ACCURSED-.
You see, Paul is saying that all doctrine HAD ALREADY BEEN GIVEN, up through and including his day. And he says "even if we". In other words: All doctrine HAS BEEN GIVEN...if I now come along and preach something different. Paul -marvels- that they had accepted a new/different gospel. Judas exhorts that we must "contend earnestly" for the Faith which was "ONCE FOR ALL DELIVERED". It's -all- there. There is nothing to add. And if anyone takes away, "God shall take away his part in the Book of Life" (Re22:19)
And continuing his "chewing"... Whom do we serve? I know from experience during my younger days: when I didn't go along with the consensus, but stuck to God's Word, I was castigated as "judgmental". For a few years I softened in matters of practical living and methods of ministry. But how could I deny God's Word??? -People- called me 'intolerant' of their various views. I would not listen to other opinions (translation, I would not budge from the Bible and accept other doctrines). I would not "please men". I would rather hear from the Lord: "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Mt25:21,23) I would rather be of the stance:
The demons cannot be saved. The Lake of Fire is being preserved for the "devil and his angels" (Mt25:41) When they would see Jesus they would shout out, "Have You come here to torment us before the time?" (Mt8:29) In other words, whatever the nature of the rebellion of those angels, and the 'conversation' that happened from God, they didn't -immediately- get thrown into the fire...but they know it IS COMING in due time.
But what about humans who are rebelling? Have they opened up their "house" to allow the evil spirits to enter in a dead-end deal where their "last state is worse than the first"? (Mt12:45) Have they at one time known the Lord, but then "drew back" such that they can never be saved -again- (Heb6:4-6) And they now go about 'perverting' the Gospel to unsuspecting souls? They are 'accursed'. Paul was able to be saved because he had fought against God out of "ignorance" (1Ti1:13) And as he preached...
Paul says about appointing new ministers:
Is everything called "christian" truly CHRISTIAN? If Paul says,
And notice Paul's vehemence with which he says this. He repeats the curse. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the central theme through history. Jesus fulfilled the coming of the "Seed" of the woman. (Ge3:15) In the beginning -death- came to the human race. But God promised Salvation through the Seed. If people are not saved because the message they hear is distorted, it means the original curse of "death" is unforgivable, insofar as they don't hear the Gospel, to repent and receive Jesus' Grace. How can the messenger be forgiven such purposeful and deliberate rebellion and perversity. The messenger is not sent to make the hearers -feel- good.
Other than a few flickering lights here and there, today's messengers are all accursed! They proclaim a false 'gospel', they are false prophets, they are NOT Christians, their 'churches' are not Christian, their praise (with satan's rock music) is NOT to God, their 'visions' are nightmares from demons, and their destination, along with all who follow them, beliving as they teach, is the everlasting Lake of Fire.
And if you are dragging your feet to obey and "Come out of her My people so that you not share in her sins, and so that you not receive of her plagues" (Re18:4) at what point will it have become TOO LATE for you and God pronounces, "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still" (Re22:11a) Like in the days of Noah, the flood begins and the door is shut, and you are on the outside. And then, in that day, you cry out "Lord, Lord open to us!" and He replies "Truly, I say to you, I do not know you" (Mt25:11-12,7:22-23)
To you who think you are God's messenger; think of the awesome responsibility...
Paul's Call - (Galatians 1:11-24)
What did John say?
"I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your Testimonies are my meditation." (Ps119:99)
So, let's take a look at Paul's story. Where did Saul (his Jewish name) get his start? He came out of Judaism. (vs13) Thus, later, when we start talking about the doctrines of Judaism, we know he has first-hand knowledge. He studied as a pharisee under the highly esteemed Gamaliel. (Ac5:34,22:3) Paul was diligent and "advanced in Judaism" beyond his peers. The way things go in this life, had he continued the way he started, he would likely have advanced to being a chief pharisee. And what was the theology? The -TRADITIONS- of the fathers. (vs14)
That youth director looked to the "church fathers" of the Reformation. The church of Rome looks to the "traditions" of their "church fathers" going back through Augustine and others, and they claim back to Peter, the "first pope". Those of Judaism go back through the Talmud, the writings of various -famous- rabbis.
God's Word came through Moses, Law, Prophets, Psalms. (Ac13:15, Lk24:44) The "holy men of God spoke as they were propelled along by the Holy Spirit" (2Pt1:21) That is God's -original- Word. But instead, people study the writings and commentaries of and about Martin Luther, John Calvin, etc for their doctrine. When some consider translations of the Bible into English, some (not all) who hold to the kjv-only as 'inspired', of more importance to them is that the translation is faithful to "traditional historic doctrines"; even more than copies of the original texts. If Scripture says one thing, but tradition says something contrary, Rome goes by tradition. If the pope says something unscriptural, the church obeys the pope, not God's Word. And Judaism has soooo rejected their Messiah, Jesus Christ, that they have banned one of the foremost passages that speaks of Him, Isaiah ch53. And this is the sort of background from which Saul began.
So he goes into the wilderness for three years. Is there anything special about "3"? The disciples followed Jesus around for 3 years. The youth in Babyon were trained for three years. (Da1:5) The Bible school I attended back in the 60s was a three year school.
