Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 3 Study # 5
Thesis: Believing that one is "beloved" of God is the most fundamental root of a genuine sense of well-being.
Introduction: Being "blessed" and feeling "blessed" are two distinctly different things. Unfortunately, most of us settle for the feelings (if we can) and are most upset when those feelings are not present. The entire book of Galatians was written to address these issues (being and feeling) because of the connection that exists in men's minds regarding their foundations. Clearly, most men understand that being blessed requires the approval and acceptance of God, but falter significantly in their understanding of how the feelings are generated. Paul's argument in this final paragraph is that, since relationships rooted in Law are destructive without exception, the only valid basis for being blessed is the grace of the cross and the only valid basis for feeling blessed is doubling down on faith in the fact of the being.
In Galatians 5:6, where Paul was focused upon "an effective process", he simply said, "the only thing that works at the process level is a faith that is energized by love" (beginning with being loved and, then, moving into the activities of loving). In the text before us this evening, his claim is that the only thing that makes the process work is the actual reality of the relationship that exists between the "facts" and the "practice" of "exulting".
November 17, 2013
- I. Paul's "Life" Acknowledgement.
- A. Paul's accusation is that those committed to a legal basis for relationships are in it for the "glory".
- 1. This, most significantly, means that they are looking for what "glory" brings to them.
- 2. Paul says that that "what" is "feelings of exulting".
- 3. But he firmly declares that those feelings cannot be sustained for one simple reason: the foundation is incapable of sustaining them.
- a. Hypocrisy is "felt".
- b. Any time a person "feels" his/her hypocrisy, "feelings of exulting" are immediately squelched.
- B. Then Paul immediately turns to his foundations for the experience of those "feelings of exulting".
- 1. This establishes a critical fact: the experience of "Life" requires "feelings of exulting".
- a. "Exulting" is simply "Joy" felt at a relatively high level of feeling.
- b. Since "Joy" is the essence of "Life", "exulting" is a requirement.
- 2. This also sets the stage for the critical difference between his "relationships rooted in grace" and his opponents' "relationships rooted in law".
- II. Paul's "Life" Provision.
- A. The ultimate provision is what he calls "a new creation".
- B. But the steps to our grasp of that reality are at least two-fold.
- 1. The first step is a legitimate grasp of the reality and significance of "the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ".
- a. The extended characterization of the cross as "of our Lord Jesus Christ" means that this definition of reality is all-pervasive of the coming Kingdom.
- b. The single element of this all-pervasive reality is the cross.
- 1) The cross was the tool of the Justice of God so that the Mercy of God could be moved to the top of the List.
- 2) The cross was also the demonstration of the Love of God so that the Grace of God could be factually grasped.
- 2. The second step is a legitimate grasp of the impact that the cross makes upon those who believe in it.
- a. On the one hand, that impact is that the world was put to death in respect to its ability to affect the believer.
- b. On the other hand, that impact is that the believer was put to death in respect to his/her ability to participate in the world.
- C. Thus, the methodology of the cross is not "circumcision" or "uncircumcision" (both legal issues), but a genuinely "new" reality: a new creation incapable of failure in terms of the feelings of exulting.
- 1. When a believer "believes" in his new reality as a soul united to the Spirit of Jesus, he is unperturbed by "his/her" sins in terms of what they do to the love God has for him/her.
- 2. Thus, Paul's method issue in 5:6 is clarified: faith in the "being loved by God" reality leads to the ability to permit the Spirit of God to produce loving activities toward others.
- 3. And since the "new creation" is incapable of evil, there need be no flagging of exulting because of fleshly failures.
- a. This does raise the issues involved in the flagging of faith that allows fleshly failures.
- b. This is the basis for 6:16.