Address: 8071 Old Auburn Rd. Citrus Heights, CA 95610

Written by 

The Divine Gospel

Paul wrote Galatians right before Romans.  Galatians and Romans are companion letters – they go together.  This is like Paul.  Paul wrote his first two letters to the Thessalonians (1 & 2 Thessalonians), both from Corinth (51 AD) during his 2nd Missionary Journey (Acts 18:11).  They go together. Paul wrote his next two letters to the Corinthians (1 & 2 Corinthians), both in 55 AD on his 3rd Missionary Journey, the first from Ephesus (Acts 19:21), and the second from Philippi (Acts 20:1).  They go together.  Galatians and Romans are Paul’s 5th and 6th letters.  Paul wrote them during his winter in Corinth on his 3rd Missionary Journey (Acts 20:3; 55-56 AD).  Paul’s Prison Epistles (Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon & Philippians) and his Pastoral Letters (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus) also go together.

In Galatians, Paul defends the Gospel from an actual attack.  Galatians and Romans do differ.  Galatians is earlier.  Galatians is shorter.  Mostly, Galatians is Paul’s response to a very specific attack.  Although Romans warns about spiritual enemies (16:17-18), Paul never gets specific.  That is unlike Galatians.  In Galatians, Paul points to specific attackers with the strongest language.  He calls them ‘false brethren’ (2:4); says they ‘want to distort’ the Gospel (1:7); says they should be ‘accursed’ (1:8-9); describes their activity as ‘bewitching’ (3:1); says they only want a human following (4:17) and wishes they would physically ‘mutilate’ (‘emasculate’ ESV) themselves (6:12).  He calls those who follow them ‘foolish’ (3:1,3).

In Galatians, Paul is at his most serious.  A false Gospel cannot save.  That is why Paul is so concerned.  The genuine Gospel is the “power of God for salvation” (Romans 1:16).  A false Gospel is a surprise ticket to hell.  That is why Paul calls such a serious curse upon those who deliberately spread a false Gospel instead of a true one.  Those who do so are going to hell and are dragging as many as they can with them.  They are workers of the devil (John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 11:13), who have hijacked the Galatian bus and are driving it over a cliff.  The Galatians were making great spiritual progress (‘running well,’ 5:7), but had reversed course.  Paul wonders if they were ever saved (‘my children, with whom I am again in labor,’ 4:19).  He wishes to be sweet with them, but cannot (‘I wish to change my tone, but I am perplexed about you,’ 4:20).  The situation is too serious. Galatians is 911 call.

Paul defends himself, his Gospel, the glory of God and the spiritual health of his readers.  There is a saying in business: “if they don’t believe the messenger, they won’t believe the message” (The Leadership Challenge, Kouzes & Posner, 37).  Paul knew that.  He knew that in defending the Gospel, he would have to defend himself.  He must also expose the false teachers and their false Gospel.  From the very first verse, Paul stresses that the saving Gospel is not from men, nor did he get it from men – it is from heaven (1:1,12)!

Be a Paul: love, live, preach and protect the true Gospel!

Sun, Oct 25, 2015

The Divine Gospel