Paul’s Authority and Gospel
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 3 Lesson 2 Sabbath Afternoon
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10, NKJV)
In the title of the lesson – is it Paul’s Gospel? Or someone else’s? Who originated it? When and where did the “Gospel” develop? Is the “Gospel” something that started after the crucifixion / resurrection or has it been around much longer? And what is “the Gospel”? Does it matter which Law lens we view the “Gospel” through?
Paul knew that he spent a long time working in opposition to the “Gospel” [see the memory text].
The lesson poses a hypothetical situation in the first paragraph of Sabbath’s lesson.
“Students at a university built a center on their campus where everyone — regardless of race, gender, social status, or religious beliefs — would be welcome. Imagine if years later these students returned to the campus only to discover that other students had redesigned the center. Instead of the large room with plenty of space for socializing — designed to bring a sense of unity to everyone there — the room had been subdivided into many smaller rooms with entrance restrictions based on race, gender, and so forth. The students responsible for the redesign might have argued that their authority to make these changes came from centuries-old established practice.”
I would like to pose another one. Suppose one of the prominent professors of theology at a respected Christian university, who had spent many years presenting a legal theology, including books, sermons, and sitting on committees tasked with rooting out heresy in the local church, gets up in front of his class and states that he’s been presenting a false remedy for many years and begins to present a healing theology in an effort to undo his early life’s work. How would he be treated by his students? By the other professors? By the church members? By his wife and family? Or even more importantly how he be treated by those who have historically taught the healing theology?
These are the barriers Paul faced in the presentation of The Gospel of Christ, to the Jews and, likely to a lesser extent, to the Gentiles.
Read Galatians 1:10-12 from the Remedy Bible Version;
10 What do you think I am doing with my life–do you think I am trying to win the approval of people, or of God? Or do you think I am trying to please men and women or make human beings happy with me? If I were still worried about what people thought of me or trying to get the approval of humankind, I would not be a serving friend of Christ. 11 Brothers, I want you to be perfectly clear on this, the good news that I proclaim–the message of healing and restoration–the truth about the character of God as revealed by Jesus, is not something fabricated or concocted by human beings. 12 I did not receive this healing message from any human, and neither did I learn it in school; rather, Jesus Christ revealed it to me directly.
According to Paul, what is the danger in being a “people pleaser?” Why does Paul say it is impossible to be a follower of Christ while trying to please people?
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