Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 3 Study # 3
Thesis: It is clear that Paul's letter is "truth" because he does not resort to the hypocrisy of a hidden agenda.
Introduction: We have come to the last actual paragraph in Paul's letter to the Galatians. When we look at what he has to say, two things stand out: first, it is apparent on the face of it that he is winding up the letter by going back over its familiar ground; and second, he is depending upon an underlying desire for actual "truth" in his readers.
This evening we will begin our look into his last comments.
November 3, 2013
- I. The Issues of This Last Paragraph.
- A. 6:11 is a reference backwards to the issue of chapters 1-2.
- 1. The issue of these two chapters is "why should we believe Paul is a spokesman for the one true God?"
- 2. This verse simply covers the last base: "why should we believe this letter represents Paul as such a spokesman?"
- B. 6:12-13 is a summary rehash of chapters 3-4.
- 1. The issue of these two chapters is the absolute failure of legal theology and the superiority of "promise".
- 2. These verses simply pull the cover off of the "motivation" issue and reiterate the reality of total hypocrisy in legal theology.
- C. 6:14-16 is a summary rehash of chapters 5-6.
- 1. The issue of these two chapters is the actual methodology of grace in producing actual godliness in those committed to grace.
- 2. These verses simply contrast the motivation of grace to that of law and restate the basis of life under grace.
- II. Paul's Focus Upon the Original Thesis of Chapters 1-2.
- A. The translation of the Authorized Version is completely off track.
- 1. It ignores the plural number of the word "letters".
- 2. It ignores the issue and formulation of this last paragraph.
- B. According to 2 Thessalonians 2:2 and 3:17, the degree to which the deceivers would go included the writing of spurious letters claiming to be from Paul and Paul's response was to make his own peculiar identifying characteristic present in each letter.
- 1. 2 Thessalonians 2:2 reveals that several tactics were used by the purveyors of lies, including the writing of spurious letters.
- 2. 2 Thessalonians 3:17 reveals that Paul responded to this tactic by a "with my own hand token in every epistle" so his readers could trust the information.
- C. In respect to the Galatian letter, this does two things at once.
- 1. First, it deliberately goes back to the first two chapters and adds one further detail.
- a. How do we know Paul speaks for God?
- b. How do we know this particular letter is from Paul?
- 2. Second, it brings a basic reality into sharp relief: those who speak and write the truth have absolutely no need for underhanded tactics (2 Corinthians 4:1-2) of any kind.
- a. Just as Galatians 5:11 and 4:29 clearly established the fact that false theology always leads to violent attempts to enforce itself, so this text reveals that false teachers are never committed to the truth; they are only committed to their agenda without regard for the boundaries "truth" puts upon the pursuit of agendas.
- b. The writing of spurious letters cannot be justified in any way and any who would use such a tactic to try to force "legalism" upon others are simply showing that they are not really committed to keeping the law.