Monday, October 04, 2010

Galatians and Dispensations

I'm not even sure I am any kind of Dispensationalist.  And if you don't know what Dispensationalism is, you probably won't understand this skeleton commentary of what it has to do with Galatians.  But if you do, I hope you'll appreciate it.  (Intended to be read with Galatians, not independently.)

Notes on Galatians with an emphasis on Dispensationalism:

1:1 – Paul, an apostle (defending equal authority with the others)
1:6-7 – “different gospel” is really no gospel at all
1:7 – “gospel of Christ”
1:11 – as a Jew, Paul persecuted the Church – at that time mostly made up of Jews
1:17 – in Jerusalem were those who were apostles before Paul
1:22 – before Paul began preaching (to them, at least), there were Churches in Judea that were in Christ, who did not know Paul
1:23 – it was reported that Paul was preaching the same faith he had tried to destroy
1:24 – the Churches of Judea praised God because of Paul and his preaching
2:2  - Paul submitted his gospel to the leaders of the Jerusalem Church to make sure his “running” was “not in vain”
2:3 – the leaders in Jerusalem did not compel Titus the Greek to be circumcised.
2:4 – this is contrasted with false believers who wanted to make the Church slaves (to the Law)
2:5 – Paul resisted those false believers completely.  Compare to Acts 21:17-26 (esp. v. 26): Did Paul change from resisting completely to compromising with the Jewish elders?
2:6 – those in Jerusalem held in high esteem added nothing to his message
2:11 Cephas was to be condemned for his actions – hypocrisy – when he came to Antioch.  Not “ok, you were following the gospel Jesus gave you even though it’s different from mine” but “you’re being a hypocrite, seeking to please men rather than God.” (vs. 12-13)
2:12 – (says the “circumcision group” came from James.  Did he endorse them? Was James wrong then, too? It does say that before that, Cephas found it ok to fellowship with Gentiles, which is the testimony of Acts 10-11)
2:13 – this hypocrisy is described as being led astray
2:14 – they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel (see Eph. 3:6, Rom. 10:12-13, and Gal. 3:28)
2:15 – we Jews know no one is justified by keeping the Law, but by faith
2:21 – if it were possible for righteousness to come by the Law – if we could fully keep the “house rules” of the Mosaic Dispensation, the Old Covenant would not have needed a better one – the New Covenant for which Christ died!  (see also Heb. 8:7, 13)
2:11-21 – Paul says he (past tense) stood against and rebuked Peter.  He does not follow this with a “gave him up to God for correction” or a warning against following Peter, though that was his custom (II Tim. 2:17-19, 4:14-15)
3:6 – Even Abraham was considered righteous only because of faith – though he lived in a covenantal Dispensation
3:10 – All who rely on observing the Law are under a curse, according to the Law itself!  This even in the Mosaic Dispensation!  And still in Paul’s day, today, and forever.
3:13 – Christ, by hanging on a tree, redeemed us (Paul writing to Galatians – Jews and Greeks – 3:28)
3:17 – God’s promises to Abraham to bless all nations predate and outlast the Mosaic Law
3:19 – the Law was added because of transgression of those hoping for the promise to be fulfilled to Abraham’s Seed, Christ.  Blessing to all…
3:22 - …nations could not come through the Law or the people of the Law because it was promised to come through one Seed of Abraham.
3:25 – Now that this faith (in Jesus Christ, by which all nations may receive the blessing of the Spirit – 3:14) has come, we are no longer (implies we once were) under the supervision of the Law
4:9 – How is it that you turn back to weak and miserable forces: observing special days, etc.?
4:29 – It is the same now, that the son of the slave (Mt. Sinai covenant) persecutes the son of the free (Promise)
4:30 – the slave woman’s son (Mt. Sinai covenant) will never share in the inheritance with the free, so cast out the slave!
5:5, 6, 16, 18 – so you’re saved, but transgression is still there?  Adding the Law won’t help and never has.  But we have now, through faith in Christ, received the promised Spirit who enables us to not fulfill the lust of the flesh when, rather than trying to walk by the Law, we walk by the Spirit.  And we continue to have faith that the righteousness for which we hope will come.  But we’re awaiting it, not building it out of the Law.
6:12 – the only reason many insist you must be circumcised is to avoid (for themselves) persecution for the cross of Christ.  (This is a different motive than Paul’s “all things to all men” in 1 Cor. 9:19-23)
6:13 – Even those [believers] who are circumcised do not keep the Law.  They just want to boast to the (unsaved?) Jews that they got you to be circumcised!
6:14 – May Christians only boast in the cross of Christ – the real power for life and godliness!

To God be all glory.

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