Paul, the Letter Writer
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 3 Lesson 2 Sunday
The lesson goes in to some style points and authentication support. My understanding is Paul’s authorship of Galatians is generally unquestioned. I’m more interested in the content.
The lesson does provide a provocative question at the bottom of Sunday’s lesson.
“If the Bible were to be written today, what kind of medium, format, and style do you think the Lord would use to reach us now?”
Would he use Facebook Live, Youtube, Twitter or Instagram?
Read 2 Peter 3:15-16 from the Remedy Bible Version;
15 Remember that our Lord’s patience gives time for the Remedy to spread and healing to occur, just as our dear brother Paul explained in his letters—as God revealed it to him. 16 Paul writes about God’s Remedy and healing plan in all his letters, but his letters contain some technical details and intricate illustrations and thus can be difficult to understand. And those who don’t understand God’s healing plan distort Paul’s writings–as they do the other Scriptures–to misrepresent God. Sadly, without the Remedy, it results in their own destruction.
What do these verses tell us about how the early church viewed Paul’s writings?
What does this teach us about how inspiration works? What does it tell us about God?
Sketches from the Life of Paul pages 188 & 189
“While Paul looked with interest and hope to new fields of labor in the west, he had cause for serious apprehension concerning the fields of his former labor in the east. Tidings had been received at Corinth from the churches in Galatia, revealing a state of great confusion, and even of absolute apostasy. Judaizing teachers were opposing the work of the apostle, and seeking to destroy the fruit of his labors.
In almost every church there were some members who were Jews by birth. To these converts the Jewish teachers found ready access, and through them gained a foot-hold in the churches. It was impossible, by scriptural arguments, to overthrow the doctrines taught by Paul; hence they resorted to the most unscrupulous measures to counteract his influence and weaken his authority. They declared that he had not been a disciple of Jesus, and had received no commission from him; yet he had presumed to teach doctrines directly opposed to those held by Peter, James, and the other apostles. Thus the emissaries of Judaism succeeded in alienating many of the Christian converts from their teacher in the gospel. Having gained this point, they induced them to return to the observance of the ceremonial law as essential to salvation. Faith in Christ, and obedience to the law of ten commandments, were regarded as of minor importance. Division, heresy, and sensualism were rapidly gaining ground among the believers in Galatia.
Paul’s soul was stirred as he saw the evils that threatened speedily to destroy these churches. He immediately wrote to the Galatians, exposing their false theories, and with great severity rebuking those who had departed from the faith.
In the introduction to his epistle, he asserted his own position as an apostle, “not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.” He had been commissioned by the highest authority, not of earth, but in Heaven. After giving his salutation to the church, he pointedly addresses them: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel, which is not another.” The doctrines which the Galatians had received, could not in any sense be called the gospel; they were the teachings of men, and were directly opposed to the doctrines taught by Christ.
The apostle continues: “But there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
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