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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 we add up all the time from 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 sought the Holy Spirit instead of going to Cemetery-School, which 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. God had big plans for Paul, and he knew it, being under His 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 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 whom the apostles handpicked to help lead the Church, who were not counted among the apostles. These people rejected Paul. It was the original apostles who listened to him, comparing his message with the Old Testament Scriptures and with the things Jesus personally taught them and with the things the Holy Spirit was revealing to them, and they determined that Paul was telling the truth from God. It is important when discerning the truth 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. Had God not made this crystal clear would have caused problems throughout the Church’s 2000-year history, allowing many doctrines to spring-up against gentile access to the gospel.

(110j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit of revelation >> Revelation of the truth >> Revelation of the true doctrines – 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; the fledgling Church that was still trying to comprehend the plan of God was at stake. Both Jew and gentile were at stake, and Paul knew it. He was not just afraid for himself; he was afraid for the whole world, for had 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 and the Jews exempted themselves from the gospel, no one would have managed it, and the gospel would have fizzled into obscurity. 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 Church, which would have created the first schism that would have done more harm than good. He needed their blessing so he could work with them and avoid causing division (1Cor 1,11-13). Paul had a lot to offer, and it was necessary that the leaders received him, so he could have full authority in 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

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Gal 2,2-5

(62k) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Making no provisions for the flesh – Every member of the Church should be baptized, not as a requirement of going to heaven but as a sign of obedience, whereas circumcision is a relic of the old covenant, an aspect of the Law, and the Law has been replaced by grace. It is no longer necessary to be circumcised, though it remains a health decision. Timothy chose not to be circumcised so he could testify against the legalistic false brethren who were telling the people they must be circumcised to be saved. Timothy refusing circumcision told his enemies that he had faith and works to prove his salvation yet without being circumcised. These legalists followed Paul and his band of evangelists to spy out their liberty, which the legalists probably called licentiousness. Liberty says there is nothing that anyone can do to be saved, no ceremonies, no holidays, no festivals to observe that is righteous enough for God to save us by our own merits. Only faith in the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ can provide a legitimate hope of eternal life, forgiveness of all our sins and obtain our place in the ranks of heaven. We don’t get baptized or circumcised to be saved; we get baptized because we believe, baptism being a sign of obedience, which is the same as believing. To believe and to obey are one and the same, but faith in Jesus Christ comes from God. We receive the Holy Spirit from heaven and are called to be a good host to the end, like a football, not to fumble it. God placed His Spirit in us on the day we first believed, and we were born-again; and it is for this that we are saved and forgiven, and for this God receives us into heaven on the day of our death.

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; ego also is involved. If the person isn't making money subverting the gospel of Christ, then according to the reprobate mind posing as a devout Christian it is for naught. Some denominations have had things added to their belief systems, while others have had things taken from them, the most common being the Holy Spirit. Take the Holy Spirit from the gospel and there is very little left, if anything. That is what has happened to Christianity today; 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 >> Obeying the Holy 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) not to be circumcised was normal, 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, passing them as requirements of salvation, such as circumcision, yet churches today have religious requirements tacked onto the gospel nearly everywhere we go. Religious bondage should be avoided at all costs. There were those who tried to sabotage the gospel even in Paul’s day, teaching that if we are not circumcised, we 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. He vigilantly rooted out false people and their doctrines from leadership in the Church, who love to put people in bondage for sordid gain.

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

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 more significant is fulfilling God’s divine calling. This is the faith that Jesus introduced to us and what Paul reinforced in his epistles, apart from the Law of Moses or other rules. The moment we introduce ordinances, it becomes a distraction to 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. Even Christians find it difficult at times to live by faith, because of its ethereal quality. 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 in us and teaching us about our calling, which is our purpose for being born. Following ordinances is the opposite of this, and if we allow these things to creep into the Church, divine faith 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 in 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; the Lord counted it as righteousness according to Rom 4-3 (taken from Gen 15-6). 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 the Scriptures and 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 God, nor does it promise eternal life. Only believing in the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins can do this for us, and following the subsequent gift of 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 those by-laws and with cult leaders, they will also be in good standing with God, but this has nothing to do with obtaining the righteousness form God through faith. People often make the mistake of equating the favor of man with the favor of God, but these 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 are loyal to the cult, 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. God doesn't need us to obey laws to determine whether we believe, because He knows our heart. The Pentecostal religion is not a cult, but some of the stricter sects of the denomination resemble Anabaptists and Mennonites, who exhibit cult-like behavior.

