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BC Weekly Digest
Monday, June 7 1999

In this issue:

	Galatians 1:11,12
	Galatians 1:13
	Galatians 1:6-12

Galatians 1:11,12

Galatians 1:11,12 (OPV)
11 For I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel 
preached by me is not according to man.
12 For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught 
it, but I received it through revelation from Jesus 
1:11 "The gospel preached by me"
  The Greek word translated 'gospel' means 'good news'. 
The word for 'preached' in this verse is the verb form of 
'gospel' which means 'preach good news'. This verb is used 
53 times in the NT and is usually translated the same as 
the separate Greek phrase 'preach the gospel' which is 
found 11 times. A comparison of the two lists shows that 
Luke and Paul preferred 'evangelize' whereas Matthew and 
Mark preferred the phrase 'preach the gospel.'
  A comparison of these two sets of passages, especially 
parallel passages in the Gospels, reveals that an 
evangelist and a preacher of the gospel, biblically 
speaking, is exactly the same thing. The word 'evangelist' 
is found three times in the NT An evangelist is 'one who 
tells good news' or 'a proclaimer of the gospel.'
  Whereas the word 'evangelize' emphasizes the joyous 
nature of the message, the word 'preach' refers to the 
public nature of the proclamation. An evangelist is one 
who publicly proclaims the good news.
  Paul defines the gospel as follows: "Now I make known 
unto you brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, 
which also ye received, wherein also ye stand, by which 
also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I 
preached unto you, except ye believed in vain. For I 
delivered unto you first of all that which also I 
received: that Christ died for our sins according to the 
scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he hath been 
raised on the third day according to the scriptures" 
(1 Cor 15:1-4 ASV).
  Notice that Paul refers to "the word which I preached 
unto you." "The gospel" refers to the entire Christian 
message. "Sound doctrine" is "according to the gospel" 
(1 Tim 1:10,11). Paul wanted the Colossians to 
"continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not 
moved away from the hope of the gospel" (Col 1:23).

1:11,12 "Not according to man. For neither did I receive 
it from man, nor was I taught it"
  The gospel preached by Paul was not of human origin. Nor 
were there human go-betweens in his reception of it.

1:12 "But I received it through revelation from Jesus 
  A "revelation" is an inspired  message from God 
disclosing something not previously known or realized.
  Later, Paul will explain and substantiate this point 
more fully.
  In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul also emphasizes 
the divine origin of the message and his desire to please 
God, not man. "But even as we have been approved of 
God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak; not as 
pleasing men, but God who proveth our hearts. For neither 
at any time were we found using words of flattery, as ye 
know, nor a cloak of covetousness, God is witness; nor 
seeking glory of men, neither from you nor from others" 
(1 Thes 2:4-6 ASV). 
  Paul has been criticized by false teachers. Basically,
Paul is saying in a polite way, that he does not care what 
people think about him. The gospel he preaches came from 
God, and God is the one he is striving to please.
Roy Davison