However, if he is not studying under the tutelage of the apostles, how is he sure to learn correct doctrine? After all, the way modern wisdom goes, don't you need -people- to learn from? He calls himself an "apostle". What did the '11' know about being an apostle? They needed to be taught by Jesus and have witnessed His resurrection. (Ac1:21-22) Well, Saul spoke with Jesus face-to-face; did that not indicate that He was 'alive'. And when others like Moses and the prophets were given God's Word, where did they typically hear from God? Moses had been in the wilderness tending sheep. When he led Israel, he went up into Mt. Sinai. Where is that? Arabia. And for Jews 'authentication' was important. Moses, Elijah and various prophets did 'signs'.
When the Hellenists wanted to kill him shortly after he was saved, and goes to Tarsus (Ac9:30), is that where this account begins? When Barnabas goes to Tarsus to look for him (Ac11:25), is that 14 years later? Or had he come back from Arabia and hooked up with Barnabas, and gone on some missionary journeys together as chapter2 then begins? Not important to this study; but an interesting observation and query.
Whatever the case...Saul turned from a persecutor of the Church, into Paul through whom was -Glory- to God. That should be the desire of each Christian...to glorify God. Not for personal gain and glory, and not known for being a scholar after man's wisdom, but for knowing the Lord and learning from Him, through the Scriptures.
False Brethren - (Galatians 2:1-10)
Where does false doctrine come from? From the academic intelligentsia of the world? Teachings of pagan cults? From out-n-out atheists? There's not much deception in that, is there. In lesson #2 I made mention of "softening", in relationship to the taunts of being "judgmental". What happened? How did it happen? It was not those who were openly against following God's holiness. It was not the taunting and open rebellion that did it. No, it was a former student from a highly regarded Bible school. Where I attended in Portland,OR I already saw signs of it going apostate. But there was this other school in Canada, when I heard their men's chorus, and saw the character of those men, I held that school in high regard. They had the reputation of the highest percentage of any school or seminary of its graduates going to the mission field. A fellow music major in college was a person who had attended that school. I had known of her sister at the Bible school where I went. And so, as 'friends', one Sunday we had gone to church together, and stopped for lunch afterward, sitting in my car eating lunch...and this person (from this highly esteemed school) suggested to me that I was viewed by other christians as being much too 'critical', judgmental and unloving. That I wasn't open to hearing other opinions. She made the suggestion that people of other opinions are also "christians". That God's kingdom is made up of people from all sorts of backgrounds and outlooks. That I needed to 'loosen up' a bit. And many other such words.
As of this writing (today), I don't know if she was truly a Believer. God knows. Back then I thought she was, and being from that school, I highly respected her. But today I have come to realize that -many- people, over the years, I thought were christians back when I knew them...today I would have to say they were not. I listened to her -because- she was from a highly regarded school, and she was not of the same sort as the prevailing 'flower-child' females of the day. Not highly regarded by most of the world with their professors with the alphabet behind their names; to them this place was likely nothing in a backwoods prairie town; and sadly, in more recent years, I've heard that even it has gone the way of the rest. But from that one conversation I started down a path of compromise which lasted 20 years.
It was not representatives of the student -catholic- union that accosted me. It was not a reprentative of the local pentecostal or charismatic churches. It was not the Hare Krishnas, nor the Moonies (who were entrapping others). It was somebody from the same 'branch' of the "Church" I was in fellowship with.
You see how Paul says it... "those who SEEMED to be SOMETHING". And Paul says, essentially...BIG DEAL! BIG WHOOP! You see, back a couple lessons ago to "accountability". Not only do people want to see a large part of the alphabet behind the names of people they learn from and follow, but those to whom they are accoutable should have an equal amount of the alphabet behind their names, too; and be from the big/famous organizations. But are they "false brethren"? Are they "secretly BROUGHT IN" to SPY OUT and BRING INTO BONDAGE?
We should clarify something here. In this book the word "bondage" is used, because the false doctrine then was the matter of going back to LAW. When we speak of current-day examples, it is actually the opposite. Yes, Gospel is Grace. But today's apostasy is not content with Grace, but they go a step further, turning the grace of God into LICENSE. (Ju1:4) "Anything goes". We can live like the world, with the world's immorality, and claim that "God accepts us JUST AS WE ARE". When we get saved we "DON'T HAVE TO CHANGE A THING". Whether it's going back to LAW, which we will start getting into soon, or today's lust for abandoning all morality and holiness... the concepts on how the "false brethren secretly" slink in to spy and pervert doctrine is the same.
Paul did not give them the time of day! (vs5)
Paul was not impressed with credentials. (vs6) (In fact, next lesson Paul is going to stand up to the chief honcho, Peter, and give him a chewing out. A tongue-lashing.)
Paul had been commissioned and taught directly by the Lord Jesus Christ. That was Paul's credentials. That was his accountability. And the "church fathers", Jacob, Peter and John, recognized Jesus' call upon his life and extended the right hand of fellowship, confirming his call to the gentiles (vs9, Ac9:15,13:46,18:6,22:21,26:17,28:28)
Hypocrisy - (Galatians 2:11-21)
There had been a complaint about Jews fellowshipping with Gentile Believers. About whom was that complaint leveled the first time?
