Fulfilling the Law of Christ – Dr. Harold Netland

This is from April 30, 2019.  The subject matter is related to our previous series on Unity, Diversity and Our Identity in Christ.  Dr. Netland is one of my instructors and one of the readers putting me through my doctoral project.  (Not sure why, but it doesn’t seem to want to start at the beginning.)

 

Palmer St. Podcast: Galatians 6

Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia has shown us the importance of being set free from the laws demands.  We’ve also seen how the cross frees us from the grip of sin – when we trust in Jesus and receive His new resurrection life.  Only the cross of Jesus can free us from the burden of the law and the power of sin at the same time.

Gal 6.mp3

Gal 6.pdf

Palmer St. Podcast: Galatians 4

Consider these pairs of Polar Opposites: Plus and Minus, Night and Day, Black and White, Light and Darkness, Win or Lose, Right and Wrong, Life and Death, Heaven and Hell.

Now let’s add one to it: Law and Grace.  Grace and Law should be treated as Polar Opposites; it’s vital that we see this difference for what it is.

Gal 3.mp3

Gal 3.pdf

Palmer St. Podcast: Galatians 2:11-21

Grace has been an important issue in the church since the earliest days of the church. Today we’ll read of an incident that happened in Antioch where Paul was serving. We’ll want to learn from it if we’re going to be able to show the same kind of grace toward others that God has already shown us. Grace is also important as the means by which we continue our Christian growth.

Gal 2.11-21.mp3

Gal 2.11-21.pdf

Palmer St. Podcast: Galatians 2:1-10

When Christ comes into our lives and begins to change us, one of the desires He places within us is the desire to be used by God in the lives of others. This is a natural part of our growth. We get satisfaction when we see that the Lord has made us his instrument to meet someone else’s need, to help them through a time of trouble or be a part of their spiritual growth. So here is a question: How does God prepare us to be used? A quick look at the life of Paul will give us some answers to that query.

Gal 2.01-10.mp3

Gal 2.01-10.pdf

Palmer St. Podcast: Galatians 1:11-24

Paul was transformed by meeting Jesus.  He went from persecutor of the church to the most ardent spokesman for Christ and explainer of Christian doctrine.  This is something like the big bad wolf not just being stopped from blowing down houses, but actually becoming the fourth little pig – and then becoming the world’s foremost scholar and chief defender of piggishness.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is real; it must produce real changes in the lives of those who believe it.

Gal 1.11-24.mp3

Gal 1.11-24.pdf

Thoughts on the Life/Choice Debate

This week we are in Galatians 1:11-24.  In Galatians 1:15, Paul says God “separated me from my mother’s womb” and called him to a very specific ministry. 

This is a thread that runs all through the Bible.  Abraham, for example, was promised a son (and a whole bunch of descendants, for that matter) some 25 years before the birth of Isaac.  Jeremiah was called to be a prophet “Before God formed him in the womb” (Jer. 1:5).  And so on, we could follow this thread for a very long time. Therefore, abortion has long been frowned upon by those who take the Bible as authoritative.

There is, however, another argument in favor of a pro-life stance which does not rest on biblical authority (an unacceptable basis in American political culture these days).  Here is how it goes and I welcome all comments and counter-arguments.  Thanks to Norman Geisler for stating the case similarly (2004).

Both the right to life and the right to liberty are important values to both sides. The controversy is really only over which value applies in the case of abortion.

There is good reason for anyone to believe that an unborn child or fetus is a person. For example it has its own:

  1. Unique genetic code at conception.
  2. Blood type, which is determined genetically at conception
  3. Gender determined at conception
  4. Body: For example, heartbeat and brainwaves can both be detected by 3 and 6 weeks, respectively.

This list could go on and on.  Therefore, many would agree that such details make the unborn child, or fetus if you insist, a unique person.  This is a convincing set of facts.  Can we at least allow that it seems difficult to prove otherwise?  For example, can we prove conclusively in the face of such evidence that it was simply part of the mother’s body – and not a person at all?

Now, for the sake of argument, let’s still say the question is up in the air and we’re still uncertain. Maybe it’s a person and maybe not. Therefore, an abortion may kill a person or it may not.

In that case, the pro-life stand is still preferable to pro-choice, because it is reckless to do anything that has a 50-50 chance of killing an innocent human being.  Would you throw a bowling ball off a bridge onto a freeway because an innocent person might not die?  Remove the railing from your balcony?  Shoot a gun into a dark room?  Caution dictates that the right to life has to take priority over the right to liberty.