The Joshua Victor Theory

Part 2: “Chief of Sinners”

June 10, 2013

Sermon on Galatians 1:11-24, for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, about Paul's conversion from a persecutor who had "zeal without knowledge" to a missionary with a holy zeal, and how this demonstrated the grace of God.

Sermon Talking Points

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  1. The word “gospel” is used in at least two ways in the Bible. In the broad sense it is used to describe the whole of Jesus’ life and teaching, as in the Four Gospels. In the narrow sense, and as it is contrasted with God’s Word of Law, gospel means the “good news.” In this narrow sense, it encompasses all that God does in Christ, and speaks no threat or condemnation, but only the free and unconditional promises of God for us in Christ Jesus.
  2. Why would the false teachers, both then and today, claim that their “gospel” was also from God? What unique claims did Paul have to show that this was really true? Galatians 1:11-17. How did Paul stand independently as a witness to Jesus’ resurrection? What made the people marvel to God about Paul’s life?
  3. Why did Paul share the account of his overwhelming zeal for Judaism, in his former life? 1 Timothy 1:12ff; Philippians 3:1-11; 2 Corinthians 11:21-23.
  4. What is different about the methods and actions of Paul’s “holy zeal” after his conversion? What tools can (and cannot) such a zeal for good employ? Romans 10:2; 12:21; Colossians 4:6; Ephesians 4:15; 2 Corinthians 4:1-2.
  5. Why will efforts to persecute the church or extinguish the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, never ultimately succeed? Matthew 16:18; Acts 5:33-42.
  6. How does the example of Paul give hope to all the “tough-minded” and stubborn? What is amazing about the love of God? Galatians 1:15-16; Romans 5:6-11.

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