Paul opens hisletter to the Galatians by first claiming hisown authority. He does this when he says that he was not commissioned to speak of Jesus and God by human authority but rather Jesus inspired Paul to be an apostle through a private revelation. As discussed in class the fact that Paul’s revelation is private casts some doubt on whether his claim is legit. One reason his declaration may be false derives from this statement, “He gave himself for our sins, so he could deliver us from our present evil age.” Paul implies that Jesus will return during his own lifetime (present age), however, we know this never happened. Jesus did not return to free Paul from the age he thinks is evil, and because of this Paul must be wrong. So the possibilities are that Paul did not have a true revelation (meaning he had what he thought was a revelation), he made it up, or he had one and misinterpreted what Jesus meant. The last possibility wouldtruly be a missed opportunity.
Next Paul states that God had set him apart since birth. This makes me wonder what in God’s decision making set Paul apart from others, what was special about Paul for God to put his trust in him. God’s reason for his revelation to Paul, according to Paul, is for Paul to preach to the Gentiles. This part of Paul’s story has an air of legitimacy because history tells us that eventually most Gentiles will have a christian faith. God obviously wants everyone to know about Jesus, because after all he is the truth, but if this is the case and God is all powerful then why not just reveal himself to more people so that faith around the world can be strengthened. The only reasoning I can think behindGod not revealing himself more often is the idea of an individual journey. Perhaps God doesn’t want faith to be to easy, maybe he wants individuals to figure out for themselves the answers to the questions of faith and life.
Paul himself brings up God and favoritism. He says God does not show favoritism but then again he was graced and given power. In this way Paul never comes to a conclusion as to whether God shows favoritism. Next, Paul makes a point to the Jews about the sin of righteousness. He teaches that if some of the Jews think themselves special because God revealed himself to them first then Jesus’ death for the sins of the WORLD was all for not.
Paul makes another point that the past laws of Judaism that informed people how to live life is no longer as important to God as faith is. And for this reason any man, woman, Jew or Gentile is able to be a son or daughter of God.
Paul also spells out for us the two different ways of living; either through the spirit or selfish actions. Paul lists what he considers to be selfish acts: sexual immorality, moral corruption, doing whatever feels good, idolatry, drug use, hate, fighting, obsession, loosing your temper, conflict, group rivalry, jealousy, drunkenness, and partying. His description of aspirit filled life includes, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. A problem I have with these two forms of living is that joy is much to ambiguous. Joy for me involves spending time with people and making friendships, however, in this day and age meeting people often means, partying, drinking or drug use. Imnot claiming that the only way to meet people is at parties, however, why not enjoy some forms of inebriation with people, safely, that God after all put on this earth.