Summary: Survey of Galatians
Survey of Galatians
On July 19, 2007 Taliban militants abducted and took hostage 23 South Korean Christian aid workers -- most of them women -- as they traveled on a bus in Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan.
Because their demands were not met, the kidnappers later executed two of the South Koreans. On August 13, they freed two women who were said to be ill, as a "gesture of goodwill," according to a Taliban spokesman.
During the last of August 2007, Taliban kidnappers released the seven remaining South Korean hostages and handed them over to Red Cross officials, Afghan and Taliban officials said.
On Wednesday, Taliban militants released a total of 12 South Korean hostages, part of the group of 19 Christian aid workers who have been held for nearly six weeks.
The kidnappers freed the 10 women and two men in three separate groups, a day after South Korea announced its team of negotiators in Afghanistan had reached a deal with them.
Under the terms of an agreement reached on Tuesday, South Korea agreed to stick by its decision to withdraw its 200 non-combat troops from Afghanistan, who do mostly engineering and medical work.
In addition, Seoul promised to halt all Christian missionary work in Afghanistan.
A South Korean presidential spokesman said there was no agreement to pay the captors, nor was there any mention of releasing Taliban prisoners -- a major demand of the kidnappers.
(Source - Insight For Living Bible Study Guide, Early edition)
* Can you imagine any one of those 21 freed hostages wanting to return back into a hostage situation in Afghanistan?
- Especially after the vivid images of executions being broadcast for the entire world to see coming out of the Middle East.
* Anyone in their right mind would not want to go back into bondage.
* Strange – what we would never do physically, we do spiritually without a fight.
* That’s why we have the letter to the Galatians!
* It’s a letter about freedom! …specifically, freedom from the law!
* Most commentaries on the book of Galatians contain the word ’Free’ in the title.
* In one of the dark parts of American history, some of the slaves of the 1860’s chose to stay enslaved – even though they had been emancipated - rather than strike out on their own as free people.
* In Paul’s day, and in ours, there were those who still felt more secure in a life of bondage than in a life of freedom.
* Galatians is a letter that has the potential to liberate you.
* You would think that living in a free country, we would be free!
Quote – Eugene Peterson – "Traveling light – Reflections on the free life" –
"Living in the land of the free has not made us free; we are a nation of addicts and complainers. Being provided with freedom of religion has not made us free; coercive cults and enslaving superstitions continue to proliferate. Assembling with people in church and listening to ringing proclamations of freedom – "He whom the Son sets free, is free indeed" – has not made us free. Our churches are attended regularly by the inhibited, the obsessive –compulsive, the fearfully defensive – enough of them to provide outside observers with a stereotype.
* Paul could not understand why the Galatians wanted to return back to the bondage of the law. – it was enslaving, not liberating!
I. Author - Paul 1:1; 6:11
Gal 6:11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.
* Paul wrote and authored this letter.
* Unlike Romans where Paul was the author, but not the writer.
Rom 16:22 I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.
* Not just Paul, but the Apostle Paul, - Paul spends the first 2 chapters defending his Apostleship.
* Theodore Graebner, In preface of Commentary on Galatians by Luther - One cannot discuss this famous document of the Reformation Age without adverting of the experience of John Bunyan. Greatly afflicted on account of his “original and inward pollution” and wretched in the knowledge of his transgressions, Bunyan looked around for some ancient work that might satisfy him. He had found that the writers of his own day had not gone “down themselves into the deep.” Rummaging around he found an old copy, ready to fall to pieces, of Martin Luther’s Commentary on Galatians. He says “When I had but a little way perused, I found my condition in his experience so largely and profoundly handled, as if his book had been written out of my heart. I prefer this book of Martin Luther on the Galatians (excepting the Holy Bible) before all the books that ever I have seen, as most fit for a wounded conscience.”