It's somewhat like my upbringing. Our family was gentile, but my father held to a very strict "sabbath" concept about Sunday. Many conservative christians did, also, back than. There was no working, playing, studying or anything beyond getting dressed, going to church, eating meals, and spending Sunday afternoon reading christian books, or whatever. He held to a similar strictness that punished the Israelite who gathered sticks for firewood on the Sabbath. (Nu15:32)
So, I grew up, finished college, got married, and we moved to live near my father for a time. In the middle of N.Dakota summertime can get hot and dry. When I became a 'man', now approaching 30, no longer under my father's daily permission-necessary regimen, I did not hold to the strictness of his "sabbath" laws. It was hot, the lawn was getting dry, I put out the sprinkler on that Sunday afternoon. And who happens to stop by to visit about something, but my father. He verbally scolds me for having the sprinkler running (on Sunday), and says, "That's not how I taught you!"
If I had been Peter, I would have cowered "Yes sir! Yes sir!" and turned off the sprinkler. But Paul "did not yield in submission even for an hour" (vs5) Later Paul is going to address the keeping of "days and months and seasons and years" (4:10)
But Peter was not like that! The Lord, through the coming of the Holy Spirit to the gentiles, had shown him that the Law had been fulfilled. It was no longer necessary to keep the former austerity measures. Everything was no longer unclean. (as the sheet of animals had been brought before him in the vision Ac10:15) God had given the earth to Adam and Eve...go live in it freely and have dominion. (Having "dominion" means they are the "boss" of the earth) They sinned, the Seed was promised, and until the Seed would come to fulfill the promise, God's people lived under strict guidelines. But then the Seed came and fulfilled the promise. Sin was atoned. There was again freedom. And yet Peter was listening to his 'dad'... That's not how I taught you!
So Paul confronts him (you can read his words): If you've discovered our new-found freedom in Christ, you have preached the Gospel to the gentiles, and are now -fellowshipping- with them, and we have matured to become grown-ups... WHY ARE YOU STILL LISTENING TO DAD??? Don't you remember those whoopin's we used to get in the woodshed? Dad is no longer our boss. We've got new wives, we are our own family. You are doing wrong, bringing others back to dad's house to be under his authority. His way didn't work.
If the Law, which we were saved out of, didn't work; why are you trying to make the gentiles keep the Law? That's like politicians with agendas, persuading people to pass laws that didn't work last time they were tried, and aren't working now; so they insist on passing more like them for the future.
Even David knew that it was not the sacrifices that atoned...
Either a person is under Law, or under Grace. Can't have it both ways. They are each mutually exclusive from each other. And in Adam and Eve's day there was no such thing as Jew and Gentile. The human race was the human race. When God sent Jesus it says that "God so loved the WORLD" (Jn3:16) It does not say: God so loved the Jews, but gentiles are scum. The promise was made to the world, and fulfilled for the world.
We are justified by the "faith of Jesus Christ" (vs16) Jesus fulfilled the promise of the woman's "Seed". The Law did not do that.
When we are saved we also "died to the Law" (vs19) God and the Law are opposites. When a person disobeys God, the Law kicks in to effect death. And so if we are to "live to God" the law must be dead to us. When Jesus died on the cross it was as if I was on that cross -with- Christ. And so then as Christ was "raised from the dead" we are raised with Him to "walk in newness of life" (Rom6:9,4) If we are -living- with Christ, why would we cling to the instrument of death, the Law?
Christ died to free us from death. If death is presided over by the Law, that means Christ died to free us from the Law.
So, if a person is going to fellowship with those who cling to the Law, while preaching Grace...it's as if one doesn't really believe they have been freed from the Law. They're not really saved. Ah yes...as we looked ahead before, to "fallen from grace" (5:4)
In other words, Peter: If you are going to preach -Freedom- in the Grace of Jesus Christ, then BEHAVE LIKE IT. Don't be one thing to one group, and another to the other. If you are free in Christ, why are you hiding it? We spoke of the "woodshed". Peter had already experienced the (literal) floggings from the hand of the Jews, and been in prison, waiting for execution the next day. Perhaps he was a bit shy of the 'dogs' that he knew their growl, snap and bite? Paul knew it as well and gets on Peter's case. In Christ we're tougher than that!
Where's the... "rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name." (Ac5:41) ???
What is Right and True? Let's stick with it!
Bewitched? - (Galatians 3:1-12)
Indeed! I learned more evil from other ('christian') missionary kids than I ever did from the 'pagan' Japanese!
Interesting that Paul uses such a term on the Galatians, to whom he has just given the warning about people bringing "another gospel" (1:8-9) What did he call them? "ACCURSED" Back at that lesson we concluded that such a person is in a state of "forever lostness". What is the source of a curse? Is it not an occult demonic expression? The witchdoctor curses somebody by uttering incantations, and "sticking pins" in a doll; or this, or that; whatever it is they do. A person who -is- "accursed" is in a sorry state. But in the strictest sense of the word, the "spell" is "cast" upon them by a demonic medium. To "curse" and to "bewitch" are essentially the same thing. The ones coming with the "other" gospel are accursed. They are like witches or warlocks... BEWITCHING their victims.
So, Paul is actually asking the Galatians: where's the witch/warlock that you've been paying attention to? What sort of witchcraft have you gotten yourselves mixed up with?
You see, folks, the GREAT DECEPTION TODAY! When somebody comes along presenting a different "gospel", some other doctrine, or as they say today TEARING DOWN WALLS of doctrine; or when they have meetings to LEARN FROM EACH OTHER all the various -different- beliefs...it is NOT -merely- a different doctrine. It is witchcraft. It is sorcery. Oh, but they talk about "loving Jesus" and "making commitments" for Christ. What is the context of Paul's chiding: Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed...as crucified.
