The Challenge to Become
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 3 Lesson 9 Monday
The lesson points out that to other churches (Corinth etc.) Paul at times challenged them to imitate his behavior, but with the Galatians he instead challenged them to become like him.
What is the point Paul is trying to make?
Is there a difference in behaving and becoming? What is the difference?
When you become you are changed, you are transformed in your heart and in your mind.
To what does Paul want them to become?
The lesson states, “Paul is referring to his experience as a Christian, a foundation that rests on Christ alone, a faith that trusts in what Christ has done for him and not in his works of the law.”
What is the lesson emphasizing? What is the critical difference between works of the law and what Paul is calling for them to achieve?
The lesson rightly points out that Paul is calling for them to trust—what is the natural state of the sinful heart toward God? Enmity—one of distrust of God.
Thus, Paul is calling for them to experience not a mere behavior change, but a heart change, to be transformed from distrust of God to trust in God—this is what he describes about Abraham and it is called? Justification—the change of heart from distrust to trust is the putting right of a soul with God again.
Paul is telling them that this cannot be accomplished by legal acts or legal declarations, but only by an actual change within their inner being.
Thus, Paul is warning the Galatians to be aware of theologians who come along and say that salvation is a legal process, one of law, and justification is a legal declaration. Such a doctrine will obstruct them from experiencing what he has worked to achieve, Christ within. To experience Christ within, the heart must be changed from distrust to trust, and the law cannot achieve this.
Thus, today Christianity is still struggling with what Paul warned the Galatians about, falling into a false legal construct of sin and salvation and promoting a legal declarative salvation, rather than the genuine renewal of heart.
And this is why (as an example in link above) addictions, pornography, teen pregnancy, spouse and child abuse rates are no different in Christian homes than non Christian homes, because they have a form of godliness but no power— because as the Bible says the law is powerless to save and heal and much of Christianity is focused on legal solutions. The healing truth is not legal, it is experiential—a real trust relationship with a God who loves and who will indwell, heal, restore, cleanse, free from guilt, free from shame, instill new motives, desires and principles in all who trust Him!
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