Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Class Notes

For nearly a month, I have been working ahead to prepare for the Wed. morn. class. I finished my notes on Galatians. I had read through Galatians before and made my own notes without the help of commentaries and study Bibles. Last month, I finished adding insights from other sources. I will say that the other sources did not cause me to change my views on Galatians. I am repeating the same method for Judges. I had read through the book a while back, now I am consulting the work of scholars. I am one third of the way through Judges.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Background On Galatians

I'm back! Again. For the past couple of years the class I teach has been in the New Testament. We went through the Gospel of Mark, the Sermon on the Mount, and John 13-17. After that, we looked at various subjects. In early September, we began a study of Galatians. The first three classes dealt with background information. Here are the notes:

Gal. is the only letter Paul addressed to a group of Churches, not to a particular Church. Galatia was a province in Asia Minor since the 3rd century B.C. with migrants from Gaul. The province included cities of Antioch, Iconium, Lystre, and Derbe. Acts contains the historical account of Paul's evangelism in this province.

Antioch- Acts 11:18-30, 13:1-3, 42-52.
Iconium- Acts 14:1-7 (see v.3 on grace, wonders through Paul and Barnabas).
Lystra- Acts 14: 8-18.
Derbe- Acts 14: 19-20.
Back to Antioch- Acts 14:21-28.

Date of Letter- correlates to Paul's visit to Jerusalem, some say correlated with events of Acts 15, the Jerusalem council. Written sometime between 55 and 57 A.D. Probably on his 3rd missionary journey, written from Macedonia or Corinth.

Paul's Opponents- referred to as Judaizers. Say faith in Christ necessary, but not enough. Say Old Testament promises of salvation for Jews only, not Gentiles.Gentiles must be circumcised, add to faith the observance of the Law. Claim Paul is a compromiser, making the Gospel attractive to Gentiles by removing legal demands, say Paul contradicts Peter, James.

Any form of legalism, for the purpose of justification or sanctification, depends on one's personal effort, denies the sufficiency of the Cross. Legalism is the most persistent enemy of the Gospel of grace, contends that certain rules, regulations, religious rites in addition to faith as necessary conditions of Christian maturity.

Paul's Teaching In Galatians- Jesus puts those who have faith in Him (2:16, 3:26) in position of liberty (2:4, 5:1), freeing them from bondage to legalism and license. Main emphasis, crucifixion of Christ as basis for believers deliverance from the curse of sin (1:4, 6:14), self (2:20, see 5:24), and Law (3:12, 4:5). We have a faith union with Christ (2:20), visibly portrayed in baptism (3:27) which relates all believers together as brothers and sisters (3:28). Paul declares Jesus' deity (1:1, 3, 16), humanity (3:16, 4:4). Jesus is the substance of the Gospel (1:7) which He Himself revealed to Paul (1:12).

The Holy Spirit in Galatians- Judaizers wrong about means of justification and sanctification. Key passage- 3:2-3. Galatians would admit they began in the Spirit, so why are they seeking maturity through the Law? 3:5 indicates work of the Holy Spirit beyond initial reception of Spirit. Verb "supplies" indicates a continual supplying in bountiful measure. "Works" indicates that God was continuing to perform miracles in their midst through Holy Spirit filled believers. The word "miracles" refers to charismatic manifestations of Holy Spirit as evidenced by outward signs , see 1Cor. 12-14. The phrase "promise of the Spirit" in 3:14 is used by Peter to explain outpouring of Spirit at Pentecost, Acts 2:33. We receive the Holy Spirit by faith, Holy Spirit manifests His power in us as we walk in faith.
There is a fierce battle between flesh (our lower nature prone to sin) and the indwelling Holy Spirit- 5: 16-25. Submit to control of, and walk with the Holy Spirit will enable us to die to the flesh- 5:16-18, delivers us from the tyranny of the Law- 5:18, and causes the fruit of holiness to grow in our lives- 5: 22-23. 5:16-25 concerns the proper use of Christian liberty. Apart from the controlling, sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, liberty will degenerate into license.

Compiled from background notes from the NIV Study Bible and the Spirit Filled Life Bible.

Monday, November 21, 2016

I Haven't Gone Away

I'm still here. I haven't gone away. I'm still teaching my Wednesday morning class. We are still in Mark. I preached a couple weeks ago. My project for my main blog, redemptivethoughts.com , is coming along just fine. It will be an 18 part series, counting the introduction. The 1st 9 parts have been completed. When it is finished, I will return to regular postings on both blogs.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

I'M STILL HERE

This blog is a simple guide to whats been going on in my ministry. I haven't posted for awhile. That doesn't mean that I have been inactive since 12/15/15. I still teach a class at my church on Wednesday morning. Since we finished studying Old Testament characters, we covered four topics before studying the gospel of Mark. We studied Mark before we turned to OT characters, but with a bigger class, only one person is still in the class who was there for the first study of Mark. We spent 3 years on OT characters. Family business and a major project for my main blog, redemptivethoughts.com has taken my time away from this blog. I will start posting regularly again in the immediate future.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

We Finally Finished Old Testament Characters

After nearly  3 years, the Wednesday morning class has finally finished studying characters from the Old Testament. We started with the character of God as revealed in Genesis one and He remained the main character throughout. We covered every major character from Genesis to the book of Esther (We did skip Judges for the sake of time). There is no time limit for each lesson. While I have a planned list of items to be taught, anyone in the class can bring up a matter they want to discuss. That explains why it took 3 years. I stopped typing up my notes after David. I got burned out with the project after typing 62 pages. Sometime in the future, I'll finish typing and publishing my notes.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Old Testament Characters

I am still teaching Old Testament characters on Wednesday morning. Since my last post on this subject, we have covered Solomon, a brief look at 4 Kings of Judah, Elijah, Elisha, and we will probably finish Ezra during the next class. We will conclude with Nehemiah and Esther. I haven't posted my notes since Daniel because, frankly, I got burned out typing them up. So far, I have 62 pages of notes. Someday, I will finish posting them. But not now.

What I've Been Reading

I bought a good deal of books from the Wesley Biblical Seminary library while I was a student. One subject covered by my purchases was death/dying/end of life care/counseling. I have added to these with subsequent purchases. Last December, I undertook the reading of them and I finished last night. The first was a book called "The Loneliness of Man" which was ruined by its existentialist viewpoint, viewing faith as a leap in the dark. Then I read a book on old age which was influenced by the notion that death is to be looked forward to, instead of being viewed as the enemy. Then I read Christopher Hitchen's "Mortality." I thought I might gain an insight on how you deal with those dying of cancer, especially those who don't believe in God. I gained very little insight. Those three were a wash. Then I read Sherwin Nuland's How We Die and Death and Dying by Elizebeth Kubler-Ross. Both were fruitful. Nuland's work took the mystery out of much of what happens at death so readers may not be so surprised as to what is happening to them as they die. Ross demonstrates how to deal with the fears which keep us from dealing with those who have a short time left on earth. Then I read a volume of the writings of Paul Tournier, a Christian doctor and psychologist who was influential during the 50's and 60's. While worth reading, I did have reservations about him. While I was reading Tounier, I read a book which I thought would be about ministering to families which lost an infant. The book was really about making these parents accept Calvinism. Also, I read Nicoloas Woltersdorf's Lament For a Son, a memoir on how he dealt with the death of his son. Then I reread Grief, Transition, and Loss by Wayne Oates. I had read this during my ordination process about three years ago. So, that is what I have been reading for about 3 quarters of a year. I have saved articles from the Internet dealing with the same subjects and will read those as well.