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Galatians; The Cross and the Spirit

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posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 05:01 PM
The epistle to the Galatians is the text which Browning’s monk “in a Spanish cloister” was hoping to use to tempt his enemy into heretical conclusions.
Certainly this letter stands out among the letters of Paul as presenting the contrast between Faith and legalism.
Over the first couple of chapters, Paul was explaining to the Galatians his reasons for unwillingness to compromise on the gospel.
His message and his mission had been given to him direct from Christ.
Therefore he firmly contests, and always did contest, any attempts to water down the gospel by introducing circumcision or any other commands from the Law of Moses.

He then goes on to explain why the gospel of Christ must be centred upon Faith.

The first line of argument comes from Christian experience, and he begins with his own experience.
Paul died to the law (ch2 v19). That is, his life was detached from the sphere where the law operates.
He and the law are now on opposite sides of the death-barrier, so that it no longer holds any authority over him.

If we ask how Paul died to the law, the answer is that he so died when Christ was crucified.
Along with every other believer, Paul has been crucified together with [SYNESTAUROMAI] Christ.
In effect, he has been carried along by Christ, through his death and into his resurrection (v20).

So the other side of the coin is that Paul is now alive “to God”.
It is Christ, rather than Paul, who is “living in me”, activating his current life.
“The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.”
The “now” in that statement is a contrast with his previous life, when he was not living by faith.
This faith is placed in the one “who loved me and gave himself for me [HYPER ME- on my account]”.
That is, it rests upon the event of the Cross.

And he adds, almost as an afterthought, that the possibility of righteousness through the law would set aside the grace of God and make the death of Christ unnecessary. Either approach excludes the other (v21)

Next he turns to the experience of the Galatians themselves (ch3 vv1-5).
He doesn’t expect them to deny that they have received the Spirit of God. They have had tangible evidence of this, because they have “experienced so many things”, including miracles.
Very well, then; they cannot deny, also, that they received this experience in conjunction with Paul’s preaching of Christ.
Specifically, the preaching of Christ as “one who had been crucified”.
Paul had been presenting this image so emphatically that it was like drawing them a picture (“publicly portrayed”).
He taught them to understand what he had already experienced for himself.
Their Christian life had come through their faith. That is, through their absolute trust, based on the death of Christ upon the Cross.

Thus the way they received the Spirit had been by the hearing of the gospel in faith.
And NOT by doing the works of the law.
How, then, can they be so foolish as to turn away from the faith which gave them this experience? For that’s what’s happening if they feel obliged to begin following the law’s commands.
Faith is a state of resting in trust, which needs no other support.
And any movement away from that faith which brings
them the Spirit amounts to abandoning the Spirit and “ending with the flesh”.
In other words, returning back where they started.

Faith has been their point of contact with God.
This double experience through faith, of knowing the death of Christ and receiving the Spirit, is the evidence which ought to persuade them to hold fast in their faith and resist the temptation to compromise.

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 06:11 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Learned fellow ATS member, I often value and star your posts in non-religious threads, you add to the conversation and often say things I had never thought about, food for thought, if you will.

And I mean this with absolutely no disrespect whatsoever:

Then I read your biblical threads out of...curiosity. Sometimes boredom, to be honest but hey, I'm at home all day. Not through choice. They are extremely well constructed, written, reasoned and your opinion is politely stated but, well, confusing, convoluted, complex and contradictory for my logic and I want to ask one question and one question alone.

Why would you place faith, belief, call it what you will, in an almost mythical "story" about an all seeing, all knowing, all powerful being that sacrificed his own son for all us sinners? And the only "word" we have to go on are a bunch of ancient, crumbling "documents" translated from other languages? I'm not questioning faith, I'm questioning logic, veracity and "truth" of said ancient documents and, well. Perhaps I said too much but nonetheless I would be interested to hear your answer.

(I was raised Catholic but, well, I reached puberty....)

edit on 22/1/16 by LightSpeedDriver because: Wrong codeword for beer

ETA Couldn't find the beer icon...
edit on 22/1/16 by LightSpeedDriver because: (no reason given)

ETA2: Please don't tell me I just insulted or tested a priest's faith.

edit on 22/1/16 by LightSpeedDriver because: ETA2

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 06:29 PM

originally posted by: LightSpeedDriver
Why would you place faith, belief, call it what you will, in an almost mythical "story" about an all seeing, all knowing, all powerful being that sacrificed his own son for all us sinners? And the only "word" we have to go on are a bunch of ancient, crumbling "documents" translated from other languages? I'm not questioning faith, I'm questioning logic, veracity and "truth" of said ancient documents and, well. Perhaps I said too much but nonetheless I would be interested to hear your answer.

