Galatians – Part 2
By Brian Franco (Used with permission)
But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him face to face, because he stood condemned. Before certain men came from James, he ate with the Gentiles. But when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the other Jews, likewise, joined together in hypocrisy with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.
But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, why do you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?” 2:11-14
Here, another (tangential) issue emerges. That is, the hypocrisy of Peter while eating with Gentiles. It would appear that initially, and fearfully, Peter would separate himself from the Gentile believers because of the judgment of other Jews. Paul confronted him publicly about the issue (knowing that there were many others following in his footsteps) as this gave an incoherent and distorted image to those around him. In the original Greek, the usage and contrast of the “being a Jew/the Gentiles” words (
ta ethnē respectively) implies a context that should be read more accurately as “if you, a Jewish believer, can live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel Gentile believers to become Jews?” On top of that, the usage of the second instances (“live like a X”) use the words that more directly relate to the customs of each ethnicity (
Galatians – Part 1
By Brian Franco (Used with permission)
Paul’s letter to the Galatians gives us a brief glimpse into Paul’s theological beginnings and deals with an issue regarding justification and its relation to our inheritance as the children of God. There are 6 chapters in total, so let’s go through ’em! Part 1 will mostly cover the introductory portions of Chapter 1.
Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), and all the brothers who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel, which is not a gospel. But there are some who trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ. Although if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than the one we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so I say now again: If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than the one you have received, let him be accursed.
Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Put your hand here and place it in My side. Do not be faithless, but believing.”28 Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!”29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have yet believed.” John 20:27-29
We need to understand that Thomas was a Jew. Jews only believed in one God, YHWH the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, & were very careful not to use His name in vain. By the Scriptures of the Old Testament they new about the Messiah, but didn’t have a complete understanding or revelation about Him, until Jesus came.
The prophets of the Old Testament said in referring to their coming Messiah, that He is God or Divine:
The gospel is ‘ good news’ for sinners, it is eternal salvation available to everyone. In the New Testament we find the rest of the instructions that we need to learn in order to know God better & to do His will, which in reality its the best for us (to benefit & protect us). For example, in book of Corinthians we find the following verse, which it’s called the ‘Gospel in a nutshell’. It is the only true gospel that the apostles preached:
God made promises to Abraham (Gen.12:1-3, 17:7) & his’ Descendant/The Seed‘ (Christ, the Messiah) but the Jews stumbled on this (Isaiah 28:16, Rom. 9:33), they misinterpreted it & took it as it was just for all Abraham’s descendants in the flesh, Israelites. Sadly they still believe that today! Most of them believe in salvation because of their race. But we’ll talk about this on a next post ‘Who is Abraham’s Seed‘.
All through out John chapter 3 we notice so many times that salvation if for whosoever believes in Jesus Christ. The King James translates the Greek word ‘pisteuōn‘ in ‘beliveth‘ to indicate the verb is in present progressive ‘believing‘, the action still continues.
Psalm 25 is a beautiful prayer that reminds us that God fights on our behalf, that He can guides us, teaches us and instructs us if we ask Him. It reminds us that God can rescue us, protect us & keep us safe. God love us and is faithful in all His ways. If we live by faith (trusting Him) and we humble ourselves before God, He’ll answer us when we pray for His forgiveness, deliverance and protection.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise“. Psalm 51:17
“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
‘Replacement Theology” teaches God has no more plans for Israel & the church has ‘replaced’ them, but this is a doctrine that’s proved wrong by many bible passages one of them found in Romans 11 which tells us that God is not yet done with Israel, even they had rejected Him.
But on the opposite side of the coin we have another kind of ‘Replacement Theology’ were some teach that in order to be saved the ‘church’ needs to be part of Israel, (in other words the church is replaced by Israel). As one of their main points they use Romans 11, which they interpret that gentile believers are grafted into ‘Israel’, and for that reason have to become like them. But this is also wrong, to see it more clearly I’m sharing this next article that contains some nice illustrations:
Some Christians believe that once you are saved you will always remain saved, and that no matter what you do after that, including sinning, your salvation is still secured. Some others will add that if you sin willingly, then it is because you were never saved in the first place; even after 20 or more years of walking faithfully with God, if you fall, it means you were never really saved.
We’ll try to explain our position on this subject. We are not attacking people who believe differently, we are not questioning their salvation or attacking their character. We believe this is a very important doctrine, but we also think it is still not an issue to divide over if the person has the Foundational Doctrines right, unless ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ is used as a license to sin. Sound Doctrine is very important because what we believe is going to affect our actions & way of living.
God places on us the responsibility to guard our hearts from hardening. Deut. 15:7, Prov.4:23, Prov. 28: 14 We are warned NOT to harden our hearts.
So what about the passages where God hardens peoples hearts? The main confusion people encounter in this regard has to do with Calvinist’s teachings that say passages which speak of God hardening human hearts prove God’s selective election & determinism from the foundation of the world. That God hardens the hearts of people not elected for heaven so they won’t receive salvation.
But God is not saying one thing and doing another. God is Just! Deut. 32:4, Jeremiah 17:10, Job 34:12 , etc.