Sunday, June 19, 2011

Prep Notes: An Introduction to Galatians

I've been dismally neglecting this blog and mission after being stuck at work - partly because I tried a couple of times to focus on the first sermon; "Gospel not in word only" and just found I was stuck for words! I have such increased profound respect for preachers and pastor/teachers! But also was just so tired from work.

However I have been reading Thomas Schriener's new commentary on "Galatians" and greatly been enjoying it and it has encouraged me to think through this series of sermons. Schriener summarises the main idea in the opening of Galatians as;

"Paul's desire for the Galatians to enjoy grace and peace. He was called as an apostle so that they would enjoy such blessings".

This is an important insight into the ministry that is apostles and one that both Rob Rufus and Terry Virgo refer to in their summaries of apostleship. The apostle is a key Ephesians 4 Ministry for being a catalyst for the glory of grace! What else do both men do? Who else have we learned more about grace from than both Rob and Terry?

Here is a breakdown of the whole book;

1. Introduction: Desertion from Paul's Gospel is Desertion from the Gospel (1:1-2:21).

A. Greeting: Paul's Apostolic Authority (1:1-5)

i. Sender: Paul and fellow believers (1:1-2)
ii. Prayer Wish: (1:3)
iii. Purpose of Christ's death (1:4)
iv. Glory to God (1:5).

Schriener makes a couple of useful comments on Paul's apostleship;

"Paul was called as an apostle on the Damascus Road when the Lord Jesus appeared to him (Gal 1:12, 1 Cor 9:1, Acts 9:1-7). He was particularly called to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles (Rom 11:13, Gal 1:16, 1 Tim 2:7). His apostleship was verified by the churches he established (1 Cor 9:2) and by the signs he performed (2 Cor 12:12)".

I think this commentary on v1 of Galatians 1 gives a great insight and start for the first sermon on apostles. I think that's being fair to the text - obviously to begin by speaking of Paul but applying it to the desperate need for apostles today in the modern church (giving some space of course to defending apostles today).

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