What Are the Fruits of the Spirit and the Works of the Flesh?
Jesus wanted his disciples to understand that there were some who would seek to distort the gospel. He called them “false prophets,” and he told the disciples how they’d be able to differentiate them from the real thing:
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and…
What Can We Learn About Walking in the Spirit from Galatians 5?
Due to the influence of law-heavy teaching, the Galatians struggled to understand how to mature as Christians. Did they become righteous by following a set of moral precepts as their forefathers believed, or was there more to it than that?
Throughout the book of Galatians, Paul teaches the Galatians about the relationship between the law and Christian living, and in the 5th chapter of his epistle to the Galatians, Paul begins to explain how the spiritual life works in relationship to Christ and the Holy Spirit.
In his online course on Galatians, Thomas R. Schreiner walks us through Galatians 5. The following post is adapted from Schreiner’s course.
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What Is the False Gospel in Galatians?
It doesn’t take too long for Paul to get to the heart of the issue in his letter to the Galatians. He’s concerned that they’re abandoning Jesus’ grace and turning to a different gospel—a false gospel.
Paul doesn’t mince words when it comes to Judaizers coming in and undermining the work he has done in Galatia. In this letter, we see Paul at his strongest and most aggressive. There is no room for a gospel that strays from the grace of Christ. As we will see, Paul feels so strongly about the good news that has been preached to the Galatians that he calls down a curse upon anyone who would dare to proffer…
Who Were the Galatians?
If someone was to ask you who Paul wrote his epistle to the Galatians to, how would you respond? If you’re like most people, you’d probably answer that it was written to the church at Galatia, and—technically—you’d be right.
But did you know that there’s actually quite a bit of discussion around whether Paul’s letter was written to those in northern or southern Galatia? Does knowing who Paul was writing to affect how we read it? Not necessarily, but it does change the way we look at the book of Galatians in regards to Acts.
In his online course on Galatians, Thomas R. Schreiner helps us understand a little better about who Paul…
The Role of the Old Testament Law in Galatians
Communicating the role that the law played in God’s overall plan of salvation was one of the New Testament church’s biggest challenges. As Jews accepted that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, they struggled to understand how to bring their Jewish roots into this new reality.
The Christian who had come out of Judaism had to reconcile their understanding of what the law actually accomplished and how it worked. In their understanding, the law purified them and made them righteous. Was that true? If not, why were they given the law?
In his online course on Galatians, Thomas R. Schreiner explains Paul’s take on the law from Galatians 3:19–20. The following post is taken from Schreiner’s course.
[Common Places] The Five Solas: Faith Alone
This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation, looking back to Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and the theological debates kick-started by their posting. The Reformation continues to be lauded, cajoled, and debated in circles of all sorts today. At Common Places we will begin the year by focusing on some of the central principles and most relevant texts that shaped early Reformation theology and that have continued that conversation in the centuries that followed. Each month we will begin with a post related to an ongoing book project from Zondervan Academic that addresses the five solas of Reformation theology. We will then conclude each month with an annotated reading guide on classic and contemporary works that address that particular principle.
Introduction Should Protestants continue to celebrate…