Studying this epistle (the entire book--all 6 chapters) will
>> WEEK 6 OF BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION <<
December 6th, 2000, Wednesday Evening
"Defining the Doctrine of Justification of the Faith"
Paul's Defense of the Ministry - part 6
STUDY FOCUS: Acts 9 and Galatians 1 to 2:3, KJV
- aid you in witnessing
- prove that good works don't get you into heaven
- arm you for attacks from false doctrine
Remember that good works to others doesn't get us into heaven. It has to be by
faith and belief in GOD AND his Son Jesus Christ.
We're saved by the finished work of
Jesus Christ--not by our own good works (Isaiah 64:6).
All cultists and those who have their own religion have a common theme that
you must perform some type of work to get to heaven (i.e., those who say you have to
observe the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday, or you have to speak a certain tongue to be
a church member).
As we've seen in previous Wednesdays, Paul is personally under attack.
He's being called a crook and a hypocrite because he is no longer practicing the laws
he grew up believing and doing.
- Galatians 1:13-14: Before Paul was
saved by Christ, he was a very famous Christian
- Acts 9:1-6,18: Paul wasn't threatened out of his false preaching
by false teachers but was converted directly by a revelation from Christ.
Therefore, this book of the Bible is written because Paul had to defend
his teachings and actions.
- Paul has to defend his apostleship here. The leaders and teachers claimed
Paul is not qualified to be an apostle, in the first place, since he didn't spend his life
hanging around other apostles in the churches and synagogues to learn.
- (Compare this to presidential candidate George W. Bush: people charge
he can't be president since he didn't spend his life in Washington like Vice-President
- Pastors are pastors only because GOD called them to be. Not because they've
hung around with other pastors in churches for their entire life.
- What Paul acquired spiritually was directly from a revelation of Christ--not the
study of scriptures by man--NOT TAUGHT BY MAN.
Proceed carefully through these next few bullets
- Galatians 2:1: You'd think this is second time Paul goes to
Jerusalem ("I went up again") when this is actually the third time.
- Reason Paul describes the third visit but leaves out the second:
Second Jerusalem visit was on a mission of mercy which had nothing to do with
his defending his gospel--the whole reason Galatians was written.
- Acts 9:18-26: Gives the impression Paul (formerly Saul) got
saved, stayed in Damascus, and then went to
Jerusalem to meet the other apostles. HOWEVER, Acts 9:19 is the time
period when Paul went to Arabia for a while, got the revelation from Jesus Christ,
and then came back to Damascus. **INTERJECT Galatians 1:17-18 RIGHT HERE**.
- (Makes sense because how can Paul begin preaching in
synagogues [Acts 9:20] before he got his revelation of the gospel from
- Now "three years" later--after his revelation from Christ in Arabia,
Paul returned to Jerusalem (Galatians 1:17-18) where he had his first encounter
with the apostles (**JUMP FROM Galatians 1:18 to Acts 9:26**).
- Acts 9:19: From this verse, we get that Saul (before renamed Paul)
stayed with the disciples "certain days" while in Damascus. But COMPARE TO
Galatians 1:17-18 and see that during those certain days, Paul went to Arabia
to get his revelation from Christ ... and then returned to Damascus!
- Acts 9:23: "many days" = three years because of
Galatians 1:17-18--his revelation time with Christ.
- And now pick it up here in Acts 9:26 where Paul met the
apostles for the first time ... and they were afraid of him.
- Thus, to put it in a chronologically ordered timeline, the following
- Acts 9:18: Saul gets saved
(and renamed Paul later)
- Galatians 1:17-18: Saul stays in Damascus for a while, goes to Arabia
for three years for a revelation of the gospel from Christ Jesus, and returns to Damascus
- Acts 9:20: Paul, now armed with the Gospel, preaches.
- Acts 9:23: Jews took three years ("many days") to figure out how
to kill Paul
- Acts 9:26: Paul meets with the rest of the apostles for the first time
The book of Acts can be considered either a book of the
actions of disciples or actions of Holy Spirit thru disciples. It's more historical than
Acts 11:27-30: Why doesn't Paul include this in his
Galatians synopsis? Remember--because Paul's purpose at Galatia was to
defend his apostleship and his message of the Gospel of the Grace of GOD.
Galatians 2:1: The purpose of going to Jerusalem was to combat
false doctrine that crept in to Antioch.
- Acts 15:1: False doctrine relating to Old Testament law was being
spread--if you're not circumcised, you cannot be saved.
- Sounds like the charismatic Christian today...
- If you don't speak in tongues, you can't be our church member
- If you don't go down to a water baptism, you can't be saved (Church of Christ teaching)
- Acts 15:2: "no small dissension" means that there
was a major salvation doctrine dispute here!
- If someone tries to change the directions/guidance by which the bible says one
can be saved, don't be passive and have the
"I don't want to stir up anything" attitude. This is an issue that must be fought!
A time to stir up something!
- Acts 15:2: "certain other of them" was Titus who came
with Paul and Barnabas. Why go up to Jerusalem about this question? Because there's where
the certain men came from that began this rumor--the source of it.
- Acts 15:5: "sect" = cult. In this case, the
Pharisees are the source of this rumor.
They stress, once again, to hold on to old laws that passed away when Jesus Christ was
crucified on the cross for us.
- Acts 15:9: "us" = Jews; "them" = Gentiles.
- Acts 15:10: A great question to ask the charismatics,
the Church of Christ, and anyone who says you need to add works to salvation (since works
have nothing to do with salvation)! If all man couldn't keep the law, how can we
today? The law can never give life. It serves only to condemn you.
- Acts 15:11: "we" = Jews.
- Acts 15:2-24: So, in summary, from the hearing of the rumor
to the apostles' travel to Jerusalem to being warmly welcomed by the church, we find that
in Acts 15:24, it turns out the church, as a whole, "gave no such commandment"
and that those certain members who did were just a small sect with a belief not widely accepted!
- Galatians 2:3: Titus, who traveled with Paul and Barnabas, was
a superb test case because while this rumor of being saved
comes through circumcision, Titus was not "compelled to be circumcised". Titus
was uncircumcised and yet was a believer!
To be continued...