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 May 15, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: 2 Chronicles 18 – 20
Audio: 2 Chronicles 18 – 20

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Memory Verse of the Week

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.
Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?
—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
(2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV)

Galatians 1 (ESV)

Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— and all the brothers who are with me,

To the churches of Galatia:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

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— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.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. 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.

11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. 20 (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.

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Next: Galatians 2

Back: 2 Corinthians 13

This Post Has 10 Comments
  1. "There are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ."

    Just as when this was written, there are many people today who teach a different version of the gospel than what the Bible teaches. They add to it, take away from it, distort it, make up their own, or make it into something that resonates with them — makes them feel better, perhaps — instead of just believing and accepting what the Bible teaches.

    I know many who just can't accept God's beautiful, unearned, amazing grace, people who believe God couldn't possibly just forgive a man or woman based on faith in Jesus Christ alone, that God must expect us to do much more on our end, so they add works of various kinds to the gospel. "Do this, too, or you're not saved." 

    Then there are those who teach a gospel that doesn't require faith in Jesus Christ at all, but teach that one need only __________: perhaps be baptized, or repeat a prayer, walk an aisle, have an emotional experience during a worship service, have someone else pray for you, or any number of other "markers" we can point to as "evidence" to make us feel like we have been reconciled to God. Is it any wonder people "get saved" over and over again?

    The gospel as Jesus taught it is THE ONLY gospel ("good news") that we should listen to. It's not the gospel of a mere man. You have to believe what HE said about you and I, about God, and about Himself — about HIS life, HIS death, HIS resurrection, and HIS authority. You don't get to make up your own version and insert yourself in it. 

    But apart from the work and power of the Holy Spirit — and Jesus said that as well — the gospel as Jesus taught it is impossible to believe.  

    I'm so glad we're reading Galatians! 
     

     

  2. 11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 

     20 (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) 

     

    so people found it hard to believe that Jesus spoke to Paul? or they believe he is lying?

    1. Hi, Lydia – I think Paul here is reinforcing his apostleship to the Galatians and that as a former Pharisee, he knows firsthand the danger and damage of the "distorted" gospel they were believing. If anyone could see this was happening to them, it would be Paul.

    2. Hi, Lydia! ❤️ I’ve thought, because of where Paul makes this declaration, that he’s referring to his having not visited any of the apostles during that time except Peter and James. Not sure why that would be important to him to establish! 

  3. Why cant people just accept the Word for what it is.  Because you dont understand something does not give you the right to change it to suit you.  These are all God's teachings and we weren't there with Him, so how does any of us know what was said.  Thats where our faith and the Holy Spirit come in.  

    I am grateful for God's Word so that we can have a personal relationship with Him and do our very best to become more like Him and one day spend eternity blown away by Him.

    1. Hi, Bonnie – False teachers are very effective in leading people astray. That's why the charge for pastors and elders is to protect the flock of God from wolves in sheep's clothing. False teaching is not usually obvious.

      Glad you're joining us again for the Daily Bible Reading/Sharing!

    2. Hi, Bonnie! ❤️ I’m thankful God has protected His Word and given us the Holy Spirit so we can read it for ourselves and know what was really said and written as opposed to what someone might say was written. I was talking to a friend a few days ago who was surprised about a teaching in the Bible (about judging sin inside the church) and when I told her the letter it’s in, she asked if that letter is in the Old Testament (it’s not). She’s believed something wrongly her whole life, when the words are written there so clearly. It would’ve been so simple to read the Bible herself and know the truth. 😢 I’m not sure she even checked after we parted. It’s easier for people to continue to believe what they've become comfortable with instead of letting God’s Word speak. 

  4. 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. Galatians 1:6-7

    A Different (Distorted) Gospel

    When Paul writes that they are turning to a different gospel, he starts by saying they are actually deserting Christ Himself. You can't separate Christ from His gospel. 

    The word "deserting" (metatithēmi) means to transfer one’s allegiance.

