Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 4 Study # 1
Thesis: Paul's final commitment to "grace" theology.
Introduction: We have come to the end of Paul's letter to the Galatians. It is my intention to show that Paul's final words are, like his opening confrontation, a determined commitment to what I will simply call "grace theology".
December 1, 2013
- I. The Determined Commitment.
- A. Its roots in "trouble".
- 1. Paul's "let no one cause trouble for me" is not a statement that he expects that "no one will cause trouble for" him.
- 2. It is, rather, a statement that such action will do no good.
- a. The reason people "cause trouble" for others is to attempt to blunt the impact of the actions of those "others".
- 1) The word translated "cause trouble" is mostly used to refer to "putting out extensive labor to accomplish some desired end".
- 2) Sometimes the degree of "trouble" is relatively "light" as in Matthew 26:10 where some of the disciples were criticizing the woman who poured some expensive ointment upon Jesus' head, or as in Luke 11:7 where a person knocks on the door of someone who has already gone to bed.
- 3) Sometimes the degree of "trouble" is as it was in Galatia where Paul's character was maligned.
- b. What Paul is saying is that such "labor" will be wasted effort.
- B. Its futility.
- 1. Paul already bears the "stigmata" of Jesus in his own body.
- a. The concept of "bearing" was given in 5:10; 6:2; and 6:5 where the idea is simply having to endure the imposition of unpleasantness.
- b. The "stigmata" is Paul's only use of this word to refer to the difficulties heaped upon Jesus, but later usage applied it to the wounds of the crucifixion.
- 2. What Paul meant was that others had already done worse to Paul than the Galatian false teachers and it has not accomplished their goal of dissuading him from his message.
- II. The Consistent Message.
- A. Grace from Jesus Christ.
- 1. This is a thesis of complete human twistedness that requires that another do for them what they cannot do for themselves.
- 2. This is not a thesis of "help"; it is a thesis of "vicarious involvement".
- 3. As such it is a thesis of divine rejection of any consideration of the actions of the needy because such consideration would compel a negative outcome.
- B. The direction of "grace" in terms of the "spirit of you".
- 1. For sure, the issue is that of the goal of "spirit": recognition of one's "value".
- 2. "Grace" is exactly that: a declaration of God's "value" upon incompetent people that requires His unilateral involvement with the problems their incompetence creates.
- 3. That it is "with your spirit" is, at a minimum, a continuing recognition that the "spirit" of man is not up to the demands of "value because of performance".