Friday, January 18, 2013

Galatians 1:6-10 Messianic Style


In Paul's short introduction to the book of Galatians he managed to pack in a summary of the what the Gospel message is and the foundation of the what Galatians discusses. The book continues:

Galatians 1:6-10 (KJV)
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 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.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

After his calm yet meaty introduction, Paul started off his letter by emotionally getting right to the problem at hand. He marveled at how quickly the Galatians, who had been called into a saving relationship with Yeshua by His grace, had turned from Yeshua to another gospel. The Aramaic English New Testament by Andrew Roth, translates "I marvel" by "I am stunned into silence, as if dead." This was no small matter to Paul and he expressed his shock to his readers.

Verse 7 clarifies that this "other gospel" is not really another, because any message that varied from what Paul had stated in his introduction was not really "good news" (what the word "gospel" means), but rather a message without power to save, leaving the believer without salvation from sin. Apparently, this message came from false teachers that had come into the Galatians' assemblies with the intent to pervert the gospel of Yeshua.

Paul informed his readers that if anyone, himself included, or an angel from heaven, preached any other gospel than the one that they had received, should be cursed (verse 8). The mention of an angel is interesting in that the word in Greek is "aggelos." This can be translated as "messenger" or "angel." The Greek word for gospel is "euaggelion", which as has been stated means "good news." Notice the common root in both words. Paul was making a play on words. Again, Paul was using pretty strong language. Paul repeated himself in verse 9. He wanted to make sure that his readers understood the seriousness of what was going on in the Galatian churches.

As of yet, the book of Galatians has not told us exactly who had come into their churches and what they had been preaching that was contrary to the gospel of Yeshua. This will come as we get further into the letter. At this point Paul is simply warning the believers about not accepting any other so-called gospels.

But before we go on we need to remind ourselves of some further details that are not included in the obvious reading of Galatians. Is Paul's summary a complete description of the gospel message? Since books have been written on the topic, obviously Paul didn't mean his statement of summary to be the end all of what the gospel message is, but there are some clues that can help us.

There are other places in Scripture where the "good news" is discussed.

Psalm 40:9 (KJV)
9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.

Isaiah 52:7 (KJV)
7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

Romans 10:14-15 (KJV)
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Matthew 4:23 (KJV)
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Matthew 4:17 (KJV)
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

These passages speak about the "good things" that Yeshua's message was all about. Specifically, the Matthew verses highlight that the kingdom of heaven was near. See here about the kingdom of God:
This is the foundation of what Yeshua's whole plan was about, bringing in a kingdom where He is the king, and believers are His subjects.

Although Paul doesn't directly address this, his statement from verse 4, "that he might deliver us from this present evil world," implies that something better is coming. Whereas the Jews had come to believe that only Jews could participate in that kingdom, God's plan from the beginning included both Jews and Gentile believers.

Zechariah 8:23 (KJV)
23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.

Isaiah 2:2-3 (KJV)
2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Hang onto the idea about the coming kingdom being composed of Jews and Gentiles. We will return to this.

Verse 10 of Galatians 1 ends this section by Paul's affirming that he was not trying to win any man's approval, but that he only sought God's. Apparently, someone was accusing Paul of this and apparently, his gospel preaching appeared to be anti-God in some way. As we progress in this study more on this will come to light.


No comments:

Post a Comment