Prayer Challenge

I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said to me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You, God, are Holy. Your word is the truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”

Monday, March 26, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:2

I went in response to a revelation 
  • Paul states this is, to show that he had not received the gospel from human beings. 
  • He is careful, therefore, to state that he went up by the express command of God. 
  • He did not go up to receive instructions from the apostles there in regard to his own work, but he went to submit an important question pertaining to the church at large. 

Meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders
  • Paul made a private explanation of his motives and views, so that they might understand it before it became a matter of public discussion. 
  • The point on which Paul made this private explanation was not whether the gospel was to be preached to the Gentiles, for upon that they had no doubt after the revelation to Peter Acts 10; but whether the rites of the Jews were to be imposed on the Gentile converts. 
  • Paul explained his views and his practice on that point, which were that he did not impose those rites on the Gentiles; that he taught that people might be justified without their observance; and that they were not necessary in order to salvation.

I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles.
  •  He stated fully the principles on which he acted; the nature of the gospel which he taught; and his doctrine about the exemption of the Gentiles from the obligations of the Law of Moses. 
  • He thus satisfied them in regard to his views of the gospel; and showed them that he understood the system of Christianity which had been revealed. 
  • The result was, that they had entire confidence in him, and admitted him to entire fellowship with them; Galatians 2:9.
I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.
  • Paul feared that if he did not lay the case before them privately, they would not understand it.
  • Others might misrepresent him and when the case came before the assembled apostles and elders, a decision might be adopted which would go to prove that he had been entirely wrong in his views, 
  • In order to secure a just decision, and one which would not hinder his future usefulness, he had sought this private interview, and thus his object was gained.
adapted from the Barnes Notes on the Bible for Galatians 2:2

Monday, March 19, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:1

How are you doing on your memorization challenge? 
Personally, I don't know how much I have memorized, but I know more about Paul and his ministry than I did before I started this challenge.

As I sat reading this week's verse, I asked myself what I could gain from this one sentence. 
  1. Fourteen years is a long time to be preaching and teaching the gospel. 
  2. Paul also gained supporters like Barnabus and Titus who were willing to travel with him.
  3. Traveling in biblical times was quite a journey. 
  4. I wonder how many folks are traveling in primitive conditions to spread the Good News of Jesus today, or to resolve an issue with leaders in the church. 
My next course of action was to read the bible commentaries about this verse.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible helped me to gain a better understanding of the verse in the context of Paul's ministry.

Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem,... 
  • That is, either after it pleased God to call him by his grace, and reveal his Son in him
  • or after he had been at Jerusalem to see Peter, with whom he stayed fifteen days, and then went into Syria and Cilicia; 
  • It was seventeen years after his conversion that he took this journey to Jerusalem he here speaks of 
  • He seems to refer to the time when he and Barnabas went from the church at Antioch to the apostles and elders about the question, whether circumcision was necessary to salvation
  • Acts 15:1 which entirely agrees with the account the apostle here gives of this journey, and which he went not alone

with Barnabas: and took Titus with me also
  • Barnabas is mentioned in Luke's account (in Acts) as going with him at this time, but Titus is not.
  • The apostle might judge it proper and prudent to take Titus with him, who was converted by him(Paul), was a minister of the Gospel, and continued uncircumcised.
  • Paul might choose to have Titus along with him, partly that he might be confirmed in the faith the apostle had taught him; and partly that he might be a living testimony of the agreement between the apostle's principles and practice.
  • By having Titus and Barnabas with him, he might have a competent number of witnesses to testify to the doctrines he preached, the miracles he wrought, and the success that attended him among the Gentiles; and to relate, upon their return, what passed between him and the elders at Jerusalem; for by the mouth of two or three witnesses everything is established.
"Though Paul conversed with the other apostles, yet he did not receive any addition to his knowledge, or authority, from them." Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary

Monday, March 12, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 1:23 - 24

From Persecutor to Preacher
Though those churches in the country of Judea had never seen Paul in person, yet they had heard of him: 
  • That he had been a persecutor of those which professed the doctrine of the gospel, which he here calls the faith, it being the object and the means of faith. 
  • That there was such a change wrought in him, as that he was now become a preacher of that doctrine, for the profession of which he had formerly wasted and destroyed, the churches of Christ.                                 Matthew Poole's Commentary on