by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 4 Study # 1 December 1, 2013 Dayton, Texas (Download Audio)
(309)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".
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".