Walking in His Steps
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In 2021 we are reading through the New Testament in a plan called Foundation 260, FOLLOW here and JOIN the group below.Follow
- Below are notes and observation on my research and reading through the Bible. Scroll down to find notes on F-260 readings (this Faithlife platform lists my notes in the order I posted them, not according to biblical reference). YOU CAN JOIN MY GROUP HERE: https://kgbc.churchcenter.com/groups/sunday-groups/walking-in-his-steps The name "Walking in His Steps" is taken from my Sunday Bible Study Class - I'll let you know when we begin to meet again.Walking in His StepsKing's Grant Baptist Church on Church Centerkgbc.churchcenter.com
- Until Christ is Formed in YouThis is the goal of the disciple-maker, that people would conform to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29) and become mature to the stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). In contrast to the evil motives of the Judaizers, Paul sought to bring the Galatians to Christlikeness. Paul’s imagery in Galatians 4:19 is powerful. He would have at least had the attention of all the mothers in the church by comparing his ministry to childbirth. Giving birth is a joyful experience, because once the trauma is over and the pain has subsided, the parent has a child to be proud of. But in Paul’s metaphor, he was being forced to start over and “birth” the same child. It’s no wonder he was feeling perplexed (Galatians 4:20), or literally, "at wits end."
- Paul's Bodily IllnessCould this be what Paul describes as his thorn in the flesh? (2 Corinthians 12:7). Regarding this section, Wiersbe writes: Paul was a wonderful spiritual father; he knew just how to balance rebuke with love. Now he turns from “spanking” to “embracing” as he reminds the believers of their love for him and his love for them. At one point they were willing to sacrifice anything for Paul, so great was their love; but now he had become their enemy. The Judaizers had come in and stolen their affection. Bible students wish Paul had been more explicit here, because we are not sure just what events he is talking about. When Paul had originally visited them, he was suffering from some physical affliction. If Paul wrote this letter to the churches of South Galatia, then he is referring to his first missionary journey, recorded in Acts 13–14. Apparently Paul had not intended to visit these cities, but was forced to do so because of some bodily infirmity. We can only speculate as to what this was. Some have suggested malaria; others, an affliction of the eyes (see Galatians 4:15, 6:11). Whatever it was, it must have made Paul somewhat repulsive in appearance, because he commends the Galatians for the way they received him in spite of the way he looked. To them, he was an angel of God. It is a wonderful thing when people accept God’s servants, not because of their outward appearance, but because they represent the Lord and bring his message.Galatians 4:13–15New American Standard Bible: 1995 Updatebut you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself. Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me.
- Adoption as Sons / HeirsThose who have faith in Christ have grown up. They are no longer children without inheritance and freedom; they are sons. Wiersbe writes: the entire Trinity is involved in our spiritual experience: God the Father sent the Son to die for us, and God the Son sent his Spirit to live in us. The contrast here is not between immature children and adult sons, but between servants and sons. Like the Prodigal Son, the Galatians wanted their Father to accept them as servants, when they really were sons (Luke 15:18–19). The son has the same nature as the father, but the servant does not. When we trust Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us; and this means we are “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). The Law could never give a person God’s nature within. The son has a father, while the servant has a master. No servant could ever say “Father” to his master. When the sinner trusts Christ, he receives the Holy Spirit within, and the Spirit tells him that he is a child of the Father (Romans 8:15–16). The son obeys out of love, while the servant obeys out of fear. The Spirit works in the heart of the believer to quicken and increase his love for God. “The fruit of the Spirit is love” (Galatians 5:22). “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy [Spirit]” (Romans 5:5). The son is rich, while the servant is poor. We are both “sons and heirs.” And since we are adopted—placed as adult sons in the family—we may begin drawing on our inheritance right now. God has made available to us the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7; 2:7), the riches of His glory (Philippians 4:19), the riches of His goodness (Rom. 2:4), and the riches of His wisdom (Romans 11:33ff)—and all of the riches of God are found in Christ (Colossians 1:19; 2:3). The son has a future, while the servant does not. While many kind masters did provide for their slaves in old age, it was not required of them. The father always provides for the son (2 Corinthians 12:14).
- Redemption Has ComeMacArthur writes: in God’s timetable, when the exact religious, cultural, and political conditions demanded by his perfect plan were in place, Jesus came into the world. God sent forth his Son. As a father set the time for the ceremony of his son becoming of age and being released from the guardians, managers, and tutors, so God sent his Son at the precise moment to bring all who believe out from under bondage to the law—a truth Jesus repeatedly affirmed (John 5:30, 36, 37; 6:39, 44, 57; 8:16, 18, 42; 12:49; 17:21, 25; 20:21). That the Father sent Jesus into the world teaches his pre-existence as the eternal second member of the Trinity (see also Philippians 2:6-7; Hebrews 1:3–5; Romans 8:3-4). Wiersbe writes: Paul is careful to point out the dual nature of Jesus Christ (Galatians 4:4), that he is both God and man. As God, Jesus “came forth” (John 16:28); but as man, He was “made of a woman.” The ancient promise said that the Redeemer would be of “the woman’s seed” (Genesis 3:15); and Jesus fulfilled that promise (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18–25). Paul has told us WHO came—God’s Son; he has told us WHEN he came and HOW he came. Now he explains WHY he came: “to redeem them that were under the Law” (Galatians 4:5). "Redeem" is the same word Paul used earlier (Galatians 3:13); it means “to set free by paying a price.” A man could purchase a slave in any Roman city, either to keep the slave for himself or to set him free. Jesus came to set us free. So, to go back into the Law is to undo the very work of Christ on the cross. He did not purchase us to make us slaves, but sons! Under Law, the Jews were mere children, but under grace, the believer is a son of God with an adult standing in God’s family.