Some of the worst witchcraft today is the images of Jesus and Mary. If a person goes into a church of Babylon, and they portray Jesus "as crucified" IS THAT THE GOSPEL? -NO- They show him "perpetually bleeding". Is that the Gospel? NO! Witchcraft requires works and rituals. Judaism requires rituals and various -rote- 'prayers' that (today) they bob their heads and bodies. Whatever Judaism was back then, that was perverting the Gospel, over the years has become what it is today with its Kabala: its mystical teachings based on the Scriptures, which (as I understand it) also has its pentecostal/charismatic style events. Take today's catholicism and charismania, and go backwards a couple thousand years, and that's what existed in Paul's day. Paul would see today's "church" and ask: How come you're engaging in the occult?
But where did the Holy Spirit come from? When Peter was preaching in the home of Cornelius there were no rituals or prayers. No 'worshiping' with upraised arms and reciting mantras. There was no "laying on of hands". Just... as Peter was preaching, the Spirit -came- upon them. When a sinner is "born from above" (Jn3:3) the Holy Spirit simply -does- His work. (Jn3:8) Is that Law or Faith?
Where did the Gospel originate? With Moses and the Law? No!
If Salvation required the rituals of Judaism, how were the people saved for those couple thousand years from Adam to Moses? They had the animal sacrifice. But again, David, the 'Jew' "after God's own heart" says, "For You did not desire sacrifice" but the "broken and contrite heart" (Ps51:16-17) So...it was not 2500 years of animal sacrifices (prior to Moses) that saved those people. But those "who are of faith...with faithful Abraham" (vs9)
So, does the Bible contradict itself?
"You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am Jehovah." (Le18:5)
Abraham is the 'father' of Faith. Abraham "believed" God, and God accounted it to him as righteousness. But Abraham also offered periodic sacrifices. (Ge12:7,8, 13:18) So, was Abraham under Law?
What sort of person is going to keep God's law? Whether it be the law to "not murder" or to "offer sacrifices"? God promises that a Seed is going to come to atone for sin. God shows man how to offer a sacrifice as a 'type' of the sacrifice of the promised Seed. What sort of person is going to offer the sacrifice? One who -believes- the promise of the coming Seed, or an unbeliever? Why would an unbeliever go to all that trouble? He wouldn't. Thus, keeping of the Law before Jesus died on the cross was also an -act- of Faith. The -act- of Law might have been -works-, but the works would not be done if there was not Faith -motivating- the works. "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (Jn14:15) which was the principle of righteousness even under Law.
But now that Christ has "finished" the work, and God says the sacrifices are no longer are applicable, one who is in faith; just as he kept the Law prior to Jesus' crucifixion, just as equally no longer does after Jesus' Resurrection. But, that's next lesson.
Redeemed from the Curse - (Galatians 3:13-18)
The "Seed" changed 'ownership' along the way through history. The promise at first was to Eve. Then it was Abraham. Then the prophecies were related to David, the Seed to sit on David's throne and rule in the kingdom. (We don't need references do we?) These were the 'channels' through whom the Seed was brought. As generations passed, the 'family' of the Seed's physical birth became in focus.
But for this discussion with gentiles, Abraham is the focus. When Jesus told the woman of Samaria that "salvation is of the Jews" (Jn4:22) the Jews lost sight of the Seed. Jesus -was- the Seed, and they rejected Him. (Jn1:11) And so Judaism, even today, is waiting for "Redemption". They have always rejected "this man" and presumed that Salvation was through themselves and Judaism. It had to be according to -their- presuppositions. And so a gentile might think they had to BECOME A JEW to be saved. Thus, we go back to Abraham.
Notice the argument. The promise is made to Abraham. At that time there was no such thing as Judaism, nor the prophet Moses. And yet, God made the promise. How long is God's promise? Regarding the land, "in perpetuity" (Ge13:15) In other words, as long as the earth exists, that land belongs to Abraham and his descendents. It is in that context that the Seed is promised. Any covenant or contract is an ongoing contract. God tells Abraham that Israel will be in bondage and delivered after 400 years. And the promises continue beyond that. Thus, the promise of the Seed is on-going...unending. This is a -permanent- deal. Other conditions may come and go, but this one remains.
Thus, when Moses comes along and God established the Law through Moses, this agreement about the Seed was not 'annulled' (vs17) Moses gives the Law, they build the tabernacle, the temple...but underneath all this is the persisting promise of the Seed. In fact, where Israel was looking at all the laws and statutes, Paul reminds that when the Rock gave life-giving waters, "that Rock (that followed them spiritually) was Christ" (1Co10:4) When God tells Moses of "My Angel" that was going before them (Ex23:23, 32:34), that was Jesus Christ...the pre-incarnate Seed.
And when they would boast about Abraham, and He says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham came to be, I AM" (Jn8:58) they rejected Him and tried to stone Him.
The Law involves a curse. "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the Law, to do them" (vs10b) That would include disobedient Jews, as well as Gentiles who did not have the Law and thus did not keep it. The curse of the Law was death. The Gospel of Christ's Grace is that Jesus -became- a curse for us.
Since the promise of the Seed was made to Abraham, it was not a Jewish promise, it was not a Law promise. Both Jew and Gentile, equally, can have redemption. The "simplicity" that is in Christ (2Co11:3) is not all bogged down in seeing if the leprosy is "skin deep", which lamb is picked from the flock, how the fat is burned on the altar, or is the meat ready to pull out of the kettle so the priests can eat, or this, or that.
