Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Study in Galatians “BREAK FREE” (Gal. 1:3-5)

3Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,

4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world (age), according to the will [purpose and plan] of God and our Father:

5 To whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Galatians 1:3-5

This week we will finish Paul’s formal greeting, then he jumps into the problem at hand.

If by any chance you have found these foundational lessons boring

Hold on, this is like a roller coaster ride when it starts and pulls you to the top, yeah you were cool until the ride started down and around - so this is the final accent :-)

This letter was written because the Galatians were Gentiles (no background in Judaism), who were saved after Paul had shared the Gospel with them. But now after Paul’s departure, Judaizers (Judaizer defined as those who were seeking to impose many of the ceremonial practices of the Old Testament, especially circumcision on the Gentile converts to Christianity) came and told them additional requirements to be a Christian, i.e., they must believe in Christ and, be circumcised and hold to the ceremonies of the Jewish (Mosaic) law.

So let’s look at verses 3-5:
3Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace and peace have been called "the Siamese twins of the NT."

It is believed that one reason for beginning with this greeting was because grace was a traditional Greek greeting, whereas, peace was a traditional Jewish greeting.

Paul may have done this to break down the wall between Jew and Gentile, thus giving a greeting commonly used by both.

Some other thoughts on Grace and Peace.

The SOURCE of Salvation is grace & The NATURE of Salvation is Peace. (Nothing we can do to EARN IT – Nothing we can do to ADD to it!!!)

Another thought on this is that grace always comes first resulting in peace.
Without grace there is and can be no peace, but when grace is ours, peace
must of necessity follow.” If you are in a graceless Christianity expect a peaceless existence.

This peace comes from God the Father and OUR Lord Jesus Christ.

Real peace doesn’t come from just believing in “a god” but in our heavenly Father AND, don’t miss that AND!!! “… AND our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We cannot get to God but through Jesus Christ. There are NOT many paths (religions) all leading to the same God or place. Distinctly, the ONLY WAY to the Father is BY JESUS CHRIST (See John 14:6).

Next Verse 4:
4Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver [Gk. rescued] us from this present evil world (age), according to the will [and purpose and plan] of God and our Father:

This is the gospel message that Jesus GAVE HIMSELF for OUR sins.

It leaves no room for boasting, but once we recognize the significance that Jesus GAVE HIMSELF for OUR SINS, it is then that, convicting truth becomes a reality to us, and we repent and receive the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Then, Paul goes on and says we (believers) are DELIVERED [Greek = rescued us] from this PRESENT EVIL WORLD.

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness
of sins. Col 1:13,14

We are no longer of this world, we have been delivered from all that is of this world (age).

I’m FREE!!!

This deliverance just expounded is according to the WILL of God. It was God’s plan and purpose that upon becoming believers, we are delivered from this world (that includes a works mentality, in this case from Judaizers).

Verse 5:

5To whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

That is a crucial point. Because any teaching that adds to or subtracts from the work of Christ – doesn’t glorify God but glorifies man.

You see if Salvation can be earned – PRAISE BE TO ME!
We hear people say, “I changed my life / I cleaned up my act – I followed the plan – I made it / I did it!!!!” ME ME ME - Praise be to me! WRONG!!!

But when I understand that I was hopelessly lost – Doomed/damned not a chance in the world of changing my status before a holy God, then ALL GLORY goes to God alone.

This is what it is all about! Giving God GLORY forever and ever.

It’s not about me (you) it’s about HIM!


So we conclude this week’s lesson on Galatians.

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