Dr. Steven J. Lawson: “You Foolish Galatians!” (Galatians 3:1-3:5)

Galatians 3:1-5 (NASB)1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 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? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain? 5 So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

In this day and age we live in, when so many supposedly mature Christians are being carried away with every new wind of doctrine. When they go running after evey newfangled idea. When they are tossed to and fro like a wind on the sea. When the goofier, and kookier, and crazier and more off-the-wall, the more “spiritual” it is supposed to be. When many who call themselves Christian are following a wanna-be pro wrestler who kicks cancer patients in the gut and puts his boots in an old lady’s face–then use the Scriptures that talk about what happened on the Day of Pentecost to justify these nonsesical shenanigans (while they ignore the clear teachings that all things are to be done decently and in order). When all of these things are going on in a body of people that is supposed to be glorifying Christ on earth, we can echo the sentiments of the apostle Paul when he declared, “You foolish Galatians!”

God has performed a miracle by transforming our dead hearts of stone to living hearts of flesh–yet Charismaniacs need more and bigger experiences to “build their faith” (which is a bit of a paradox. If they need more experiences to build their faith, then what does that say about their faith to begin with?) This is the theme that Dr. Lawson builds upon in this message.

Here is the seventh installment of this series going verse-by-verse through what Dr. Lawson calls “Paul’s Most Explosive Letter.” You can listen by left-clicking this link.

Dr. Steven J. Lawson: “Paul Continues His Defense” (Galatians 2:1-10)

1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. 2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain. 3 Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), 5 to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. 6 But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. 7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter 8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), 9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.

Paul continues to hammer away at his critics who question his credentials as an apostle of Christ. They are willing to concede that he may have been sent out by men–but they will not acknowledge that he was sent by the risen Christ Himself. Here, Paul lets it be made known that even the apostles of Christ knew that Paul was who and what he said he was. Here is the fifth of this series going verse-by-verse through what Dr. Lawson calls “Paul’s Most Explosive Letter.” You can listen by left-clicking this link.

Dr. Steven J. Lawson: “Paul Defends His Apostleship” (Galatians 1:11-1:24)

11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) 21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. 23 But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God in me.

In this installment, Paul defends himself against those who questioned his credentials as an apostle–even though he had been chose by the risen Christ Himself.

Here is the fourth of this series going verse-by-verse through what Dr. Lawson calls “Paul’s Most Explosive Letter.” You can listen by left-clicking this link.