This is the 'simple' Gospel: Eve and Adam sinned, spreading death to -all- humanity (not just Jew or Gentile) (Rom5:12) God, at that initial downfall of the human race, "so love the world" that He gave a promise. (Jn3:16) He didn't give details. But the promise was the Seed (of the woman).(Gen3:15) Abraham comes along and the Seed promise is reiterated. David comes along and the Seed promise is again reiterated. Then the Seed arrived, through the woman, the "handmaid of the Lord" (Lk1:38) The Seed died on the cross and proclaimed, "IT HAS BEEN FINISHED" (Jn19:30)
Purpose of the Law - (Galatians 3:19-29)
If we look at human history through the lens of 'dispensations': when God first put man in Eden, man not being aware of satan's existence, other than the command regarding the 'tree', man was oblivious as to right and wrong. There was no good or bad...just...this is life; let's live it. -INNOCENCE- Once sin entered the picture, man knew what he had done, and was now condemned; but with the promise of a coming Seed. But there was no 'list' and rules and regulations. He lived according to what his -CONSCIENCE- dictated. But man's conscience was full of evil, wickedness and violence. But as Paul writes in Romans, man did have a conscience apart from the Law, written in the heart. (Ro2:15) But with only conscience to rule, man's degeneracy came to where only a single man, Noah, was Godly. So God destroys everything with the flood, and as the earth is repopulated, mankind becomes organized. -GOVERNMENT- Some person becomes "in charge" of everybody else. And as they follow Nimrod and his mother, the Babel Madonna/Child religion begins to take shape. -RELIGION- So, in the midst of this, after God confounds the languages, the -PROMISE- is re-estalished. This, the stepping stone to -LAW-.
Before the Flood there was no law. People chose their own way. God could say that they were "wicked", and perhaps a person's conscience would convict them of their evilness, but if no law was given, like the one that said "don't eat of that tree", how is judgment adjudicated? And so, as humanity gets itself firmly re-established with nations and governments, God now establishes a STANDARD....as we spoke of earlier, a -BASELINE- for righteousness. If sin results in death, what is the definition of "sin"? If the Seed was coming to pay the penalty, what was the list of decrees by which to know -what- the Seed was atoning? The Law became that BASELINE.
Years ago Montana did not have a daytime speed limit. Back when I used to drive back to N.Dakota from school on the west coast, I would drive along at 90mph. (with the light front end, that was about as fast as a person wanted to drive a Corvair) And no hiway patrol ever stopped me. Somebody might have made comments about "there oughta be a law"; but nevertheless there was NO LAW against driving that fast. And I was not the only one who drove those speeds. Even the Greyhound busses drove those speeds; I was playing 'tag' with one on one of those trips. But as soon as I would cross the borders into Idaho or N.Dakota, there were posted speed law signs, and a person had better watch it, or the hiway patrol -could- pull you over. And if the person opted to go to court, the books with the law could be pulled out, the law read in everyone's hearing, and the citation of infraction could be read. The law had been broken. The fine was to be paid.
Now, one winter a storm had gone through, so I 'slowed down' (for conditions) to 70mph (112kph). And this time on a 2-lane stretch that hadn't yet been made into the 4-lane interstate, and this Greyhound was on my tail...driving along on the sheet of ice at 70mph, right along with me. I was young and foolish. I don't know what the Greyhound driver's excuse was!
Supposing that my foolishness would have ended in sliding off the road, crashing, and me being killed; if there had "been a law" would it have "GIVEN LIFE"? (vs21) Well, it was daylight hours; the daytime speed limit would have been 70mph; so I would have been 'within the law'. But is there a law against 'stupidity'?
I was not breaking the speed law, but was breaking the law of stupidity. And what sorts of law/s would it take to protect against stupidity? A WHOLE BUNCH...governing every single last little aspect if driving and common sense. It would need to be detailed like... well... like the Law and statutes God gave through Moses.
Now, when I "became a man" and "put away childish things" (1Co13:11), today I would not go driving along at 70mph on a sheet of ice. I have become older and (hopefully) wiser. A person who is "full-grown" (Co4:12) with wisdom doesn't -need- all the little laws, because that wisdom is now a -part- of his makeup.
Until the Seed came to atone for our Salvation, we were corrupt and not fit hosts for the residing of the Holy Spirit. In comparison to what happened at Pentecost, I don't claim to understand, quite, what happened with OT Believers when the Holy Spirit would "cloth" them. (Jdg6:4, 14:19, 2Ch24:20) But with sin having been atoned, the Seed promised and sent the Holy Spirit (Jn16:13, Ac2) and it was the coming of the Holy Spirit at Cornelius' house when Peter preached, that indicated to the Jewish Church leaders that Gentiles were also part of the Grace of Jesus Christ. (Ac11:18) And that event happened without them having been under the Law.
Now, we can spin a lot of words with this. Paul gives his object lessons. I've shared a few. If you have the Holy Spirit, as you read the passage, you understand. If you don't have the Spirit you won't, and furthermore, without the Spirit a person "is not His" (Re8:9)
But to sum it up, the Law was like going to school. And when the studies are done, it is GRADUATION time. One no longer must be at their desk when the bell rings. If the graduate is out and about during school hours, they are not arrested for truancy. In fact, all those old school buildings? Burned to the ground. In America there would be -rejoicing-... WE DON'T HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL!!! I say "in America" because I remember in Japan when a school burned down one time near where we lived, my father told how students were observed crying their hearts out...They -COULDN'T- go to school.
