Galatians 1:1-5 (Tuesday, June 5, 2012)

Second Week

Tuesday, June 5

Questions:

(Gal 1:1-2 ESV) Paul, an apostle — not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead — 2 and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:

1. Why did Paul, contrary to his other letters, add “not from men nor through man”?

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2. Why did Paul identify God as the one “who raised [Jesus] from the dead”? Why not as creator of the universe or as the ruler of heaven and earth? Why emphasize the resurrection?

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(Gal 1:3-5 ESV) 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

3. “Grace … and peace” is Paul’s traditional greeting, and Galatians is likely his first letter. Why do you suppose he adopted this form of greeting for this particular church?

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4. Notice how in both v. 3 and v. 1, Paul speaks of Jesus and God in parallel. Why do you suppose he does that?

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5. What speak of this “present evil age”? Why call the age “evil”? (Compare Eph 5:16; 6:13)

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6. Deuteronomy 28 prophesies of a time when God turns Israel over to suffering because of their rebellion against God. In the Septuagint (Greek translation used by Paul), “evil” is used three times —

(Deu 28:20 ESV) “The LORD will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me.

(Deu 28:35 ESV) The LORD will strike you on the knees and on the legs with grievous boils of which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head.

(Deu 28:59-60 ESV) 59 then the LORD will bring on you and your offspring extraordinary afflictions, afflictions severe and lasting, and sicknesses grievous and lasting. 60 And he will bring upon you again all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you.

(Deu 31:29 ESV) “For I know that after my death you will surely act corruptly and turn aside from the way that I have commanded you. And in the days to come evil will befall you, because you will do what is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger through the work of your hands.”

Could it be that Paul is suggesting that the Jews are now living in a time when, because of their rejection of the Messiah and refusal to repentance at his preaching that these prophesies were about to come true (as happened when the Romans destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem in 70AD)? Or does Paul see all ages before the return of Jesus as evil?

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7. “Forever and ever” translates “unto ages of ages.” If God is to be glorified for all the ages, how is the current age evil?

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