It has been said the Paul's conversion from Persecutor of Christianity to Apostle of Christ is all the proof we need to establish the resurrection of Jesus. It truly is amazing that the behavior of a highly educated, highly placed, highly esteemed person such as Paul could change so dramatically overnight. A practicing Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, a member of the ruling body of Israel, the Sanhedrin, educated by one of the top teachers of the day, Gamaliel, a Doctor of Law, advisor to the Sanhedrin, Paul wasn't some off-center, shade-tree ruffian. That's why it's incredible that this type of man could so easily be "taken in" by the Christian message. We are vitually forced to accept Paul's conversion experience on the road to Damascus, and the subsequent three year period during which many scholars agree that he was taught personally by the resurrected Christ.
Another bit of intrinsic evidence of Christ's teaching Paul is Paul's interpreting of the Old Testament. More than any other Bible writer, Paul quotes and interprets the Old Testament. Direct quotes by all the other authors only totals thirty-eight or so, whereas Paul quotes the Old Testament one hundred twenty-one times directly, and at least fifty more times indirectly. However did Paul come to know the connections between the New and Old? The Disciples were with Jesus for three and half years, listening to his teaching, and still couldn't believe that he was going to die; mostly didn't really understand he was the Messiah. But Paul again and again reveals the "mysteries" of the Old Testament, telling us that the Law was only a schoolmaster, and the Feast days only a shadow of things to come. How'd he find out all that stuff? He was taught by Jesus in the desert for three years..
We need to take a look at Paul's mission. In verse 15 of Acts 9, Ananias is told by God that Paul is to "bear my name before": 1-the Gentiles, 2-and kings, 3- and the children of Israel. Then in the twenty-second chapter, verse twenty-one, God tells Paul that He will send him "far hence unto the Gentiles." His mission, in that regard, is well documented. Lastly, in Acts 26:17 Paul tells King Agrippa that Christ told him that He was sending him to the Gentiles.
Mainly what we must see in Paul's mission is that he was not sent to the Jews. So when Acts 9:15 mentions "children of Israel", we must reconcile that with the other verses AND the record of Paul's journeys. We know that the Holy Spirit wouldn't let him go anywhere except on his given mission. So, what does the word "Israel": mean? It means the non-Jew Israelites.
The briefest study of the
will show that Paul went to all the places where the Celts and Scythians went; even to Spain and England, as is shown by the
29th Chapter of Acts. or
Paul in Britain
on this site. If you can't wait for Paul's page to be completed, you may want to read R.W. Morgan's "Did the Apostle Paul Visit Britain." You may also want to cross reference to
The Royal House of Britain
where you'll find Paul's and Jesus' blood ties to the British Royal family.
Simply stated, Paul was to bring the Gospel to the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel. And you may remember Jesus' statement in Matthew 15:24 that he was not sent.....but for the lost sheep of the House of Israel, not the House of Judah. If Jesus was sent for the House of Israel, the Lost Tribes, then why wouldn't he send Paul to those very folks?
My intent is not to give you a commentary, but the importance of Galatians and Paul deserve more than the study method alone; keys words, trans-substitution and reduction. I would like to establish Paul's credibility through his life and historical events, and bring understanding of Paul's message to the Galatian church, and us. Luther said he was married to the book of Galatians. It is the book of Freedom. One has called it the Magna Carta of Christian Liberty. Starts to sound puffed up, huh? But Galatians was a key player in the reformation; that swept the "world." It set a lot of people free. My Bible dictionary says it is a "most commanding epistle, one of Paul's greatest.
Our next consideration brings us right back to the Lost Tribe again. Who was the book written to? From what is the word Galatian derived?
The Galatians were the Gauls who had done a one eighty over in France and came back to the place of their original relocation by the Assyrians some 700 years before; under the Black Sea. They were probably in on the sack of Rome. The Goths were their direct cousins, anyway. In fact, I've read that there are some who say that Paul was really writing to the Gauls in France. I mention this to firmly establish that the Galatians were Gauls. They were part of the House of Israel.
