Reflections on Galatians

Reflections on Galatians – Week 01
No Other Gospel
BRFL009.001.01S, March, 2021

The gospel that Paul preaches is not a man-made gospel, he did not learn it from the other apostles or the Jerusalem church but from the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Paul is frustrated that the Galatian christians are so quick to turn away from the gospel. There is no other gospel. Paul curses those who preach a gospel contrary to the one he preached.

Script available here.

Reflections on Galatians – Week 02
Justified by Faith
BRFL009.001.02S, March, 2021

Paul is so confident in his God-given authority, and the truth of the gospel, that he will confront anyone in its defence. Paul opposes Peter and Barnabas for their hypocrisy. Paul asserts that a person is not justi+ied by works but by faith. The law, and trying to obtain righteousness through the law, just demonstrates sin. Paul has died to the law, being cruci+ied with Christ, and now lives by faith in Christ, the Son of God.

Script available here.

Reflections on Galatians – Week 03
The Righteous Shall Live by Faith
BRFL009.001.03S, March, 2021

Having established his authority, and the uniqueness of the gospel, and having demonstrated how he defended the gospel in the face of hypocrisy, Paul now challenges the Galatians with regard to their own willingness to compromise the gospel and adopt Jewish legal practices. HIs challenge: did you received the Holy Spirit by works or by faith?

Paul appeals to the experience of Abraham, reasoning the primacy of God’s promise to Abraham, over the demands of the law, arguing that the law imprisoned people until faith was revealed in Jesus Christ. Paul argues that righteousness is established by faith and not by obeying the law, and that the law was a gaoler keeping God’s people imprisoned until Christ should come.

Script available here.

Reflections on Galatians – Week 04
Abba! Father!
BRFL009.001.04S, March, 2021

Paul moves from the idea of the law as a gaoler to the law as a guardian or manager. The people are compared to children under a teacher, who are no better than slaves. When Christ comes the children, are freed from their guardian and adopted into the full sonship of God.

Paul appeals to the Galatians on the basis of their prior relationship, expressing pain that their previous love for him now appears to have been replaced by hatred, because he would not compromise in telling them the truth of the gospel.

Paul then appeals to the law itself, using the allegory of Hagar and Sarah to compare those under the law with those enjoying freedom in Christ and the beneBits of God’s promise to Abraham.

Script available here.

Reflections on Galatians – Week 05
Faith Working Through Love
BRFL009.001.05S, March, 2021

Having established his authority, and appealed to Abraham, to his relationship with the Galatians, and to the law itself, to prove his case, Paul now moves on to address the issue of circumcision in particular.

Paul argues that if a person were to accept circumcision then they would be obliged to obey the whole law, and shows that in Christ whether a person is or is not circumcised does not matter, since the key to the matter is faith working through love.

Paul warns the Galatians not to use their freedom as an opportunity to sin, instead telling them to walk by the Spirit and bear spiritual fruit.

Script available here.

Reflections on Galatians – Week 06
Bear One Another’s Burdens
BRFL009.001.06S, March, 2021

Having completed his case against adopting legal practises, and having warned about using Christian freedom as an opportunity to sin, Paul now goes on to teach about the manner in which Christians should behave.

Paul ends the letter with a final warning against circumcision, and a brief benediction.

Script available here.