The Joshua Victor Theory

Part 1: “Divine Origin”

June 3, 2013

Part 1 of a 6 part sermon series on the book of Galatians. The text for today is Galatians 1:1-12, Paul's defense of his Gospel being of Divine Origin.

Sermon Talking Points

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  1. At whose initiative was Paul sent, and at whose initiative did he preach the Gospel? How did this shape and inform his ministry? How did it contrast to those who were troubling the Galatians with a false gospel? Galatians 1:1, 6-8, 10-12. Cf. Acts 9.
  2. Luther comments that the words “grace” and “peace” in Gal. 1:3, contain a summary of all of Christianity. What good news is summarized in each of these words? Unpack it. For “grace” see Romans 3:23-24; 4:4-5; 4:16; 11:6. For “peace” see Luke 2:14; 7:50; John 14:27; 16:33; 20:19-23; Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:14
  3. Read Galatians 1:5. If God alone gets and deserves the glory for salvation (cf. Psalm 115:1), what does that mean for human boasting, glory, works, or taking credit? Why is this the greatest assurance for the troubled conscience, to know that salvation is 100% God’s work, and not even the smallest inkling of credit goes to us? If this were not so, how would it be the source of all kinds of doubt and trouble for the Christian conscience?
  4. Why did the situation in Galatia provoke Paul to such a passionate response, above and beyond all his other writings? What was vitally at stake? Galatians 1:6-9. Why should we never listen to any distortion of the true gospel, no matter how glossy and attractive the presentation is? When is passion and zeal (or even righteous anger) a good thing, and when is it dangerous and misguided? Cf. John 2:13-22; Romans 10:1-2; Galatians 1:13-14.
  5. When we have become certain of the message of the Gospel, that comes from Christ, why is it vital that we treasure this good news above all earthly wisdom, promises, and man-made religion?

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