Isaiah 19:1-21:17, Galatians 2:1-16, Psalms 59:1-17, Proverbs 23:13-14
Today is the 15th day of September welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is wonderful to be here with you today as we gather yet again, each and every day for the next step forward. And our next step forward leads us in the Old Testament back into the book of Isaiah. Today, chapters 19 through 21.
Okay. So, in Paul’s letter to the Galatians in our reading today we got a lot of personal information that we hadn’t had before and we got a pretty clear picture of what was going on that prompted Paul to write this letter, things that we’ve talked about before. So, some of the personal information that…well…we didn’t have before was that Paul is claiming that he has been living in his faith in Jesus for over 17 years at this point. And Paul claims that the gospel that he preaches is not something that he received from any person. It wasn’t transferred from a person with their convictions to him and he believed in those convictions and then proceeded. Paul claims that he only had met Peter one time and that was 14 years ago and the only other person he had met was Jesus’ brother James, who was known to be the leader of the Jerusalem church. So, in Paul’s view the gospel that he preached wasn’t given to him by any person. It was given to him by direct revelation from Jesus himself. It’s just that what Paul was revealing was a little bit different in its context than what the original believers in Jesus came to understand. And the issue or the flashpoint of the controversy was between Jews and Gentiles, something we have talked about before. But Paul actually gives us a bit of context, a bit of a description of what was going. And, so, I quote from Galatians. “This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.” So, Paul’s drawing a line in the sand and saying this is where I stand. It’s just important to understand that that’s not where everybody stood at that time. And there’s a tension in this. And we probably can’t go through this enough because it is such a central bit of context of the early church itself. If you are Jewish and you had been involved or seen Jesus’ ministry, you would have believed that Jesus was a Hebrew rabbi, maybe an apocalyptic prophet, definitely a miracle worker, maybe the Messiah, maybe the son of God, but it’s all happening within the Jewish framework. And for Jews to be told that the law has been fulfilled and there is nothing to live up to anymore would’ve felt radical, a radical shift. But it’s not just a radical shift in understanding of your faith journey. Like, there were actually practical human problems here because the Jews, they had separated themselves. They had been given certain religious freedoms, but they kept to themselves, not only because of their religious convictions, but also because the culture was marginalizing them because they were separating themselves. Jews and Gentiles did not hang out together. Jews didn’t hang out with Gentiles because they were separate to God, but also because Gentiles marginalized them and segregated them. So, if you’re on the receiving end of that you find hard to trust your oppressor, or at least the person is pushing you to the margins. If we look at racial tensions that exist in the world today and that have existed all the way back to when Paul wrote this letter, we would see these kinds of issues are still with us. You don’t normally trust a group of people that you believe are marginalizing you and who through culture are taught to look down upon you. So, the gospel of Jesus was that we we’re all in this together, we all call upon the name of the Lord and are saved. And, so, this wasn’t just reframing religion. This is like reframing existence. And we understand this not only from first century history but also from Paul himself in his letter. Paul talks about having to confront the apostle Peter, like the apostle Peter, the one who walked with Jesus, the one who stepped out on the water. And he didn’t confront him over religion or theology. He confronted him out of his hypocrisy. If we remember back when we read the book of Acts, the first half of the book of Acts is really walking alongside the apostle Peter. And if we remember, Peter had a vision where a bunch of unclean animals came down on a sheet and he was told to kill and eat them. And that was the reframing of his understanding. But then he was summoned to the home of Cornelius who was a Roman centurion. His household was Gentile, and he shared the gospel with the Gentiles and the Holy Spirit fell upon them. And, so, Peter had witnessed firsthand the fact that God was sending His Holy Spirit upon Gentiles. Well, later on now here’s Peter acting one way among the Gentiles and a different way among the Jews. When he is around the Jews, he…he…he’s standoffish toward the Gentile brothers and sisters that he had previously been in fellowship with. And, so, again I quote Paul from the letter to the Galatians. “When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles but when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles, because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.” So, we can see that this Jew, Gentile thing that is going on goes deep and it is a giant thing to get over and a giant to move forward. But for the apostle Paul it was obviously worth drawing a line in the sand over. All of the things they were talking about today come from the letter to the Galatians. He wrote this all down, which allows us to look into what was going on. And Paul felt it necessary to stand up and draw this line in the sand as it were, not because of major disputes over minor doctrinal issues, over freedom itself. If Jesus fulfilled the law, if Jesus was the son of God, if Jesus came and made it possible for mankind to have a direct relationship with God then anything that would impede that was a problem for Paul because for Paul we’re not justified through our actions, although very clearly in the Scriptures what we do definitely has impact and definitely matters, but for Paul, we are justified through faith. We believe, and when we believe with all of our hearts we are made right, righteous before God. For Paul, having this awareness of what God was doing in the world among the Jews and the Gentiles alike made it unnecessary to jump through any hoops other than taking a leap of faith into the arms of Jesus. And Paul will continue to unpack this theologically as we continue to move through the Scriptures. But this kind of gives us a really good picture of the backdrop that’s going on here. And if we see the backdrop that was going on then, we can see that…you know…we’re 2000 years in the future but so many of the things that were going on then in the early church are still going on now 2000 years later, and it gives us the chance to consider our own convictions and the ways that we draw lines in the sand and are we putting up impediments to faith in Jesus by offering a bunch of hoops to jump through, or are we clearly changed in our lives, understanding fully that it was our faith in Jesus and our surrender to His will in our lives that has changed everything and that anybody is invited to that. All they have to do is believe. And, so, let’s give that some thought today as we prepare to move forward in the letter to the Galatians tomorrow.
