Chapter 1 speaks of how Paul was called to be God’s disciple not by man, but by Jesus Christ himself. He also talks about how he was given all he teaches on by the Holy Spirit and not man. He taught for 3 years before going to those who had walked with Christ. He also talks about how he formerly tried to destroy Christians, but now through his glorious change through Christ he is bringing people to the Lord because they see who he was and who he now has become. He notes that it is not him but God. Paul also says in 1:10 that he is not trying to win people over for himself, but for God. In a way he makes us check our motives. Are we acting the way we act so we can be called the most righteous, or so that we can be righteous not in the eyes of others, but yet the eyes of God?
Chapter 2 speaks about how Paul went again to Jerusalem with two others to speak to the Gentiles. The Jews believed in order to be a Christian you must be circumcised, however Paul refuted this. This could in a sense be looked on as someone whom which Christ brought out of alcoholism or drug abuse, porn addiction, or any sins of the flesh, is able to reach those who are under the curse. In a sense when Paul refutes Cephas, he does so rightly. Cephas was trying to say to my knowledge that in order to reach those who had the addiction one must go through it as well. Paul is telling him this is not true. God has brought each of us through certain circumstances no matter what they are so that we can help others through the same things later down the road. Nothing that happens to us happens in vain.
January 30, 2009 @ 7:13 AM
Chapter 3 Paul is speaking to the Galatians about their faith. They are trying to judge it on works, rather than on how they gained it. Many times I wonder if I try and mark off the checklist so that I am doing all that I need to so that I can enter heaven. Is not that already granted to me in faith? He also speaks how Christ has redeemed us from the law. We do not have to live by it, but merely accept Him. We no longer have to make sacrifices for our sins. The greatest sacrifice has already been made. He also speaks of Abraham’s seed. Notice the singular form. He says this because it confirms the prophecy of the Old Testament that the one who saves will come from Abraham’s seed, not seeds. This is why it is important that we are able to trace Jesus’ lineage. It justifies Paul, not that he needs this, but to some degree he does because of the way humans can be. He also speaks of how once we receive Christ we lose our identity. Let me explain more. He says we are no longer Jew nor Gentile, man nor woman….etc. We lose our identity in that manner because once we believe through faith, we are transformed to Abraham’s seed through the promise of Christ.
January 31, 2009 @ 9:23 AM
Chapter 4 In the 1st verse Paul uses the analogy that the blood heir is no different from a slave. It is true that the blood heir owns everything, however through Christ, and in His eyes they are the same. He also talks how we at first were merely slaves who were under someone else, until the time came when we were set free by Christ. In this sense, we are adopted into the kingdom of God, and have claim to the same as the heirs through God. In the 8th verse, Paul speaks to them about how before they knew God they were enslave, yet did not really have a god. Now however that they Have a God, they seem to be turning to other things that pull them away from God. This makes Paul question if all that he is doing is in vein….? In the 12th verse Paul is explaining to them that he once was like them. Yet through Christ he was brought up out of that, and even in his weakness was able to be used by God. He then goes on to talk about how thy trusted and had loyalty to him through Christ when he first went to them, now however they have allowed others to make them believe that he is the enemy. In the end, Paul tells them he is in great pain for them. He uses the analogy of childbirth to make them see how much pain. He seems frustrated with them, which is understandable. When we are working on someone, trying to bring them to Christ, we sometimes tend to get frustrated as well. This is ok, but we must not allow that to turn into us allowing them to change us. Many times this can happen. We pour ourselves into them so much that we often lose focus on what we were there for, and before we know it, we end up in the same pit as them. We must always be aware.
In the 21st chapter Paul talks about Sarah ad Hagar and the two covenants made unto them. This could be very unclear because it talks about how we are sons of the free woman, and not of the slave. I think what Paul is trying to get us to see here is that the only for us to be in fellowship with Christ is to become free from the bondage of all that is around us. If we allow ourselves to be held down by the law, that is what we become a slave under. I think that this could be translated in modern times as one who has all these little gods. For example, the man who does his quite time so that he can mark that off his list for the day. Instead of doing it for God, he is enslaved to doing good works in order to go to heaven, yet in the end it will be him that will not make it for there is only one way to make it to Heaven, and it is by faith alone. So we must not allow ourselves to become slaves of anything, and remember this.
February 1, 2009 @ 7:42 AM
Chapter 5 Ah perhaps one of my favorites. Here Paul is speaking about how since Christ has freed us from sin, it would be purely stupid for us to fall back into it. It would be as a slave who was set free who keeps coming back to the master so he can keep being a slave. Doesn’t make since does it? He also speaks how no matter what you do, it isn’t deeds that allow us to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. It is through Faith, and Faith alone!!! There is no other way. If we go to church every day, and commit 40 hours of service each week that will not get us into the kingdom. I believe that all that is good if motives are right, but to merely believe that because you do those things you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven would be idiotic. We must remember this and make sure we are doing things for the right reasons.
