For Freedom (2)

Our freedom in Christ isn’t always used by us in liberating ways. Part of that is because living free isn’t anywhere near as easy as it sounds. Many people equate living a liberated life with essentially doing whatever they want to do. That’s nonsense and Paul says so in Galatians 5:17 when he writes “youContinue reading “For Freedom (2)”

For Freedom (1)

Freedom is a word that has been appropriated over the years to every imaginable cause and issue—from noble pursuits such as the deliverance of people from injustice and oppression, to not-so-noble causes like recreational drug use, abuse of natural resources, aborting the unborn and selling the body parts . . . well, you get theContinue reading “For Freedom (1)”

Slaves, Sonship and the Spirit (2)

Life for both the Jews and the Gentiles outside of Christ was bondage in many ways, but Paul speaks of them being under the “elemental spiritual forces” (Galatians 3:3, 9) which he characterizes as “weak and miserable” (v. 9). But when the time is ripe, God sends His Son who fully subjects Himself to theContinue reading “Slaves, Sonship and the Spirit (2)”

Slaves, Sonship and the Spirit (1)

Paul will tell the Galatians in 4:1ff that sons (who are minors) and slaves have a couple of things in common: neither are currently experiencing an inheritance and both are subject to others. With this, he continues to build the case that he began in 3:19ff (that Jewish life under the Torah was about preparationContinue reading “Slaves, Sonship and the Spirit (1)”

Legalism or Nationalism in Galatians? (3)

If Paul’s letter to the Galatians is aimed at refuting Jewish Christians who are attempting to nationalize the gospel rather than introduce an individual legalism, then why does Paul regularly introduce arguments that sound legalistic (2:15-16, 3:10-12, 5:1-4)? I’ve dealt with 2:15-16 in a previous post here, so let me address his remarks in 3:10-12. PartContinue reading “Legalism or Nationalism in Galatians? (3)”

Legalism or Nationalism in Galatians? (2)

We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not justified by the works of law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, becauseContinue reading “Legalism or Nationalism in Galatians? (2)”

Legalism or Nationalism in Galatians? (1)

The problem the churches of Galatia were experiencing wasn’t a thorough-going legalism (trusting in their own works to save them)—it was a warped nationalism. They had been swayed by those had who appeared not long after Paul left the region into thinking that the only way they (Gentile disciples) could fully experience Jewish blessings wasContinue reading “Legalism or Nationalism in Galatians? (1)”

Galatians and Plus One Thinking

Galatians is a fire truck racing to a five-alarm fire. It’s an ambulance speeding to the site of a terrible accident. It’s a police car hurrying to the scene of a crime. Most of all, Galatians is a wake-up call for some disciples who are asleep at the wheel and heading for a disaster of the worst kind. TheContinue reading “Galatians and Plus One Thinking”

Bone Setting and Perspective

Paul’s admonition that “each one should carry their own load” (Galatians 6:5) occurs in a strong relational context. Since 5:1 he’s been developing a picture of what it means to live as people who have been liberated by Christ. The freest people in the world are not those who do whatever they want to—that’s theContinue reading “Bone Setting and Perspective”

Paul and his Critics

It doesn’t take any talent to be critical, does it? The world is full of flawed human beings so for those who are of the mindset, it’s always open season. And as one person noted about such people—“They can find fault like there’s a reward for it.” But not all critics fall into this category.Continue reading “Paul and his Critics”