Paul’s Earliest Letter

Now, we will begin to examine Galatians which was written in approximately 49 A.D. which was about twelve years before Philippians. Before we move into chapter 1, let’s look at the church during this period of history.

Read Acts 1:6-12. Just before He ascended, what did Jesus say would happen? 

Read Acts 8:1:,5,12 Acts 11:19-26, Acts 13:1-3, Acts 14:1-22. Note: Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe are the the southern region of Galatia. Where is the Gospel being proclaimed? 

Romans 1:16 says ” For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Do you see anything that relates to this in Acts? 

Cross-referencing Galatians 2:1. I believe the epistle to the Galatians was written shortly after the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. Read Acts 15. What was the problem and the outcome? What was the essence of the letter sent out to the churches? 

Again, always feel free to comment on anything you learn even if there is not a question.caesarea

14 thoughts on “Paul’s Earliest Letter

  1. Upon Jesus’s ascension, he imparted to the disciples an assurance that the Holy Spirit would be with them now, bringing them power to continue as they had been, sharing the Good News. All through Jesus’s earthly ministry, they had felt a bit of angst because they wanted to know when freedom from the Romans would come to Israel and Jesus be there to reign as king. What they didn’t realize was that Jesus had come to bring freedom to men’s spirits, not via an overthrow of Roman power, but accomplished through hearts turning from their evil ways toward God. He assured them power after telling them that God alone determined when events would come about.

    I as a person sometimes want things to happen now, or fairly soon. It has taken years to learn to wait on the Lord, as he makes all things work together in His time. I’ve discovered and experienced relief when I leave things be, because eventually, with prayer and waiting, they have worked out. Resolution occurs time and again without my adding to the anxiety, be it a conflict with other personalities or disagreement in handling of tasks in the workplace. This perspective has taught me to trust in God’s time. Isn’t that what is known as Kairos time?

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  2. This is a diversion from the study, but with Mother’s Day approaching, just for fun, I’d like to hear about one thing that is impressed upon you regarding your mother, or as a mother yourself, an incident or event with your family that has impacted you significantly.

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    • I think my favorite story of my mother is when I was in first grade and brought my teacher home for lunch but my mom was not expecting us. She had not gotten groceries for that week but made the teacher an egg salad sandwich and invited her back later for something fancier. I always wanted my friends to come to my house and my mom was always welcoming.

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  3. Mine happens to have occurred only recently, when mom told my sister and me whether we wanted to take home blankets she made for us, She then went to get two blankets of different colors, which we learned were made by her around 18-20 years of age. What’s amazing is the story behind it, the first time in my life I had heard it, first picking their cotton crop, making thread, then weaving that on a loom to create a blanket of colorful stripes. Although they bought the colored thread, what she did with that together with the white cotton thread is amazing and beautiful which I will treasure as her legacy of artistic talent.

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  4. I have many fond memories with my mom. We spent so much time together that next to Jesus, I felt she was my best friend (before Terry 🙂 ). With her, I remember cooking, cleaning, sewing,
    shopping, visiting people with gifts, babysitting my cousins, etc. As I ponder these memories, I think the one thing she impressed upon me is spending time with people. HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY.

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    • And as I remember years ago, Debbie, when we first attended MCC, Crystal remained so close to you in nursery. i think that’s one area you perpetuated as you were given the example by your mother.

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  5. Paul and Barnabas debated with some men from Judea about salivation. Some men from Judea debated that circumcision according to the custom of Moses was necessary to be saved. After discussing this issue with apostles and elders in Jerusalem, the brethren (including Paul and Barnabas) were “reminded” that Gentiles are also saved through grace of the Lord Jesus. God also gave the Holy Spirit to Gentile brethren.

    I am reminded, how we the church today, are to have grace upon believers, allow the Holy Spirit to work, and not burden fellow believers with unnecessary rituals.

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    • Debbie- was there something you had in mind as you wrote unnecessary rituals? At one time, I used to feel badly that I did not read the Bible in a year but now I just plug along and it it takes me 3 or more years, that is okay. As Frances Chan said “I don’t read the Bible to finish, I read it to change” so by God’s grace I am changing. Today the “requirements” are not the same in various churches or denominations but it seems there is an unspoken thinking that you are just not as spiritual as I am if you do not ______.

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  6. It also brings home the fact that God wants all to hear the Good News, both Jews and Gentiles, tying in Rom 1:16 with the passages in Acts where the missionaries actively shared the word, some to only the Jews and others to the Gentiles also. Which is an example to us–we cannot limit the salvation story to a certain group. It is for us to present (plant) where we are and God to finish the work (nurture). Circumcision as a requirement carried on tones of legalism; those pushing for it missed the point of having a heart right with God and seeking His favor, not man’s.

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  7. As Adela said, legalism seems to be prevalent in our society (as well as the opposite view that we have “freedom” to sin because Jesus paid it all). My take away from the Jerusalem Council is that God has placed different callings on each believer’s life. Even if the Gentiles of that time did not necessarily feel the demands of the meeting were required by God’s standards (isn’t there another verse somewhere about eating meat sacrificed to idols?) they were willing to give up their “rights” in order to not create conflict or give the appearance of wrongdoing. From my experience, the church in Ukraine is completely against alcohol. Although I don’t feel the same convictions, doesn’t it ruin my witness if I am participating in something that my brothers and sisters consider worldly? Actively sharing the word sometimes means willing to compromise even if you feel like you deserve something.

    I have a question about Romans 1:16, 2:9, 10. Is there a reason that it is always the Jew first, then the Gentile?

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  8. It seems that God wanted to give the nation of Israel every chance to believe and even Paul the apostle to the Gentiles seemed to go first to the synagogues as long as he was welcome and then went to the others in the city. I think Jews for Jesus still uses that as mission statement but it seems generally, this is no longer used as a model for missions. I wonder if the turning point was Acts 28:25-29 when Paul since the Jewish people had closed their ears and hearts, the gospel would go to the Gentiles for they would listen.

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