Thursday, July 28, 2022

Itching for Action: Gospel in Galatians

After the excitement of late June and early July when I preached three times from Sunday to Sunday and taught a 5 day intensive class, I experienced a lull of several weeks of inactivity. Only a few days ago I started again to write the Galatians commentary and when I edited this morning I felt a sense of happiness with what I had written. It is just 43 pages and I hope to reach at least 100 pages in total.

It is barely a third and I hope I can reach 40,000 if not 50,000 words. But I realize that Galatians is a great epistle, no wonder Martin Luther loved it so much and he said the devil trembled at Paul's Gospel found in Galatians. How true. 

Quite often the gospel or the being evangelical is pitted against the Holy Spirit or the charismata (gifts) of the Spirit. Yet Paul argued in Gal 3 that the proof of the true Gospel of grace is that the Spirit is poured out in large measure with even miracles following (3:5). How often nowadays hyper-Calvinism and strict Reformed fights against the Holy Spirit without knowing that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has won for believers the promise of the Holy Spirit. And the Galatians knew it full well and could attest to their early experience of conversion with the gift of the Holy Spirit. It was a heart felt experience and no intellectual assent to the Spirit as many claim without actually experiencing it for themselves. 

This acords well with the Acts of the Apostles when the Samaritans and then Cornelius' family received the fulness of the Spirit when they believed the Gospel or being prayed for in the instance of the Samaritans. Truly remarkable that today people have almost exegeted the Holy Spirit out of their theology. Beautiful words and well-crafted sermons with so-called expository preaching but the lack of Spirit is telling for those who are discerning. The truth of the Gospel is not a dry formulation to be memorized but a work of God in transforming lives to be cherished and remembered.

I am itching for action. I was about to turn down an inivitation for Christmas as it involves travelling. But I may yet accept and go make disciples of all nations. I somewhat regret selling my Triton. The roads in Sabah are not getting better but worse but by God's grace I will make do to ensure the Gospel of Jesus Christ is heard in the land.

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