Father, we thank You for Your word. We thank You for being able to look back and get a glimpse of understanding of what was going on when You were at work in the first century. And that gives us insight into what You are doing in the 21st century where we are now. And we are grateful to be a part of the same story and that we have a role to play in this ongoing story of You making all things new again, of putting it all back together the way it was intended. May we recognize Your work in this world whether we understand it or not. May we trust You and follow where You are leading we pray. In the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Yeah, this is Clint from Albertville I was calling in for the lady who called in with the husband with alcohol problems. I guess probably 15, 20 years ago I was drinking 18 beers a night and a pint of vodka every night. And I started drinking every morning. I’d drink a case of beer and I don’t know, a pint, pint and a half of vodka. It was pretty bad. My kids were, I guess probably around 10, 12 years old somewhere in there. And my wife had enough of it and through me out for three weeks. I didn’t know how long it was going to be when she kicked me out. But surely the night she kicked me out I quit drinking and turned myself over to God that night. And I haven’t went astray since. I get my strength from God. But m y alcohol…I don’t drink anymore at all. I don’t even have any desire. I don’t know if that may give you a little encouragement that people like that can turn around. My daddy was an alcoholic, my granddaddy was an alcoholic and it just went on and on but just called in to give you a little encouragement maybe that people can change, and he can change. Just keep praying for him and I’ll pray for him and everybody on here will pray for him. Thank you.
Yes, this is Brian from Huber Heights OH praying for…asking prayer for my son Mitchel Emerick. He is mentally ill. He is a drug addict. He is homeless. He is very much hopeless right now. He needs Jesus so badly. He claims salvation but he…that needs to be the number one thing I pray for him for. But he’s in jail right now and I’ve been…we’re trying to work with the court and his lawyer which he’s not going to be there on his court date tomorrow which alarms me. But his mother wrote a letter giving his history and I’m just praying that that gets to his new council and to the judges, judge Henderson and I pray that he would finally get that forced help he…he needs with rehab, with forced psych meds, or possibly to be incarcerated or…or…or institutionalized for short period of time where he could be off drugs where he can be put on meds and recover. I love him dearly. I pray for him all day long. Please pray that he gets the help that he needs in his court tomorrow. It’s…his name is Mitchell, and he is…he is in the Dayton Montgomery County jail awaiting a court for tomorrow. Pray that he would get the forced help that he needs, that God would lead his mother or night to get him the help that we can without enabling him. Thank you and God bless. Please God be with my son Mitchell. I thank You and praise You for the blessings You will give him in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hey DAB family it’s Rob Still, worship dude from Nashville and I would like to ask for your prayers and the prayers of the Saints for myself actually. It’s September 11th I think as I call in. I am on a mission’s trip till the middle of September with a team from the US to Peru and the Lord has really giving us an important assignment I think here and just asking for your prayers to cover us and cover myself especially in the area of health. You know, the whole COVID thing going on is still kind of prevalent actually in parts of the world. And anyway, would really appreciate your prayers for that and just for the effectiveness of the gospel ministry. I want to thank you, all of you guys who listen and pray and especially for those of you who maybe feel like you can’t…you’re at a stage of life where you can’t really do a lot physically, but your prayers are important, and we need your prayers. And, so, I just want to say thank you so much for all of you who stand in the gap and our intercessors. May the Lord richly bless you. __.
Hi DAB family this is Laura in Colorado and I’m just calling because I would like to ask for prayer. I feel like…I feel like I just need an army of prayer warriors and I know I can find that here and I’m so grateful for it. I’ve called in the past about this, but I’m a NICU nurse and in February I had took in an abandoned baby and she’s amazing and beautiful and our family loves her so much and I know God just has an amazing plan for her life. Her life has already been just like one miracle after another, and we’ve been so amazed. And our…our hearts desire is…my five biological kids are in love with her and our desire is to adopt her and that looked like that was gonna be a really good possibility but recently there’s been a request to move her out of state to another foster parent. There’s no biological family involved at all right now. So, we’re heartbroken and we don’t feel like this is in her best interest. And, of course, there’s a lot of other factors involved but if you would just please please pray. It felt this was a spiritual battle over this baby from the beginning and I just ask that you would pray that whatever forces of darkness are out for this little baby’s life that they would come just to a screeching halt and that only plans for her good would go forward and that we would have favor with the judge…
Hi good morning, DABbers my name is Crown of Beauty from Kansas City. I am just calling for prayer for myself. I’ve been struggling a little bit. I lost my mum about a month ago and, you know, dealing with grief and everything like that. And also I am in the process of building my own business. I’m a hair stylist here in Kansas City and I’ve been a commissioned stylist for a while now probably five years or so and I’m being led to step out of my comfort zone and be a booth renter. And I’m a bit nervous about that and I am leaving my current salon in the next couple of weeks, and I’ve been doing things in the background while I’m preparing for this like my business cards and everything like that. And I already found my location and everything like that. I’ve already paid my rent for a few months but I’m just very very nervous about this new transition and change. I’ve talked to most of my clients and some of them are gonna follow and some of them are going to stay at my current location which for them it’s easier for them to stay here at my salon that I work for. So, I’m just praying that God would give me peace about this. And He has given me peace but just I’m so nervous for this change and I’m scared. But I just need prayers from you all and I would really appreciate that. Thank you everyone. This community is such a blessing to me. God bless everyone.