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Thursday, August 15, 2019

2019.08.15 Hopewell @Home ▫ Galatians 1:18-24

Questions for Littles: How long after his conversion did Paul go up to Jerusalem (Galatians 1:18)? Whom did he see there? How long did he spend with him? Whom else did he see (Galatians 1:19)? How does he reinforce the seriousness of this testimony in Galatians 1:20? Where did he then go in Galatians 1:21? Who still did not know him (Galatians 1:22)? What were they hearing about his preaching (Galatians 1:23)? How did they respond to this fact about his preaching (Galatians 1:24)?
In this week’s Epistle reading, the apostle proves the divine origin of His gospel by two important facts concerning the apostles and church in Jerusalem.

The first fact is that His gospel did not come from them, but directly from the Lord Jesus Christ. We can put the apostle’s statements here together with the account in Acts and arrive at a complete, composite account.

After his conversion, Paul preached in synagogues on his own for three years, before going up to Jerusalem. There, over the course of 15 days exclusively with Peter, it was discovered that the gospel that he had been preaching was identical (can you imagine someone getting as far as 15 minutes with either Paul or Peter if they were preaching a different gospel, let alone 15 days?!). At this point, Paul returns to Damascus and begins his new ministry there.

The second fact is that His gospel was attested to the churches of Judea, even though they did not know him personally. Theological discussions in Judea started taking a new turn: “Even Paul, who used to persecute us for saying this, is now saying the exact same thing by the instruction of the Lord Jesus Himself!”

It became one of the primary things for which they were glorifying God.

“But they were hearing only, ‘He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.’ And they glorified God in me.”

We too ought to be able to make both of these points: “I get my doctrine directly from the Scriptures” (and then be able to back up our doctrine from the Bible) at the same time as saying, “And it is exactly the same doctrine that these other faithful ones preach” (and then be able to show how it is identical to what is in our confessional documents).
In order to grow your understanding of theology from the Scriptures, what are some gifts Jesus has given you? What are some good ways to make sure that your theology agrees with the faithful ones who have gone before you?
Suggested songs: ARP117B “O, All You Nations” or TPH461 “Blessed Are the Sons of God”

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