The Galatian Letter – a Great Read
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I was introduced to Galatians in Bible class many years ago. “Pauline Epsitles” was the name of the teaching unit. The lecturer was a theological academic and the students were a bunch of third and fourth-year undergraduate science students studying for London BSc Part 2 examinations. It was an interesting time. Anybody who has studied for finals for an English University knows the time and concentration it takes. So the fact that we had to take a Bible subject was [...]

Wednesday: The Gospel Goes to the Gentiles
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Paul and Barnabas in Antioch Acts 15:2

Where was the first Gentile church established? What events caused the believers to go there? (Acts 11:19–21, 26). What does that remind you of from Old Testament times? (See Daniel 2.)  

The persecution that broke out in Jerusalem after Stephen’s death caused a number of Jewish believers to flee three hundred miles north to Antioch. As capital of the Roman province of Syria, Antioch was second only to Rome and Alexandria in significance. Its population, estimated at five hundred thousand, was extremely cosmopolitan, making it an [...]

Tuesday: Saul in Damascus
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9-26

During Saul’s encounter with Jesus, he was blinded and then instructed to go to the house of a man named Judas and to wait there for another man, Ananias. No doubt Saul’s physical blindness was a powerful reminder of the greater spiritual blindness that led him to persecute the followers of Jesus.

The appearance of Jesus to him on the Damascus road changed everything. Where Saul had thought he had been so right, he had been dead wrong. Rather than working [...]

A Look at Galatia
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Map of Galatia (From Bibleworks Maps)

This map (produced in Bibleworks maps) shows the general area of Galatia, the setting of this quarter’s lessons, in what is now the country of Turkey. It is a region that forms a high plateau over 3000 ft (1000 m) in elevation and would have been more comfortable for Paul than Tarsus would have been since it is about 10 degrees cooler and a little dryer.

The red line is the approximate route that Paul took on his second missionary journey.

The [...]

Monday: Saul’s Conversion
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9-25

“And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ Then the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads’”(Acts 9:5, NKJV).

Although Saul’s persecution of the early church begins rather inconspicuously (as he only holds the coats of Stephen’s executioners), it quickly intensifies (see Acts 8:1–3; 9:1, 2, 13, 14, 21; 22:3–5). Several of the words Luke uses to describe Saul paint a picture of a wild, ferocious beast or a pillaging soldier bent on the destruction [...]

Sunday: Persecutor of Christians
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9-24

Saul of Tarsus first appears in Acts as one involved in the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58) and then in connection with the more wide-scale persecution that broke out in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1–5). Peter, Stephen, Philip, and Paul play a significant role in the book of Acts because they were involved in events that led to the spread of the Christian faith beyond the Jewish world. Stephen is of particular significance because his preaching and martyrdom appear to have had a profound influence on [...]

The Gospel in Galatians – Introduction
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Galatians-cover220ds

Paul’s letter to the Galatians has been compared to spiritual “dynamite,” and rightly so. Except for Romans, no other book in the Bible has sparked as much spiritual revival and reformation. One could argue that out of the pages of Galatians (along with Romans) Protestantism itself was born. It was while reading Galatians that Martin Luther first was touched with the glorious good news of righteousness by faith. “The Epistle to the Galatians,” he said, “is my epistle. To it [...]

Sabbath: Paul: Apostle to the Gentiles
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9-23

Read for This Week’s Study:

Acts 6:9–15, 9:1–9, 1 Sam. 16:7, Matt. 7:1, Acts 11:19–21, 15:1–5.

Memory Text:

“When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, ‘Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life’” (Acts 11:18, NKJV).

It’s not that hard to understand Saul of Tarsus (also known as the apostle Paul after his conversion), and why he did what he did. As a devout Jew who was taught all his life about the importance of the law and about the soon-coming [...]

Further Study: Worship in the Book of Revelation
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Read Ellen G. White, “The Impending Conflict,” pp. 582–592; “The Final Warning,” pp. 603–612, “The Controversy Ended,” pp. 662–678, in The Great Controversy.

“Worship is bending low before our Maker, recognizing and acknowledging His holiness and our creatureliness. It is submitting to His sovereignty, responding to His majestic presence.”—Document by Richard M. Davidson, Worship in the Old Testament (used by permission of the author), p. 3.

“The Psalmist states: ‘Serve the Lord with fear [awe]; rejoice with trembling’ (Ps. 2:11). In worship we recognize the awesome majesty and [...]

Worship in Revelation – Discussion Points
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Gold. From “placer” miners working alone or with one or two companions to sift gold nuggets from mountain streams, to machine operators cutting into gold-rich rock at the huge Sutter Creek Gold Mine near Yosemite National Park in California, people everywhere are gearing up for a flow of money from gold waiting to be discovered in the United States and elsewhere.

Why such a surge of interest in gold? Biggest reason: the value of processed gold has soared from a mere [...]

Thursday: Worship God
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9-21

“And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God” (Rev. 22:8, 9). Read the context of these two verses. What’s the essential message here about worship? 

All quarter [...]

Wednesday: Revelation 14
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9-20

Revelation 14 opens with what? A heavenly scene, showing the 144,000 thousand who were “redeemed from the earth” (vs. 3). It starts out with a vision of the future, of what it will be like, at least for this group, when they stand before God in heaven. And though the text doesn’t come right out and say it, this certainly seems to be a depiction of some sort of heavenly worship.

Thus, Revelation 14 continues the theme of worship found in chapter 13. These people didn’t worship [...]