OUR SINS PURCHASED.
“PAUL, an apostle (not from men, neither through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil world, according to the will of our God and Father; to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
It often happens that when questions are asked upon a portion of Scripture that has just been read, members of a class will answer at random, without any reference to the text, seeming to think that they are expected to manufacture the answer in their own heads. At other times the text will be read or quoted in answer, but so much will be recited that the specified thing desired to be fixed in mind by the question is lost sight of. The trouble with much reading and study is that it is too diffuse; attention is not given to details, and consequently no intelligent general view can be obtained. In order to get pupils into the habit of noting all the details, and of being exact, some questions on the text will be given, with answers always in the exact words of Scripture.
No lesson should be considered learned until, as the result of cross-questioning, the text, the whole of it, is indelibly fixed in the mind, and every distinct thought flashes forth, and can be mentally noted, as one reads or repeats the whole.
While every teacher, as well as every pupil, ought to have his Bible in hand, no one ought to presume to attempt to teach the lesson before he has the Scripture text so thoroughly mastered that he can, by questions, without the open Bible before him, draw out from the class every item of it in the exact language of the Scripture, and can know whether or not the answers are correctly given.
- Note how in this greeting the divinity of Christ is accepted as a matter of course. What shows this?
- It is worth noting that the apostle Paul did not ignore the brethren, although he derived no authority from them. He did not disdain to give credit to all the brethren that were with him, as being associated with him in the sentiments of the epistle. What circumstances in Paul's experience made it very natural that he should incidentally indicate that “the brethren” were agreed with him?
- The Word of God is living. The Epistle to the Galatians has as direct application to us as it had to “the churches of Galatia,” more than eighteen hundred years ago. The things that called out the epistle were not peculiar to the Galatians. We can read it as though it were written to-day and addressed to us, and not to the churches of Galatia.
- Study “the peace of God.” Look up scriptures mentioning it, and note how it is bestowed, and what is involved in it. What does the grace of God bring?
- What relation is there between ''our sins” and “this present evil world”? Show it from the text that we are studying, and from other portions of Scripture.
- What is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us? Where do we learn God's will? What special advantage is there to us in knowing God's will? These questions all admit of direct answers in the exact language of Scripture. Find them.
- To whom do our sins belong? What comfort does this afford to those who think that because of their sins the Lord will not accept them?
- What expression in this introduction to the epistle stamps it as a part of the last message? Compare verse 5 and Rev. 14:6, 7. How much glory is to be given to God? Why? How do we give the glory to God?