A FASCINATING NOTE:
By 53 AD, the French Galatians were 15 years into the Gospel as a result of
Joseph of Arimathea's
British missionaries sent to France, in 38 AD, and Philip staying there before that.
To really get a broader perspective on Galatians, let's take a look at why Paul wrote this letter. Let's take the words out of Paul's mouth.
- Gal 1:6-7 Galatians are removed from Paul's gospel by perverts
- Gal 3:1 Galatians have been bewitched out of obeying the truth
- Gal 4:17 Perverts try to separate the Galatians from Paul to themselves
- Gal 4:29 Legalists are persecuting faithing Galatians.
- Gal 5:7-8 Galatians are hindered from obeying the truth
- Gal 6:2-3 Danger that the Galatians were thinking too highly of themselves
- Gal 6:12-13 Legalists desired a fair show in the flesh, and glory in the Galatian's flesh
My Scofield notes say that Galatians is a "vindication of the Gospel of God's Grace from any admixture of law-conditions." Among the listed purposes in my bible Dictionary are: to counter the legalist's message, affirm his, Paul's, apostleship, and prove the case for a "new creature", and against circumcision and law keeping. Other puposes have been said to be to counter Jewish Christian's claim that the Gentile converts must be circumcised, and to prevent Christianity from becoming a sect of Judaism.
Now let's move on to the study. As in Romans, I looked up all the words and selected the ones important to the understanding of the passage. I then replaced the key words with the definitions; what I call trans-substitution. From this form, each passage was reduced to a short paragraph of it's main concepts. Lastly, this paragraph was whittled down to one sentence. Each of these chapter "sentences" were reduced finally to one statement , the book reduction. I'm not going to include all the key words for each chapter. That would be too cumbersome. But I will include the passage reduction for this whole book.
Key words for chapter one:
- v7-pervert: 3344 (3326/4762 )-to turn across, transmute, corrupt
- v8- accursed: 331-ban, excommunicate
- v 11-certify:1107-to make known
- v13-conversation: 391-behavior
- v14-profited: 4298 to advance
- v14- equals: 4915-co-aged; alike in years
- v13-destroyed: 4199-to ravage
- v1-5 ==Paul, sent by Christ and God, personally, to Galatia. Jesus, on God's word, died to rescue us.
- v6-10 ==It's astonishing that you've been transported to a gospel of ones who twist the back-self forward. Preaching other than ours is excommunicate. I don't try to please men.
- v11-12 ==My gospel came personally from Jesus
- v13-14 ==You know I persued and ravaged the church above my co-aged fellows.
- v15-19== After Christ appeared to me, I went to Arabia. After three years, I came back to Damascus and thence to Jerusalem. I saw Peter and James.
- v20-24== God knows I don't lie. I preached in Asia Minor. They heard of my work in Judea and glorified God.
Jesus died for us. Preaching other than ours is excommunicate. My gospel came personnally from Jesus. Christ appeared to me three years in Arabia. God knows I don't lie.
Jesus personally taught me that he died for us.
This is the double-crux of chapter one. Paul's credentials, and his message.
Key words for chapter two:
- false(brethren)--5569==pretended associate
- unawares--3920==smuggled in
- privily--3922==come in alongside; supervene stealthily
- bring/bondage 2615==enslave utterly
- withdrew--5288==withhold under (out of sight)
- dissembled--4942==act hypocritically with
- dissimulation--5272==acting under; deceit
- frustrate--114==set aside, neutralize, violate
Six of the above are of unique usage in the New Testament. This often happens due to the criteria of the King James translators. They often didn't want to repeat a word, so changed it, and thereby corrupted the original.
- v1-5 After 14 years, the Spirit led me to go to Jerusalem to tell the leaders my gospel message. False Christians, smuggled in, seeing Titus was uncircumcised, tried to make him submit, but I wouldn't allow it.
