Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
Thesis: The problems of "disobedience".
Introduction: As we begin a new paragraph of Paul's focus upon the application of Truth to the processes of living, the first thing we notice is that Paul questions the Galatians' change of "approach" by asking, "who hindered you?" Then, he raises the issues that are involved in living effectively.
March 10, 2013
- I. The Most Fundamental Issue: The Call of God.
- A. A quick reflection upon Paul's focus upon the divine call in Galatians reveals the centrality of "grace".
- 1. In 1:6 we have the fundamental issue of the entire letter summarized as a departure from "Him Who called you into Grace".
- 2. In 1:15 we have Paul's own experience couched in terms of God's own controlled initiative with a direct attribution of grace as the central issue.
- a. The central qualifier is "when it pleased God".
- b. The two central realities are Paul's physical birth and, then, his spiritual birth.
- 3. In 5:8 we find our current text deliberately emphasizing that a particular "persuasion" is not from God as the One Who calls.
- 4. In 5:13 we see "liberty" as the direction involved in "the call" and the ties to 5:1 and the emphasis upon "grace" are inescapable.
- B. The problem involved is the complexity of "the call" in terms of origin and clarity.
- 1. Anyone can say that a certain doctrine is "not from God".
- 2. The problem is validation.
- a. Giving over two chapters' worth of detail in order to validate one issue (the validity of the apostleship claims of Paul) has to mean that "validation" is no simple issue.
- b. Obviously, the problem is confusion of mind in respect to "facts" and confusion of heart in respect to "values".
- 1) The interaction between the two is significant and extremely problematical.
- a) What a person "values" is very often "buried" beneath a host of self-deluding lies.
- b) What a person "values" is more crucial to understanding the facts than any other element.
- 2) Paul simply puts the facts forward, knowing he can do nothing about "values".
- a) The most critical fact is that only "grace" can beneficially address "sinners".
- b) The most critical element in "grace" is its total divorce from "works".
- C. The solution involves one simple principle: ruthlessly logical consistency.
- II. The "Next Level" Issue: Persuasion.
- A. In a cause-and-effect universe, it is critical to understand each level of cause to effect because each effect becomes the next cause.
- 1. This means that any aberration in the form of displacement will inevitably lead to error piled upon error.
- 2. The most frequently found displacement is jumping over the basics to get to "obedience".
- B. The biblical order is always "facts", "persuasion", "behavior", "consequences".
- 1. Twice in our text Paul fixates upon "persuasion".
- a. The translators "jump" to "obedience" without justification.
- 1) In 1:10 and 5:10 there is no "obedience" issue in the basic statements.
- 2) There is no compelling reason in either 3:1 or 5:7 to "jump" to "obedience".
- b. Both the verb in 5:7 and the noun in 5:8 are defined in terms of "persuasion".
- 2. Clearly, "consequences" are deeply involved: clearly "behavior" is deeply involved: clearly the drivers of both are enormously significant; and those drivers are "grace", "calling", "facts", and "persuasion".
- III. The Third Level Issue: Conflicting Truth Claims.
- A. "Hindrance" is always first "doctrinal" and then "pressure".
- B. Anyone can make truth claims (we have come full circle).