Reading Section 8: Freedom 5.7-12

➡ Average Reading Time: 4 minutes

The material in the following chapters of this draft is being proofed.
They are NOT finished chapters. I invite you to read them and leave comments about what you liked, didn’t like, didn’t understand, etc.

Thanks,
Winn

Where Are We Going?

Reading the Storyline: New International Version (2011)
Reading the Storyline: Interpretative Paraphrase
Observing the Storyline
Interpreting the Storyline
Exhortation (5.7-12)
So What?
Living into the Story

Reading the Storyline: New International Version (2011)

Free At LastYou were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

Reading the Storyline: Interpretative Paraphrase

Galatians, you are running toward your goal. You are free at last, even though those agitating you want you to stop short of the goal. They are trying to interfere with your run by adding their flavor of additives. Don’t allow them to accomplish their goal of detouring you from your goal. Remember, just a minute quantity of yeast can invade a complete loaf of bread. I trust you will not think differently about this issue. Those who are bent on troubling you will be judged. My greatest wish is that they would simply castrate themselves thus making their “additive” movement like a eunuch who has lost their ability to continue to sow their abbarate seed. Let it be so Lord!

Observing the Storyline

Interpreting the Storyline

Exhortation (5.7-12)

Paul turns to a commonly known metaphor of his day, running a race. In the ancient world, runners did not run around a track in prescribed lanes as we do in races today. They ran toward a post set before them and then after rounding it, ran back. Cutting in on a runner going full speed ahead would certainly cause the first runner to slow down or even trip. Paul is essentially saying that these Jewish missionaries were acting in an unsportsmanlike way by causing the Galatians to be kept from obeying the truth of the gospel that Paul had preached.

The New Living Translation translates verse 8 as an answer to verse 7. “You were getting along so well. Who had interfered with you to hold you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.” So the Galatians who were following the message of the Jewish missionaries could not blame God for their current mess, because God had not called them to a national-imperialistic gospel, but to a simple belief in what Jesus had done on the cross. When he writes “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough,” he means that it only takes one person among them to cause the others to be infected.

He states that he is confident (Gal. 3.10) that they will not take the others’ view, but turn back to his view of the gospel. Those Jewish missionaries are going to pay a price (given by God) for misleading God’s people.
Finally, Paul ends with a sarcastic word about these missionaries. He wishes that they would castrate themselves. He is most likely referring to the actual rite that took place in Galatian temples of the priest of Cybele, the mother goddess of the earth, castrating themselves and placing their testicles in a box as a gift to their god.

So What?

Learning the indicative-imperative structure of Scripture (especially in Paul) will help you become what God had created you to become. A little grammar goes a long way. A modern reader of Galatians might want to know what in their present life have they added to the gospel of Jesus that would cause him or her to lose sight of what Jesus did on the cross.

Living into the Story
  • Who is running around trying to trip you up with new sounding gospels and stories?
  • Who causes you to be complacent by not thinking about your present status before God and in the world?
  • Who is the leaven in your life?
  • Who is causing your “lump” to swell up?
  • If Paul were here in your local ecclesia today, would he preach the same message that he preached to the Galatians who had fallen under the spell of the Jewish missionaries?
  • Whose spell have you fallen under?

End of Session
 

Other Books by Winn Griffin


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Read Me First

 

Throughout these sessions, I have used the word ecclesia (singular) for the usual word church and ecclesiae (plural) to indicate a church in a particular geographic place, i.e., the ecclesiae at Corinth, meaning the whole of the many smaller ecclesia that met in homes in Corinth. This is to distinguish between the Institutional Church model (IC) and ecclesia that meet in cities and towns around the world. The ecclesiae written about by the authors of the Second Testament were not the same as what the “church” has become over the years of its existence. Usually, but not always, folks think of a church as a place where they go to a building and set in rows of pews and listen to music and sometimes sing and listen to sermons by a pastor or senior pastor. The ecclesiae of the Second Testament time did not invoke this model.

 

I have discovered over the years that if you want to try and change minds about something special, you have to venture out and reword it in order to grasp a foothold for a new refreshed understanding of the idea presented by the word. Such is the case between "church" and "ecclesia."

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Second

 

Referenced verses in the text of this study are not used to prove some point of view. They are merely markers where the subject matter is referenced by other books and authors. To gain a larger view of each quote, a serious student of the Holy Writ would take the time to view the reference and see what the background is. The background provides tracks on which the meaning of a text rides. So knowing the context of a referenced passage would help the reader to gain a more thorough understanding of an author than just the words quoted and marked by a verse number that was not a part of the original author's text, which as you might remember was performed on the text in a random fashion many years later.

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Third

 

The verses that are referenced in these sessions are not meant to prove a point. They are simply pointers to where the idea being written about may have a correlation. In order to see if they accomplish the thesis presented by the original author, a student should read, at a minimum, the chapter in which the verse is found as well as trying to ascertain what the original author may have meant to say to the original audience.

 

Of course, this is a lot of work but it is beneficial work. If one does not understand what the author meant when it was written and the audience could not have understood by what was written, then the words on the page can mean anything that a present reader may assign as a meaning, thus distorting what God was inspiring for the original writer to write to the original audience to hear.

A great and recent book by N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird entitled The New Testament in Its World would be a wonderful addition to your reading helps.

 

Happy Reading!

Jesus Followers

 

There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.

 

(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)

Read Me First

 

Throughout these sessions, I have used the word ecclesia (singular) for the usual word church and ecclesiae (plural) to indicate a church in a particular geographic place, i.e., the ecclesiae at Corinth, meaning the whole of the many smaller ecclesia that met in homes in Corinth. This is to distinguish between the Institutional Church model (IC) and ecclesia that meet in cities and towns around the world. The ecclesiae written about by the authors of the Second Testament were not the same as what the “church” has become over the years of its existence. Usually, but not always, folks think of a church as a place where they go to a building and set in rows of pews and listen to music and sometimes sing and listen to sermons by a pastor or senior pastor. The ecclesiae of the Second Testament time did not invoke this model.

 

I have discovered over the years that if you want to try and change minds about something special, you have to venture out and reword it in order to grasp a foothold for a new refreshed understanding of the idea presented by the word. Such is the case between "church" and "ecclesia."

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Second

 

Referenced verses in the text of this study are not used to prove some point of view. They are merely markers where the subject matter is referenced by other books and authors. To gain a larger view of each quote, a serious student of the Holy Writ would take the time to view the reference and see what the background is. The background provides tracks on which the meaning of a text rides. So knowing the context of a referenced passage would help the reader to gain a more thorough understanding of an author than just the words quoted and marked by a verse number that was not a part of the original author's text, which as you might remember was performed on the text in a random fashion many years later.

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Third

 

The verses that are referenced in these sessions are not meant to prove a point. They are simply pointers to where the idea being written about may have a correlation. In order to see if they accomplish the thesis presented by the original author, a student should read, at a minimum, the chapter in which the verse is found as well as trying to ascertain what the original author may have meant to say to the original audience.

 

Of course, this is a lot of work but it is beneficial work. If one does not understand what the author meant when it was written and the audience could not have understood by what was written, then the words on the page can mean anything that a present reader may assign as a meaning, thus distorting what God was inspiring for the original writer to write to the original audience to hear.

A great and recent book by N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird entitled The New Testament in Its World would be a wonderful addition to your reading helps.

 

Happy Reading!

Jesus Followers

 

There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.

 

(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)