Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Galatians Study

I started a new Bible study on Galatians this week. I am taking it through the Appleton Alliance Church on Thursday mornings. I've never done an inductive Bible study on a book of the Bible before. This week we read chapter 1 and so far I LOVE it!
Each week we will be answering the same 6 questions:

1. What are three points you want to remember?

2. What does this passage say about God and/or His character?

3. What in this passage do you not understand or still have questions concerning?

4. What other insights do you have regarding these verses?

5. What has God revealed to you concerning your life in this passage?

6. What is one verse from this passage that spoke to you the most and why?

We are encouraged to read the portion of scripture on our own (without study helps, commentaries, etc.) and to answer the questions and then if we want to do more to go ahead and read the other stuff.

This week, reading chapter 1, the main theme that stuck out to me was in regards to what the church at that time was struggling with, which is addressed in almost all of the New Testament books and that was whether Gentiles needed to follow the Mosaic Law/Jewish Customs in order to be saved. In Galatians Paul refers to this as "a different gospel" verse 6 (which was being taught by others). Though this has transformed itself through the ages, the church as a whole still struggles with this concept. It may not be the Mosaic Law, but legalism is legalism. (Definition of Legalism: Strict, literal adherence to the law or to a particular code, as of religion or morality)

We are easily blinded into believing that we are required to follow strict guidelines of rules and religious beliefs in order to be saved or "earn" God's love. This is simply not true, and while few churches are bold enough to preach legalism from the pulpit many Christians are struggling with it and portraying it to others. (This is not to say that I blame the church leaders specifically for this concept, it is the church as a whole that struggles and relays this message to one another)

Our salvation CANNOT be earned, no matter how "good" we are or how well we follow the 10 commandments, it is not our obedience that is getting us to heaven, into the presence of our King. It is through grace alone that we receive that gift!!

To understand this is so crucial to the heart. When we can understand, REALLY understand that God requires nothing from us except accepting this gift, we will understand the reality of the sacrifice that He made by sending His Son. By believing that we can somehow EARN God's love is prideful and is a lie! This lie is meant to seperate us from God's love, we cannot possibly grasp God's love and believe this lie.

Galations 1:6-10

"(6) I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel (7) not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. (8) But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed {also translated "eternally condemned"}. (9) As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (10) For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ."

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