Skip to comments.Bible Studies for Life – February 10 - Baptist Sunday School Bible Study: “The Message”
Posted on 02/09/2008 4:28:56 PM PST by WileyPink
Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Galatians 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ..
Galatians 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Galatians 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Galatians 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Galatians 3:4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
Galatians 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
Galatians 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
Galatians 3:8 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.
Galatians 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
People have many things that vie for their attention. Commitments are commonly made to exercise programs, serving on committees, and work obligations; then something else comes along begging for attention. People often find themselves in the position of deciding what is worth committing to and what is not. Ask yourself, Why should my commitment to Christ stand above everything else in my life? It is of great importance for us to understand that the level of commitment we have for something is directly related to the message of that to which we are committed. There is nothing wrong with having multiple commitments and obligations, but when it comes to the message of Christ we must carry the gospel to the world.
The world is full of people that have committed themselves to the fullest. To a lost person, Christianity may seem like just another thing that wants their time and money. A lost person may think, Why would I want something else in my life, like Christianity, that could make things busier? Consider the question, What can I say to a lost person that will encourage them to accept Christ and hold Him as their highest commitment in life? Also consider, Am I committed to the message of Christ in such a way that it causes me to reach out to lost people? Keep in mind that the level of commitment we have for Christ demonstrates to others how firmly we hold to His message.
Galatians 1:6-7 (NASB) says, I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. Christians in the early church at Galatia were turning away from Christ to follow a false teaching. This was not only a problem in the early church, but is a recurring problem in the church today. The crux of the problem for the Galatians and the world today is many do not hold firmly to the message of Christ.
We must ask, What is the message of Christ, and why should it be held onto so firmly above anything else? Galatians 1:10 (NASB) says, For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond servant of Christ. Paul makes it clear that he is a servant of Christ and not of man. He held so firmly to the message of Christ that he would not forsake it for the satisfaction of those around him. Pauls commitment to the message of Christ was held in the grasp of God and serving HIM.
Pauls commitment to the message he preached was firmly grounded in the Author of the message. Galatians 1:11-12 says, For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. Scripture declares the gospel as a revelation from Jesus Christ and not man. It is Gods message of salvation to man.
In sharing the message of Christ with others it is important for people to understand that the Gospel is Gods saving work through Christ. Not mans saving work for himself! It is not a message designed by man, but is fully dependent on God.
Paul asked his audience in Galatians 3:2 if salvation is by works or faith. Those that opposed the gospel of Christ taught that salvation was acquired through works. False teachings led many to believe that mere belief in Jesus was not enough for salvation. Galatians 3:3 says, Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
Today, a lot of people lose sight of what they are doing because of the heavy work load stacked up before them. Only Christ can handle the workload that sin piles upon people. It is the perfect work of Christ on the cross that makes salvation possible for man. Faith in His work on the cross is necessary.
The commitment that God makes to everyone through the gospel message is that He sent His Son to save people from their sins. Lost people must be told the message of hope through the gospel. We must commit ourselves to carry the message of Christ to everyone!
Andy Vaughn is pastor of First Church, Fulton, MS.
Baptist Sunday School Bible Study Ping
Of the 27 books in the New Testament, over half were written by one man: Paul. But for the letters of Paul, we would be in darkness concerning the truth of the Church as the Body of Christ and its function, activity, and destiny. (17 of 28 chapters in Acts deal with Paul; from Acts 15 onwards, the other apostles are not even mentioned.)
The Epistle to the Galatians is regarded as one of Paul’s greatest and most important letters. It has been characterized as a “short Romans”; the Epistle to the Romans can be viewed as an expansion of Galatians.
Galatians, more than any other single book, became the manifesto of freedom and revival of Biblical truth in the Reformation Era: “the Magna Carta of spiritual emancipation.”
It has been called “a small pebble with which the Reformers smote the papal giant of the Middle Ages.”
William Ramsay has called it “a unique and marvelous letter, which embraces in its six short chapters such a variety of vehement and intense emotion as could probably not be paralleled in any other work.”
Merrill Tenney has pointed out:
Few books have had a more profound influence on the history of mankind than has this small tract, for such it should be called. Christianity might have been just one more Jewish sect, and the thought of the Western world might have been entirely pagan had it never been written. Galatians embodies the germinal teaching on Christian freedom which separated Christianity from Judaism, and which launched it upon a career of missionary conquest. It was the cornerstone of the Protestant Reformation, because its teaching of salvation by grace alone became the dominant theme of the preaching of the Reformers.1
Luther’s Commentary on Galatians was one of the key books of the Reformation. Martin Luther called it “my own little epistle. I have betrothed myself to it; it is my Katie von Vora (his wife).”
Luther’s entire life was changed by the impact on him of Habakkuk 2:4: “The just shall live by faith.”
It is interesting that three of the epistles appear to be a trilogy on this very verse:
The Just shall live by Faith. Who are “the just”? The Epistle to the Romans is the definitive answer to that dilemma (Cf. Romans 1:17).
The Just shall live by Faith. How should they live? Galatians is the guide; a release from the bondage of religious externalism (Cf. Galatians 3:11).
The Just shall live by Faith. By what “faith”? Hebrews elaborates this head on (Cf. Hebrews 10:38).
Paul’s purpose was to keep the new kingdom from being another Jewish sect, instead proclaiming a Gospel of grace to all men (Galatians 3:26). His letter to the Galatians has blocked the path of many who would change Christianity into a new paganism or another sect of Judaism.
It stands as a challenge to all who would take away the grace of God, the truth of the Gospel, and the joy and freedom that goes with it.
The Threat of Legalism
Legalism had its beginning in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve attempted to reconcile themselves to God with aprons of fig leaves.2 God taught them that by the shedding of innocent blood they would be covered.3 Man is always trying to add “his something” to what God has already provided.
Grace is God’s answer to man’s pride. The heart of Christianity is God’s free grace in Jesus Christ.
Legalism always seems to take the heart out of Christianity and replace it with a heart of stone. Let the law do the honorable work of showing a man his sin, but remember that it can’t save the man from sin.
There is a persistent false teaching: substituting Law for Grace. Legalism is not restricted to the “Judaizers” of the New Testament period; it is the most persistent form of derailment in our churches today. There is something about error when it once grips the mind that makes it assume an importance that the truth itself never had. And the compliance to rules, style, or other practices still threatens our sincere fellowship in the Spirit now as it did then.
Prayerfully re-read this short little book and watch what happens.