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Liberty Has Responsibilities

from Google Images

from Google Images

Our liberty in Christ (Galatians 5:1) is not simply freedom to do as we please. Our liberty in Christ is true freedom only as we accept the responsibilities that the high cost of freedom brings us. All other so-called expressions of freedom end in slavery or addiction of one sort or another. Liberty in Christ is manifest in the fruit of the Spirit of Christ not a mystical experience. True spirituality is very practical and not so mystical as to be of no earthly good. Paul tells us that, if we follow after the Spirit of Christ, it will be evident in both our relationships and in the manner in which we use our wealth, whether that wealth is our time (life) or our material goods. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 26, 2016 in Galatians

 

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How Victory Is Won

from Google Images

from Google Images

The New Testament uses the word nikao (G3528) and its derivatives, nike (G3529) and nikos (G3534) in order to show us how we gain victory in our walk with Christ. We overcome (nikao) the world through the blood of Christ (Revelation 12:11), because Christ has overcome the world, and has given us the victory through his death and resurrection. Moreover, although our victory is a gift (1Corinthians 15:57 – nikos), we come to it after many struggles, but we overcome them, because greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world (1John 4:4; Luke 11:22). Victory over the world is attained as we place our trust in Christ (1John 5:4-5 – nike). Finally, victory comes to us wholly when our mortality is swallowed up by eternal life (1Corinthians 15:54 – nikos), which is attained at our death (2Corinthians 5:1-4) or when Christ returns (1Corinthians 15:51-53). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2016 in Galatians

 

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Walking in the Spirit

from Google Images

from Google Images

“Walking is a metaphor used from time to time in Scripture to denote spiritual progress. People in the first century could not travel as fast as we do, with our cars, planes, trains and the like, but even so, for them as for us, walking was the slowest way of going places. But even though walking was slow and unspectacular, walking meant progress. If anyone kept walking, she or he would certainly cover the ground and eventually reach the destination. So, for the apostle walking was an apt metaphor. If any believer was walking, that believer was going somewhere.”[1] In this case, walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) meant walking in the life of Christ, the will of God. We are going somewhere in our relationship with him. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2016 in Galatians

 

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The Battle for the Good News

from Google Images

from Google Images

The question at this point is: why is circumcision (or anything we do) unable to make us right with God (Galatians 5:6; cf. 3:10, 21)? Just as the wages we earn have nothing to do with being a gift we receive, so circumcision or anything we do can have nothing to do with making us right before God, because righteousness is imputed (i.e. it is a gift), and what we do looks for a wage (reward for services rendered). It is Christ who makes us righteous (through grace, a gift), and we can only trust it is so, just as we trust that any gift we receive is entirely a gift—no strings attached. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2016 in Galatians

 

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Standing Fast in Liberty

Yoke

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At this time Paul takes us from theology to ethics, from dogma to living out one’s faith. What would our being devoted to God, yet living without the Mosaic Law, look like? If the Mosaic Law is discarded as a premise for Christian conduct, what would happen to moral living? This was the problem that the New Testament Church had to answer, because it was, no doubt, put to us by both the legalists who opposed the believer’s posture, and the legalists who were genuinely interested in the answer. If law takes away real freedom, how does one keep from embracing the opposite extreme of living so freely that one becomes addicted to lust, greed, wrath and the like? Obviously, such behavior also takes away true freedom. The answer to this dilemma lies in maintaining the image of Christ within us, which is kept through faith as we shall see. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2016 in Galatians

 

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Hagar and Sarah According to Paul

Children of Promise

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In Galatians 4:21 Paul returns again to Scripture in order to conclude his argument about relationships. He asks those, who wish to embrace Judaism, if they really took seriously the claim the Law has upon them. Perhaps it is true that often we accept something that appears to be true, even Biblical, but we never really consider the consequences the truth under consideration has upon the truth as a whole. Certainly much of Judaism is based upon the word of God, yet Jesus called at least some of what Judaism taught “your tradition”, that is, tradition of men and said that it contradicted or took away the power of the word of God (Matthew 7:8, 13). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2016 in Galatians

 

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Paul’s Argument of Relationships

from Google Images

from Google Images

In Galatians 4:12 and following Paul concludes his fifth argument for justification before God coming through faith in Christ and not through keeping the law. He does this by again pointing to Abraham. Anyone who shares the faith of Abraham is already his son and heir and doesn’t need to keep the law to make it so, whatever false teachers may say. The Law was given as a temporary custodian to prepare the Jews for the coming of Christ, but it was through Christ that both Jew and gentile would receive the blessings God promised to Abraham. The Law was to bring men to Christ by showing them that not only couldn’t they keep its demands, but its very nature tempted them to do those very things it told them not to do. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2016 in Galatians

 

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