Galatians Reading (#1)
Read Galatians 1:1-5
[1:1] 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 to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,  to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
- Who wrote this letter (v 1)? Who else joins him in sending the letter (v 2)?
- To whom is the letter addressed (v 2)?
- How does Paul describe the source of his apostleship (v 1)?
- What does Paul tells us about Jesus (v 1 and 4)?
- What does it mean that Paul is an “apostle”?
- Why is that important for Paul to establish at the outset of his letter?
- Why does it matter that God made Paul an apostle (rather then “men”)?
- Why does Paul bid them “grace” and “peace”?
- What does it mean that Jesus “gave himself for our sins”?
- What is “the present evil age”?
- How does Jesus’ giving himself for our sins deliver us from the present evil age?
- How was Jesus’ giving of himself “according to the will of our God and Father”?
- How does knowing that Jesus died and rose to deliver you from this present evil age help you to live well in this world?
- Paul ends his greetings with an expression of praise to God (v 5). How can you cultivate a heart that praises the Father for the death and resurrection of Jesus for you?
Read Galatians 1:6-10
 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.  As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.  For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
- What two things have the Galatians done (v 6)? How has Paul reacted to that development (v 6)?
- What two things are “some” people doing (v 7)?
- What does Paul say should happen if someone preaches “a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you” (v 8 and again in v 9)?
- But what if it’s Paul or an angel preaching that message?
- Who is Paul trying to please (v 10)? Who is he not worried about pleasing? What would be the consequence if Paul were trying to please men?
- Who is “him who called you in the grace of Christ”? How is turning to a different gospel a way of deserting him?
- The word “gospel” means “good news”. Why does Paul say that there is not another gospel?
- What is the true gospel message?
- What should Christians do if someone (even someone they respect) begins to preach a different message?
- Compare the way Paul begins this letter with his greeting to the church at Corinth (see below). Remember: the church at Corinth was rife with immorality, drunkenness, squabbling, and pride.
- Which church does Paul greet more enthusiastically?
- What does that tell us about the danger of “turning to another gospel”?
- This passage seems to presume that the church members are responsible for knowing the true gospel and not believing any others, even if their leaders (or an angel!) tries to convince them otherwise. Do you feel like you know the gospel well enough to spot a counterfeit? How can you make sure that SPBC stays faithful to the true gospel?
- Most distortions of the gospel are related to either works righteousness (we are right with God on the basis of our obedience and performance) or license (because we are saved by grace, we don’t need to obey). In which direction would you be more likely to inadvertently distort the gospel? How can you work against that temptation?
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