Sunday School Class on Galatians

First, I want to tell you about our teacher Ben. After I told him that I am a Reformed Baptist, he told me he grew up baptist and graduated from a baptist seminary not long ago. He did not grow up with the 1689 though. He then came to embrace reformed theology and joined the PCA. I asked him if he planned on using any particular commentary throughout the lesson. He informed me that he will use and has used many, but no particular one for the class. He even knew about the New Perspective on Paul. Ben is a great guy and I look forward to going through this whole study.

Today’s lesson covered Galatians 1:1-12. The reason given for Paul writing the letter was the Judiazers. Paul was correcting the works vs. grace false teaching which brought a false gospel whether those works be works of the Law or our works. For adding anything to grace annuls grace. Ben touched on how only a mere two decades had passed since Christ ascended and already heresies and false teachers were creeping into the church. We talked about 1 Thessalonians 3:5 and how it must be even for today’s pastors sometimes who feel as if they labored in vain. We can only imagine how Paul felt.

Throughout the lesson we how strongly Paul defends himself and his teaching of the Gospel which is not really his teaching, but the Lords. We talked about the substitutionary atonement seen in verse 4 and the alternative gospel in verse 6. From here Ben went on to talk about a recent study from Sproul about NPP. He mentioned that Sproul said the real issue is infused vs. imputed righteousness. And that we aren’t facing the exact same issues as the reformers did against the medieval RCC such as Tetzel and the selling of indulgences. Ben then briefly explained the NPP and mentioned the Federal Vision. I don’t know how many there were familiar with it. This is a good opportunity to teach about it though and I’m glad it was mentioned.

Ben said the Judiazers seem to be from outside the churches as we read Paul writing in second and third person such as in verse 7. We then see Paul putting himself in the line of fire in verses 8-9 that even he should be accursed if he preached another gospel. We have Paul ending our study in verse 12 with a message of divine revelation.

We had a minute or two left for comments and questions. I raised my hand and mentioned how some of the popular RC apologists such as Scott Hahn are using the NPP to say that basically Rome and Protestants teach the same thing. I suggested that it may be good to be educated in this area in case one may evangelize an RC relative or friend.

Ben ended class mentioning the importance of salvation being of grace as opposed to being grace plus (anything). He said that if you asked 50% of baptists what you’d say before the throne of God about why you deserve salvation that you’d get a works-based answer. I immediately thought of what I’ve heard many times. Which is that the only thing the Father is going to ask you if “What did you do with my Son, Jesus?” We discussed this after class and I told him they’d likely say this instead of thinking of what Jesus did for them. I also mentioned Doug Wilson and James White’s debate concerning if RC’s are our brothers or not. He had not heard about this debate, but seemed interested.

I conclude this entry with a prayer that was printed in the service bulletin today.

To Be Fit for God

Maker and Sustainer of all things:

Day and night our Yours; heaven and earth declare Your Glory.

I am a creature made through Your power and riches, but I have sinned against you by resisting the conviction of my conscience; ignoring the demands of your law and the call of Your Gospel; but I am fortunate to live in the era of grace and mercy.

Deliver me from worldly tendencies, for I am born of God and destined for Glory. Fix my gaze and desire on Holiness as the source of beauty and dignity for my soul.

Let me be always on guard and never lose my assurance or fail to put on my spiritual armor when living in this evil world. Make me ready for every situation and circumstance.

Fix my mind on You and turn my trials into blessings so that I may respond in gratitude and praise when you reveal the purpose and result of suffering in my life.

Make it a joy and pleasure to obey Your Holy Will. Let all my beliefs by guided by Your clear and consistent Truth. Don’t let me ever neglect part of Your Will, or think that part of it is not as valuable as others. May I keep in mind all the doctrines of God and the Gospel loving both its commands and its promises.

Make me holy in every relationship, every position and every act of my life so that if I am successful I will not be overly exalted, or if I suffer I will not be overly sorrowful.

Give me Godly wisdom in all that happens to me and give me strength to have an attitude that renders every thing I must do a Godly privilege.

Let me be content to glorify You and be a Godly example to others.

The Valley of Vision – Puritan Prayers and Devotions

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