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GALATIANS CHAPTER 2

KJV    NAS

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1 Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also.

 

Gal 2-1,2

(7j) Responsibility >> Use time wisely >> Get ready >> Take time to prepare –  (Those who divided the books of the Bible into chapters and verses interrupted Paul’s conversation about his life.) When you add up all the time between Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus to the point when he conferred with the apostles in Jerusalem, it was about 17 years that he spent preparing for his ministry. Plus, there was an undeterminable amount of time in the very beginning; it only says he did not immediately consult with flesh and blood. During this approximate 17-year period he was under no one’s tutelage, except the Holy Spirit. How many spiritual leaders do we know who sensed the call to ministry and went without any personal preparation period? They may have gone to seminary school, but that qualifies as consulting with flesh and blood. According to Paul’s example, there needs to be a period in a person’s life set aside to establish that personal connection with the Holy Spirit, so when he enters the ministry, he has an adequate relationship with God that will help him minister to people. Paul had already come a long way prior to this point, and he would not go to the wrong people just to be rejected by them. Besides, God had big plans for Paul; he was under God’s care.

(71k) Authority >> Ordained by God >> We have His seal -- These verses go with verses 7-9

(103k) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> God purifies His church >> Jesus purifies His people

(106o) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Purpose of hearing from God >> God ordains our calling – Paul met with the leaders of the Church to discuss his revelation of the gentiles with them. He did not make a grand production of it or publicize his actions, but he went to them in secret to those who were of “reputation.” Paul made a distinction between them and the original apostles, namely Peter, James and John. Those of “reputation” were leaders of the Church who were not counted among Jesus’ disciples, but whom the disciples handpicked to help lead the Church. However, these people rejected Paul. It was the original apostles who listened to him by comparing his message with the Old Testament Scriptures, with the things Jesus personally taught them and with the things the Holy Spirit was revealing to them, and determined that Paul was telling them the truth from God. It is important when discerning the truth to be able to discriminate between what God might say from what he would never say.

(109e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelation of the word of God >> Revelation of the meaning of God’s word – Paul stated that he went to Jerusalem because of a revelation. This revelation became the cornerstone of the gospel and of his own ministry, the revelation that the gentiles were included in God’s plan of salvation. For this not to be crystal clear would have caused problems throughout the Church’s 2000-year history, which would have no doubt allowed many doctrines to spring-up against the gentile’s access to the gospel. Paul was the one who clarified the gentile's inclusion as something that not even Jesus often addressed, but He did mention it a couple times, and when He did He was somewhat vague about it. God wanted this revelation to belong to Paul, because it would become the direction and force of his ministry, and without personalizing this revelation to him, it might not have had the impact on him that it did. 

(110j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit of revelation >> Revelation of the truth – Paul went in private to the apostles in fear that he “might be running, or had run, in vain,” meaning that he feared rejection. He was afraid the leaders of the Church would not receive him. Everything was at stake, his past, his present and his future, even the fledgling Church itself that was still trying to comprehend the plan of God. Both Jews and gentiles were at stake, and Paul knew it. He was not just afraid for himself; he was afraid for the whole world, because if the Church rejected him and his message, they may have closed the door on the gentiles, and that would have been catastrophic, since the Jews were rejecting God’s plan for themselves. So if the gentiles were not included, no one would have run with the gospel, and it may have fizzled into obscurity, but God was faithful and had His men in place who had an ear to hear His voice and a heart to obey His will. Had Paul been unanimously rejected, he probably would have tried to fulfill his ministry on his own as an evangelist, but would have had to disciple his own converts apart from the rest of the Church, which would have created the first religious denomination. This would have created a faction in the Church and probably done more to further alienate Paul from the other apostles, and the Church would have suffered for it. He needed their blessing to work together and avoid creating any division. Paul had a lot to offer the Church and it was absolutely necessary that the leaders received him, so that he could have full access to the authority and doctrines of the Church.

(142i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Having a reputable ministry >> A reputation of ministry in the word -- These verses go with verse 9

(214b) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing >> God’s timing transcends our comprehension >> God’s time does not make sense to the natural mind

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

2&3 It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain. 3 But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.

 

Gal 2,2-5

(62k) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Making no provisions for the flesh

Gal 2-2

(7g) Responsibility >> Protecting the gospel >> Defending your territory

(93e) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> Walk carefully with wisdom

(170k) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Vanity >> Vain effort >> Effort frustrated by failure -- This verse goes with verse 21

Gal 2,3-5

(172ab) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Tares among the wheat >> Devils among the saints >> False brethren among the people of God >> Legalists among the liberated – All false doctrine is invented for the purpose of generating money. There is also ego involved. A person can have an inflated ego from people looking up to him, but if it doesn’t make him any money, then it is meaningless to the reprobate mind, which is an accurate description of those trying to subvert the gospel for personal gain, while posing as devout Christians. Some denominations have had things added to their belief systems, while others have had things taken away from the gospel, the most common being the Holy Spirit. Take out the Holy Spirit from the gospel and there is very little left if anything, but that is what has happened in today’s version of Christianity. It is no wonder we are living in the last days.

Gal 2-3

(190i) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Circumcision >> Circumcision is a sign of obedience >> Obedience by the Spirit makes circumcision obsolete – The Bible makes a distinction between Jews and gentiles (sometimes calling them Greeks). Circumcision was a Jewish tradition, so for Titus (who was a Greek) to feel uncompelled to be circumcised was natural to him, so why did Paul mention it? Paul’s ministry was to the gentiles; he emphasized the freedom of Christ, particularly freedom from false doctrine and religious bondage. Titus remained uncircumcised to prove that it wasn’t necessary to salvation. Paul vigilantly protected the Church from those who would introduce obligatory practices to the gospel, passing them off as requirements of salvation, such as circumcision. Without Paul contending earnestly for the faith there may have been all kinds of religious requirements appended to the simple gospel. However, thanks to Paul the gospel is free from such things, at least in the Bible it is free. Go into the world and into many churches today and you will find religious requirements tacked onto the gospel nearly everywhere you go. Religious bondage should be avoided at all costs. There were those who tried to sabotage the gospel even in Paul’s day, who taught that if you are not circumcised, you could not be saved. These kinds of people have had 2000 years to work their bondage into the Church with very little resistance from watchdogs like Paul protecting the gospel. Paul spent a significant amount of time and energy rooting out these false doctrines and the false people from leadership in the Church, who would love to get their hands on the doctrines of the Church to put people in bondage.

