These are notes collected from studying with brothers in Christ. Anything good comes from the Lord. Everything else is from us!

Gal 1:3-4 ~ “the Lord Jesus Christ…gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age”

The first part is identical to what we see elsewhere about the gospel: Christ died for our sins.

The last part adds a little extra “coloring”, if you will. Receiving the gospel means we are delivered from this present evil age. I think of churches affirming LGBT, etc. How many churches are cozy with this present evil age? Versus being delivered from it. God help us

Galatians 2:20
” I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Not I, but Christ. This is a verse that has become one of those foundational scriptures for me. My aspiration is to let less and less of my human self be on display, and let more of Christ shine through me.

I think that when I rest in the confidence of God’s love for me and the assurance of my forgiveness Christ shines through me and people meet Jesus in me. When I rely on my own power and try to do things on my own I end up making a mess. This reminds me of Romans 7 where Paul describes wanting to do good but evil being alongside him. Who can rescue us? ONLY Jesus!

And amen to all this. I like the analogy Watchman Nee gives of Gal. 2:20. He knew a lifeguard in China who was watching a man drowning. Others were frantic and tried to get the lifeguard to do something. But the lifeguard was trained to wait until they sink to then save them. He did this and saved the life. He explained that if they’re still struggling, they can take you down with them. But once they’ve lost all their strength, then they will rest in your power. What a picture of Gal. 2:20! Not I = coming to an end of ourselves. But Christ = That’s where true Christianity begins.

So much in this short book of Galatians. Paul is astonished they are so quickly deserting Christ and turning to a different gospel (1:6)

Yet, this heart is in all of us, right?! “Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.”

This is part of why I love ch. 5 so much. It calls us to not return to our old life because even though it beckons it’s death. “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (5:1)

And that we must be in the Spirit and not in the flesh to live out his ways (5:16-25). As Romans so beautifully captures though, there is an ongoing tension between the flesh and spirit but the life in the Spirit brings life and peace and this is what we are called into as His children.

The thing that sticks out to me the most from 2 Corinthians and Galatians is the need for revelation.

In 2 Corinthians the Jews weekly heard the Bible read, but a veil was over them. Not until they turned to Christ was it removed.

In Galatians, Paul says: “I did not receive it [the gospel] from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:12)
In both cases, it had to be an act of God upon their soul that opened up the understanding. I often think if I only give someone X fact, then they’ll see. But God pulls me up short on this. It needs to be a work of Him on their soul. Our words play a part. Namely, I think we have a job to plant the seed of God’s truth/word/gospel in every soil we encounter…and in time we’ll see the ones that actually received it by the fruit that comes up later.

I agree. I have, at times, tried to get all of my facts and biblical data in order so that I can present a compelling argument for Christianity, but that approach has always fallen flat for me. It is obviously important to be educated on what we believe, but I agree that many times this leaves God mostly out of the process. For me personally I have found that “knowledge puffs up but love builds up” (1 Cor. 8:1). This is one of those verses that when I read it I feel like it was written specifically with me in mind hahaha.

I also very much agree that we are to sow seeds and provide fertile soil and then let God perform the transformation. Matthew 7 is a chapter that has been on my mind a lot lately, especially when Jesus says that “by their fruit, you will recognize them.” The evidence of God’s transformation is in the fruit that is produced. The evidence of how closely we are keeping in step with the Spirit is how much we are bearing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

It is so freeing to know that the fruit of the Spirit is not a list of things that we are supposed to do, but rather it is a list of the things that God will do in us if we stay in touch with him.

The final chapter of Galatians continues this theme, and I was encouraged by reading it.
” A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Galatians 6:7-9

Overall this is a somewhat simple concept. Wherever we spend our time, money or energy will show what is actually important to us. It reminds me of that verse from Matthew that says “where your treasure is your heart will be also.”
Despite the simplicity of this sowing-and-reaping concept, this DOES NOT mean that this is easy. I am encouraged by verse 9 because I feel like Paul knows that following Jesus is counter cultural and can be tough. I like to think that the people of the Galatian church read Paul’s letter and felt encouraged enough to keep doing the right thing and not give up.

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