EXODUS 28, JOHN 7, PROVERBS 4, GALATIANS 3

John 7:17
"Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own." (NLT)

When Jesus began teaching, they were amazed, but their critique was superficial.  The only thing of interest to them was how this man could know so much since He didn't go to the right schools.  Matthew 22:16-46 is an excellent example of Jesus' ability to stump the wise men.  Their conclusion at the end of the day was to quit trying to trap Him with their questions.

They marveled at Jesus and questioned His teachings, but neither their hearts nor consciences were ever touched.  After telling them His teaching was not His own, He gave the reason they were not affected by it.  To know if Jesus' teaching was from God, a person must be willing to apply His instruction to themselves.  Simon Peter's answer in John 6:69 helps us understand what Jesus is saying.  Peter says "we have believed and have come to know."  The worldly way of thinking is first to know and then to believe.  But in the kingdom of God, it is belief first, then know.  Hebrews 11:3 says, "By faith we understand."  Belief precedes knowledge because Jesus does not commit Himself to unbelief.  Being willing to submit to God's will is a prerequisite to understanding Jesus' teaching. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, You are the true Rabbi.  Your Word is truth.  The officers sent to arrest You were correct when they said, "No one ever spoken like this man!"  Thank You for opening my mind and heart to believe so I might know You are the Bread of Life and the Living Water. 

Galatians 3:1-15
Paul’s concern for the Galatians is just like his concern for the church at Corinth.  In 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, Paul expresses his fear they are accepting another Jesus, Spirit, and gospel.  In Galatians 1:6, Paul says he is amazed at how quickly the Galatians are turning to a different gospel by deserting the grace of Christ.  They are being bewitched by false brothers (Galatians 2:4) who distort the gospel and desire to return them to the slavery of the Law. 

Paul proves salvation has always been by grace through faith not by keeping the Law.  Beginning with Abraham, who was declared righteous before the Law was given to the Israelites, Paul uses the OT to prove salvation is not possible by keeping the Law.  Neither is sanctification possible through the Law.  Since they received the Spirit by hearing with faith and not the works of the Law, why would they think they would be perfected by keeping the Law? 

Does Paul's statement about the gospel being preached to Abraham fit your definition and understanding of the Gospel? 

Paul gives proof from the OT that salvation is the grace of God, not keeping the Law.  He quotes the following verses to prove his point: Deuteronomy 27:26, cursed is anyone who does not keep the Law; Habakkuk 2:4, the righteous live by faith; Leviticus 18:5, if a person follows God's rules he will live; Deuteronomy 21:23, a man hanged on a tree is cursed by God.  Paul argues that the Law brings a curse rather than salvation because no one is justified by the Law.  Instead, they are cursed since the Law is not of faith.  Jesus took our deserved curse by being hung on the cross.  It is only through Jesus we receive the Holy Spirit, and that is by faith, not works.

God our Father, thank You for setting Paul apart before he was born and revealing Your Son in him.  Thank you for commissioning him to preach to the Gentiles.  Lord Jesus Christ, Your revelation to Paul, rather than the teaching of man, has been a blessing to us.  Thank You.  Holy Spirit, thank You for carrying Paul along as he spoke from God in all his writings. 

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