(216i) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Compelled by the Spirit >> God forces you through your own convictions


4&5 But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5 But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.

 

Gal 2,4-6

(170b) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Pursuing the glory of man turns us in the wrong direction >> It’s the reason we don’t die to self

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Gal 2-4,5

(8c) Responsibility >> Use time efficiently >> Use wisely this moment

(101a) Thy kingdom come >> Devotion >> In your ministry to people >> Devoted to ministering to their spiritual needs – We obey the Holy Spirit as the substance of our faith, and part of that is inadvertently fulfilling the requirements of the law, but the more significant aspect of obeying the Holy Spirit is fulfilling God’s divine purpose and calling. This is the faith that Jesus introduced to us and that Paul reinforced in his epistles, apart from the Law of Moses or any other set of rules. The moment we introduce ordinances, it becomes a distraction to the faith. The mind has an affinity for these things, simply because they are easier to understand. Faith is something we understand by the Spirit, which is nebulous to the natural mind, and even Christians find it difficult at times to live by faith, because of its ethereal quality, so when someone introduces a law to Christianity, we have a natural tendency embrace it, and it causes us to lose sight of our faith. Our attention should be on the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, who is speaking to us and teaching us about His will, and the things He is calling us to do, which is our purpose for being born. This could not be further from following a set of manmade commandments, and if we allow these things to creep into the Church, the true faith of Christianity will be compromised.

(107h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> The Church is of the truth >> God’s people are the true witnesses of God – Many of the Jews insisted upon adhering to the Law of Moses as a means of finding favor with God, though it never was God's way of salvation even during Old Testament times, since it had nothing to do with faith. Faith has always been God’s way of salvation in both the new and old covenants, according to the model of Abraham, who was pleasing to God because of his faith, and the Lord counted it as righteousness. So finding favor with God never was based on law; rather, it was based on obeying the Holy Spirit. There lies the difference between faith and law, and there lies the difference between true Christianity and cult-like behavior. The law has become obsolete since the Holy Spirit has come to dwell in us, teaching us right from wrong. Obeying the law is beneficial in this life only, suggesting that its benefits do not cross the barrier of death or follow us into eternity, and this is why a better covenant was needed. Breaking the law and being lawless is detrimental in this life and acts as a sign that we don’t believe in God, yet obeying the law does not prove we believe in God, nor does it secure eternal life for us. Only believing in the blood sacrifice of Christ for the remission of our sin can do this for us, and subsequently following the Holy Spirit whom God has given for our faith.

(119e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Fences of freedom >> Freedom in Christ – Every cult has its own by-laws and is in bondage to them, and the false notion is that if they remain in good standing with the people, they will also be in good standing with God. That is the epitome of social pressure, which has nothing to do with obtaining the righteousness of God through faith. People often make the mistake of equating favor with man with having the favor of God; however, the two are distant as earth is from heaven. Jesus said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way” (Lk 6-26). So, what is the freedom of Christ? Our freedom is in the fact that there are no laws appended to our faith, no rules and no regulations. Cults will append certain actions and behaviors to their religion, requiring them as evidence that they believe, such as women wearing long dresses, married men growing beards and single men required to shave. We can tell some Pentecostals just by looking at them. The Pentecostal religion is not a cult, but some of the stricter sects of the denomination resemble Anabaptists like Mennonites, who come close to crossing the line.

(160j) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Temptation to walk in unbelief >> Tempted to abandon your convictions -- These verses go with verses 12&13

(162kb) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Being slaves of men >> In bondage to the burdens of men >> In bondage to freedom (licentiousness) -- These verses go with verses 11-14

(177e) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> False doctrine >> Doctrine that tickles your ears

(198h) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Ordained by man >> Having evil motives for seeking leadership positions >> Seeking to gratify their flesh through the ministry

(201e) Denying Christ >> Jesus is an offense >> Truth offends error >> The gospel offends the religious establishment – Paul’s complaint was that certain pagans were trying to infiltrate the Church and integrate legalism into the Christian faith. The goal of Cult-like mentality is to append certain actions and behaviors to the faith, and if not strictly observed, will use it against the people as evidence that they do not believe. However, what people should know is that when members of a cult ignore its regulations and by-laws, they become unbelievers of their religion, not unbelievers of Christ. True Christianity has no regulations or by-laws, unless we want to call Act 15-20 the true by-laws of the Christian faith: “…abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.” Fornication is the only item on the list that is still relevant to our contemporary society, though not even the Old Testament condemned it. Jesus taught not to fornicate, and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us reinforces that message, so what do we need with a list? The leaders of the early church were pushed into establishing this short list of don’ts, which was mostly ignored by the disciples because of its irrelevancy, though it was important to paganistic Christians, if there is such a thing, that is, to the adherents of Judaism who could not shake the Law of Moses. The fact that three of the four entries have grown obsolete reveals the transient nature of regulations; they have no eternal value and therefore should not be instituted. Bottom line, whatever law we institute is just as irrelevant as the Law of Moses.