- Children of BondageWiersbe writes: Paul states that the Jews were, like little children, in bondage to “the elements of the world.” This word elements means the basic principles, the ABCs. For some fifteen centuries, Israel had been in kindergarten and grade school, learning their “spiritual ABCs,” so that they would be ready when Christ would come. Then they would get the full revelation, for Jesus Christ is “the Alpha and the Omega” (Revelation 22:13); he encompasses all the alphabet of God’s revelation to man. He is God’s last Word (Hebrews 1:1–3). Legalism, then, is not a step toward maturity; it is a step back into childhood. The Law was not God’s final revelation; it was but the preparation for that final revelation in Christ. It is important that a person know his ABCs, because they are the foundation for understanding all of the language. But the man who sits in a library and recites the ABCs instead of reading the great literature that is around him, is showing that he is immature and ignorant, not mature and wise. Under the Law, the Jews were children in bondage, not sons enjoying liberty.Galatians 4:1–3New American Standard Bible: 1995 UpdateNow I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world.
- All Are One in ChristThe FSB: Paul emphasizes that the standard categories that often divide people—race, social status, gender—do not apply to those who are in Christ. It is not that such criteria cease to exist; rather, these distinctions are not grounds for exclusion from the life that God offers to all people in Christ. MacArthur writes: all those who are one with Jesus Christ are one with one another. This verse does not deny that God has designed racial, social, and sexual distinctions among Christians, but it affirms that those do not imply spiritual inequality before God. Wiersbe adds: this does not mean that our race, political status, or gender is changed at conversion; but it does mean that these things are of no value or handicap when it comes to our spiritual relationship to God through Christ. The Law perpetuated these distinctions, but God in his grace has declared all men to be on the same level that he might have mercy on all men (Romans 11:25–32).
- Why the Law?Paul’s persuasive argument that the promise is superior to the law raises an obvious question: What was the purpose of the law? Paul’s answer is that the law reveals man’s utter sinfulness, inability to save himself, and desperate need of a Savior—it was never intended to be the way of salvation (Romans 7:1–13). The Faithlife Study Bible: Paul’s point is that the law was added subsequent to the covenant that God had made with Abraham. Paul’s statement here can be interpreted to mean that the law’s purpose was to define sin (Romans 4:15) or to increase sin (Romans 5:20). In Galatians 3:20, Paul’s point is apparently that a “mediator” is required when more than one party is involved, but God alone ratified the covenant with Abraham. Wiersbe writes: when God gave the Law to Israel, he did it by means of angels and through the mediation of Moses. Israel “received the Law by the disposition of angels” (Acts 7:53). This means that the nation received the Law third-hand: from God to angels to Moses. But when God made his covenant with Abraham, he did it personally, without a mediator. God was revealing to Abraham all that he would do for him and his descendants. A mediator stands between two parties and helps them to agree; but there was no need for a mediator in Abraham’s case since God was entering into a covenant with him, not Abraham with God. “God is only one,” suggests there was no need for a go-between.Galatians 3:19–20New American Standard Bible: 1995 UpdateWhy the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one.
- A Covenant RatifiedI see this "one man's covenant" sort of like a will, it is not set aside and nothing is added to it. In Paul’s example, the covenant refers to the promise that God made to Abraham (before God instructed Abraham to be circumcised; Genesis 17:26). This covenant was ratified not by circumcision, but by God himself (Genesis 15:9–21).
- Abraham Believed GodAs he does in Romans (Romans 4:3), Paul, quoting Genesis 15:6, uses Abraham as proof that there has never been any other way of salvation than by grace through faith. Even the Old Testament teaches justification by faith. Wiersbe writes: Paul begins by quoting Moses to show that God’s righteousness was placed to Abraham’s account only because he believed God’s promise (Genesis 15:6). The words "accounted" in Galatians 3:6 and "counted" in Genesis 15:6 mean the same as "imputed" in Romans 4:11, 22–24. The Greek word means “to put to one’s account.” When the sinner trusts Christ, God’s righteousness is put to his account. More than this, the believer’s sins are no longer put to his account (see Romans 4:1–8). This means that the record is always clean before God, and therefore the believer can never be brought into judgment for his sins.
- Galatians and RomansIt seems to me that Paul has much theology to teach in both the letters to the Galatians and to the Romans. I believe that both books are very similar, only that here Paul is MAD. When he gets mad, he is able to get 16 chapters into 6 chapters. You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you? This foolishness does not refer to lack of intelligence, but to lack of obedience (Luke 24:25; 1 Timothy 6:9; Titus 3:3). Paul expressed his shock, surprise, and outrage at the Galatians’ defection. The Judaizers, the Jewish false teachers were plaguing the Galatian churches. The word "bewitched" may not assume magic, but they were charmed or misled by flattery and false promises. The term suggests an appeal to the emotions by the Judaizers.Galatians 3:1–3New American Standard Bible: 1995 UpdateYou foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?