(160j) Works of the devil >> 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 Jews were trying to infiltrate the Church and integrate legalism into the Christian faith. The goal of all cults is to append various actions and behaviors to the faith, so that if not strictly observed, the directors will use it against the people as evidence that they don't believe in God, but don't be fooled by them, for they are really using their rules to determine our loyalty to themselves. That is, when members of a cult ignore its regulations and by-laws, they become unbelievers of the 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. Jesus taught not to fornicate, and the Holy Spirit reinforces this, 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 early disciples because of its irrelevancy, though it was important to legalistic 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 man-made rules.

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 that old covenant regulations would not take hold of the Church, such as circumcision, which was a practice used to identify 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. Had Paul allowed circumcision into the Christian faith, people would have not only made it mandatory for salvation, it would have also carried over other old covenant false notions such as being justified by law, which Paul and the other apostles vigilantly rooted from the Church.

(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 >> Wandering >> Wander from the character of God >> Wandering from the faith

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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 about seventeen years after his conversion. By then the apostles had developed a hierarchy of authority in the Church in 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 his near two-decade sabbatical Paul had been busy. He made a trip to Arabia and studied the Old Testament probably alone. This was a wilderness experience for him, a time of tuning his ear to the Holy Spirit and learning directly from God what role he would play in the Church. 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, being 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 and the other leaders of the Church gave Paul apostleship status. For three years Peter lived and walked with the most humble man who ever lived, Jesus Christ. Peter had the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him who bore witness of Paul, that he 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 merely based on human reasoning, whereas Paul was God's replacement. 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 Paul apostleship status was equivalent to writing him a blank check. Paul needed the right-hand of fellowship because he was destined to become a church planter. Peter walked with Christ in the flesh, but he never met the Lord after He was glorified like Paul did. The humility that Peter learned from Jesus trained him to recognize 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 those of "high reputation" in the Church listen to Paul? They felt threatened that Paul had come to replace them! This would be the only time Paul approached church politics in Jerusalem, who were dedicated to the Jews, whereas Paul was sent to the gentiles. See also: Paul's suffering; Gal 4-10,11; 24b

(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 of "reputation". Paul wanted to integrate into the body of Christ; he wasn’t interested in developing a Lone Ranger ministry, disconnected from the brethren; he wanted to be an integral component of the Church. Paul was looking for the position of apostle among the brethren, a support pillar in the body of Christ. He came to Jerusalem and to the elders of the Church, who were of high reputation, whom the apostles personally appointed, and they contributed nothing to him, dismissing 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. 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 the mega-churches nowadays and ask for the highest possible position within the Church, how do you think the elders would respond to him? They would have him physically escorted from the premises and thrown on his ear. If Peter weren’t there, Paul would have had to settle for a Lone Ranger ministry, and that wouldn’t have worked, nor would he have written his letters to the churches that we read in the New Testament, including this epistle to the Galatians. He may have become an evangelist and established churches just the same, but his ministry would have been treated as a faction, and Paul himself would have created the first schism in the Church, dividing the body of Christ between the apostles' converts and Paul’s (1Cor 1,11-15), instead of the one who ended such divisions.

(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 vision to them and they did not receive him; that is, they could not discern the anointing on Paul’s life. He told them that the gentiles were included in salvation and they rejected him, suggesting they didn’t want the gentiles to have access to the grace of God, being Jews. They wanted the gospel to be exclusively about them, 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. It is 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

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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, being central to Christianity, and this is where the Church still shines in the world. People love to help the misfortunate in distress, 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; on the contrary, refusing to delegate authority is the cause of their impotence. Delegating responsibility is biblical; it is what God does and will continue to do throughout eternity. He delegates every ounce of His authority, so when His kingdom grows to infinity, He will receive all the credit, and what will He do but reward those who are 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 do the will of God. They knew that God loved the whole world, not just Jews (Jn 3-16). Including the gentiles in salvation, then, 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 to the promise of eternal salvation through his ministry of evangelism. It was important that Paul did not go on his own; he needed the endorsement of the Church. Their approval established unity among the apostles, and their attitudes and values trickled to the saints, furnishing 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 not have accomplished what he did. He needed other people to confirm his apostleship, so those of his ministry could put their confidence in him, that he was not an instigator of a cult.