He begins in verse 7 to talk about what sometimes leads us astray. Many times we are doing so well in Christ, then something leads us astray. What is it? Many times gods, yes gods. Whether it be the god of convenience…etc. the list goes on. We just “don’t have the time” to keep our spiritual life in check. (I am preaching to myself as well) We allow other things to get in the way and make our spiritual life fall. Many times we allow the busyness of life to do this. We would rather sleep that extra 15-20 minutes, but in the end what will that benefit us? He speaks that those things and people will pay in the end.
February 2, 2009 @ 8:15 AM
Chapter 5:16 I sense that Paul is telling us that we are bi-polar in a sense. Yes each and everyone of us. We are ruled by the flesh until we accept Christ, then we have the opportunity to be ruled by the Spirit, but as the scripture says, “A servant cannot serve two masters” we cannot allow the flesh and the Spirit to rule us because they are in a sense like the devil and angel on our shoulders from the old cartoons. The flesh is telling us one thing while the Spirit is saying another. We must not give into the flesh for it will always lead us astray. Just watch those cartoons. The little devil always causes trouble. That is so true for us. We try to do it on our own and fail miserably. If we did not need the Spirit do you honestly think Christ would have sent Him for us? We must and have to allow Him to control our lives.
The works of the Flesh will always get us in trouble. If you read 5:19 it gives you a list of what those things are. They will constantly bring us pain, and most of the time, have the potential to break the law. But if you read 5:22 it lists the fruit of the Spirit. There is no way that I could think of that these could even begin to cause a misdemeanor. They are only good, and bring goodness that will honor God. If we live by them, the outflow will be good. “From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks”. This is so true. What you put in is what you get out. We can try to hide from man what is in our hearts, but we will always fail in times of great stress. We can never hide these from God. We must concentrate on how to allow the Spirit to take control of our lives. Allow Christ to have our heart, and through the Spirit allow the cleansing to come.
Chapter 6 My bible titles this Carry One Another’s Burdens. Many times as Christians we fail. We fall. We all will. It is in that time that many times our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ do not do much to keep us from going by the wayside. Scripture commands us to not allow this to happen. It says it right here. We must pick up the fallen, and help them out. We must carry their burdens. In order for us to love God we must first love one another, for if you hate others, you hate God. So I believe in order for us to be in fellowship with God we must release those who may have done us wrong. In this same way we must help our brothers out with “a gentle spirit.” We don’t need to call them out harshly, yet with love. If we go pointing fingers, the other will get very offended, and their flesh will break out, and become angry. Instead we must do as Paul told us, and be gentle with them and help them through the time by carrying their burdens as well.
He also says that if a man tries to consider himself something he is not he is deceiving himself. I think this is where Humility comes in. For if we try to say we are the man, and we have it all figured out, and try to do it all on our own, we shall carry our burdens by our self. That is not what Christ had planned for us, or that one person would be the only one on this earth by themselves.
6:9 “ So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.” Perhaps one of my favorite verses. This is so very true How many times have you wanted to give up, because you knew it would be easier? I have been there many times. Before I was a Christian, I would rely on alcohol and drugs to ease my pains and sorrows. But they would come back after those things wore off. In the previous verses, Paul tells us that what we reap we will sow. This is so true. We must not give up on anything or anyone, and turn to what is easier, because most of the time that thing is a work of the flesh. Instead we must pursue what we know to be true, and what God has called us to do, because when you plant a seed you do not at that very minute reap a fruit. It takes time. If you water that seed, and take care of it and are patient with it you will reap a bountiful harvest. But there are certain circumstances that which we do not receive a harvest from the seed. So what do we do then? Give up? No! We must not give up for the conditions might not have been exactly right. You can chop down weeds and keep doing so forever, but until you get to the roots, they will remain there. This is true with the seeds we plant. Until the root is uprooted, we must not give up.
In the conclusion of this chapter and this book, Paul tells the Galatians that they must not listen to those who try to lead them astray for they are merely trying to destroy them, and they don’t even do the things to the fullest extent that they are trying to get you to do. Many times the people who try and get you to do bad things will always bail on you when the going gets tough, yet Christ will be there through it all, the good and the bad. This is true of our Christian brothers and sisters. We must all keep this in mind, and not give up. We must not allow anyone to go through a rough time by themselves. We must stick together.
Do not boast of the things you do for Christ. People will see them, and if they don’t it should not bother us, for if it does what is the real reason we were doing them? Was it to get recognition of doing them, or was it for Christ. That is the question we must ask ourselves. Is what I am doing glorifying God, or am I doing it to make myself better. Either way God will use it to the benefits of others, yet it will be ourselves that we betray, and cheat. We must always keep this in mind, for Satan will try and trick us into thinking we need recognition. I have been there, and am not proud of it. The only thing we can do is pray that we decrease so He can increase.