by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 2 Study # 2 October 17, 2010 Dayton, Texas (Download Audio)
(032)Thesis:The message to which the Galatians are moving is all about "grace" and its inherent ramifications.
Introduction:In our last study we looked into Paul's reaction to the Galatians' departure from God and saw that it was something he had not seen before and that it was a doctrine-based abandonment of God as a Person.
This evening we are going to get into some of the issues of the "doctrine".
I. Our First Consideration: Doctrines Believed Have Consequences.
A. At the very root of "personality" are three critical matters.
1. What a person "loves" will totally dominate the way a cause/effect universe affects that person.
2. What a person "believes" will subsequently dominate the experiences of that person.
3. What a person "does" stands between his/her Love/Faith complex and how the universe subsequently visits results upon that person.
B. At the heart of Paul's charge is the fact that "being removed" from God has its roots in a failure of love and faith and the consequences in respect to the experience of Life are significant.
C. What a person "believes" matters in a gazillion ways.
II. Our Second Consideration: Definitions Are Inescapably Interlinked.
A. Paul initially identifies the critical concept by referring to "the One Who called you by grace".
B. Because all truth is interlinked, how a person perceives "grace" will govern the whole of that person's consequent experience.
C. The major areas of impact regarding one's perception of "grace" are two: how one responds to the call to repentance and how one responds to the encouragement to believe.
1. Mark 1:15 tells us that Jesus' message was "...repent and believe the gospel".
a. In our current study, Paul claims that "the Gospel" is essentially a message of "grace" that "summons" a person to union with God.
b. In the Galatian situation, the inner realities were not being disputed.
1) There is no denial that God is "living" and that union with Him will, ipso facto, result in the experience of Life.
2) There is no denial that Jesus is God's Christ and that He did the work of redemption.
3) There is no denial that "faith" in Jesus as the Christ results in the forgiveness of sins and the grant of Life forever.
c. The Galatian problem is, as Paul describes it, a complete subversion of these inner realities by way of a redefinition of the critical "methodological" terms.
1) "Grace" is being "rebranded".
2) "Repentance" is being "rebranded".
3) "Faith" is being "rebranded".
2. Our consideration of "another gospel" is focused upon "grace" and "faith".
a. "Repentance" is not a major theme in Galatians by terminology.
b. "Grace" is the major thesis of Galatians, but primarily as a conceptual umbrella for the restoration of the meaning of "faith" (a word that is used 25 times in this letter in various forms).
1) We have already seen that, at root, "grace" is God's refusal to consider one's actions when deciding to act on one's behalf.
2) We have also already seen that all "Christian" theological systems incorporate the words "grace" and "faith", but, obviously, they do not mean the same thing in those systems.
III. Our Third Consideration: the Issues Involved in Biblical Faith.
A. The first issue: faith's ultimate object (God, not man).
B. The second issue: faith's actual content (Promise, not demand).
C. The third issue: faith's subsequential impact (Participation with God -- i.e., "works").
D. The fourth issue: faith's necessary context (Significant repercussions in respect to the "love" of the one being addressed).
E. The fifth issue: faith's essential identity (Cessation of resistance).
F. The sixth issue: faith's roots (Divine persuasion).