Galatians 1:13

Galatians 1:13 (OPV)
13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, 
how I persecuted the church of God exceedingly, and 
devastated it.
  When Stephen was stoned the witnesses laid their 
garments at the feet of Saul (Acts 7:58), who "was 
consenting unto his death" (Acts 8:1). "But Saul laid 
waste the church, entering into every house, and dragging 
men and women committed them to prison" (Acts 8:3 ASV).
  "But Saul, yet breathing threatening and slaughter 
against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high 
priest, and asked of him letters to Damascus unto the 
synagogues, that if he found any that were of the Way, 
whether men or women, he might bring them bound to 
Jerusalem" (Acts 9:1,2 ASV).
  In his defense to the people from the steps of the 
temple barracks, Paul said: "And I persecuted this Way 
unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both 
men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me 
witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also 
I received letters unto the brethren, and journeyed to 
Damascus to bring them also that were there unto Jerusalem 
in bonds to be punished" (Acts 22:4,5 ASV). 
  Paul was well-known among the Jews for his persecution 
of the church: "And I said, Lord, they themselves know 
that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that 
believed on thee: and when the blood of Stephen thy 
witness was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting, 
and keeping the garments of them that slew him" (Acts 
22:19,20 ASV). 
  Paul later recounts these events in his defense before 
Agrippa: "I verily thought with myself that I ought to do 
many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And 
this I also did in Jerusalem: and I both shut up many of 
the saints in prisons, having received authority from the 
chief priests, and when they were put to death I gave my 
vote against them. And punishing them oftentimes in all 
the synagogues, I strove to make them blaspheme; and being 
exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto 
foreign cities" (Acts 26:9-11 ASV). 
  During the rest of his life Paul regretted what he had 
done and was ever thankful for the grace of God by which 
he could receive forgiveness. "For I am the least of the 
apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, 
because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace 
of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed 
upon me was not found vain; but I labored more abundantly 
than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was 
with me" (1 Cor 15:9,10 ASV). 
  He considered himself to be the "chief" of sinners 
because he had persecuted the church. "I thank him that 
enabled me, [even] Christ Jesus our Lord, for that he 
counted me faithful, appointing me to [his] service; 
though I was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and 
injurious: howbeit I obtained mercy, because I did it 
ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord abounded 
exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 
Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, 
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of 
whom I am chief: howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, 
that in me as chief might Jesus Christ show forth all his 
longsuffering, for an ensample of them that should 
thereafter believe on him unto eternal life" 
(1 Tim 1:12-16 ASV).
Roy Davison


Galatians 1:6-12

Galatians 1:6-12 (NEV)
I am astonished to find you turning so quickly away from 
Him who called you by grace, and following a different 
gospel. Not that it is in fact another gospel; only there 
are persons who unsettle your minds by trying to distort 
the gospel of Christ. But if anyone, if we ourselves or an 
angel from heaven, should preach a gospel at variance with 
the gospel we preached to you, he shall be held outcast. I 
now repeat what I have said before: if anyone preaches a 
gospel at variance with the gospel which you received, let 
him be outcast!
Does my language now sound as if I were canvassing for 
men's support? Whose support do I want but God's alone? Do 
you think I am currying favor with men? If I still sought 
men's favor, I should be no servant of Jesus Christ.
I must make it clear to you, my friends, that the gospel 
you heard me preach is no human invention. I did not take 
it over from any man; no man taught it to me; I received 
it through a revelation of Jesus Christ."

Comments by Howard Justice

  This passage relates the effects of those who are called 
"false teachers."  It has several points that stand out 
from the rest. 

1. These Galatian Christians had turned aside from the 
truth (the gospel of Christ). It had been only about seven 
years since Paul had first preached the gospel of Christ 
to these Gentiles of Asia Minor. He had first gone there 
in AD 51 but this departure had happened by late AD 58. 
Thus, it was something short of seven years.

2. They had been led astray by a different gospel (false 
doctrine). It was these erroneous teachings that had 
deluded them. They were newly converted from heathenism 
but they should have recognized that this false doctrine 
was not in accord with what Paul had at first imparted 
unto them.

3. It was not another gospel but it was the original 
gospel heard from Paul to which these false teachers had 
added the ritual of circumcision as a test of faith for 
these Gentiles. It was an altered form of the truth, Thus, 
it was an adulterated gospel.

4. Paul warns them that they were always to pay particular 
attention to the message, as opposed to the messenger, in 
their acceptance of any teachings. It was the false 
teachings that had corrupted them and not the presence of 
the false teachers. This is a very important concept. The 
only positive way of determining whether one comes with 
the true word of God is to listen to the message and then 
make that determination. 

  Further, Paul warns them that should even an angel 
appear from Heaven, they were not to accept false 
teachings because the only way to determine whether even 
an angel was telling them the truth, was if the message 
was exactly as the one which they had originally heard 
from Paul.  Some today teach that it is the heart or the 
fruit of an intentionally corrupt mind that identifies 
false teachers. But this is an erroneous concept filled 
with many problems. It is the doctrine alone that is to 
make that determination. Paul then uses himself to make 
the illustration. Had he then preached a new doctrine unto 
them, he would have made void his earlier teachings by 
doing so. 

