Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 1 Study # 14
Thesis: All intermediate objectives get their legitimacy from the Ultimate Objective.
Introduction: As we come down to Galatians 2:10, we seem to come to a conclusion of an exceedingly important body of truth by way of what many would call an "odd" end. In the paragraph of which verse ten is the conclusion, the point is that the Gospel as Paul preached it was accepted in Jerusalem by the Church at large and by James (the perceived ringleader of the opposition), Cephas (the perceived ringleader of the Church itself), and John (the one apostle whose name addressed the issue involved). According to Paul's description, these men were the pillars of the Church and its Truth. So, the question naturally arises: What does Paul's statement regarding the request that he "remember the poor" and his "high level of commitment to do so" have to do with this thesis?
June 5, 2011
- I. The Variations Between Luke's Record and Paul's.
- A. In our text, Paul claims that "only they would that we should remember the poor".
- B. In Luke's record in Acts 15 there is no direct mention of that issue at all.
- 1. Luke's record focuses upon a request that the Gentiles abstain from certain kinds of behavior because of the presence of Jews "in every city".
- 2. Luke's record reveals a crucial focus upon how the Gospel might be perceived by those Jews if there is an absence of sensitivity in those who believe toward those who do not.
- II. The Central Core of These Variations.
- A. Hidden beneath all of the wrangling about the exact terms of the Gospel is one issue: why do the exact terms have to be nailed down so precisely?
- B. In God's creation, there is a plethora of interconnected "purposes"; and in God's Word there is also a huge host of interconnected words.
- 1. At issue in both creation and Revelation is one question: WHAT connects all of the dots?
- a. In all true science, the quest is to discover the mechanisms that are driving the discernible results so that those mechanisms can be purposefully applied to their results without the difficulties associated with the abnormal perversions that discernibly lead to death/Death.
- b. In all true theology, the quest is the same on a different plane: science is the plane of "life" and theology is the plane of "Life".
- 1) Science deals with mechanical processes in a physical creation.
- 2) Theology deals with relational processes in a relational creation.
- c. Thus, in both science and theology, the critical question is one: what will lead to Life and not Death?
- 2. The reality in both creation and Revelation is that the plethora of "words of purpose" must be seen as "interconnected".
- a. That they are interconnected is a critical thesis.
- b. How they are interconnected becomes the question that determines whether a person will Live or Die.
- C. In God's Creation and Revelation, misconstruing the connections always has a death/Death effect while Wisdom always has a life/Life effect.
- 1. Both misconstructions and Wisdom sometimes immediately produce their results.
- a. The quickest responses typically lead to "acceptance/aversion".
- b. These quick responses lay the long-term foundations for "learning".
- 2. Other misconstructions and Wisdom are extremely long-term in their place in the processes of intermediate objectives producing their Ultimate Objective.
- a. These slow/slower/slowest producers typically get overlooked until it is pretty much too late to do anything about it.
- b. These slow responses often do affect generational changes, but whole generations often miss out because of their ignorance.
- D. In both Luke's record and Paul's there is one underlying concern.
- 1. Luke's record emphasizes what is likely to happen if the true Gospel is taken to mean one has no real connection to others and what happens to them as a consequence of what one does.
- a. Luke's record involves a list of "don'ts" that are designed to be preventative.
- b. Luke's record assumes a concern on the part of the doers for others.
- 2. Paul's record emphasizes what is necessary to the true Gospel's place in the march of the processes to their End.
- a. Paul's record involves a general biblical principle of putting the needs of others ahead of, and behind, all truly doctrinal theses.
- b. Paul's record is a declaration that all who embrace the Gospel will also embrace its Objective/objectives at some point, though the degree, and intensity, of that embrace is extremely relative and, ultimately, separate from its effectiveness.
- 1) The essence of Paul's Gospel is that there are no "musts" that are separate from Love.
- 2) The degree to which a person "loves" is a long continuum that stretches from a very minimalist degree to an extreme maximalist degree.
- c. Paul's record demands the absence of the loveless "must", but declares the presence of the "musts" of Love.