Gal 2-4

(180d) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Be shrewd as wolves and more innocent than they appear >> Wolves in sheep’s clothing

Gal 2-5

(7b) Responsibility >> Protecting the Gospel >> Defend the word of God by obeying it – Paul made sure this old covenant concept of circumcision would not take hold of the Church. Circumcision was an Old Testament practice that God commanded Israel as a mark of identification for the descendents of Abraham, but the new covenant era was no longer a respecter of Jewish traditions. It no longer mattered if you were a Jew, since the gentiles were also welcome to the grace of God. Therefore, had Paul allowed circumcision to integrate into the Christian tradition, people would have not only made it mandatory for salvation, it would have also carried over Old Testament implications, possibly including the very dangerous false idea of being justified by law, which Paul and the other apostles were vigilantly warring to root out of the Church. See other commentary for 2Cor 11,10-15.

(96c) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude toward God >> Good attitude about the word of God -- This verse goes with verses 9&10

(99a) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Enduring the will of God >> Enduring the word of God >> Endure obeying the word of God

(161b) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Wander >> Wandering from the character of God >> Wandering from the faith

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

6 But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality )-well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.

 

Gal 2,6-10

(91i) Thy kingdom come >> The called >> God’s calling transcends the will of man >> We are called by God through His choice of us 

Gal 2-6

(23e) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Poor are those who are rich in their own minds

(51i) Judgment >> Judging the Church with the world >> Do not show partiality to one another – Paul approached the Church with the request for ministry fourteen years after his conversion. By then the apostles had developed a hierarchy of authority in the Church of Jerusalem, which was the control center for the entire body of Christ. Paul went there and those of reputation contributed nothing to him; that is, they denied him the right hand of fellowship (v9), though he informed them of his situation that he was once a vehement persecutor of the Church until Christ revealed Himself on the road to Damascus, and it changed his whole life, turning him 180 degrees. During this fourteen-year period Paul had been busy. He made a trip to Arabia and studied the Old Testament probably alone. This was a wilderness experience for him as a time of tuning his ear to the Holy Spirit and learning directly from Him what the entailed and the role he would play in it. During this time God revealed to Paul that he would be a minister of the gospel as an evangelist. His character and personality reflected this. He was absolutely driven like no other man, not even the original apostles had Paul’s drive.

(57a) Paradox >> Opposites >> The rich are poor

(95j) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Obedient attitude >> Positive attitude about authority – Peter’s attitude was: “You want apostleship status? You got it!” Peter's attitude was that if God wanted to replace him with Paul, he wouldn’t mind, so long as he remained in the will of God. Peter walked with the most humble man, and he had the same Spirit of Christ dwelling in him who bore witness that Paul was sent by God. They thought they had already replaced Judas Iscariot with Matthias, who drew lots and won (Act 1,20-26), but this was based on human reasoning; God had plans on replacing Judas with Paul. Eventually, Paul had a chance to meet Peter, and he talked with him about his life, his circumstances and his vision, and Peter immediately knew what to do. Giving him the right-hand of fellowship was equivalent to writing Paul a blank check. Paul needed apostleship status, because he was destined to become a church planter. Peter walked with Christ in the flesh for 3½ years, but he never met the Lord after He was glorified like Paul did. The humility he learned from Jesus trained him to know the truth when he heard it and to know when someone was filled with the Spirit. Paul spoke in depth about spiritual matters without contradicting the knowledge of God or the direction of the Church. He didn’t seem to be full of pride, so why didn’t the leaders listen to Paul? They felt threatened. This would be the only time Paul approached church politics in Jerusalem, who were dedicated to the Jews, whereas Paul was mostly dedicated to the gentiles. 

(164j) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is at enmity with God >> The world hates the Church

(183k) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Truth is the enemy of the spirit of error >> Spirit of error rejects the truth – Once God had prepared Paul, he ventured to Jerusalem to finally meet the original apostles, having first been snubbed by those in authority. Paul wanted to integrate into the body of Christ; he wasn’t interested in the Lone Ranger mentality or being disconnected from the brethren; he wanted to be an integral part in the Church. Basically, Paul was looking for the position of apostleship among the brethren, which amounted to becoming a support pillar for the body of Christ. He came to Jerusalem and to the Christians and to the leaders of the Church, who were of high reputation, whom the apostles personally appointed, and they contributed nothing to him; they dismissed him. They must have seen him as a rogue Christian who claimed to have had a vision, and now he wanted to make a big splash and assume authority within the Church because of it. He came to them asking for the highest position available in the body of Christ. It is scary to know that people just like them are in charge of the Church today. If a man like Paul were to come into one of these mega-churches that we have nowadays and ask for position within the Church, he would likely be physically escorted from the premises. If Peter weren’t there, Paul would have had to settle for a Lone Ranger ministry, and that just wouldn’t have worked; we probably never would have read the name “Paul” in the Bible. He may have become an evangelist and established churches just the same, but his ministry would have no doubt been treated as a faction, and it would have divided the body of Christ between Peter’s converts and Paul’s. Such a thing tried to get started even with Paul receiving full status in the Church (1Cor 1,11-15).

(200m) Denying Christ >> Whoever is not with Jesus is against him >> He is against Christ who does not receive Him >> Whoever receives the world is against Christ – Paul went to the Church leaders of high reputation and presented his revelation to them and they did not receive him; they could not discern the anointing on Paul’s life. Paul related his revelation that the gentiles were included in salvation and they rejected him, suggesting that they didn’t want the gentiles to have access to the grace of God, being Jews. They wanted it to be exclusively about the Jew, perhaps intending to use the new covenant as a means of creating the ultimate class distinction between God’s chosen people and the dogs of all other nations. Apparently it is very difficult to find leaders of the Church who have the mind of Christ. 