  Consider this also. Here Paul uses the example of an 
angel from Heaven. This was to prove to all that it was 
not the heart or the intent to defraud but it was the 
doctrine. Who else would have a more perfect heart than an 
angel sent from Heaven? No one! Thus the intent of the 
heart was deemed insufficient by Paul in making the 
identification of a false teacher. Of course, those whom 
we know to be teaching from an impure heart are to be 
warned as well but many times we cannot determine just 
what their agenda may be.

  In Philippians 1:15-18, Paul mentions those whose hearts 
were impure who taught the truth. Were they condemned 
because of their false motives? No! Was Paul being 
critical of their agendas? No. Paul even praised the 
outcome of their work because the truth (the message) was 
what mattered most of all. God will judge a man who 
teaches the truth out of an impure heart (1 Cor 4:4-5). We 
do not have that privilege. Of course, if we know that 
such is the case, we have every  responsibility to try to 
restore this man but we cannot pass judgment on his soul. 
God will do that.

  We must remember that Paul had told the Corinthians that 
they were not to be shocked about the fact that Satan 
himself masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14-
15). Even Satan's angels masquerade as agents of good but 
they have their reward which will match their evil deeds.  
No man has any assurance that false teachers can be 
identified by their evil aspirations. Rather, the only way 
is to determine the truth of their message as compared to 
the word of God. In 1 John 4:1, John advises each 
Christian to try the spirits because many false spirits 
had gone out into the world. thus, man has to have some 
standard of measure by which to make that determination. 
The standard is the word of God.

  John then refers to these false prophets denying the 
Lord. This is done by asserting that their doctrine is the 
truth when it is not. Rather, it is the doctrine of the 
devil. Sometimes, it is hard for brethren to understand 
that sincere brethren, who are teaching error fervently 
and with no apparent agenda, are simply the "tools" of 
Satan. They have unknowingly and unwittingly become angels 
of darkness. In 2 Corinthian 6:14, Paul asked what 
fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness and what 
communion has light with darkness? The answer is 
resoundingly, NONE.

5. Paul then tells us to consider such men as ANATHEMA. 
This term is defined as an animal, person or thing doomed 
to destruction. It is condemned to the direst of woes. It 
is as a dung heap to the children of God. It is to be 
eternally lost. In Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42 and in Luke 
17:2, Jesus stated : "But whoso shall offend one of these 
little ones which believe in me, it were better for him 
that a  millstone  were hanged about his neck, and that he 
were drowned in the depth of the sea."

  Brethren, let us be careful that we not teach any 
doctrine that is false. lest we also fall into this 

6. Paul did not curry favor with men but spoke only the 
message of Jesus Christ who gave him the word. We need to 
be mindful that even the qualified words of Paul were 
written at the allowance of Jesus Christ by the 
inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Thus, everything that he 
taught as precept or command was the word of God.  Amen
Howard Justice


Galatians 1:14

Galatians 1:14 (OPV)
14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my own age 
among my countrymen, being exceedingly zealous for my 
ancestral traditions.
  When Paul addressed the angry crowd from the steps of 
the temple barracks, he explained: "I am a Jew, born in 
Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, at the 
feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict 
manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, 
even as ye all are this day" (Acts 22:3 ASV). 
  In his defense before the Jewish council he said: "I am 
a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees" (Acts 23:6 ASV). And after 
being taken to Rome as a prisoner, he assured the local 
Jewish leaders that he "had done nothing against the 
people, or the customs of our fathers" (Acts 28:17).
  Actually, it was this great zeal which caused Paul to be 
such a dedicated servant of Christ once he understood that 
Christ was the fulfillment of the aspirations of the 
fathers and the predictions of the prophets.
  When speaking before King Agrippa, Paul said: "My manner 
of life then from my youth up, which was from the 
beginning among mine own nation and at Jerusalem, know all 
the Jews; having knowledge of me from the first, if they 
be willing to testify, that after the straitest sect of 
our religion I lived a Pharisee. And now I stand [here] to 
be judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our 
fathers" (Acts 26:4-6 ASV).
  In his letter to the Galatians, Paul will explain that 
Christians are the true heirs of the promises given to the 
Roy Davison


