Returning to Shackles?

January 15, 2018

Paul's Concern for the Galatians

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.

12 Brothers,[c] I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. 13 You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?[d] 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. 18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, 19 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! 20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.


At the Fullness of Time, God Sent Forth His Son

January 14, 2018

26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[g] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.


Sons and Heirs

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave,[a] though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles[b] of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”


No Longer Under God’s Law?

January 14, 2018

The Law and the Promise

15 To give a human example, brothers:[f] even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.

19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. 20 Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.

21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,


Cur Deus Homo? Why the God Man?

January 14, 2018

The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”[d]12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit[e] through faith.


Merry Rebuke-Mas

December 4, 2017

By Faith, or by Works of the Law?

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? zIt was before your eyes that JesusChrist was publicly aportrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: bDid youreceive the Spirit by works of the law or by chearing with faith? Are you so foolish?dHaving begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by1 the flesh? eDid yousuffer2 so many things in vainif indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spiritto you and fworks miracles among you do so gby works of the law, or by hearing with faith just as hAbraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness?

Know then that it is ithose of faith who are jthe sons of Abraham. And theScripture, foreseeing that kGod would justify3 the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospelbeforehand to Abraham, saying, lIn you shall all the nations be blessed. So then, thosewho are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.


Gospel Identity - Justification by Faith

December 4, 2017

Justified by Faith

15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not mGentile sinners; 16 yet we know that na personis not justified2 by works of the law obut through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also havebelieved in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of thelaw, pbecause by works of the law no one will be justified.

17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found qto be sinners, isChrist then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I provemyself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I rdied to the law, so that I might sliveto God. 20 I have been tcrucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ wholives uin me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, vwholoved me and wgave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for xifrighteousness3 were through the law, ythen Christ died for no purpose.


That Ending Made No Sense!

December 4, 2017

Paul Accepted by the Apostles

Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titusalong with me. I went up because of a revelation and set before them (thoughprivately before those lwho seemed influential) the gospel that mI proclaim among theGentiles, nin order to make sure I was not running or had not orun in vain. But evenTitus, who was with me, pwas not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. qYetbecause of false brothers secretly brought inwho rslipped in to spy out sour freedomthat we have in Christ Jesus, tso that they might bring us into slavery to them we didnot yield in submission even for a moment, so that uthe truth of the gospel might bepreserved for you. And from those vwho seemed to be influential (what they were makesno difference to me; wGod shows no partiality)those, I say, who seemed influentialxadded nothing to me. On the contrary, when they saw that I had been yentrusted withzthe gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to thecircumcised (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to thecircumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), and when James andCephas and John, vwho seemed to be apillars, perceived the bgrace that was given to me,they cgave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to theGentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, dthevery thing I was eager to do.

Paul Opposes Peter

11 But ewhen Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him fto his face, because he stoodcondemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, ghe was eating with the Gentiles;but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing hthe circumcisionparty.1 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that evenBarnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their iconduct was notin step with jthe truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas kbefore them all, If you, though aJew, llive like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live likeJews?


The Gospel Makes a Current Life a Former Life

December 4, 2017

Paul Called by God

11 For uI would have you know, brothers, that vthe gospel that was preached by me isnot man's gospel.3 12 wFor I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but Ireceived it xthrough a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of ymy former lifein Judaism, how zI persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And Iwas advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremelyazealous was I for bthe traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he cwho had set me apartdbefore I was born,4 and who ecalled me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to5me, in order fthat I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consultwith anyone;6 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but Iwent away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

18 Then gafter three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained withhim fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James hthe Lord's brother.20 (In what I am writing to you, ibefore God, I do not lie!) 21 jThen I went into the regionsof Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was still unknown in person to kthe churches of Judea thatare in Christ. 23 They only were hearing it said, He who used to persecute us is nowpreaching the faith he once tried to destroy. 24 And they glorified God because of me.


Giving Away The Gospel?

November 10, 2017



Paul, an aapostlebnot from men nor through man, but cthrough Jesus Christ andGod the Father, dwho raised him from the dead and all ethe brothers1 who arewith me,

To fthe churches of Galatia:

gGrace to you and peace hfrom God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, iwhogave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present jevil age, according to the will ofkour God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

No Other Gospel

I am astonished that you are lso quickly deserting mhim who called you in the graceof Christ and are turning to na different gospel onot that there is another one, butpthere are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if weor qan angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preachedto you, rlet him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone ispreaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, rlet him be accursed.

10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying sto please man?If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a tservant2 of Christ.


Reformation500 — Jesus is Still Sufficient

November 10, 2017

11 And every priest stands hdaily at his service, ioffering repeatedly the same sacrifices,jwhich can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ2 had offered for all time a singlesacrifice for sins, he ksat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time luntilhis enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering mhe hasperfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

16  nThis is the covenant that I will make with them

after those days, declares the Lord:

I will put my laws on their hearts,

and write them on their minds,

17 then he adds,

oI will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.

18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

The Full Assurance of Faith

19 pTherefore, brothers,3 since we have confidence to enter qthe holy places by theblood of Jesus, 20 by rthe new and living way that he opened for us through sthe curtain,that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have ta great priest over the house of God, 22 letus draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts usprinkled cleanvfrom an evil conscience and our bodies wwashed with pure water.