- v6-10 These "pilllars" could add nothing to my message. They saw I was spirit-led and sent us back to the gentiles, asking that we send them offerings.
- v11-14 Later at Antioch, for the sake of the gospel, I faced Peter down for preaching the Law in front of the Jamesites, but living "free" when alone.
- v15-16 The works of the Law won't justify, only by believing/faithing in the faithing of Christ.
- v17-19 Because we're sinners, doesn't make Jesus a minister/agent of sin. If I turn back to the Law, it's my fault, because I start out dead to the Law.
- v20 I'm dead with Christ, but he lives in me, making me alive again with his faithing.
- v21 Righteousness by the Law means Christ wasn't necessary. Therefore, his very existance precludes more Law-keeping.
I told the Jerusalem leaders my gospel and kept them from circumcising Titus. They couldn't refute my message. I faced down Peter for preaching Law, but not living it. Faithing Justifies. I'm to blame if I turn back to the Law. I live through Jesus' faithing. Christ's very existance precludes lawkeeping.
Jerusalem couldn't change my message. Faithing Justifies and gives us Christ's life.
Before we get into the mechanics of chapter three, we must consider the statement made by Paul in all three of his most important letters. "The just shall live by faith." This is a direct quote from Habakkuk 2:4. This statement seems so self-evident that hardly anyone understands it. We blythely put our own meanings on those few words, and err. It's funny. The three words that make up the whole thought are not what they seem. Faith is not faith, just is not just and live is not live. Here's a small study of those three words.
JUST-H6662==righteous(man)--be right, cleanse, justify, turn to righteousness
LIVE--H2421[prim. root]==to live--keep alive, give life, nourish, quicken, restore, revive, save, be whole
FAITH-H530==faith(ful,-ly,-ness), steady, truly--build up, be faithful (a long time), trust, turn to the right.
As you can see, our usual definitions of these words is woefully wanting. Just isn't justice, it's righteous. Live isn't a way of life, our practices, our daily routine, it's to gain life, give life, to be revived (notice that the life comes from outside us). And faith, of course, isn't some belief we hold, it's an action that we do, be steady, true, trusting, faithful to something.
This verse would be better read, "The righteous man will gain life, by his faithing." Not at all how it reads to our modern ear, is it? If Paul thought enough of this statement to repeat it three times, we should at least have a good understanding of what he meant, not what we think.
A matter of great importance in connection with this verse, is the establishment, in the Old Testament, of "faith" as a verb. This provides a firm foundation for faithing, by confirming the active quality of the Greek word pistis, which is translated "faith". We now have "adequate witness" to God's intention to give salvation for trusting acts; rather than religious acts that require no trust.
I'm sorry to say that James is just plain wrong when he says, "faith without works is dead". This bastian is what holds many self-righteous, hypocritical, Fundamentalist Christians up to the light of reality. Why, I've met some that wouldn't even have to be in the light to be known. I grew up with that kind of thinking. It's interesting that the more fundamental denominations say two contradictory things. They say that Catholics aren't even Christians, often sightings the excesses of legalism, like saying 200 Hale Mary's. Then they tell you in the next sentence, "faith without works is dead." Strange things come out of ignorance, huh? It's a good thing we're doing a little homework right here!
Christianity isn't living your life by principles of fairness, while believing in God.
Christianity is being given life, quickened, restored, revived, saved and made whole, by the trusting acts (at risk) we do, based on our belief in something God has said. Quite a difference. The devil's substitute, above, promises nothing, as does he. The proper interpretation promises Everything!! As does God!
Key words for chapter three:
- v1-bewitched--940==to malign, to fascinate
- v3-perfect--2005==to fulfill further
- v5-miracles--1411 force (dunamis)
- v13-redeemed--1805 to buy up; ransom
- v14-promise--1860==an announcement
- v19-ordained--1299 arrange thoroughly.
