Friday, November 15, 2013

Galatians. .Week 2. .Discussion

Some questions were asked in our email bible study group about the role of Peter vs. Paul. .
The answers were interesting enough that I thought you all might enjoy seeing the information as well. .
According to the research that I did. .
Peter was born in about 1 BC (Jesus was born at about 6 BC and died at 30 AD). Paul was born about 5 AD (you will note from Jesus’ lifespan, that Paul would have been born NOT 5 years after Jesus died, but somewhere along the time that Jesus was 10 or so. .
there is some rationale to the way the time was recorded. .
but I don’t have that information to share today). .
both men died around 64-67 AD, depending on what source you use.
Though Paul was martyred before Peter was. .The church started in 30 AD (note that to be the same year Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected). .at the festival of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was finally given to Jesus’ disciples. .as the apostles began to preach, 3000 people became believers in Jesus that same day. .thus creating the first church.  

Peter and Paul weren’t really that far apart in age. .
but their lives were nearly as different as night and day. .
and God’s intent in using them for His glory was suited to each man’s personalities and spiritual giftings from God. .
just like the way God will use me for His glory. .
will be different than the way He uses each of you. .
He had their paths marked out before they had even breathed one breath of air (psalm 139:16)

So. .keeping in mind. .
that God has a plan for each and every person. .
from the beginning of time with Adam and Eve. .
through the prophets of the Old Testament. .
to the apostles and teachers from the New Testament. .
right on down to each and every person that has lived on the earth since then. .
we need to be mindful that. .
ONLY God knows the answer about who is chosen for what mission and why. .
Peter and Paul both saw Jesus Christ. .
Peter while Christ lived. .
and Paul after a resurrected Christ appeared to him. .
and both men learned from Him. .
and they walked their lives abiding in Him. .
listening to His teachings. .
and obeying His commands. .
and then taking that into the world. .
by going where He led them. .
teaching to whom He gave them. .
and leaving us written documents that we can live by in our generation!!
I worked on this question for quite a while last month. .
and had a lot of scripture verses ready to go based on the studies I had done. .
but after my kids guilted me into a game of football for a couple hours (I HATE football) all I could come back to when I sat down with the thoughts again. .
was this!!
Galatians 2:6 says this. .
 And the leaders of the church had nothing to add to what I was preaching. (By the way, their reputation as great leaders made no difference to me, for God has no favorites.) 

And Paul also tells us in Romans 2:11
God does not show favoritism.

And again in Colossians 3:23-25
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done.
For God has no favorites. 

And even PETER says in Acts 10:34-35. .
Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35 In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. 

And again in 1 Peter 1:17 Peter says. .
And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.”
Finally. .even waaaaayyyy back in the beginning. .
Moses records in Deuteronomy 10:17 for those people. .
and thus OUR people. .
For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed
God chose Peter to do the work GOD had for him. .
and God chose Paul to do the work He had for him. .
they didn’t question Him. .
they just did it. .
and took NO glory for the work that they performed. .
but gave ALL the glory to Jesus Christ. .their Lord!!
(Galatians 2:8 8 For the same God who worked through Peter as the apostle to the Jews also worked through me as the apostle to the Gentiles.)

 So it doesn’t really matter to US why one preached to one crowd and the other preached to another audience. .GOD gave them duties the way He saw fit. .and they glorified HIM through it all. .

Additionally. .
they both recognized their sinful natures. .and God’s redemption of that. .
which made them acceptable for God’s work. .
Peter was recorded saying as he fell at the feet of Jesus in Luke 5:8b
“Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” 

And Paul recorded in 1 Timothy 1:15-17
 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.  But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.  All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.

Both men were recorded reminding people that they were ONLY men. .
sinful, human people. .like all other sinful, human people. .
Check these scriptures. .
Peter says to Cornelius in Acts 10:25-26. .
 As Peter entered his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him (Peter). 26 But Peter pulled him up and said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!”
And Paul reminded the church in Corinth that we SHOULD be following Jesus Christ. .
and not mere men! And I think this one scripture sums it up perfectly. .
1 Corinithians 3:4-11 When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?  After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.  I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.  It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.  The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 9 For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.  Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.

I think it’s important to recognize that both men explained to their audiences WHERE their knowledge came from. .
stay with me for a few more verses. .
 1 Thessalonians 2:13 notes Paul reminding those people that the message he preached was DIRECTLY relayed to him from Jesus!!  
 Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe. 
 Paul also said in 1 Corinithians 14:36-38
 Or do you think God’s word originated with you Corinthians? Are you the only ones to whom it was given? If you claim to be a prophet or think you are spiritual, you should recognize that what I am saying is a command from the Lord himself. But if you do not recognize this, you yourself will not be recognized.

And Peter said in 2 Peter 1:20-21
 First of all, you should know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 
 And in Acts 5:29 he told the high priests 
 But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.”