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 taking over the Church’s job, the gospel has for the most part been stymied, yet there are so many poor people in the world today that the Church could never take care of them all. Consequently, the worst thing that could happen to the world is for the global economy to collapse, which is inevitable, yet for the Church it is the best thing that could happen, in that it will be a time when people will 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

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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 recognizing those who have received grace from God that we would have otherwise never expected God to have chosen, and also recognizing those we would never have expected to be phonies in the Church, who have the appearance of righteousness but resist the Holy Spirit. Paul came from a culture and background that persecuted the Church, having a reputation among the saints as a dangerous and vile man, who locked-up the saints in prison, traveling the countryside proselytizing people and arresting the dissenters of his religion. After Christ chose him and placed His Spirit in him and bestowed a profound anointing on him for evangelism, God did not change his calling. He kept pursuing the saints, but now to preach Jesus to them and invite them to the kingdom of God. The $64,000 question is this: who today has the discernment to ignore his own biases and recognize the grace of God in someone who was once an enemy of the Church?

(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 the gifts flow. However, 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 spiritual fruits, he would be far ahead of the 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. 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. In the same way, there is no reason to expect that God is weaving His grace into a person who shows 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, giving 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 gifted person could approach his pastor and tell him about the grace that God is lavishing on him, and his story would simply bounce off his arrogance. He might say, ‘That’s great, brother; what a fabulous testimony; thanks for sharing,’ and that would be the end of it. At best he might let the gifted man repeat his testimony at prayer meeting. What is a gifted man to do? Years of work spent preparing for ministry just to give a five-minute speech that affected no one. Is it any wonder the church is dead? There is no reason to commit oneself to his faith in American Christianity. See also: Apostasy (Caring more about the world than the faith); Rom 8,14-17; 35f

(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 to be pillars of the Church. That word “reputed” is rooted in the word reputation. Peter, James and John had a reputation for being pillars of the Church from the work they accomplished in founding the Church on Christ’s teachings, suggesting that had they never done anything with their lives, they could not have been pillars of the Church, though they were disciples of Jesus. That is, their reputation wasn’t based on who they were but on what they did. There were twelve disciples (counting Paul); where are the other eight? Apparently, they were not pillars of the overall Church headquartered in Jerusalem, though all Jesus’ disciples were fruitful in their ministries where God sent them. 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 dictate what kind of action should be taken, like judges in the days of Moses.

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Gal 2-10

(23g) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Tending to the needs of the poor (this is not in relation to sin) – When someone steps on the poor, they have no advocate to protect them, except the Church. Therefore, we are to remember to treat the poor graciously with kindness for the express reason that the world doesn’t. We are to remember the poor in order to make a statement against the world that their deeds are evil, for the more we distinguish ourselves from the world and in the ways of God, the greater effect our evangelism to win the lost, but the more we act like the world, the less people see a need to be saved. 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. To the degree we care for the poor is the degree that the rich may never hear the gospel, for 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 with the gospel. There are many poor people who are just about as arrogant, and they cannot be reached any more than the rich, and so are they really poor? We can discern the truly poor person by their affinity to the gospel of Christ. What did Jesus say about the rich? “You have your reward in full.” This is not the case with all rich people, but it is with the majority of them. The poor are easily oppressed because they have no authority and no one is interested in them and they have little means to defend themselves.

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 wreck. 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 distinguish himself among the brethren instead of working with them as a unit. The temptation is strong to pretend that we have special talents and gifts that make us superior to others. No doubt we have talents from our natural birth and gifts from our spiritual birth, but that doesn't mean we can feel special about them, since the people we consider inferior to us probably have just as many gifts and talents as we do that are just as necessary to 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

(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 taught that both 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 not members of Christ 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 eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, and Peter holding to the Jewish rite of circumcision conflicted with the vision of Christ that both groups are one in Christ.

(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) >>

(168a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Do not conform to the world >> Do not let the world’s approval shape 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 with God’s acceptance of the gentiles (Act 10,9-28). Nevertheless, his old teachings returned to him (Mat 13-52), so when the Jews came to Antioch, Peter began to withdraw from the gentiles, fearing what the Jews might think and say about him fellowshipping with the gentiles. He tried to please the Jews, and in so doing created class distinctions within the body of Christ. Being a pillar of the Church and one Jesus' closest disciples of the twelve, this had a huge impact, until Paul came and observed this behavior and opposed him to his face. He was a model for both Jew and gentile who would believe in Jesus for eternal life; people looked to him to understand the ways of God, but 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 – Peter understood that the gentiles were included in this salvation, yet he had a tendency to continue believing in the old way. He was taught from childhood that gentiles were dogs, subhuman and not to mingle with them and especially not to marry into the gentile nations, but to keep their genealogy pure. One difference between the Old and New Testaments is that God previously called Israel to remain pure in their generations, whereas Jesus called His disciples to remain pure in heart. The same way as Peter, every Catholic converted to the protestant faith will probably not fully shake the old teachings of Catholicism from his belief system, like Peter who was unable to shake his former Jewish beliefs and traditions, though he walked with Jesus in the flesh. These religious beliefs are insidious like weeds in a garden, the moment we put down the hoe the weeds pop up overnight and we find ourselves struggling with them again. For Peter the religious weeds resembled justification through the law, whereas Catholic religious weeds resemble justification through faith, plus works: baptism, confirmation, holy Eucharist (communion), penance, anointing of the sick, holy orders and matrimony.