(249l) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> World’s perception of wealth >> The world’s wealth has no value >> The world’s idea of wealth opposes the truth

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

7&8 But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8 (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles ), 

 

Gal 2,7-10

(72k) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> Authority makes you accountable >> You are accountable to the one who gave it to you – When natural disasters strike, the Church is quick to lend a hand, and this is where the Church shines in the world to this day, being central to Christianity. People love to help out in tuff situations, but when it comes to everyday ministry in the Church, people are very covetous about who does what. One common mistake in thinking is that the more responsibility a pastor has the more his authority, but the truth is that the more authority he delegates, the more it multiplies. Pastors want to do it all in order to maintain their importance in the Church, but he would become more important if he delegated responsibility to people; besides, delegating responsibility is biblical; it is what God does and intends to do throughout eternity. God delegates every ounce of His authority, so when His kingdom grows to infinity throughout eternity, He will receive all the credit, and what will He do but reward those who were faithful in their positions.

Gal 2,7-9

(71k) Authority >> Ordained by God >> We have His seal -- These verses go with verses 1&2

Gal 2-7

(118a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Seeing through the eyes of your spirit >> Making spiritual observations -- This verse goes with verse 9

Gal 2-8,9

(210k) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> Fellow heirs with Israel (Spiritual Jew) >> Ministry to the Gentiles – Peter, James and John knew Jesus well enough to know that a self-centered, inward-looking mindset could not possibly be the will of God. They knew from Jesus’ example that God loved the whole world, not just Jews. Including the gentiles in salvation therefore sounded like something God would do, so Peter, James and John received Paul’s message and gave him the right hand of fellowship. They accepted him as one of the leaders of the Christian church, and gave Paul their blessing to formally invite the gentiles through his ministry of evangelism into this promise of eternal salvation. It was important that Paul did not go on his own; he needed the sanction of the Church. Their approval established unity among the saints and furnished a cohesive effort in bringing the gospel to the world. This way Paul was sent by the backing of the church, for without their approval, he could have never accomplished what he did. He needed other people to confirm his apostleship, so that those of his ministry could put their confidence in him, that he was not an instigator of yet another cult.

 

9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

 

Gal 2,9-14

(130i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Accept one another >> Accepting the great and the small >> Great leaders accept small people – In our society with welfare and government actually taking over the Church’s job, the gospel has for the most part become stymied. Actually there are so many poor people in the world today that the Church could never take care of them all. The worst thing that could happen to the world is for the global economy to suffer total collapse, which is coming; it is inevitable. However, it is the best thing that could happen to the Church. Ministries will rebirth overnight. When the government is no longer able to hand out welfare checks, leading people to salvation would suddenly become easy as pie, but it would also be a time when no one will have money. We would all need to work together to find a solution, and unity will become a requirement for survival; historically unity only forms when it is a matter of life and death.

Gal 2-9,10

(96c) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude toward God >> Good attitude about the word of God -- These verses go with verse 5

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

Gal 2-9

(31i) Gift of God >> Grace >> Having the ability to respond to the word

(69b) Authority >> Discernment >> Discerning the Truth – Peter, James and John recognized the grace that God had given to Paul and Barnabas. This is highly significant in that it implies a sense of discernment. The gift of discernment is given for the express purpose of highlighting those who have received grace from God that we would have otherwise never expected to be chosen of God, and also to highlight those whom we would never have expected to be phonies in the Church, who have all the appearance of righteousness but do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. Paul came from a culture and background that was persecuting the Church; he had a reputation among the saints as a very dangerous and vile man, someone who would have locked us in prison just for being a Christian. He went around the countryside proselyting people and arresting the dissenters of his religion, Christians mostly. Then Christ chose him and placed His Spirit in him and bestowed a profound anointing on him for evangelism, which is what he was doing before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. God did not change his calling after he started working for Jesus. The Spirit that inhabited Paul also inhabited Peter, James and John, which they used to discern the grace of God in him. Here is the $64,000 question: who in the Church today has the discernment to ignore his own biases and to recognize the grace of God in someone who was once an enemy?

(72d) Authority >> Transferring authority >> Men delegate authority in their position

(115d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through your ministry >> Through your calling >> In preaching the gospel

(118a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Seeing through the eyes of your spirit >> Making spiritual observations -- This verse goes with verse 7. The gift of discernment is a very necessary spiritual tool, especially in the last days, though it is by no means the most important gift in the Christian’s arsenal. The greatest gift of all is not even mentioned in First Corinthians chapter twelve; it is the anointing, which affords the spiritual environment by which all other gifts flow. The fruits of the Spirit are far more important than the gifts. If a person didn’t have a single gift but walked in the fruits of the Spirit, he would be far more effective in the Church and in the world than one who had all the gifts but no fruit. Discernment is like a gopher hole; when we see one, we know there is an entire web of tunnels just under our feet, and if we see another hole, we can assume it is linked to all the others. Likewise, when we see evidence of God working in a person, we can know there is an entire web of spiritual activity just under the surface of his life. Many gopher holes represent our confidence that there are tunnels running throughout the ground, but where there are no gopher holes, there is no reason to expect any gophers in the area. Likewise, there is no particular reason to expect that the grace of God is weaving its way into a person’s life if there is no evidence of it.

(131k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Working together for one cause – This account is mentioned in the book of Acts 9,20-29. Peter, James and John had one purpose in mind and worked together for one cause of the gospel, and for this reason they gave Paul and Barnabas the right-hand of fellowship, promising their blessing and whatever else they needed to accomplish God’s purpose. Wouldn’t it be nice if this attitude were still in the Church today? The many denominations and schisms in the Church all act as signs that there are ulterior motives in leadership, instead of having one mind and one heart for the gospel. People like this are lost; meanwhile there are others who love God with all their hearts, but they have no ministry. The man of God could approach his pastor and tell him about the grace that God has lavished on him, and his story would have no effect on the pastor. He might say, ‘That’s great, brother; that’s a fabulous testimony; thank you for sharing it.’ At best he might let the man of God repeat his testimony at prayer meeting; afterward his ministry would have ended just as soon as it started. ‘Now what do I do’, the man might say to himself, ‘years of work spent just to give a five-minute speech that affected no one.’ Is it any wonder the church is dead and impotent? There is no benefit to committing oneself to his faith in this godless religion they call American Christianity.