Galatians 1:15-17

Galatians 1:15-17 (OPV)
15 But when He who set me apart from my mother's womb, and 
called me through His grace, was pleased
16 to reveal His Son to me, that I might preach Him among 
the Gentiles, without delay, I did not consult with flesh 
and blood,
17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles 
before me, but I went away into Arabia, and I returned 
again to Damascus.
*1:15 "Set me apart from my mother's womb"
  God set Jeremiah apart before his birth: "Before I 
formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou 
camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee; I have 
appointed thee a prophet unto the nations" (Jer 1:5 ASV).
  God sees in the future as easily as we see in the 
present. God makes such selections through foreknowledge. 
Compare this with His foreknowledge that the faithful 
would be saved in Christ (Romans 8:29,31).
  This does not deprive people of their free will, any 
more than our knowledge of what someone is doing now 
deprives him of his free will.
  God had providentially prepared Paul to be the apostle 
to the Gentles, even before he knew about or believed in 
Christ. He had both a Hebrew and a Greek education, and 
was a Roman citizen. He had excellent writing ability. The 
Lord used him to pen a large portion of the New Testament.
*1:15 "Called me through His grace"
  All Christians are "called to be Jesus Christ's," 
"called to be saints" (Romans 1:6,7). 
  Paul was also called to be an apostle: "Paul, a servant 
of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto 
the gospel of God" (Romans 1:1 ASV). 
  Later, Paul and Barnabas were called for a specific 
work. "And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the 
Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the 
work whereunto I have called them" (Acts 13:2 ASV).
*1:15,16 "Was pleased to reveal His Son to me"
  The Lord appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus (see 
Acts 9). When Ananias came, he told Paul: "The God of our 
fathers hath appointed thee to know his will, and to see 
the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth" 
(Acts 22:14). In Paul's writings he mentions other times 
when the Lord appeared to him. He refers to "the exceeding 
greatness of the revelations" given to him (2 Cor l2:7), 
and mentions being transported to the third heaven (2 Cor 
12:2) and "how that he was caught up into Paradise, and 
heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man 
to utter" (2 Cor 12:4 ASV).
*1:16 "That I might preach Him among the Gentiles"
  The Lord told Ananias when He sent him to Paul: "Go thy 
way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name 
before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel" 
(Acts 9:15 ASV). 
  Although Paul also preached to the people of Israel, his 
main task was to preach to non-Jews. The word for 
"Gentiles" here in Greek means literally "nations" but it 
was commonly used by the Jews with the meaning of 
'Gentiles'. The context must determine whether 'nations' 
or 'Gentiles' is the best translation.
  When the Lord told Paul to leave Jerusalem, He said: 
"Depart: for I will send thee forth far hence unto the 
Gentiles" (Acts 22:21 ASV). Paul was entrusted with the 
gospel for the uncircumcised (Galatians 2:7,9).
*1:16 "Without delay"
  Paul did not hesitate to start preaching after he was 
baptized: "And straightway in the synagogues he proclaimed 
Jesus, that he is the Son of God" (Acts 9:20 ASV).
*1:16,17 "I did not consult with flesh and blood, nor did 
I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me"
  Paul is substantiating what he said in verses 1, 11 and 
12 about being made an apostle directly by Christ and 
receiving the gospel independently by revelation.
..Jesus had said to Peter, after he had confessed that He 
was the Christ: "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto 
thee, but my Father who is in heaven" (Matt 16:17 ASV).
  The gospel was revealed to Paul in the same way.
*1:17 "But I went away into Arabia, and I returned again 
to Damascus"
  For more details see Acts 9:20-27.
Roy Davison