So in essence. .
both men learned from Jesus Christ. .
they did the work that the Lord set aside for each of them. .
They preached the same message. .
the gospel of Jesus Christ. .
and the only reason that one would have restated what the other said (which is evident going both ways thru the scriptures as they referred to one another to their audiences) was to make a point to the particular people that they were ministering to. .
to teach the REAL gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Another question asked was why the Galatians were being led astray only a generation of people after Jesus' death. .
As for people being led astray so early on after Christ’s death. .
I think it goes back to those words we read last month in 1 John 2:16. .
People. .by nature since the fall of man in Genesis 3. .
have a lust of the flesh, a lust of the eyes, and a pride of life. .
and if they weren’t grounded in the Truth (Jesus). .
they/we are easy to overcome with false teaching.
You have to remember ALWAYS. .Satan comes as an angel of light!!

(2 Corinthians 11:13-15 These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.)

Satan has come. .not to WOUND the believers of Christ. .
Satan is on this earth to DESTROY the believers of Christ. .
and each one that he can deceive with a false teacher. .
is one more soul that Christ DOESN’T get. .
Ladies. .this is WAR!!
And our eternal lives depend on it!!
Satan hasn’t changed tactics since he deceived Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. .
He worked on those early believers. .
and he is strong and present in our world today. .
ready to DEVOUR us if we are not careful!!
(1 Peter 5:8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.)

 If, Adam and Eve. .in a perfect world. .
with NO sin. .and a daily interaction between God the Father. .and themselves. .
could be deceived by a slimy little serpent. .don’t you think it’s probable. .
that those who have never seen God, or Jesus Christ. .
only heard what other people are telling them. .
without the knowledge of literacy to be able to read the words. .
even if those words were easily accessible words for them to read (which they weren’t). .
could have easily been deceived??
How fortunate then, are we. .
that God compiled this little ‘ole book we call the Bible. .
to keep our feet straight??

False teachings, ladies. .
were used yesterday and today. .by Satan. .
In my extensive research. .it came to my attention. .
that in ALL of the biblical books I was in this past week. .
False teachers/false teachings. .was mentioned IN DEPTH. .
in ALL of them!!
 (now I wasn’t in EVERY bible book. .but many of the epistles as well as several parts of the gospels) It’s a big deal!!
And we have to think of it as a big deal. .
which means. .
making this 4 month bible study. .
the beginning of how we will utilize God’s word for the REST of our lives!

So. .for our discussion this weekend. .
Please let us know. .what YOU learned about your Lord this week??

Does anyone else think this exercise (looking for the attributes of God) changes the way we read the bible?? I know. .when I am trying to compile my list of attributes. .I read it differently.  .I am more focused in on SEEING those truths. .and I can tend to find more attributes than I see at first glance. .like. .last week I thought. .WOW, it may be a little hard to find a good list of attributes like we saw in 1 John. .but I didn’t really have much trouble when I honed in on that. .hoping you didn’t either. .
I think the attribute that spoke to me most was this. .
God is THE producer of good fruit in my life. .
I can NOT produce that fruit. .much as I want to. .
and believe me, I have tried over the years!! And failed. .multiple, multiple times!!
I notice though, that as I walk closer and closer to God. .
my attitudes ARE different. .which affects, positively my actions. .
and those fruits of the Spirit discussed in 5:22 are more evident. .
Now. .they aren’t perfect. .
but, overall. .
they are IMPROVING. .
And that is important!
The conditions of our hearts. .
ALL of our hearts. .
are human. .and sinful. .and selfish. .
and should remind us continually. .
the reason that we NEED a Savior in the first place!
 And instead of feeling defeated by my nastiness. .
I just feel encouraged to tap into Jesus so that I can be FILLED with the Spirit. .
so that the Spirit is what overflows from my mouth!! And so next time, I might be better!
I have to know. .has the information on the OT covenant with Abraham and the circumcision information made Galatians easier to read??
I will admit too. .
this week’s reading has been a lot easier for me to understand based on the research. .I hope it has helped you too!!

What version did you choose to read this week?? 
 I read the same versions as last month. .New Living, the Message (which, if you haven’t read it in that one. .try it. .it was my favorite version this time), English Standard, and New American Standard. Because each of them are worded just a little different. .I tend to pick up a bit of extra understanding with each version.
If you have 4 minutes extra this weekend. .
take the opportunity. .to listen to this GREAT song. .
and be AMAZED at who God is!!!
Because. .we TRULY serve an amazing God!!
 Enjoy your weekend!!
Amazed by You By Desperation Band

1 comment:

  1. My mind is so full tonight, so many things going around and around…

    God does not love me any more than he loves the beggar in the street corner. God does not love me any less than the richest/smartest/ man or prettiest woman. It's not who we are or how good we are… it's Whose we are. We can't be good enough or perform enough good works to get God's approval. It's not about crossing our T's or dotting our I's. Laws are good for us… they keep us out of jail, they keep us safe, they help to keep peace, they can keep things under control and a slew of other things but laws cannot save us from spending an eternity in hell. Only what God did in His perfect grace can do that….

    If God can take Saul, a man who found a thrill in killing Christians, save him, turn his life around, use him to write letters like Galatians, change his name to Paul… he can change us too…Praise the Lord for Paul!!!

    There isn't much of chapters 5 & 6 that aren't underlined now.. I LOVED this…
    6:14-16 As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross my interest in this world died long ago and the world's interest in me is also long dead. It doesn't make any difference now whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we really have been changed into new and different people" NLT

    Wow… how do I measure my interest in the world? How about the world's interest in me? I don't think I'm where I should be…(I KNOW I'm not)

    I'm done rambling…...