Reflection Paul Epistle
Reading Reflection of Galatians
The Apostle Paul writes to the church of Galatia in the book of Galatians to glorify the name of Jesus Christ and explain what He did to save them from sin. He also appeals to Aramaic audiences as well in some cases. In one case, Paul calls Peter “Cephas” which is Aramaic for “stone” which is the same meaning for Peter meaning stone as well in Greek. However, He only calls him Cephas in terms of rebuking him (Galatians 2:11), which is also shown in the other letters in the New Testament that Paul has written as well. Paul also calls God the father as “Abba” which is Aramaic for Father and uses this to show them that they are no longer slaves to old principles they once believed in, but they are now God’s children which signifies their freedom in Jesus. The Church of Galatia has been shown by Paul that the people have accepted freedom by turning to God when they first did not know him, but he is concerned that they will turn back to what they once believed which he states as “weak and miserable” (Galatians 4:9). He addresses issues such as circumcision and acts of the flesh (Galatians 5; 5:13-26). Circumcision is a sign of obligating to the whole law which has been idolized as what must be done to be in a covenant with God. The law also has no redeeming power, but it has brought a curse upon the disobedient, from which Christ redeemed the believers (Galatians 3:19-25) Paul states that in Galatians 5:4, “You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace,” then verse 5:6 goes on to say, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value.” This signifies that through Jesus, it doesn’t matter if you’re circumcised or not, because in the end He will accept you as you are. This is a new teaching to those who have been under the law for so long as well as those learning about Jesus. Another problem that has been addressed in Galatians is the desire and act of the flesh. “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). The children of Abraham, born under the flesh from Hagar, were born slaves and Hagar is in slavery with those children (Galatians 4:21-31). With the desires of flesh, it makes those who live in the flesh live in slavery. These desires oppose those of the fruit of the Spirit that will lead to everlasting life. However, the desires of the flesh are the ones that lead to our destruction and not towards the path that God wants them to be on. We can learn many things about God and the Church from the letter Paul wrote to Galatia. One thing about God is that through his son, we have freedom from the flesh. In Galatians 5:1, Paul states that it is Christ that has set us free. We are free from slavery of our flesh, but we must stand firm in our faith and know that Jesus was able to take our burdens from us by dying on the cross for our salvation. We are also taught to walk our lives by the Spirit, so we will not have desires of the flesh and if we are led by the Spirit, then we are not under the law which signified what was contrary to faith (Galatians 5:16-18). God wants us to rely on Him so we will have the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forebearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. With this fruit, we are able to grow with others, grow with ourselves, and grow with God. Paul also teaches us about doing good deeds to all by helping those who are in struggles in Galatians chapter 6. Such struggles they may be dealing with may include those of the flesh, and we should help them out of gentleness and love. Also, to carry each other’s burdens to fulfill what Jesus has taught us to do (Galatians 6:1-2) Along with this, we are to not think of ourselves as other people because that would crush our identity and go against what God has called us to do. We should look at our own actions and take pride in that instead of looking at someone else’s actions and comparing ourselves to them because everyone’s purpose is different. Paul also writes to be careful of what we sow. If we are sowing to please our flesh, then we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, we will reap eternal life. We shouldn’t stop doing good deeds for people because we will be blessed for all that we do especially when we don’t give up. This goes along with those who are not saved, but mostly those who are in the family of believers (Galatians 6:3-10). I can really apply all of Paul’s teachings in my life because at times I find myself making comparisons with other people a lot of the time it is in vanity. Of course I have the issues of the acts of the flesh, but day by day with prayer and reading, I can find myself following in the Spirit. I also learn to love others and understand their problems with the burdens that they carry in their lives. This makes me want to go out to my church where I have had a leadership position at, and really want to get into the lives of those who I have been leading with. It is not enough to just be in their lives but to actually be a part of it and that is where I have been having trouble with because I have always been focused on myself. Boasting has also been a problem that I usually catch myself doing at times as well, but I need to check myself and ask, “Do I boast more about myself or about Jesus?” That question always puts me in a humbling state and I read in Galatians 6:14 “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” This lets me know that Jesus is the one that deserves all the boasting, because anything I am boasting about can be taken away in a second but His love will stay forever. The book of Galatians really spoke to me while I was reading it. I never used to read books of the bible in one sitting unless it was a punishment when I did something bad when I was younger. I think it really opens my heart to revelations that God wants me to see and understand so I can put it to play in my life. With Galatians I was able to learn about sowing and reaping in the flesh rather than in the spirit and also how Abraham had children born in the flesh but now we have freedom from slavery of flesh because of what Jesus was sent down to do for us (Galatians 5:1). Also, it opened my eyes to Paul’s calling again as he describes it at the beginning of the letter showing how he persecuted Christians and even in that was still accepted by Galatia (Galatians 4:14). It shows strong love and how that love can grow to be stronger with the love of Jesus in our lives. I was also driven by the verse Galatians 1:10, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people I would not be a servant of Christ.” It revealed to me that many times I do find myself trying to please people, but I should be living to please Christ. This builds on my relationship with Jesus because I want others to know about him because I am a visible vessel, but Jesus has to be exposed through my life. I absolutely love the feeling of getting a revelation from a bible verse that applies to me. It lets me realize that God does speak through the Word because it is alive. Galatians has really revealed a lot of things to me that I needed to read and it was a book I haven’t even read before. Galatians has taught me to follow the path in the spirit and not sow in the flesh, to accept others and pour into their lives on a personal level, and to live to please God more than myself.