- v22-concluded--4788==inclose, shut up
- v1-5 Who turned you from your persuasion in Christ's crucifixion? You received the spirit through faith, you're not now completed by works of the flesh. All your experience says you were given the spirit by heeding the faith message.
- v6-10 We are like Abraham, heirs of promise for faithing. God gave Abraham a clue to justification by faith when He said that his descendancy would bless the world. Faithers get that blessing, Law keepers are cursed.
- v11-14 God said we gain life by faithing. Law keeping is not faithing. Christ took our curse on himself so when we faithe we'd get Abraham's blessing.
- v15-18 A promise is final, and can't later be legislated away. God promised Abraham. Inheritance can't come from the Law and the promise.
- v19-22 The Law given by angels and Moses, helps, not opposes God's promises, by showing us our sinful nature. God judges everyone as sinful so all can get the blessing for faithing, because of Jesus' faithing.
- v23-29 Until faithing came, the Law was our teacher. If you "put on" Christ, you are all heirs of Abraham's promise, and one, in Christ. There is no difference between us.
You received the Spirit through faithing, not works. Faithers get Abraham's promises, Law keepers are cursed. We gain life by faithing. Jesus took on our curse. God's promise to Abraham can't be legislated away. We're all sinners, but get Abraham's blessing through Jesus. We're heirs, and all alike in Christ.
You received the Spirit through faithing. We gain life by faithing. We're heirs in Christ.
- v1-7 We were locked into the fundamental order of the world, like a child under a Nanny, until God, as Jesus, came to reclaim us. Now, as sons, God puts His Spirit is us, making us a natural heir.
- v8-11 Now that you know God, how can you return to the rituals of (idolotry?) law-keeping. Was my work for nothing?
- v12-15 Remember how my infirmity meant nothing to you? You treated me like an angel, or Jesus, and would have ripped out an eye for me. What happened to all that?
- v16-18 An I your enemy because I warn you that the Judaizers only want your scalp for their belt? Zeal for good/truth is good.
- v19-20 You're just kids, who need a good talking to.
- v21-28 You who would be saved by the Law, see that God gives by promise, not Law, through the story of Abraham's two sons, one bond, the other promised. God's inheritance went to the son of promise. They also typify legalistic Jerusalem of now, and free Jerusalem from heaven; which is mother of the divorced ten tribes, who fulfilled God's promise to Abraham of a multitude of descendants.
- v29-31 Like Isaac, we children of promise, will be persecuted by legalists. In freedom, cast out the legalists.
Jesus reclained us, God put His spirit in us. Believe me as you used to. The Judaizers want your scalp. Abraham's two sons typify legalism and faithing by pormise. Cast out legalists, they persecute faithers.
Jesus reclaimed us, God put He Spirit in us. Cast out legalists.
- v1,2-6 Stand free in faithing. Circumcision negates Christ and obligates one to the whole Law. By faithing, we expect righteousness. Faithing is all that counts.
- v7-10 It's not God who keeps you from the truth. Stay with the truth. Your troubler will be judged.
- v11-12 I'm persecuted for preaching the offensive message of the cross. I wish they'd cut the whole thing off.
- v13-18 Don't use freedom for license, but benefit your neighbor. Contention will only consume you all. Be led by the Spirit. It nullifies our obligation to the Law, and fights our natural excesses.
- v19-21 Practicers of fleshly works don't make it in.
- v22-24 There is no Law against the workings of the Spirit. Christ's followers understand and overcome their natural excesses.
- v25-26 We gain life from the Spirit. Let's be Spirit-led. Be nice.
Stand free in faithing. Lawkeeping negates Christ. Faith is all that counts. Stay with the truth, The message of the cross is offensive. Don't use freedom for license. Be led by the Spirit. Practicers of fleshly works don't make it in. Christ's flollowers overcome natural excesses. We gain life from the Spirit.
Faithe. It's all the counts. Freedom is not license. Be Spirit-led, It gives us life.