And if not school, it's like families with small children, of which there are several within shouting distance of me. They have 'child-proof' fences. The one doesn't have a fence out front, so it used to be that the youngest one, before she would obey voice commands, often had to be chased down: Lilly, No! Don't go out into the street! Or if she wandered away sideways, sometimes quickly before anybody noticed she had gone, apparently their neighbors were used to dad or mom in their yards on 'retrieval' missions.
The confines of fences and commands are not for punishment; but for keeping the kiddies safe until they are old enough; where they obey; and can better enjoy the "freedom" of the outdoors, knowing they are sticking around the house and not wandering off. Lilly's a sweet little girl whose mind is always 'out there' to -explore-; "innocence". If I come by on one of my walks, and she's outside, she engages me like a little chatterbox. But she needs some "law" to keep her safe.
And if a small child disobeyed, ran into the street and was killed by a passing car? -DEATH- That's how the Law is both "death" -and- a "guard". (vs23) That's how, when the Law is broken it resulted in death. But in faith a person -keeping- the Law would "live in them" (vs12)
When the Seed atoned for sin, He created the ability for the Holy Spirit to reside...and with the Holy Spirit is all spiritual wisdom. His anointing "teaches all things" (1Jn2:27) Like in the OT where certain ones were "clothed" with the Spirit, we now, in faith have "put on Christ" (vs27) As he writes elsewhere, we have "Christ -in- you, the hope of glory" (Col1:27) There is no Judaistic law. It is Jews and Gentiles, equally; male and female, slave and free. If we have the Holy Spirit, as God is, we also are "one in Christ Jesus" (vs28) As Jesus prayed would be the case, just before He went to the cross.
NOW, BEFORE WE GO INTO THE NEXT LESSON, let's observe something from Peter:
The question: Who are the "angels" in vs19?
Simple answer: I don't know.
I'm glad this series is being done "walk-thru" style, not verse-by-verse, line-by-line. As we tend to do walk-thrus, we sometimes address words and phrases, and at other times we talk along "parallel" to the passage, much as we just did in this lesson. Paul obviously does not talk about ice-covered hiways in Montana. But if you also read Paul's writings, it truly -is- as Peter says, and not because Peter was a 'stupid' fisherman, Peter's own writings are quite clear and laid out...the Lord wouldn't have had him -preach- before multitudes as he did, if he had been stupid. But he, who had followed the Lord around for three years, notices that Paul's writings are sometime hard to understand. One thing I am sometimes frustrated about is that, while he is logical, he doesn't always lay out his outline in a logical fashion. He says something, then something else, and then comes back to the first topic, then jumps over to something else, back-and-forth...sometimes, almost, as if he was the "absent-minded professor". And some thoughts seem to come to his mind, which are obviously 'deep', which he forgets to 'define' or 'explain'. He says them, and abandons them to 'dangle' around in the air.
Paul is the one who likens that rock in the wilderness to Christ. (1Co10:4) Where does the burning bush with Moses fit? An angel appears to Joshua with a drawn sword. (Josh5:13) One appears to Gideon. (Jdg6) One appears to Samson's parents. (Jdg13) Is it this sort of thing where these angels were manifestations of the pre-incarnate Jesus? Jesus is also known as the "mediator". (1Ti2:5) And He is the "mediator of the new covenant" (Heb12:24)
Perhaps he didn't cover this 'pearl' (Mt7:6) because he knows he's going to do some more "chewing" out? (4:8) They can't comprehend anything deeper than trying to fish them out of their Hebrew Roots muck. Whatever the case, I don't want to be guilty of speaking "of things they do not know" (Ju1:10) Sometimes I feel like a series such as this is a bit scatterbrained, that we talk round-n-round the subject. Well, isn't that sorta how Paul writes, too.
the Heir - (Galatians 4:1-7)
But while they are young, they do not have the ability to function on their own. They are -told- what to do, where to go, what they cannot do, where they cannot go. That's the same state of affairs as a slave. A slave follows orders. Children follow orders. The only difference, at that point, is DNA. SEED.
But children grow up to -INHERIT-. Slaves do not.
As if the point hasn't already been made, let's give this another go-round. That's the whole point of the Law. Somehow the history of humanity is likened to growing children. Abraham -believes- God and it is accounted for Righteousness. That's the Gospel: Faith - Grace. And so, at Salvation the Promise is made of the Seed. The DNA. The Inheritance. As Paul explains: the "Holy Spirit of promise...the earnest of the inheritance...until the redemption of the purchased possession" (Eph1:13-14) Even for us, saved Christians, presently living in these bodies, we are not fit for Heaven (1Co15:50) We are waiting for the (promised) "redemption of the body" (Ro8:23) That will happen at the "change" (1Co15:51-52, Job14:14) at the Resurrection and Rapture of those who are "in Christ" (1Th4:16-17)
Don't let anybody tell you that Salvation isn't ultimately 'progressive'.
1) Promise of the Seed (Ge3:15, 22:18)
Don't let the false teachers persuade you that there is NO RAPTURE. (Forget whether it's "pre", "mid", "post", or whatever. There are some who are teaching that there isn't even going to -be- a Rapture!) Without a Rapture, there is no Salvation. UNDERSTAND THIS CLEARLY! -EVERYONE- (everyone) EVERYBODY who is In Christ will be raptured. Certainly, the ones who die will first be resurrected. But then those resurrected, and those alive, will be Raptured "at the same time" If there is no Rapture, all there is is the Promise and Atonement. But if there is no Rapture, God did not keep His promise. That's what the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is. He is the Promise of the Redemption.