(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 demands, thinking that God loves them because of all the mindless works they are doing 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 learned man, 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, but he got saved from all that, 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 their way to heaven; it was the sign of legalism. This is what the Jews did to the Law of Moses, but it was not what God intended. Abraham was the father of their nation, and that was the only significance the Jews saw in him. When God commanded Abraham to be circumcised, legalism was the last thing on His mind; instead, circumcision was enacted as a sign of faith, but 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, then he was circumcised (Rom 4,9-14). James said that his obedience proved his faith, but the Jews overlooked faith and sought only the proof instead of faith itself. That is like saying the signet ring that seals the envelope is more important than the contents of the letter. 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. See also: Faith versus works; Gal 3-3; 118m

(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 -- These verses go with verse 18. Paul was big on making the right impression, communicating the gospel even nonverbally; he didn’t want anyone getting the wrong idea of Christianity. This is why 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 didn't carry the excess baggage of legalism of the Jews; instead, the gentiles warred with their affinity for paganism. In the same way, we are to live out our faith in Jesus minus all the laws, regulations, traditions and paganism of the past. Peter made the mistake of fearing the opinion of the Jews and started to eat with them, thus disassociating himself from the gentiles and making distinctions between the two groups when there were none in the eyes of God. 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, which apparently was more important to him than obeying Christ. The lesson when we get saved is this: Christ is calling us to live as we will in heaven, and in heaven there is neither Jew nor gentile, just people whom God has chosen 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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Gal 2-12,13

(160j) Works of the devil >> 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 >> Satan determines the world's 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 Scripture? 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 in Jesus day, they weren’t very excited about Jesus being their Messiah, but they would have accepted Him had He manifested the kingdom before their eyes, which would have involved defeating their enemies the Romans, though they didn't mind being slaves to sin.

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 that 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. They learned to avoid gentiles altogether and so developed a negative attitude about them, considering themselves better. Peter was a Jew; his natural tendency was to separate from the gentiles, but Jesus changed all that; He put Jew and gentile on the same level; one was not better than the other. Nevertheless, Cephas chose to follow his old way of thinking and stayed aloof from the gentiles and took meals exclusively with the Jews. 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, knowing if this behavior continued it would have caused factions. For Jews and gentiles to associate with each other was unusual; it made a huge statement that the Church was unique from the world, and it made the point of the fundamental changes that transpired in the Church and in each person who believes in Jesus. It showed how different the Church is from the world. God's people should 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 not God's expectation; it has always been about faith, even as “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” This is the most often quoted verse of the Old Testament. There is no distinction between Jew and gentile; they are both saved by grace through faith.

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 keep the law, but Christ has shown us the Father and sent the Holy Spirit into our hearts to help us believe in Him. This is God’s faith, differentiating between the old and new covenants, one believing according to the strength of men and the other believing according to the strength of God. 

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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 suffering is not evil either; it is neutral, natural, part of this life, like the air we breathe. To resist suffering is to resist the truth. God does not condemn suffering in His children; instead, He promotes it, because it drives us to Him. That might sound strange since He lives in a heavenly paradise, yet God is not a stranger to suffering. 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 He would go to the cross before He created man. God will teach us 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 it will become our knowledge base in eternity. The foundation is always more important than the structure we build upon it. Without a proper foundation, the Church would not have survived. What 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 has remained.

