Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 5 Study # 8
February 6, 2011
Dayton, Texas
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<058> Thesis: The first principle of "faith" is that one not only can be, but must be, dependent upon God exclusively. Introduction: In Acts 17:11-12, Luke makes a well-known comment about "believing". He says that "therefore many of them believed..." after having commented on the greater "nobility" of the Bereans. And what was the essence of that "nobility"? Two things: first, that they were exceptionally "willing" to be instructed in the Word; and, second, that they were also exceptionally "diligent" in resorting to the Scriptures to see if they were being properly instructed. I bring this issue up this evening because it seems to me that the apostle Paul, in his record of his post-conversion activities in Galatians 1:16-17, is establishing one of the first principles of faith: one not only can be, but actually must be, dependent upon God exclusively. This is a difficult principle, but an absolutely necessary one because "justification by grace through faith" is the entry doctrine for reconciliation with God and God has no grandchildren. In other words, "reconciliation" is a relational concept that involves direct, personal, involvement between those being reconciled and there can be no third party who stands "between" the two parties. With this in mind, I want, this evening, to consider Paul's claim that he did not go up to Jerusalem, but departed into Arabia and then returned to Damascus.