    John Stott in his great book "The Message of Galatians" said,  "of soldiers in the army who revolt or desert, and of men who change sides in politics or philosophy."

    Stott, J. R. W. (1986). The Message of Galatians: Only one way (pp. 21–22). Leicester, England; Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

    The gospel is the good news that God in his infinite mercy has given undeserving sinners a way to be justified and that is by grace, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It's not because of anything we have done. We cannot earn it nor do we deserve it. It's by grace through faith alone. 

    So what was this different gospel the Galatians were guilty of following? It was obviously Judaizers who were teaching a gospel of works. 

    Paul writes about them in Acts 15:1, "But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, 'Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.'" 

    I found Philip Graham Ryken's commentary on this helpful:

    "The teachers who were getting Paul all hot and bothered were using the same terminology that he used. They were preaching salvation in Christ. All they wanted to do was take it a little further. Paul’s opponents were 'Christian-Jewish missionaries who had come to Galatia to improve or correct Paul’s gospel and to ‘complete’ his converts by integrating them fully into the heirs of Abraham through circumcision and by thus bringing them ‘under the law.’ ”

    The Judaizers wanted to add something to Paul’s gospel of free grace. “Yes, yes, what Paul preaches is fine,” they said, “as far as it goes. But we’ve been worshiping God for a long time, a lot longer than you Gentiles. In fact, we’ve been keeping the law of Moses for over a thousand years. And you know what Jesus said? He said that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. If you want the full gospel, you need to be circumcised in order to get it. This is what Gentiles have always had to do to become part of God’s people."

    Ryken, P. G. (2005). Galatians. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (p. 19). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

    Jesus said in Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

    To be "poor in spirit" means there is nothing of value in us, northing we bring to God, nothing that allows us to say we deserve salvation or God's grace. 

    The Jews thought they were deserving of salvation because they were God's chosen people. The fact they were Jews meant they deserved mercy from God in Christ and if others wanted to be saved, they had to become part of God's people through circumcision. 

     Today, there are many churches who distort the gospel of Christ. I don't know of any who distort it as the Galatians did with circumcision but many preachers preach a gospel that is anything like the gospel found in God's Word. It's either watered down and biblically unrecognizable or it is an oppressive, rules-based gospel that is anything but by grace, through faith. 

    While it's true that genuine faith produces spiritual fruit (including a motivation to become more like Christ in attitude and actions), those are attributes of faith, not things we do in order to be saved. 

    If we do not know what the Bible says, we will not know when a distorted gospel comes our way.

  5. Understanding the historical culture of the early church is important. For centuries, in order to know God, before the time of Christ, one had to align themselves with Israel and come under mosaic law. There was no other way. 

    Along comes Christ, his death and resurrection, and the gospel. Up until Acts 10, this was still thought to be true. In Acts 10, Peter is told to go to a Roman Centurion, Cornelius, and preach the gospel. This was the beginning of preaching to the 'end of the earth' spoken about in Acts 1:8. 

    Galatians is written about ten years later after Peter's meeting with Cornelius. Changing a world view does not occur overnight. 

    Also, we cannot dismiss spiritual warfare. As we learned in 2 Corinthians Satan and his messengers are active to harass believers. 

    Paul here in Galatians addresses the issues of the mosaic law and salvation by faith. Under mosaic law, you have to do stuff, such as circumcision, give sacrifices, observe Jewish festivals. I imagine 'doing' something may make a 'believer' feel like they have contributed something and feel better about themselves. While none of us struggle with placing ourselves under Jewish law, I suspect all of us like 'doing' things to make ourselves feel better in God's sight. 

    Now doing things for God is not wrong, we are saved for good works (Eph 2:10). But the motivation for God works is important – we don't do works to earn salvation, or to keep salvation. However, we do good works because of salvation. It is the evidence of genuine salvation. But none of my 'good' works, earns one credit point in the eyes of God for salvation. 

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