Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 3 Study # 7
October 14, 2012
Dayton, Texas
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<213> Thesis: The nature, and objective, of Paul's efforts in respect to the Galatians consist of an intense fixation upon the exact methodology of justification so that Christ can be an Effective Resident within the bodies of those Galatians who believe. Introduction: In our former studies we have carefully considered Paul's argument that his message of a "works free" salvation always produces an experience-based knowledge of "blessedness" in those who believe. As we come to the end of yet another segment of his argument, we find him declaring his ambivalence toward the answer to the question of whether, in fact, the Galatians are among those who "believe". On the one hand, he deliberately addresses them as "brethren" (4:12) and "My little children" (4:19) who have experienced the "blessedness" of faith in the Gospel. But, on the other hand, he just as deliberately drew the definitive line in the sand that marks the actual point of "justification by faith" and pressed the reality of faith's true fruit: an unambiguous, bottom-line, confidence in grace as the root of the actual "step" by which a person moves across that line. This evening we are going to consider the meaning of Paul's declaration to the Galatians that he wishes he could be "lovingly and physically present" in their midst so that he could settle the tension that exists in his own heart and mind regarding the question of whether, or not, they have actually stepped over that line.