Reflections on Chapter 1
Paul warns, of even angels preaching a false gospel (Galatians 1:8). This is an astonishing piece of the letter to think about considering the role in which Gabriel supposedly played in the founding of Islam, and if my understanding is correct the role in which an angel played in aiding the foundation of the Latter-Day Saint tradition.
Paul also distinctly prioritizes pleasing God, looking explicitly at Galatians 1:10, it appears that if one, being saved and justified by, through, and in Christ is still looking to please man than they are not a servant of Christ. THis is extremely convicting as I reflect back on my own life, how often have I, even now in some ways, look more to the pleasing of those who have authority on this world, than the one who holds authority over everything even my own salvation.
Galatians 1:15, Paul distinctly paints a picture of salvation that is in keeping with reformed theology, it is hard to argue that Paul would have supported an arminian position. From verse 18-24 we are presented with a picture of Pauls journey early on in the faith and that God was glorified because he was now preaching and proclaiming the faith when he had once been one of its fiercest persecutors.
Reflections on Chapter 2
From verse 1 through verse 10, we are presented with Paul seeking wise council and eventually it was decided that James, Cephas (also known as Peter) , and John would spread the Gospel to the Jews and Paul and Barnabas would focus on the Gentiles.
Verses 11-14 display an altercation between Cephas and Paul, about which had to do with Cephas\’ decision to withdraw from the Christian Gentiles when Christian Jews, from James\’ flock, arrived. Barnabas, even Paul notes withdrew from the Christian Gentiles as a result of the behavior exhibited by the others. This behavior, Paul notes is against the truth of the Gospel. If you would, follow me as I surmise how this might be brought into consideration in the American culture, I think there is value enough to warrant such a consideration and contemplation of scripture.
In some ways, being drawn to those of your own culture is merely biological and psychological, we as humans are infinitely more comfortable with those we have much in common at least at a surface level. Following this it must be recognized that no longer should we seek to be surrounded by those with whom we are comfortable for as Christians, this would mean only surrounding ourselves with certain parts of the body, how shameful would it be if eyes only spoke to eyes and ears to ears. We must strive such that we are drawn to all who are in Christ, not only those in Christ whom we would have been drawn to prior to being in Christ ourselves. In this I think, in some ways racism still exists within the church primarily flowing out from ethnocentrism and a wishful ignorance, I must seriously consider, what will it take to diminish the existence of such habits and behaviors within the body, God knows and it is with fervent prayer that I hope he reveals such knowledge to us in time.
In the final section of chapter two Paul focuses on reminding the Galatians, that their salvation is justified by faith in Christ alone. that they no longer live as they once did and that it is no longer them who live at all, as they knew themselves, but rather Christ who lives within them. This idea is what we now refer to as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.