You're asking for a rational justification of faith, and you're not going to get one (if the object of faith was provable, no faith would be needed).
Faith is a question of trust, ultimately trust in a person. Trusting or not trusting in a person is not something finally decided by logical process. In the end, it comes down to making a choice. You trust them or you don't. The way we approach the Biblical sources follows on from that.

Another reason why believers cannot pin down a "cause" of their faith is that they don't know the cause.
That is what Jesus means in John ch3 when he compares the Holy Spirit to the wind, because the people who experience it can't see where it comes from.
Similarly Paul in this chapter links faith with the Holy Spirit. They go together.

(I was raised Catholic but, well, I reached puberty....)

I was raised Anglican, reached puberty and became an atheist. I too have been through that stage of adolescence. I have a thread (How an atheist became a Christian) which describes what happens next.

P.S. I am not a priest, except in the sense of Revelation ch5 vv9-10.
edit on 22-1-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 06:57 PM
Yes Disraeli I too enjoy your presentation of the gospel. I think you tie everything together nicely, hopefully you have made many consider the sacrifice the lord made for them.

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 07:00 PM
a reply to: kenzohattori69
Thank you for the encouragement. The intention is to continue working through the rest of Galatians.
As for how much it influences people, we'll have to trust to the Holy Spirit for that.

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 07:25 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

This was a beautiful post, thank you.
I did not know what page I was going to open but on a whim feeling down opened the story of Hezekiah last night, I only read part of it as the old king james version is hard to read sometime's but I reckognised or was shown how the book of Isaiah spoke of Jesus, how he would hold his arms out wide to gather his flock and be there shepherd, how he would bring the suckling lamb's unto his bossom, this was of course Christ our lord crucified, it also talks about him being the repurchaser of his people and he is in the book of Isiah referred to as Jah and the Lord which is direct confirmation of him being the real and only Emanuel, the spreading of his arms to bring his flock and being there shepherd is also directly visible as Christ the good shepherd.

Thank you for this and may it open the mind's of those that read it.

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 07:30 PM
The writings of Paul, to the educated, are the most detailed books in scripture regarding a false prophet, the first false prophet to fulfill Jesus warming/prophecy about false prophets leading people astray. And lead astray they have done as so many calling themselves Christian are Christians in name only. Go to church and it's Paul this and Paul that. People who don't get this are not real christians, as they accept Pauls teachings over Jesus. They won't ever realize it either. Instead they will forsake common sense and make up the most nonsensical rationalizations rather than defend Jesus honor. I stopped going to church because my pastor could not explain to me something that can't be explained unless you drop the Christian arrogant attitude that refuses to question a book, clearly not inerrant, and pray to the Holy Spirit for the truth. The bible is a good book for spiritual exercise but you really need to be of above average intelligence to understand it. Paul is my own spiritual test to know if someone is a real disciple or a seeker of the envy of others. Ill try explaining it to people but you just can't make people reasonable and smart. You either have open eyes or your one of the followers of popular opinion. I haven't got time or patience to teach a sheep.

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 07:31 PM
a reply to: LABTECH767
Yes, he appears a lot in Isaiah. When you say the story of Hezekiah, are you talking about the episode of his sickness?
There is a lot to be said for using more modern translations for the sake of understanding them more easily. My normal study Bible is the RSV, which is not far from the AV.

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 07:33 PM
a reply to: 33Iam666
For future reference, Essene616, I don't respond to off-topic posting.

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 07:35 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI
What??? I don't know you pr want to and im not Jewish

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 07:38 PM
a reply to: 33Iam666

You have come onto this thread solely to attack the christian faith, your attack on paul (The Apostle to the Gentiles as he was called by some) mirrors those of other Anti christian member's.

How was your master any smarter than any other angel, he lost when the angels of the second lowest choir rose up against him, these were mere children compared to the then arch angels but there selfless action warmed god's heart.

Here is a secret if your master had won he would have lost anyway, had no angel leapt to there lord's defence (though God is infinite and invincible) then heaven would have been deemed by him unworthy to exist along with the cunning, lying serpant decieving father of lies whom you obviously owe your misguided allegiance too.

You do know that Christ is the light of the world, the light that illuminated in truth but that Lucifer as Satan is also Known as the light which only illuminated himself (Shining one) as the false god, the eye in the pyramid, and needed all other's in darkness to magnify himself, you do understand that he is still trying to gain that on earth through such as yourself.

It is never too late turn back and renounce him but be warned if you do not there is no more mercy for the devil and his devotee's and there fate is sealed and written, there is no getting out of it.

edit on 22-1-2016 by LABTECH767 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 07:44 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Yes when he was granted another 15 years of life as a blessing and jerusalem was so spared for a time.

