Good News for Ragamuffins and Les Miserables – Part #4
To study the theme of Great Grace – Good News for Ragamuffins and Les Miserables – we’re going to look at the book of Galatians. When I preach, I like to do a series and go through whole books of the Bible chapter by chapter. One of the dangers of pastors who pick random topics to preach on is that they will inevitably miss important doctrines of Scripture. Every pastor has their own favourite passages from the Word, and if they do a topical hop every Sunday, they will miss some of the other key themes from the Bible.
When you go through a book of the Bible verse by verse, you are eventually going to come across truths that you don’t like. Let’s be honest here – there are Bible verses that you don’t like! How many of you like when Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” in Matthew 5:44? When was the last time someone was persecuting you that you said, “Praise God, let me just take twenty dollars out of my wallet and bless you – thank you for the persecution. Hallelujah!” By going systematically through books of the Bible, we will come across things that we might not want to read, but we need to learn about. It’s a good way to preach, because that way you will give a more fully rounded picture of what’s in the Word.
The Apostle Paul boldly declared, “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27). My prayer is that when I have finished my ministry, that I would be able to say the same thing.
This series of blogs is just a primer – an introduction – to the Book of Galatians. Once you have finished reading them, I encourage you to pick up your Bible and read through all six chapters of Galatians in the Bible on your own. It’s a short little book, and you could easily read it in one sitting, maybe in half an hour.
INTRO TO THE AUTHOR – THE APOSTLE PAUL:
“Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia.” (Galatians 1:1-2).
When we write a letter today, we start out with the name of the person we’re writing a letter to. We say, “Dear John” and at the bottom, we sign, “Sincerely, Chris.” In the first century, they would introduce the letter with the name of the author first, and then the person or group of people it was being sent to.
The Book of Galatians is a letter that was written from the Apostle Paul to a group of churches in the region of Galatia in the first century. A large portion of our New Testament is made up of letters written by apostles to churches or people. Of the 27 books of the New Testament, 21 of them are letters – 14 written by the Apostle Paul, and seven written by other apostles (James, Peter, John and Jude).
Pastor Chris Jordan