UNDESERVED FAVOR

Galatians 1:1-2- Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers and sisters with me,

Timothy was sent by a man (Paul). Luke was sent by a man (Paul). Mark was sent by a man (Peter). Now Jesus did choose all these men but the thing that separates Paul and the 12 disciples is that Jesus chose them face to face. Paul’s selection by Jesus is very dramatic:

Acts 9:1-9- But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

To the churches in Galatia:

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

Grace=Charis in Greek- means good will, loving-kindness, unmerited or undeserved favor. The reason Grace is such an important Christian word is because the greatest act of unearned loving kindness (Grace) that has ever been given to us is Jesus dying on the Cross:

Ephesians 2:8-9- For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Most people don’t boast out loud but they boast in their heart by thinking they’re better than someone else. It’s important to remember we can’t earn our own saving (salvation). If nothing is earned, everyone is equal at the foot of the cross. God doesn’t count sins or rank people.

Galatians 1:6-9- I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

Hello. How are you? I am Paul the Apostle…WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU!! Doesn’t take Paul long to get to the point because it is a point that is near and dear to his heart and should be to ours. That is, it is important to get Jesus’ message RIGHTT!! How important? Even an Angel should die if the message is wrong? Do you protect the Gospel? How should we protect the words of Jesus? Is Theology important? Is Orthodoxy? Or is that just being legalistic? What does Paul say? If the Gospel is the only thing that saves then it should probably be presented accurately. Do you think so, too?

jesus-holds-manWhat is the Gospel? Why is an understanding of the Ten Commandments important to understanding the Gospel? The Gospel means Good News. In order for there to be good news, there must be bad news or the good news is just news and the bad news IS the Ten Commandments? Why? God says we must obey them and we prove over and over that we can’t. That’s a problem but the Gospel is the solution.

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