Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5
November 20, 2011
Dayton, Texas
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<133> Thesis: The question remains: to what does God respond? Introduction: In the paragraph, 3:1-5, the issue in Paul's mind is one: What is the fundamental principle of spiritual life when that life is viewed as the outcome of God relating to man so that the man ends up experiencing the Life of the living God? In verse one, he posited the most fundamental Truth: Jesus Christ crucified. Out of that most basic reality came his next issue: what is the response that God requires of the person confronted with that Truth, and what happens to that person when he/she gives that response? Then, the next logical step was Paul's next concern: why can the Galatians not see that God's required response is "across the board" in terms of any kind of progressive development of man's experience of the Life of God? This problem Paul approaches from a different direction. He wonders whether the Galatians' initial experiences of the Life of God in their setting of "suffering" was wasted on them. Jesus Christ, crucified, means no one gets very far into "living" before they are confronted with the fact that not only is the Life of God a "stand alone" reality that exists quite apart from one's circumstances, but that Life of God is inherently self-sacrificial. In other words, "suffering" is an integral aspect of the experience of the Life of God as long as Sin exists in the setting, and no one can, or is even supposed to seek to, escape it. Now, as we come to the end of the paragraph, and the last question of Paul's six questions, the issue before us is this: to what does God respond so that His "provision" and "active work" are an integrated part of man's experience?