I feel another comment is needed for chapter six; specifically verses six, seven and eight. It would seem that anyone who has ever heard of the Bible can quote "sow what you reap." We have only to clarify the context in that case. But let's take verse six first. That's the one that says, "Give all your good stuff to the Pastor."
I'm sure you're aware that the giving of money to the Church/Pastor/Teacher is a very sensitive area. Number one, I have the right to keep my giving private. Don't be looking over my shoulder while I write out a check! Number two, we're not talking about a sheet of T.P., here. Money is valuable stuff. Have a little respect for what it takes to have money. And while I'm at it, number three, I worked damn hard for that money, my money. You've heard that guy talk.
That mindset comes from poor teaching on giving. From fearful preachers who are afraid of not getting enough in the collection; unless there's some special demand or project. Giving with NO strings attached is very hard to foster. As a result, the devil has been very effective in covering God's tracks. So much so that
we'll easily take the word "communicate" from verse 6, and think of it as writing letters, or maybe prayer or "Good job, Pastor!". Once we've made that leap of non-faith, it's easy to say that the preacher is preaching about all good things, which roll up into our being saved. Well it just tain't so.
Don't ask me why those King James translators chose to use the word "communicate" for the word that Paul used only once, koinoneo, to share in common with. When "share" is substituted , we immediately see the meaning of "all good things." We're supposed to share all our good things with our Teacher. Not send him Christmas cards.
How high a value must those good things have? The Old Testament outlines the three tithes, and manditory offerings, like first fruits. If you do the reasearch and math, you'll find that your portion to give back to God will be up near twenty-five percent. Now that's a lot of sharing. But we're promised eternal life through the Spirit for faithing our money to our teacher of God.
And that brings us to the true context of that other verse that's so often used to beat us sinners over the head. [He stood to his full height , virtually towering over the congregation, sucked in an enormous volume of air, and held it just long enough to make his face turn crimson. Then, shaking his whole arm at the petrified people in the pews, he shouted, "Gawwd, is not mockkk't." Whats'ever ye sow, that shall ye (here he pauses for effect), surely reeeeep!"] But he wasn't taking about giving. He was on his usual fornication kick.
These three verses tell us that we are to support the teaching of the gospel with our valuables, and gain eternal life.
Key words for chapter six:
- v1-restore 2675--complete thoroughly
- v6-taught 2727--sound down (a clue to what true teaching looks like)
- v6-communicate 2841--to share
- v15-creature 2937--original formation
- v16-walk 4748--to march in (military) rank; conform
- v17-marks 4742--a mark (piercing) of ownership. (a slave brand)
- v1-5 Humbly tolerate other's temptations. Don't kid youself, there's no free lunch.
- v6-8 Support your teacher. You get what you give. Giving gives eternal life.
- v9-10 Faint not. Help faithers.
- v11-14 ! ! They want you circumcised because they fear James. Though they don't keep the Law, they get glory by you keeping it. I glory only in Jesus. He saved the world.
- v15-16 God blesses those working for spiritual change, not physical.
- v17-18 I'm free. I carry Jesus' Brand. Peace.
Tolerate other's temptations, you could fall. Support your teacher. Giving gives eternal life. Faint not. Glory only in Jesus, He saved the world. God blesses spiritual change. Free-men carry Jesus' brand.
Succor backsliders. Supporting you teacher brings eternal life. Jesus, through the Spirit, makes mankind free.
PRELIMINARY BOOK REDUCTION
To arrive at a book reduction, I went over the chapter reductions and underlined the most important points. This is how the preliminary book reduction came out:
Jesus died for us. Faithing justifies. We gain the Spirit and life by faithing. Faithe, it's all that counts. Supporting your Teacher brings eternal life. Jesus makes men free.
FINAL BOOK REDUCTION
Faithing gives justification, God's Spirit, and eternal life. Supporting your Teacher is faithing.
MORE! ! ?
Faithing saves (knowing the truth). Give (activating it).
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