(142i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Having a reputable ministry >> A reputation of ministry in the word -- This verse goes with verses 1&2. It says that Peter, James and John were reputed as pillars of the Church. That word “reputed” is rooted in reputation. They had a reputation for being pillars of the Church from the work they accomplished in founding the Church on Christ’s teachings. This is beside the fact that Peter, James and John were Jesus’ original disciples. This suggests that though they were disciples of Jesus, yet if they never did anything with their lives, they could not be pillars of the Church. Their reputation wasn’t based on who they were but on what they did. There are many people in the Church today who are raised up in ministry based on who they are and not based on what they did. They are placed in seats of authority in the Church, based on someone else’s reputation, while they have no works to show for their faith. This is just the scenario that breeds false doctrine and poor decision making that leads the Church down a slippery slope. Everyone should have a reputation of their own by which they are judged whether they are worthy of leadership positions. There were twelve disciples (counting Paul); where are the other eight? They were apparently not considered pillars of the Church. All Jesus’ disciples were fruitful in their ministries where God placed them, but they weren’t all reputed as pillars of the Church. They may have been pillars where they lived and served, but Peter, James and John were pillars of the overall Church headquartered in Jerusalem. If anyone had a question about doctrine or needed a problem resolved, they would take it to Jerusalem and run it past the council of elders and they would decide, dictating what kind of action to take in the future with similar circumstances. They were like judges during the days of Moses.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

10 They only asked us to remember the poor -the very thing I also was eager to do. 

 

Gal 2-10

(23g) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Tending to the needs of the poor (this is not in relation to sin) – When someone wants to step on the poor, they have no advocate to protect them, except the Church. Remember to treat the poor graciously with kindness, because the world doesn’t. Remember the poor to make a statement against the world that their deeds are evil, for the more we distinguish ourselves from the world in the ways of God, the greater effect our evangelism to win the lost, but the more we look like the world, the less people see a need for the gospel. Remembering the poor is what the world does not do, and so it should be the Church’s main ministry. The world observes the Church caring for the poor and they say, ‘That’s a load off,’ as though they cared, but what they don’t realize is that to the degree we care for the poor is the degree that the rich may never hear the gospel of the grace of God, because who needs to preach to them if the poor are being saved?

(34m) Gift of God >> Be generous like your Father >> Give to the poor – If there were any one commandment of the new covenant, it would be to remember the poor, but it was not a commandment, because the Holy Spirit reminds us to do this. Being poor in spirit and being materialistically impoverished tend to go together like peas and carrots. It is the arrogant who are rich in narcissism that cannot be reached by the gospel. There are many poor people who are just about as arrogant, and they cannot be anymore reached than the rich, and so are they really poor? We should remember the truly poor because they are the main beneficiaries of the gospel of Christ. They are the ones who will most likely go to heaven. What did Jesus say about the rich? “You have your reward in full.” This may not be the case with all rich people, but it is with the vast majority of them. The poor are easily oppressed because they have no authority or place in society and very little means to defend themselves, for what poor person can afford a lawyer?

 

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.

 

Gal 2,11-16

(223a) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Conceit >> Thinking you are superior to others >> Thinking you are inherently better than others

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Gal 2,11-14

(1g) Responsibility >> Become all things to all men >> Blending together 

(2h) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Do not touch the apple of His eye >> Do not harm His people – More often than not, doing our part to foster the growth of God’s people is a matter of getting out of God’s way and letting Him do His work in us. Our influence on other people is often negative, and then God has to patch up what we destroy. We think God needs us for everything, but the fact is, we are merely agents of God's grace.

(17l) Sin >> Unrighteous judgment >> Discerning by the flesh >> Making distinctions between each other – Here is an example of someone trying to make distinctions among one another instead of blending together and working as a unit. The temptation is strong to pretend that you have special talents and gifts that you were born with that make you superior to others. The truth is, we do have special gifts and talents that we were born with and some that God gave to us after we were born again, but that does not mean we can feel special because of it, especially since the people that we would like to rule probably have just as many gifts as we do that we need to be more whole as a member of the body of Christ.

(19k) Sin >> Actions that contradict your words will twist your mind

(27c) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Condoning evil can bring a curse on your life

(92e) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> Trail of good works >> You cannot walk two trails

(94p) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective >> False perspective in the Church – The message that Paul pounded throughout his epistles was the fact that seeking God through the law was futile. In fact, he taught that even in the days of the old covenant seeking favor with God through the law was futile. The law was not given to attain favor with God but as a measuring stick to distinguish between good and evil. Our favor with God is based on the fact that Abraham believed God, and his faith was counted as righteousness. Abraham demonstrated his faith by obeying what God said to him, and Paul’s whole point was that faith itself embodied the righteousness of God, not the fact that he obeyed. His obedience completed his faith, proving that it was real, like the signet ring completes the message, the wax sealing the envelope. James took the opposite stance that if we can’t prove our faith, then it doesn’t really exist. Obviously, both Paul and James were right.

(97a) Thy kingdom come >> Having a negative attitude about yourself >> A self-righteous attitude

(122l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Boldness to rebuke the Church for unbelief

(135m) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Similarity in the body >> The things we have in common >> Common salvation – Paul’s point was that Jews and gentiles are both one in Christ. Circumcision was a Jewish rite that identified with the faith of Abraham. Circumcision meant that they were members of a race that was chosen of God according to the flesh, but when the gospel of Christ came, God’s chosen people were no longer members according to the flesh but according to the Spirit, meaning the door is open to all races to be members of God’s household. Both Jew and gentile have the same right to inherit eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Peter holding to the Jewish rite of circumcision conflicted with the gospel truth, in that it symbolized something contrary to what Christianity was trying to convey.