Just as there needed to be the Resurrection to show forth Jesus' power over death (1Co15:54-56); without the Resurrection, there is no salvation; so, too, without the Rapture the Promise and Crucifixion were all wasted effort on God's Part. Without the Rapture the Christian does not get to Heaven. The Rapture is -physically- the 'means' whereby we get there. If there is no Rapture, when this earth is burned up, we get burned up, too...forever lost!
OK...so, how did we transition to talking about Rapture? Well, it is the next step. The Promise, the Seed fulfilling the promise...and then the next phase. Rapture.
Now...transferring from childhood to adulthood is likened by Paul to "adoption". While we are certainly adopted from satan's realm into God's Kingdom...
The time under guardians and stewards was like the period under Law. But since the Seed has fulfilled His promise, we are now able to have direct access to the Father, as heirs, on His "throne of grace" (Heb4:16) That was the symbolism when the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom when Jesus was on the cross (Mt27:51) Under Law the average person could not go into the Holy of Holies (Heb9:8), signifying God's presence.
In Bondage Again? - (Galatians 4:8-20)
On the other hand, if pagan dates were devised to 'imitate' the dates God commanded Israel in the Law, but now since the Seed fulfilled the promise, why are Believers sticking to new moons, sabbaths, etc? As Paul writes elsewhere
The Sunday 'sabbath' people used to be quite "zealous", as are those of Babylon. I know of a person over 40 years ago who, when the rituals were followed to "become a Christian", and they withdrew their 'membership' from one of Babylon's churches, but weren't 'joining' in any other Babyonish church, their staunchly Babylonish family mercilessly hounded with, "DON'T YOU WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN???" Satan had actually called this person to a different demonic mission, so in the end it didn't matter. (That's why I worded their 'conversion' as I did) But as far as that family was concerned, they "zealously pursued" this person.
Was persecution also involved? I don't quite understand the -context- of vs12-15 to the passage. Obviously Paul had some sort of a problem with his eyes. Was it the leftovers of when he was blinded on the road to Damascus? Although, it doesn't seem quite like God's ways to blind him, and then heal him, but NOT QUITE fully. Or was it from persecution where he was beaten or stoned? When he says, "I am as you are" (vs12), had the Galatians also experienced persecution? (3:4) Was this persecution causing them to draw back from boldness due to fear of reprisals?
Today there are many who call themselves "Christians" who have one foot in the [C]hurch, and the other foot in the [c]hurch. They -claim- "faith in Christ", but then fellowship with Babylon, whether it comes in the various flavors: catholic, lutheran, baptist, presbyterian, calvary chapel, etc.etc.etc. Where Paul exhorted...
Around here when suggestion is often made that not everyone calling themself "Christian" -is- one, there will be the taunts that: According to this mentality, unless a person is a follower of PB, they are not going to Heaven.
Notice Paul's words:
Two Covenants - (Galatians 4:21-31)
The argument has been addressed from many perspectives. Last lesson, even, from the -pagan- perspective. While, when discussing God's promise of the Seed, I like to start at Eve; Paul is discussing Israel's perspective, because it is Jews who are trying to "Judaize" the Church. And so, the final argument in this debate goes to the "beginning" with Abraham. We like to think, and Judaism assumes, that the debate begins with Moses. But it is truly -at- Abraham where the argument will end, and should stop all mouths.
Remember that the whole argument from beginning to end is about the Seed. Judaizers do not understand "freedom" because they are stuck on Moses and -statutes-. But bondage vs freedom is actually a whole-nuther concept. Remember how we discussed the children of my neighborhood. The children discussed are from a fully 'caucasian' and blond hair race and DNA. Now, to the other side of me is another family with children, and being right across the driveway, it is fun to watch them play, and grow. And they are of the American Indian race and DNA. There is no mistaking 'where' the children belong, and 'whose' families they live with. Nobody would ever see a child from one household out someplace, lost, and take them by the hand and lead them to the 'wrong house'. In similar fashion, there is no similarity between Law and Grace. Certainly, to those who are not living in Grace, Law has the -appearance- of Righteousness; much as both sets of children are 'humans' in that they have hair, faces, bodies, feet and both speak English and go to the same school. But skin tones and hair color are not the same; not even close.
Same thing with the Seed of Law vs Grace. Sarah was a long-time conceiving. They want children, so they contrive, contrary to promise, to have a child by Hagar, the Egyptian slave woman. God -promised- that Abraham would have a child through Sarah. But when things weren't going as quickly as presumed necessary, they had a son through -works-. Notice how Paul links Hagar with Sinai. (vs24) Sinai was the same place Moses went to receive the Law and Statutes. The -Promise- was not through Hagar/Sinai, just as the -Promise- was not through the Law/Sinai.
Now, notice something else: When God gave circumcision, -who- was circumcised? Ishmael was one of the first to be circumcised. (Ge17:23) Isaac was not yet born at that time. But circumcision did not create the covenant, because the promise was:
When Israel was in apostasy God loathed their 'keeping' of the Law. They kept rituals and statutes, but were in disobedience in their hearts.
