Monday, April 6, 2009

Galatians 1:10-2:14 (What's With All The Personal History?)

Paul goes to great lengths to demonstrate that the gospel he preached did not come to him from other men, but straight from Jesus Himself. He gives a lengthy testimony accounting for his actions from the time of his salvation on the road to Damascus up until he began his ministry with the Galatians.

Why is this so important? It shows us three things about Paul’s message: It (the Gospel) is not just Judaism updated. It is not dependent on the Law or any form of legalism. The Gospel as Paul preached it is not contradictory to that of the disciples—who received it from Christ as well—but equal.

God intended all along to establish the Gospel as the only means to Salvation. Judaism was merely the groundwork. The Law never saved people but rather exposed their sin, their dependence on God, and their need to turn to Him. Judaism as it developed in Christ’s day (and especially today) is not simply another version of the truth or a belief in the same god as Christianity. It is different religion.

One of the main ways Christianity differs from Judaism (and all other religions) is that it is not built on rules or legalistic practices. Simple faith, a knowledge that we are helpless on our own and dependent on God through Jesus Christ for our salvation, is all we have.

This Gospel Paul preached is the same news that Jesus preached and the same message that the disciples preached. The judiazers were teaching a false Christianity. Anyone then or today who teaches a salvation that requires anything beyond dependence on God is teaching contrary to scripture.

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