I am so excited. I am joining my dear friend, Jenilee, in a Bible study. Over the next 20 days we will be studying Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians & Colossians. Today is the first day of our study; so come along and join us as we study God's Word!
Galatians 1 "Only 1 Good News"
There is a few things I want to cover regarding Galatians before we get started. I will be using Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Matthew Henry's Commentary and others for reference; just so you know I am not just making this stuff up.
~Galatians is a letter written by the Apostle Paul.
~It was written to the church in the Roman Province of Galatia
~The letter was written because the church of Galatia was teaching something other than the Good news of Jesus and the freedom He brings through faith in Him.
~The central theme is "Justification through Faith!"
Overview of Chapter 1
Verses 1-3 open the letter from Paul the apostle. It is his formal greeting to the church in Galatia. We also see in verse three the "Good News" in a nutshell....
3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 4 Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. 5 All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.
Verses 6-10 Paul begins to declare what the problem is of the church of Galatia. They have turned away from the original teachings of Jesus Christ. They have allowed other guidance to seep in and direct them onto a wrong path. As we dig into Galatians, it will become clearer what the right instruction is "Justification by Faith" and the wrong training is "Salvation through works."
Verses 11-21 We see this chapter end with the beginning of Paul's personal testimony. He writes about his zealous heart as a Jewish leader, his radical salvation and his process of becoming an apostle of Jesus Christ.
There is one verse that really jumped off the page...
10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
As humans, we strive so much in our lives and it is so easy for us to fall into old patterns of doing deeds to win favor. We always love that A+ on a paper we worked hard for. We love the accolades from a spouse. We work hard for promotions. We work, work, work to receive approval. That ends up being the Galatians big problem they begin trying to earn their way into heaven by following the law.
Getting God's approval is not by anything I do...I can never "do" anything to make things right with Him. The only thing that can make me right with God is faith in Jesus Christ: faith that He died for me, faith that He conquered death and the grave, faith that He rose again, faith that He alone is the one that can save me. I can only be made right with God through faith. I love this definition of faith.....
Hebrews 11:1 (New Living Translation)
1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
I admire Paul's boldness in dealing with the church of Galatia. He is compelled to preach the truth to please God. I want to make God happy. As I have faith in Him, I will bring joy to His heart. I am thankful for the free gift of salvation through His son Jesus the "Only One Good News". I am so thankful I do not have "do" anything to receive salvation....I could never "do" enough.