Friday, November 23, 2012

November 23, 2012 … It is finished!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 328

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Galatians, Chapters 1-3 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passages: Galatians 1: 1-5; 9; 13-16… : [NLT] … {This letter is directed by Paul just after his return with Barnabas from the fist missionary journey; and he’s writing back to a group of Christians living in a region of Asia-Minor (now Turkey), because he had learned that a group of misguided Christians – the Judaizers – were perverting the Gospel to demand that any Christian live according to “The Law,” i.e., Jewish tradition. Paul wanted Christians, in Galatia and once and for all to know that the Gospel frees all who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to enjoy God’s saving and sanctifying grace. Paul wrote this letter from Antioch as a traveling letter to the Christians in Galatia just prior to the first council of the church in Jerusalem – about 49 AD – where the issue of Gentiles becoming Christian was debated, discussed, and decided. }  
1 This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group or by human authority. My call is from Jesus Christ himself and from God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead. 2 All the brothers and sisters, here join me in sending greetings to the churches of Galatia. 3 May grace and peace be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 He died for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. 5That is why all glory belongs to God through all the ages of eternity. Amen. … 
9 I will say it again: If anyone preaches any other gospel than the one you welcomed, let God’s curse fall upon that person. … 
13 You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted the Christians. I did my best to get rid of them. 14 I was one of the most religious Jews of my own age, and I tried as hard as possible to follow all the old traditions of my religion. 15 But then something happened! For it pleased God in his kindness to choose me and call me, even before I was born! What undeserved mercy! 16 Then He revealed his Son to me so that I could proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. …  
Highlight Passages: Galatians 2: 19-21 : [NLT] … {In Chapter 2, Paul discusses his confrontation with Peter, James, and the Christian leadership in Jerusalem and how he confronted the new “church” with its incorrect interpretation of “Jewish” Christianity; and Paul’s apologetics are succinctly described the last three verses of this chapter, as Paul, using his own conversion from living by “the law” to living under God’s grace is summarized. Paul was preaching – and living by – the truth that it is our FAITH alone in Christ which frees us from the Law; and it is God’s grace, not our works, which saves us and sets us free to live in Christ by the indwelling power of God’s Spirit.}  
19 For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God’s approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. 20 I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I am not one of those who treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.  
Highlight Passages: Galatians 3: 5-9 : [NLT] … {And Paul declares to all believers in The Christ, with a comparison to how Abraham was saved by his faith, how anyone must be justified and saved – i.e., thru their faith in the finished work of the Messiah, with the Gospel being completed in the TOTALLY finished work of Jesus as the Messiah on the cross.}  
5 I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law of Moses? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ. 6 In the same way, “Abraham believed God, so God declared him righteous because of his faith.” [see Genesis 15: 6] 7 The real children of Abraham, then, are all those who put their faith in God. 8 What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would accept the Gentiles, too, on the basis of their faith. God promised this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.” [see Genesis 12: 3] 9 And so it is: All who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith. 

Reference Passage: John 19: 30 : [NKJV] … {Jesus said it, … He did it, … done deal!!!} When Jesus had tasted it, He said, “It is finished!” Then He bowed His head and released His spirit. 

My Journal for Today: Actually, in chronological reading order, we’re going back a bit; because yesterday I was led to read about Paul’s 2nd missionary journey in the Book of Acts; but Paul’s letter to the Galatians, from which I’m reading today, was written after the 1st journey and before the 2nd. And Galatians addressed a rather chronic dilemma which faced the early church; and that was the controversy of salvation coming from observance of THE LAW (i.e., Jewish legalism) or from simple faith in the completed works of Jesus, the Lamb of God, Who died on the cross, declaring as I’ve quoted above, “It is finished!”

 Paul had to confront even the leaders of the early church in Jerusalem, leaders like Peter and James, who had a rather skewed idea of the Gospel. And, as we read in Paul’s letter to the Christians in Galatia, the Christians there were led astray by those Judaizers who were preaching a false-gospel, … that one had to conform completely to the Law as well as have faith in Christ to be saved. The message that salvation, as it came to Abraham, can only come through faith in what the Messiah would do (or has done) to save God’s people, which included the Gentiles, was being perverted by these Jewish legalists; and Paul’s ideas of the Gospel prevailed after the first church council in 50AD.

It’s all there; and when one follows the gospel as preached by Paul in his letter to the Galatian Christians (and to you and me as believers), God, through His grace in the power of His Spirit, gives any/all Christians freedom from the Law … and salvation in Christ. I pray that anyone reading here has believes in that true Gospel and lives as written by Paul in Galatians 2: 20 [ from the NKJV – my memory version] …  

I have been crucified by Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me. 

That’s it! Done deal! Completed! Finished … in Christ!!!

My Prayer Today: … I live by faith in You, Lord! Amen

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