(205h) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> New covenant >> The old one is obsolete – In the course of being saved we discover that we are sinners. Acknowledging this is actually a requirement of salvation, for once we understand our status as sinners, we can 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.” That is, those who seek to be justified by law nullify the grace of God, thus reinstating themselves as transgressors. The law implies that we are not to transgress against it, so if we don’t lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery..., then we are dying to the law. We either die to the law by obeying it or we die because of the law by disobeying it; in either case the law produces death. The cross represents dying to the deeds of the flesh, which the law also does, but if the cross represents sin resulting in death, then the law, which represents the same thing, is made redundant and thus obsolete. When Jesus was on the cross shedding His blood for the sins of the world, we are hanging on a cross next to Him, dying to the 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 asked questions like this and then answered them for people who were deriving wild conclusions about God and their relation to Him. 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 that they did not consider themselves sinners until they met Christ, who came 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 sin, but when they learned about Jesus, they discovered they were sinners. He is not the cause of them being sinners; He is the remedy. Every person should willingly admit to being a sinnerif not to their fellow man, then to Godyet people tend to deny this about themselves, maximizing their good and minimizing their evil to avoid thinking about themselves in a negative way. They do this in view of their fellow man, ignoring God's opinion of them, who views us as sinners, which is the purpose of salvation, becoming right with God. Consider some of the worst sins we have committed; this is just the tip of the iceberg of sin that God thinks about us apart from Christ. We were born into a fallen world through no fault of our own, which ironically also makes us redeemable.

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 – Paul is talking about a sinner who was in bondage to various sins and then got saved, but then later went back to his old ways and re-clasped the chains to his own hands. This is called backsliding. He can repent and God will again deliver him that he may continue the process of building the temple of worship in his heart, consisting of the truth. Note what God said to Moses, “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain” (Exodus 25-40). We don’t build the truth in our mind any way we want, because that would not be the truth, which is defined as God’s reality. The process of adopting God’s reality is like building a house, board by board, brick by brick, connecting the pieces until the house is finished, though we are called to work on it throughout our lives. 1Cor 2-16 says, “‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he should instruct him?’ But we have Christ’s mind.” We’re going along just fine when temptation comes along, and we fall to it. Instead of grabbing a board and nailing it in place, we pull a board off the structure and throw it in a heap, disassembling the temple. We need to stop and quickly repent before we tear down completely what we have built and have to start over, taking one step forward and two steps backward. We mortar two bricks together and the next day take a sledgehammer and knock down a wall. We don’t want to go back to our old ways; we already know that nothing meaningful is there waiting for us.

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

(204c) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Back-slider >> Practicing sin >> Withdrawing from a righteous standard -- This verse goes with verses 11-14

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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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 – There are essentially two schools of thought when considering the gospel, and they reside on both ends of the spectrum with the truth in the middle: legalism and licentiousness. Legalism tries to follow God’s commandments without His help, while licentiousness waits for God to do His will through them. The licentious person says, ‘I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, or even come to Him on my own; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts and keeps me in the true faith.’ On the one hand, this is scriptural; without Him we can do nothing (Jn 15-5); on the other hand, people use this interpretation as an excuse to do nothing. They are waiting for God, who never communicates His specific will to them, because they are not open to it. What both the legalistic and the licentious people don’t understand is that God has called us to work with His grace to do His will. If we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we should become students of His word and disciples of prayer, so we can hear His voice; and if we do what He says, it will open our ears all the more to His purpose in our lives. They have confused the difference between mercy and grace: God invokes His mercy in us when we were helpless in unbelief, but after He saves us, He calls us to promote His kingdom in the world. 

(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 identified with the works of the flesh in my former manner of life, that person has died, for once I am born-again it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me through in indwelling Holy Spirit. Outwardly my flesh is still alive; nothing has changed, but inwardly I am a new man, and in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Paul is careful not to nullify the grace of God through the law, instead taught that the law is nullified through grace. On the one hand, if we raise up the law and teach that we must observe its statues in order to be saved, then we have nullified the grace of God; on the other hand, God has placed His will and desires in our heart so that we want to please the Lord, and thus we fulfill the requirements of the law inadvertently. We desire to live with Christ as His people in eternity, but before that, we want to live this life as we will in heaven. The law does not lead us to desire these things but the indwelling Holy Spirit does, who is the grace of God. What about the issue of sin, then? It shouldn’t surprise anyone that if sin complicates our lives, it also complicate the matter of God’s grace. Therefore, sin doesn’t fit anywhere in a Christian’s life; nevertheless, "if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1Jn 2-1).

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 tells us what He told 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. 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 has taken our place, as John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn 3-30). This refers to an inverse relationship between our sinful flesh and the Lord; to the extent that we decrease is the extent that He increases in us. Our suffering feeds the anointing, forcing us to seek God, like a push from the back into His arms. See also: Suffering evil fuels the anointing; Phi 3,7-14; 187f

(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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