(138c) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Reproof >> Reprove your brother for sinning

(158f) Devil’s Work >> Essential characteristics >> Divide and conquer >> Division (Cliques) >> Jealously seeking prominence in the body

(162kb) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Being slaves of men >> In bondage to the burdens of men >> In bondage to freedom (licentiousness) -- These verses go with verses 4&5

(167c) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (Mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind is set on the flesh >> Wanting authority without responsibility

(168a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Do not conform to the world >> Do not let the world’s approval form you to itself

(169j) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Loving the approval of men rather than the approval of God >> Fearing their religion – It was a major bombshell to Jews like Peter who believed in Jesus that the gentiles were welcome to this grace that had come specifically to Israel, yet Peter accepted it, only after a dream he had from God, after which he joyfully concurred in God’s acceptance of the gentiles (Act 10,9-28). Nevertheless, his old teachings crept back into him, so that when the Jews came to Antioch, Peter began to withdraw from the gentiles, fearing the religion of his fellow Jews and what they might think and say about him fellowshipping with the gentiles. He tried to please the Jews, and in so doing was creating a distinction between Jews and gentiles. Being a pillar of the Church and one of the twelve disciples of Jesus this had a huge influence, until Paul came along and observed his behavior and opposed him to his face. He was a model for both Jews and gentiles who would believe in Jesus for eternal life. People looked to him to understand the ways of God. He wasn’t being straightforward about the truth and Paul called him on it.

(173e) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Scripture that contradicts the catholic faith >> Catholics who are converted to the faith – Paul tells a story about Peter how he fell into transgression, being committed to the Jews with the gospel; he also understood that the gentiles were included in this salvation, yet he had a tendency to continue believing in the old way, that the Jews were special. Peter was taught from childhood that gentiles were as dogs, almost subhuman and not to mingle with them and especially not to marry into the gentile nations, but to keep their genealogy pure. Hence, one difference between the Old and New Testaments is that God previously called Israel to remain pure in their generations, while Jesus called His disciples to remain pure in heart. The point is, every Catholic converted to the protestant faith will probably not fully shake the old teachings of Catholicism from his belief system, any more that Peter was able to shake his Jewish beliefs and traditions from his belief system, even though he walked with Jesus in the flesh. These religious belief systems are insidious like weeds in a garden, the moment you put down the hoe the weeds pop up overnight and you find yourself struggling with them again. For Peter the religious weeds resemble justification through law, whereas Catholic religious weeds resemble justification through communion, according to the bread and wine miraculously converting to the body and blood of Christ.  

(173i) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Unholy sacrifice >> Penance of following the law (Legalism) – Paul sought favor with God through the law in the beginning of his search for God before he saw the light along the road to Damascus. Those who seek favor with God through the law mind its meticulous intricacies and visualize God being flattered by all their attention they claim to be showing on Him. They think God loves them because they are doing all the mindless activities of the law in His name, but Paul realized this was a fallacy after He met Jesus, who rebuked him with the accusation that he was doing just the opposite, persecuting Him instead of worshipping Him. Paul, the intelligent man of learning, was duped into believing in the Jewish cult of legalism. Not only was he duped, he was the leader of this nationwide cult. He was the most committed of all his colleagues; no one was doing more to preserve his traditions, and now Peter had fallen into the same trap, and Paul was leading him back to the true light of the gospel.

(174f) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Self righteousness >> Comparing yourself with sinners

(178h) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Hypocrisy of the Church is rebuked >> The Church is rebuked for disunity

(190j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Circumcision >> Circumcision is a sign of obedience >> Symbolism over substance – Circumcision represented working your way to heaven; it became the sign of legalism. This is what the Jews did to the Law of Moses, but it was not what God intended, suggesting that the only significance the Jews saw in Abraham was that he was the father of their nation. When God commanded Abraham to be circumcised, legalism was the last thing in his mind; instead, it was a sign of faith. Israel turned faith into a list of does and don’ts. In other words, they reversed the order of Abraham’s righteousness, who believed God first, and then he gathered his wife and belongings and traveled to a foreign land according to the word of the Lord. James said that his obedience proved his faith, and so the Jews overlooked faith and sought the proof of it instead, saying that the proof of their faith was the faith itself, but that is like saying the signet ring that seals the envelope is more important than the letter it contains. It would be like Abraham leaving his relatives and homeland and traveling to a distant country without God ever telling him to do it. There is no faith in that.

(195b) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Serving two masters >> You can only serve one at a time

(197c) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Spiritual laziness >> Rebelling against where God wants you to go >> Refuse to walk in freedom

(204c) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Back-slider >> Practicing sin >> Withdrawing from a righteous standard of living – Paul was really big on making the right impression, communicating the gospel even nonverbally. He didn’t want anyone getting the wrong idea about Christianity. Therefore, Paul told Peter that he was commanded as a Jew to live like the gentiles, not because the gentiles were right or that the Jews were wrong, but that the gentiles never received the oracle of God, and so they were a blank slate (minus their paganism). The gentiles were a good example of how to live out their faith in Jesus, and so Peter was modeling after them for the Jews. Likewise, we are to live out our faith in Jesus without a lot of laws and regulations and traditions. However, after Peter feared the opinion of the circumcision and started to eat with the Jews, he disassociated himself from the gentiles, distinguishing the Jews from the gentiles when there is no distinction in the gospel of Christ. Eph 2-14,15 says, “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace.” According to the new covenant, Jews and gentiles, male and female are no longer relevant, for all are one in Christ. Nevertheless, Peter feared that if he continued associating with the gentiles and eating with them, the Jews would snub him and he would lose their friendship and respect, and they were very important to him. The lesson, when we get saved, we have a new life; Christ is calling us to begin the life we will enjoy in heaven, and in heaven there are no Jews or gentiles, just the people of God whom He chose from the world to be His worshippers. Many things that once were a part of our lives are not relevant to our faith, and whatever our faith can’t use we must jettison.

