Monday, March 17, 2008

Galatians 1

Ack! How is this new teaching better than what I taught you? That may have been Paul’s thoughts as he wrote his letter to the Galatians.

Last week, I introduced the book of Galatians and asked you to read the first chapter. Paul, who had just returned from his first church-planting swing through the area of Galatia (eastern Turkey), quickly learned that new teachers had followed in his steps. They were revising his message, telling the new believers that they needed Jesus plus some Jewish practices such as circumcision.

Paul was like a mama bear protecting the new followers. And some of his questions in the first chapter of Galatians go right to the point: What was the authority of these new teachers?

They had none, of course. They were changing the gospel of Christ. Paul was horrified that the new believers were buying it. Didn’t they look at these teachers’ authority?

Paul spent Gal 1 defending his own authority to teach, reminding the Galatians that he spoke not to please men but his authority came from Jesus. He spoke to please Jesus.

Re-read Galatians 1, reviewing Paul’s authority and the new teachers’ authority. Journal the answers to these questions and your responses to the chapter (and feel free to leave comments on them as well):

Why did Paul have authority to teach?

Do we know the authority of our teachers?

Do we speak with the authority of God’s word? Or do we speak to please others?

What do we base our faith on?

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