Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 2 Study # 2
Thesis: The message to which the Galatians are moving is all about "grace" and its inherent ramifications.
Introduction: In our last study we looked into Paul's reaction to the Galatians' departure from God and saw that it was something he had not seen before and that it was a doctrine-based abandonment of God as a Person.
This evening we are going to get into some of the issues of the "doctrine".
October 17, 2010
- I. Our First Consideration: Doctrines Believed Have Consequences.
- A. At the very root of "personality" are three critical matters.
- 1. What a person "loves" will totally dominate the way a cause/effect universe affects that person.
- 2. What a person "believes" will subsequently dominate the experiences of that person.
- 3. What a person "does" stands between his/her Love/Faith complex and how the universe subsequently visits results upon that person.
- B. At the heart of Paul's charge is the fact that "being removed" from God has its roots in a failure of love and faith and the consequences in respect to the experience of Life are significant.
- C. What a person "believes" matters in a gazillion ways.
- II. Our Second Consideration: Definitions Are Inescapably Interlinked.
- A. Paul initially identifies the critical concept by referring to "the One Who called you by grace".
- B. Because all truth is interlinked, how a person perceives "grace" will govern the whole of that person's consequent experience.
- C. The major areas of impact regarding one's perception of "grace" are two: how one responds to the call to repentance and how one responds to the encouragement to believe.
- 1. Mark 1:15 tells us that Jesus' message was "...repent and believe the gospel".
- a. In our current study, Paul claims that "the Gospel" is essentially a message of "grace" that "summons" a person to union with God.
- b. In the Galatian situation, the inner realities were not being disputed.
- 1) There is no denial that God is "living" and that union with Him will, ipso facto, result in the experience of Life.
- 2) There is no denial that Jesus is God's Christ and that He did the work of redemption.
- 3) There is no denial that "faith" in Jesus as the Christ results in the forgiveness of sins and the grant of Life forever.
- c. The Galatian problem is, as Paul describes it, a complete subversion of these inner realities by way of a redefinition of the critical "methodological" terms.
- 1) "Grace" is being "rebranded".
- 2) "Repentance" is being "rebranded".
- 3) "Faith" is being "rebranded".
- 2. Our consideration of "another gospel" is focused upon "grace" and "faith".
- a. "Repentance" is not a major theme in Galatians by terminology.
- b. "Grace" is the major thesis of Galatians, but primarily as a conceptual umbrella for the restoration of the meaning of "faith" (a word that is used 25 times in this letter in various forms).
- 1) We have already seen that, at root, "grace" is God's refusal to consider one's actions when deciding to act on one's behalf.
- 2) We have also already seen that all "Christian" theological systems incorporate the words "grace" and "faith", but, obviously, they do not mean the same thing in those systems.
- III. Our Third Consideration: the Issues Involved in Biblical Faith.
- A. The first issue: faith's ultimate object (God, not man).
- B. The second issue: faith's actual content (Promise, not demand).
- C. The third issue: faith's subsequential impact (Participation with God -- i.e., "works").
- D. The fourth issue: faith's necessary context (Significant repercussions in respect to the "love" of the one being addressed).
- E. The fifth issue: faith's essential identity (Cessation of resistance).
- F. The sixth issue: faith's roots (Divine persuasion).