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Sunday: The Foolish Galatians — 13 Comments

  1. I need to check out whether the Galatians were converted Jews, new Gentile believers, or a mixture of both. From our perspective in 2017 we can easily overlook the confusion that can run rife in a community when there is a change. Who moved my cheese?

    • Cliff, Paul seems to address the Galatians as entirely Gentiles invaded by some Jewish Judaizers. Who has bewitched you into placing yourselves under the Law? He's trying to get them to avoid circumcision, pointless for Jews.

      • My understanding is the same as yours Harry, that the issue in Galatians is circumcision. I see where you are coming from, but I think he is not so much telling them not to be circumcised as much as saying it has nothing to do with your salvation. "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor being uncircumcised avails anything, but faith working through love." Galatians 5:6. Not being circumcised doesn't save anyone anymore than being circumcised. While the law serves its purpose it never did save anybody before or after the cross. We have always been saved by the blood of Jesus.

        • Dear Woodiana,

          Here's the full information on the book, "Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life(published, Sept 8, 1998)by Spencer Johnson." It a small book about how different personalities deal with/or adapt to change. I'm not prescribing (nor endorsing) you to by this book, but it is a very good book.

          No one likes change! But as humans, when we do decide to change, like the Galatians, we often decide to re-create the wheel all over again, by creating our own rules, and sometimes even creating our own gods. This was not the first time that the children of God had been 'bewitched' (see Exodus 32, the full chapter). The Bible doesn't say who 'bewitched' them in Galatians or in Exodus, but as the author of today's lesson said, the devil was/is behind any straying away from God (see Ephesians 6:11, 1 Timothy 3:7, I Timothy 4:1, and 2 Timothy 2:15). Be blessed!
          Moderator Note: The link "Who Moved My Cheese? goes to Amazon.com where the book is available in Kindle or Hardcover format. Paperback is also available for older editions. Or use the Canadian link. Sabbath School Net gets a small advertising fee (about 6%) for anything you purchase after using our link. This helps defray our costs.]

  2. It seems to me that we may be able to easily forget the wonderfully powerful promises of God. We become dazzled by the the sparks of our own kindling and don't feel the need of the great light God could shine into our lives if we would just give Him room. We seem to not want to bother God to do what we think we can do for ourselves.

    The truth is that we, like Jesus, need the Holy Spirit to be our continual motivation for life when we think we can go it alone now (unlike Jesus) and stop watching and praying we let go of Jesus' Spirit and sink Into our own "filthy rag righteousness."

    The key to continual victory and the Righteousness of Christ in our lives is the opening of our hearts to the Holy Spirit to be the most basic motivator of our thoughts and feelings. Then, if we follow these thoughts and feelings, we will perform the Righteousness of Christ. This is not filthy rag righteousness to be repented of. It is true repentance.

  3. Cliff, good question. There are several verses that seem to answer the question. Galatians 1:2 is a start. Verses 11-14 helps and 2:1,2. They were a product of Pauls' 3rd missionary visit, as I recall.

  4. In answer to the question regarding how well am I doing, and what's wrong with the picture? We have mixed emotions don't we? We can rationalize that were not that bad compared to others that are, or could be worse. Obviously if we do not compare ourselves to Christ there is no need for the picture at all. It will always be out of focus.

  5. We see Paul being confronted by what Christ said in the Parable of tares Matt 13:24-30. The field,” Christ said, “is the world.” But we must understand this as signifying the church of Christ in the world. . . The tares represent a class who are the fruit or embodiment of error, of false principles. . .Christ’s servants are grieved as they see true and false believers mingled in the church. . ." COL 71.1

    In the tale of the two Testaments, the Old Testament is the gospel of a coming Saviour as shown by the Law and prophets. In the New Testament we have the gospel of a Saviour revealed as foretold.John the Baptist revealing Christ to the world says "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world".[ John 1:29]. Isaiah prophesied about the coming Savior in the Old Testament while John revealed the Savior in the New Testament.

    The Old Testament constantly pointed forward to the true offering. The New Testament shows that the Saviour prefigured by the typical offerings has arrived . That which was a figure had to make way for the real and true. It was now important for the old Jewish system of worship to make way for the new dispensation. A change too hard to fathom for the covenational minded Jews.

    Christ said "For if they do these things when the timber is green, what will happen when it is dry?" [Luke 23:31] If the Jews could not understand the New dispensation, how easy was it going to be to those hearing it for the first time. According to Allen White the Galatians like most pagans people had a strong inclination towards pagan traditional beliefs. When confronted with Jewish traditional beliefs ,it was easy to be misled. They began mixing the gospel with pagan traditions of their own according to a documentary: From Jesus Christ to Constantine, by Jonathan Philips. It was also fulfilled what Christ said of the Pharisees "for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves".[Matt 23:15] Paul's frustration is understandable. He sees a group of confused fools. David says "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly" [Proverbs 26:11]

    Ellen White says "Paul desires his brethren to see that the great glory of a sin-pardoning Saviour gave significance to the entire Jewish economy.He desired them to see also that when Christ came to the world, and died as man’s sacrifice, type met antitype" 6BC 1095.1. But alas it wasn't easy. They were determined to conserve their treasured culture. Even those who believed Jesus was the Savior had difficulties letting go their traditional understanding of Him.

    She continues to say that after Christ died on the cross as a sin offering the ceremonial law could have no force. It was now obsolete though it was connected with the moral law, and was glorious. The whole (both moral and ceremonial) bore the stamp of divinity, and expressed the holiness, justice, and righteousness of God. However, if the ministration of the dispensation to be done away was glorious, how much more must have been the reality be glorious, when Christ was revealed, giving His life-giving, sanctifying, Spirit to all who believe in Him? (The Review and Herald, April 22, 1902)

  6. Have you ever thought of another application of the wheat and the tares being inside every person as the old man of sin vs. the newness of life of the born again person. When Jesus is received into the life it is the harvest and the tares (sins, bad habits) are gathered from our lives and destroyed and the wheat is gathered to be with God in the eternal life in Him.

    It seems to me that each of our lives is a microcosm of what is happening in the whole world. I don't think we have to wait until Jesus comes in the clouds for the harvest; but, if we allow it, He will come into our hearts now and give us eternal life starting now--separating our wheat and tares and leaving the wheat to be garnered into His storehouse of eternal life.

    We see the same thing happening in the parable of the two women grinding at the mill. One is taken the other is left. The one that is taken may be like the tare and the one that is left may be like the wheat.

  7. Anele I read Isaiah 53 again for the ,nth time and am always glad each time. The main thought is. the Sin Bearing Servant. The number of verses that reveal how our transgressions, especially in verse 6 are removed, should fill our hearts with thankfulness completely. Jesus needs us every hour. Our only hope.


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