Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 3
July 18, 2010
Dayton, Texas
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<006> Thesis: In order for "faith" to stand in the face of the pressures of contradiction, its content must be rooted in a recognizably divine "origin". Introduction: In our consideration of "apostleship", we saw that its essence is "accurate representation". When Paul claimed to be an "apostle of God", he was claiming to be an accurate representative of God's message. For the Galatians, and everyone else also, "faith", at some point, must be verifiably grounded in communication from God. The issues involved are several. First, that God is the One producing the communication has to be established. In a setting of "many voices", this is no small task. Then, what God has actually communicated has to be established. In a setting of "many interpreters", this also is no small task. The opponents of Paul's message knew that their best approach was to deny Paul's apostleship. Once that was done, it would be relatively easy to contradict his message. Thus, Paul's opening words did two things: his identity as "Paul" set him apart from the motivations of his opponents (Note Galatians 6:12); and his claim to the identity of an "apostle" directly established the legitimacy of his message if it could be demonstrated. Thus, when we read Paul's instant defense of his profession of "apostleship", we are reading his counter-attack against those who were attempting to subvert the faith of the Galatians. Therefore, we need to consider both his disclaimer and his claim regarding his apostleship in the light of his desire to buttress that faith. This study will zero in upon the disclaimer.