Stand in Liberty - (Galatians 5:1-15)
First of all, Paul is not saying NOT TO be circumcised. While it was not required of Titus (2:3); he did have Timothy circumcised (Ac16:3) because he was of mixed parentage. I expect, in the spirit of being "all things to all men", being a "Jew to the Jews" (1Co9:19-22) Even though he was -free- in Christ, he made himself a servant to all, in order to win as many as possible for the Lord. In fact, being a Jew, himself, he kept the Jewish rituals (Ac21:24), and went to Jerusalem for the feasts. (Ac20:16)
However, if a person is looking for "profit" (benefit) (vs2), if a person -relies- on the keeping of Law for "justification" (vs4), what Christ did "WILL PROFIT YOU NOTHING"(vs2) The work of Jesus Christ, the Seed, as we've been saying one way and another, is NOT ABOUT circumcision. Keeping the Law (as a Jew) or not (as a gentile) is not what Grace is about. Salvation from sin is not related to statutes. If it was, then Salvation is from works. But Salvation is -NOT- from works. It is the fulfillment of the Promise of the Seed, received in FAITH. (vs5-6)
So, why are you listening to those who bring these "other" Gospels? (vs7) This is not from God (vs8) Not only are they accursed, they are "leaven" (vs9) Leaven permeates and spreads through the whole. But the accursed one will "bear his judgment" (vs10)
And another argument: If a person was keeping the old laws, just to avoid being hassled, well, as we just saw... Paul observed some of the Law, and yet when he was persecuted, -who- was doing the persecuting? The Romans? No, they wanted to let him go free. (Ac26:31-32) It was the "unbelieving Jews" who "stirred up" the crowds. (Ac14:2) It wasn't because Paul preached anything one way or the other about the Law, but it was because he preached Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1Co2:2) It was the "offense of the cross" (vs11)
However, now that we have liberty, we do not turn grace into "license" (Ju1:4) When Jesus was asked about the "greatest commandment" He says...
And if we say we -love- God, will we also not do those things that please Him!
Walk in the Spirit - (Galatians 5:16-26)
"For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit" (1Pt3:18)
But the fact that he is of the flesh is manifest by its works. (vs19-21) And if you see a person who claims to be a Christian, but their life and essence consists of those deeds listed...as one looks at those, isn't it pretty much what characterizes the unregenerate world of whom it is said
Of course, they never studied, much less talked about vs19-21. And they also never went as far as "meekness, self-control" (vs23) It was all Love, Love, Love... and, Peace, man.
Oh, and to "crucify the flesh with its passions and lusts"? (vs24) Are you kidding? Passions and lusts was what they wanted; like that IVCF couple I -happened- upon as I was walking by, sleeping outside the dorm on the lawn in the (single-wide) sleeping bag
Being in the Holy Spirit is not a feel-good mantra. It is not emotions. It is an 'essence'. It is the character. It is the morality. It is Righteousness and Holiness. It -is- Jesus Christ and Him crucified. If a person claiming to be a Believer does not want to crucify the flesh, by definition they are not In Christ. They have not been born "from above" (Jn3:3) If they have the Holy Spirit, BY DEFINITION they are characterized by vs22-24. That is the character of their essence.
If we are in the Spirit "there is no law". (vs23) If no law? No condemnation. No condemnation? No death. Thus...
Bearing Burdens - (Galatians 6:1-5)
And since we are talking about "law" in this series, there are some who, clinging to a slight mistranslation about "appearances" (1Th5:22kjv), go around looking for everybody with their lawn sprinklers running on Sunday, tape measure to measure the hem length of every female, or this or that; and if they find something that doesn't fit within -their- parameters of right or wrong, will confront the person. They, of course, are the "spiritual" one, and they are confronting the "trespass".
On the other hand, we are not carrying the load 'between' us. When Jesus died for sin He died to save -individuals-. He spoke with Nicodemus, Zachaeus, woman of Samaria, Peter, etc. When He spoke with the crowds, the crowds clamored over Him, but also yelled out, "Crucify Him!" He "did not commit Himself to them because He knew everyone" (Jn2:24) When the master returned from his trip, he calls the servants one-by-one to ascertain what they had done with their talents. (Mt25)
On the one hand we "bear one another's burdens", like the two paired up to set chokers in logging: the one pushes the cable through, the other one grabs it on the other side, and together they buckle the cable together to form the choker. But, if the one is sluffing off, not doing his fair share, the other one has to exert more effort climbing round the log. One -can- do it alone, but with two together it more-than halves the labor. If a person sluffs off in electronics assembly, they don't get as many pallets of circuit boards worked on, compared to their neighbor. The whole assembly plant's output is totalled from -everybody- pulling their full load.
If one stumbles, another comes along to help. As Paul says in another context, that there is 'equality'. (2Co8:14) Regarding righteousness and the pure Church arriving before Christ 'without spot or wrinkle' (Eph5:27), to the guy: Hey dude, your tie's crooked. Or as women used to: Pst! Your slip is showing.
Reap What You Sow - (Galatians 6:6-18)
While this is true, notice that Paul is following up the theme of the entire epistle with...
And so, as the leaders in Jerusalem said to him about "remember the
poor" (2:10), he also reminds us. Ministers are supported. But also
(something one of the presidential candidates got into trouble for
'belittling' the poor), for the Believer, to help fellowbelievers.
(vs10) We help one another in all things...spirit, soul and body.
The big complaint against Paul was that he was
When the Believers heard the prophecy that Paul would be bound when he went to Jerusalem, and were crying, trying to urge him not to go, what was his reply?