Gal 2,11-13 

(24a) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Fear of hardship (punishment)

 

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12-16 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, "If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? 15 "We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; 16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.

 

Gal 2-12,13

(160j) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Temptation to walk in unbelief >> Tempted to abandon your convictions -- These verses go with verses 4&5

Gal 2-13

(93m) Thy kingdom come >> Following Jesus >> Exception >> Following evil along the broad way

(161k) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Carried Away >> Carried away by religion – People are just about as religious as ever, but the question remains, do they believe in Jesus according to the Scriptures? They might believe in Jesus in their own way, yet faith in Jesus according to Scripture is hardly understood even by the Church these days. When we think about the Jews and what they were thinking in terms of the Kingdom of God manifesting on the earth in their lifetime, they weren’t very excited about Jesus being their Messiah, but they would have accepted Him if He would have manifested the kingdom before their eyes, which would have involved defeating their enemies the Romans and anybody else who would enslave them. They didn't mind being enslaved to sin, though. Since Jesus didn't act the way they expected, they outright rejected Him, proving that they were more interested in what their Messiah could do for them than they were in Him personally, and this is the case with all religions, and it is why having a relationship with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit is the antithesis of religion.

Gal 2-14

(69m) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Judging Those in the Church – Throughout the centuries the Jews were taught to treat the gentiles like dogs. This was due to the teachings of the Old Testament, when Moses commanded Israel to be a sovereign nation and refrain from mixing with the nations, not to intermarry with them or to adopt their gods. So they learned to avoid gentiles altogether and developed a negative attitude about them, considering themselves better than them. Peter was a Jew, and his natural tendency was to separate from the gentiles, but Jesus changed all that; He made both Jews and gentiles to share the same plane; one was not better than the other, and there was no fear of adopting poor values from those who loved the Lord. Nevertheless, Cephas chose to follow his old way of thinking and stayed aloof from the gentiles and took meals with his fellow Jews, thus separating himself from the gentiles. The Church was not instructed to do this; we are members of a single family with God as our Father. The barriers have been broken; there is neither Jew nor gentile. So Paul confronted Peter, calling him Cephas, which was the name his mother gave him, whereas “Peter” was the name Jesus gave Him that He would use when Peter being cool, but when Peter was screwing-up Jesus would call him Cephas, and so Paul called him Cephas, because he was screwing-up. Cephas, being a leader of the Church, was modeling that some people are better than others, and this would create factions and divisions if allowed to continue, which does not promote unity. For the Jews and gentiles to come together back then was unheard-of. It made a huge statement that the Church was a unique entity apart from the world, and it made the point of the fundamental that changes that have transpired in the Church and the fundamental changes that God desires to make in each person who believes in Him. It showed how different the Church is from the world, and it showed the contrast from the world that the Church should embrace, but when Cephas did this, he minimized the difference between the Church and the world. Paul wanted the people of God to be distinct from the world in a good and positive way.

(86i) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Be doers of the word >> Clothe yourself with the word of God >> Live the truth

Gal 2-15,16

(210ib) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Salvation is from the Jews >> Jews are believers >> Jew and Gentile believers are one flock with one shepherd Performing the works of the law is no longer the expectation of our faith; in fact Paul proves that the law never was the active ingredient in man’s salvation, but has always been about faith, even as “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” this verse being the most often quoted Scripture of the Old Testament. Even the Jews are required to believe in Jesus for eternal salvation, so that they too may be justified by faith, just as the gentiles. So, there is no distinction between Jew and gentile; they’re both saved the same way.

Gal 2,16-21

(205k) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> Faith versus works >> The faith of God versus the faith of men >> Faith versus the flesh

Gal 2-16

(205j) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> Faith versus works >> The faith of God versus the faith of men >> Faith is the law of righteousness -- This verse goes with verses 20&21. Paul begins laying down certain doctrines that pertain to Peter’s tendency to cling to the Jewish traditions, knowing at the end of that road is justification through law, which Paul had been fighting throughout many of his epistles. Prior to Christ, God commanded Israel to believe in Him through the righteousness of the law, but since Christ has come He has brought grace and truth through faith that the Holy Spirit now provides. This is God’s faith, hence the difference between the two faiths of the old and new covenants, one being from man and the other being from God. 

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17-19 "But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! 18 "For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 "For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 

 

Gal 2,17-21

(187aa) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> The ministry of dying to self >> Die to self to minister to God >> Jesus died for us; now it's our turn to die for Him – God does not want us to resist persecution (Mat 5-39), not that suffering is good, but that suffering is not evil; it is neither good nor evil but neutral. It is just a part of this life, like the air we breathe. To resist suffering is to resist the truth, and the anointing does not come to those who resist the truth. God does not condemn suffering in His children; instead, He even promotes it, because it drives us toward Him. That might sound strange, being He lives in a heavenly paradise, yet God is not a stranger to suffering. Yes, He went to the cross; He is intimately familiar with suffering, but God has suffered long before the cross. Jesus was crucified from the foundation of the world (Rev 13-8); God knew this would happen before He even created man. God will teach us all about Himself in the life to come, but it is far more important that we learn about Him now, because the lessons and the knowledge and wisdom we accumulate in this life, He will burn into our Spirit, and they will become our possession forever, the basis of our knowledge in eternity. The foundation is always more important than that which we build upon it. Without a proper foundation, the Church would not have survived 2000 years. What other building has survived 2000 years? There may be pieces of ancient buildings still standing, but their structures as a whole have crumbled, but the Church remains intact.

