JUDGES 2-3:Yesterday we heard how the tribe of Judah was more successful in driving out the Canaanites than the other tribes. Several of the tribes just moved in with their enemies. PSALM 79:This lament by Asaph is like Ps 74, talking about Jerusalem and the Temple conquered by enemies. There is a strong comparison with what we see starting to happen in Judges. GALATIANS 1:We heard the controversy over circumcision in Acts 15. This letter to the Galatian believers is on a similar theme, and it shows how Paul would have argued with the Jews of the circumcision party. Paul stays very much on this theme in this book— which in some ways foreshadows some arguments in the book of Romans. Important sections for memorizing include the ‘crucified with Christ’ passages in chapter 2 and 6, and the works of the flesh and fruits of the Holy Spirit in chapter 5. This book makes it perfectly clear that we are not saved by religion. We are saved by ‘faith’— which means ‘fully believing in Christ’. Do not fall into the trap of choosing between what James says about being saved by works and what Paul says. The two teachings are compatible. The saying taught to me by one of my spiritual fathers (Glen Zumwalt) is this: We are saved by ‘faith alone’; but saving faith will never be ‘alone’. Paul’s introduction in the first chapter is unique among his letters. He normally starts with praise for the congregation he is writing to. Not in this case! After he expresses his shock at the Galatian church, he goes on to remind them that the Good News they had so quickly abandoned was revealed directly to him by the Lord. NLT Translation notes:|Jdg. 3:12 Once again the Israelites did evil in the Lord ’s sight, and the Lord gave King Eglon of Moab control over Israel because of their evil.====Gal. 1:1This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead. 6 [But] I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News 15 But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous [kindness/grace]. Then it pleased him 16 to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. 23 All they knew was that people were saying, “The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very [beliefs//faith] he tried to destroy!”
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