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 07:47 PM
a reply to: LABTECH767I am a Christian. A growing number of enlightened Christians are properly telling people about this egomaniacal boasting egomaniacal subversive false prophet. You Paulines are the anti christians. I'm just trying to lead people to the truth who are full of false light.

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 07:54 PM
Luke 21:8 Jesus says " Take heed that you are NOT LED ASTRAY. For many will come IN MY NAME,saying, THE TIME IS AT HAND, DO NOT GO AFTER THEM.

Here is Paul in Romans 13:12 payattention. "The night is far gone, THE TIME IS AT HAND.

That is plain English, DO NOT GO AFTER THEM. So why do you ignore Jesus?

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 07:58 PM
a reply to: LABTECH767read it again, I meant to send that to you. I can't wait to hear your rationalization don't even bring the out of context argument, if you can read, you can clearly see Jesus predicted a false prophet. Paul, word for word, fulfilled it. Bam.

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 08:12 PM
a reply to: LABTECH767And I don't have a master. I'm a free man, nobody is master over this man of Christ. Christ is my friend because I tell the truth despite persecution. Not trying to insult anyone but some people get it, and some people THINK they get it. You think you're the first person to ignore inconvenient-to-you proof? There are millions of you, and I will never stop speaking what the Holy Spirit reveals to me. I made a promise.

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 08:18 PM
a reply to: 33Iam666

You are saying the other apostles whom accepted Paul were wrong, he was met by Simeon Peter and indeed died a Martyr of Christ like Simeon Peter.

You want rationalization not faith, you put god to the test how can you call yourself a christian when you do not even accept the miracle of the conversion on the road to Damascus.

There have been many anti christs in the history of the church, the borgas for example and many before and after but Saul of Tarsus was not one, he gave up his career and the adulation of his peers to follow the christ and spread his word having become a servant of the lord and given himself to Jesus after the miracle yet you still call him an anti christ.

Now I shall tell you of what a wolf in sheep's clothing is, it is someone whom twists the bible to lead other's away from the truth, some american TV pasters including some very famous one's are such, only the other day I saw one quoting the parable of the workers, he was twisting it to claim that socialism which is fundemental chrsitian tradition is not christian and saying it was meant as an example for life on earth and how employee's should regard there wages when in fact it was a parable about those in the body of Christ for all are of the one body in Christ, those whom are with him shall be equal to one another in the wage of salvation and not as in in heirarchy's of earth, it was Jesus whom said if you have two coat's and your brother has non then give him the one you are not using and it was Jesus whom was a homeless man with no place to lay his head teaching and gathering his flock, it was Jesus whom said as you treat the least of these SO you treat me and it was Jesus whom said the first shall be last and the least*** shall be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

When did Paul scatter christs flock, he did when he was Saul but not after when he helped the church to grow and served the lord.

Who is the master of this so called Enlightenment and perverse reinterpretation, whom is the one that sowed this bitter seed of evil and what does he gain from it.

A house divided can not stand, whom again tell us is the anti Christ in this matter.

If you accept Christ, when you took the sacrement it was not bread and wine but the Body and Blood of Christ, when you had that Shock as your body tingled as the bread touched your lip's of the force of it as the wine passed over the threshold of your mouth.

Did you give yourself to Christ as you accepted him into you?, your body for his body, your life for his blood are you his.

*** Sell all you own and give it to the poor then come and follow me, Store up your treasures in heaven, the parable of the rich fool whom stored up his treasure here and not in heaven - when he died who reaped his wealth, the first christian churches held there wealth in common, no one wanted as it was shared as and when it was needed and there were no church princes or opulant bishop's palaces, the able worked, the sich were tended the elderly pensioned and looked after and the poor had shelter, food and clothing, one in the body of christ - the body tended on earth.

edit on 22-1-2016 by LABTECH767 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 08:25 PM
a reply to: LABTECH767how typically Christian of you to threaten me with hell for disagreeing with you. You sound like Paul and every other Christian who worships him. I can't take seriously anyone who would say that. That reveals your true character, you WANT me to go to hell and make it sound like you're preaching the gospel, but you're preaching Pauline doctrine over Christ, so who REALLY follows Jesus here? The whole mid east regions rejected Paul. That doesn't happen when you preach the Messiah. A few or many people, maybe, but not all of Asia as Paul himself says. That is why he went to the gentiles, because they didn't know any better.

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 08:27 PM
a reply to: LABTECH767
See I just showed you proof and you wrote a book trying to distract from the facts.

posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 08:32 PM
a reply to: LABTECH767
Your angry tirade means nothing. You can't handle that Jesus predicted a false prophet, even the words he would use, that Paul fulfilled the prediction with those words, and that YOU DIDN'T KNOW IT. I don't blame you, I felt stupid when I figured it out too. You'll get through it.

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