(205h) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> New covenant >> The old one is obsolete – The Old Covenant is summed up in the law. In the course of being saved we discover that we are sinners; acknowledge this is actually a requirement of salvation. Once we understand our status as sinners, we can now embrace the cross. Jesus said in Mat 9-12,13, "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." However, for those who desire to live by the rule of law Paul said, “If I rebuild what I have once destroyed” (being the law) “I prove myself a transgressor.” Those who seek to be justified by law nullify the grace of God, thus reinstating themselves as transgressors. The law teaches not to transgress against it, so if we don’t lie, cheat, steal or commit adultery, these are examples of dying to the law. We either die to the law by obeying it or we die from the law by disobeying it; in either case the law produces death. One thing the cross represents is dying to the deeds of the flesh, which the law also does, but if the cross covers the fruit of the law, which is death, then the law is obsolete. When Jesus was on the cross shedding His blood for the sins of the world, we also were dying with Him. We who believe in Jesus are hanging on a cross next to Him, dying to the law and to the deeds of our flesh.

(238c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> Born again >> Born of the Spirit by the resurrection

Gal 2-17

(52d) Judgment >> Judging Church with world >> Law judges sin >> Law finds all men guilty of sin

(75g) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Being manipulative >> Questioning God from a good heart – Throughout some of Paul’s epistles he asks questions like this one that were asked in his day, and, the people were deriving wild conclusions that didn’t correspond with the Old Testament or with the teachings of the apostles or with the emerging New Testament that was completed by the end of the first century. People were asking if Jesus was a minister of sin, and Paul answered, “May it never be!” They had it backwards; He is a minister of righteousness toward sinners. People who raised this question got the idea from the fact that they did not consider themselves sinners until they met Christ and understood the meaning and purpose of the gospel, which was to save sinners. It seemed to them that Christ was a minister of sin, in that before the knowledge of Him they were unaware of their sinfulness, but they had it backwards. Jesus is not the cause of them being sinners; He is the remedy. Every person should willingly admit to being a sinner, being that everybody has sinned, yet people tend to maximize their good and minimize their evil to avoid thinking of themselves as sinners. They do this in view of how their fellow man views them without thinking about God’s viewpoint. Salvation has to do with our relation to God, who views us as sinners, and this is why we need to be saved. Consider some of the worst sins we have committed; this is just the tip of the iceberg of sin that God sees in us. We are not sinners because we have sinned; we sin because we are sinners. We were born into a fallen world, and that is what makes us sinners, born in sin through no fault of our own, which ironically is the very reason we are redeemable. If we had the mind of Christ, we would realize there is no goodness in us at all. Paul said, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh” (Rom 7-18). He gave the exception that Christ lived in his heart as the only good thing about him, for his flesh was utterly corrupted by the nature of Satan, which is exhibited throughout the creation that is under a curse.

Gal 2-18

(38j) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Resurrection of the wicked

(139j) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Tearing down the temple through disobedience

(170l) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Vanity >> Vain effort >> Effort lacking direction

Gal 2-19

(237m) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> Transferred from the law to the Spirit

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20&21 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21 "I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."

 

Gal 2-20,21

(185a) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Abusing the grace of God >> Dragging God’s Grace Through The Mud >> Operating His grace through religion We don’t need to be masochistic or look for trouble if we are serving Christ; trouble will come to us, and when we serve the Lord, we can be certain the world will crucify us. 

(205j) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> Faith versus works >> The faith of God versus the faith of men >> Faith is the law of righteousness -- These verses go with verse 16. Having once identified with the works of the flesh, it is no longer I who live; that person has died, but Jesus Christ who now lives in me. Through the power of His resurrection Christ has become my new identity. Although my flesh is still alive, on the outside nothing has changed; all the changes have occurred inside, so this person that I still am in my body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Paul is careful not to nullify the grace of God through the law. If you raise up the law and teach that you must practice it, then you are nullifying the grace of God, for it does not dictate what you can and cannot do. Rather, the grace of God puts His will in your heart, so you want to please the Lord, just as we will in heaven. We who believe in Jesus desire to live in eternity with God and our fellow saints, but before we get there our desire is to serve the Lord and to do His will here and now. The law does not lead us to desire these things. Only the grace of God can do that. What about the issue of sin? It shouldn’t surprise anyone that if sin complicates our lives that it would also complicate the matter of God’s grace, for where dose sin fit in this discussion? God’s grace has given us a new set of desires to please the Lord. Sin just doesn’t fit in a Christian’s life.

Gal 2-20

(210b) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Jesus is our sacrifice >> Jesus goes to the cross willingly – Paul had no qualms about commanding us to pick up our cross and follow Jesus (Mk 8-34,35), like the criminal who was crucified next to Him. We are criminals in the eyes of God, and when we willingly pick up our cross and follow Him, dying to self, then Jesus says to us what He said to the criminal, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Lk 23-43). Jesus willingly went to the cross for us, and for that reason we too should willingly take up our cross and follow Him. As we hang there dying to sin, we must remember that it is not we who nailed ourselves to the cross, but the world. We are not to deny our sin or run from persecution, but accept suffering as our place in this world and as our part in this life and as our reward in heaven. If we have the attitude that the most we can expect from this life is to be crucified next to Jesus, we can do anything for Him, like the soldier who sees himself already dead before he runs into battle. When it says, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me,” he was talking about a process of substitution. Jesus is taking our place, referring to the anointing as John the Baptist said in Jn 3-30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” This is in reference to a sliding continuum based on an inverse proportion; to the degree that we decrease is the degree to which God increases our anointing. Our suffering feeds the anointing, forcing us to seek God, like a push in the back, pushing us into His arms.

(254j) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Holy Spirit >> Salvation of Jesus’ Spirit

Gal 2-21

(31f) Gift of God >> Grace >> Salvation >> God is willing to respond to man’s need

(115j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through obedience of faith >> Through determination >> Determined to obey Christ

(170k) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Vanity >> Vain effort >> Effort frustrated by failure -- This verse goes with verse 2

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