“Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them.”
~ Galatians 4:17
Hi James and Ellen,
Do you write letters? Your grandpaa writes letters. Paul wrote letters in spite of a disability that inhibited him from personally writing all the words that are written in his letters. Paul mentions his ‘illness’ in Galatians 4. Your grandpaa thinks that the illness may have been an obvious eye condition that limited Paul from seeing. Paul sent his letters to Christ-follower communities of guys and gals who were living in towns that were located in northcentral Asia Minor and in the southern Roman province of Galatia. When Paul received a message from Christ-followers who were living in towns in the southern Roman province of Galatia that the teachings of Judaizers was having a negative impact on the new worship norms that they had been taught and which they had accepted by faith as being true, Paul sent a circular letter – that is known as the Galatians Letter, to them. Paul wanted guys who were leaders of Christ-follower communities of guys and gals in towns in the southern Roman province of Galatia to confront misdirected, bigheaded guys – who were known as Judaizers, about their works based teachings that challenged the grace based teachings that the Christ-following guys and gals who were living in the southern Roman province of Galatia had been taught to believe. Paul questioned the motives of the Judaizers. Verse 17 says, “Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them.” Paul argued his grace based case by using the lives of Sarah and Hagar – who were two mas who each had a kid who became the patriarch of a people group. Isaac – the kid who was born to Abraham and Sarah, was born to a ma who was free. Ishmael – the kid who was born to Abraham and Hagar, was born to a ma who was a slave. Isaac was Jacob’s dad. Jacob – who God renamed Israel, was the dad or granddad of each son or grandson whose names identify the twelve Israelite people group tribal clans that made up God’s specially chosen guys and gals. Even though God’s specially chosen guys and gals lived under the law that God gave to them at Mount Sinai, they had the promise of the heavenly Jerusalem. The earthly Jerusalem – which is the center of Judaism, was the bondage center for the law that God – as God the Father, gave to Moses while he was on Mount Sinai’s peak for him to pass on to His specially chosen guys and gals for them to adopt to live by. Paul’s Galatians Letter is Paul’s passionate polemic against the Judaizers who were doing everything that they could to pervert and contaminate the gospel of grace. The gospel of grace came about when God – as God the Son, allowed Himself to be sacrificially hung and nailed to a cross. The dramatic action of God – as God the Son, while sacrificially dying while tied on and nailed to a cross, released His specially chosen guys and gals from the law’s tyrannies and emancipating or setting free His specially chosen and elected guys and gals to live law free lives.
Even though Ishmael lived a good, productive life, Ishmael’s descendants would be guys and gals who now make up the Muslim people groups guys and gals – guys and gals who follow the Islamic belief paradigm – making these guys and gals slaves to acting out ritualistic deeds that supposedly will result in eternal physical rewards but do not. Isaac’s long, productive life would have his descendants be the guys and gals who made up the Israelite people groups guys and gals who follow the Mosaic belief paradigm – making these guys and gals slaves to acting out mandated activities that supposedly will result in an eternal heavenly reward and did. The arbitrary soul selection that God – as God the Father, made before He began to orbit an oval shaped mass in a precise course and on which He has been assigning and is still assigning first His chosen and now His elected souls at predestined times for predetermined periods of time includes an inheritance. A result of God – as God the Son, allowing Himself to suffer the horrific agonies – for a moment, of death, was that His life became the ransom payment for the life of each one of His elected souls so that each one of His elected kids will receive his or her share of an inheritance that includes receiving eternal life and an everlasting peace. Even though each guy, gal and kid who God – as God the Father, elected – before He placed planet Earth in the cosmos, to be his adopted kids will ultimately receive the inheritance of having been selected/elected by Him to be His heirs, a result of sin is that each kid born on planet Earth is born a slave to evil and a life that is law driven. There will always come the preplanned moment for each guy, gal and kid who had been chosen or elected by God – as God the Father, to be led by God – as God the Spirit, to personally know God – as God the Father, as Abba. Abba is an Aramaic word that means Father. The moment that a guy, gal or kid is divinely – providentially led by God – as God the Spirit, through the faith/grace door and past a blood stained cross into the ‘Body of Christ’ or into the ‘Kingdom of God’, the guy, gal or kid is washed clean from the damaging effects of doing evil and unmeritedly freed from having to observe controlling laws that can never be satisfied.
Your dad’s Uncle Barry and Aunt Meg went last month with your grandmaa and grandpaa – and two other couples, to Guatemala where they spent a week interacting with their hosts in different places and ways. Your dad’s Uncle Barry and Aunt Meg have always gone to a church that frowned on buying something on a Sunday. Your dad’s Uncle Barry and Aunt Meg were ready to be struck by lightning when they bought keepsakes the last Sunday that they were in Guatemala. Living a life that is grace based allows for a God – as God the Spirit, driven inner peace to say that it is okay to not to listen to the nagging voice that is law based and is constantly promoting guilt.
Galatians 4 (678)