Category Archives: Galatians

Wednesday with John + Decreed

John 9:27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.  ESV

What is the general theme of the passage?
The confrontational debate continues between the ex-blind man and the Pharisees. The healed man confronts these authorities with his own questions. “Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?”  We know so little about this man but he has some extraordinary knowledge about God, sinners, and worship the Pharisees find irritating.  “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him… If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”  His words identify what his heart has experienced just as the words of the Pharisees identify the experience of theirs; “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us? And they cast him out.”

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
How odd that this passage points out such a controversial truth.  God reveals Himself more in the man who responded to Jesus but has not yet “seen” Him face to face than from the response of his accusers who claim to be God’s experts.

What does it say about people?
The Pharisees have responded to this man’s restored sight with disbelief as a way to discredit Jesus…and therefore God.  Who is more in need of “sight” now: the man who was blind but now sees what he doesn’t know OR the Pharisees who think they already know what they really don’t see?

Is there truth here for me?
I understand the imagery in this passage and those Pharisees because, God forgive me, I was born to love the rules more than the people who break them.a

† Original sin has decreed we are all truly born blind.
† Life has decreed we teeter between two options; sin and salvation.
† Jesus has decreed He came so we might see.
† I have decreed “I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me!
Ω The Word has decreed
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, for the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”
Amen!

a https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-making-of-a-modern-pharisee

Poetry by the Book Finale – Galatians 6:11-18

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, rhythm and structure.a

See with what LARGE letters
I am writing to you with my own hand —
THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
BE WITH YOUR SPIRIT, BRETHREN.
I bear on my body the marks of Jesus
by which[through whom]
the world has been crucified to me,
and I to the world.
HENCEFORTH LET NO MAN TROUBLE ME.
FAR BE IT FROM ME TO GLORY
EXCEPT IN THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
PEACE AND MERCY BE UPON ALL WHO WALK BY THIS RULE.

Those who want to make a good showing in the flesh
would compel you to be circumcised
that they may glory in your flesh.
They desire to have you circumcised
in order that they may not be persecuted
for the cross of Christ.
NEITHER CIRCUMCISION
COUNTS FOR ANYTHING
NOR UNCIRCUMCISION
BUT A NEW CREATION!
AMEN!

a My poetry structure was created from the RSV Bible using sentences and phrases verbatim.

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 6:1-10

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, rhythm and structure.a 


Brethren,
bear one another’s burdens
and so fulfil the law of Christ.
He who sows to the Spirit
will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
So then,
as we have opportunity,
let him who is taught the word share all good things
with him who teaches.
Let us do good to all men,
and especially
to those who are of the household of faith.

God is not mocked!
Whatever a man sows,
that he will also reap.
He who sows to his own flesh
will from the flesh reap corruption.
If any one thinks he is something,
when he is nothing,
he deceives himself.

Do not be deceived.
Look to yourself,
lest you too be tempted.
Let each one test his own work.
Each man will have to bear his own load,
then his reason to boast will be in himself alone
and not in his neighbor.
Let us not grow weary in well-doing,
for in due season we shall reap,
if we do not lose heart.

a My poetry structure was created from the RSV Bible using sentences and phrases verbatim.

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 5:16-26

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, rhythm and structure.a 


Walk by the Spirit!
The desires of the Spirit are against the flesh.
The fruit of the Spirit is:
love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control;
against such there is no law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh
with its passions and desires.

The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit,
Do not gratify the desires of the flesh.

The works of the flesh are plain:
fornication, impurity, licentiousness,
idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger,
selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy,
drunkenness, carousing, and the like.

These are opposed to each other
to prevent you from doing what you would.
Have no self-conceit!
If we live by the Spirit,
let us also walk by the Spirit;
no provoking of one another,
no envy of one another!
If you are led by the Spirit,
you are not under the law.

a My poetry structure was created from the RSV Bible using sentences and phrases verbatim.

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 5:1-15

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, rhythm and structure.a

You were running well!
Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
If you receive circumcision,
you who would be justified by the law,
you have fallen away from grace.
You are severed from Christ!
Christ will be of no advantage to you.
I wish those who unsettle you would mutilate themselves!
He who is troubling you will bear his judgment,
whoever he is.
But if you bite and devour one another,
take heed that you are not consumed by one another.

Do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
For in Christ Jesus
neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail.

Every man who receives circumcision
is bound to keep the whole law.
A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
In that case
why am I still persecuted?
The stumbling block of the cross has been removed

if I, brethren, still preach circumcision.

I have confidence in the Lord
that you will take no other view than mine.
For freedom Christ has set us free.

We wait for the hope of righteousness,
through the Spirit, by faith;
faith working[made effective] through love.
You were called to freedom, brethren.

Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh.
Through love be servants of one another.
The whole law is fulfilled in one word—
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 

a My poetry structure was created from the RSV Bible using sentences and phrases verbatim.

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 4:21-31

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, rhythm and structure.a


This is an allegory.

These women are two covenants.

For it is written…
Abraham had two sons;

one by a slave,
born according to the flesh
and one by a free woman,
through promise.

At that time he who was born according to the flesh
persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit,

Hagar,
is Mount Sinai,
she corresponds to the present Jerusalem.
She is in slavery with her children,
bearing children for slavery.

The children of the desolate one are many more
than the children of her that is married. 

It is written…
“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
break forth and shout, you who are not in travail.
We are not children of the slave but of the free woman.
She is our mother!
The Jerusalem
above
is free.

Tell me
do you not hear the law,
you who desire to be under law?
The son of the slave shall not inherit
with the son of the free woman.

We, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.
So it is now. 

a My poetry structure was created from the RSV Bible using sentences and phrases verbatim.

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 4:8-20

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, rhythm and structure.a


Brethren, I beseech you.
Become as I am, for I also have become as you are.
I bear you witness,
I preached the gospel to you at first
because of a bodily ailment.

My condition was a trial to you.
You did not scorn or despise me.
You did me no wrong,

but received me as an angel of God,
as Christ Jesus.

You know
you would have plucked out your eyes
and given them to me

if possible.

Formerly, when you did not know God,
you were in bondage to beings that by nature are no gods,
the weak and beggarly elemental spirits,
whose slaves you want to be once more.
I am perplexed about you!
What has become of the satisfaction you felt?
You observe days, and months, and seasons, and years!
Have I then become your enemy
by by telling you the truth?

I am afraid I have labored over you in vain.
They (the Judaizers) make much of you,
but for no good purpose.

You have come to know God,
or rather to be known by God,

for a good purpose.
It is always good to be made much of
and not only when I am present with you.
My little children,
until Christ be formed in you,

I am again in travail!

a My poetry structure was created from the RSV Bible using sentences and phrases verbatim.

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 4:1-7

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, rhythm and structure.a

The heir,
the owner of all the estate,
is no better than a slave
as long as he is a child.
Until the date set by the father,
he is under guardians and trustees.

 So with us!
We were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe
when we were children.
But when the time had fully come,
God sent forth his Son,
born of woman,
born under the law,
to redeem those who were under the law.

God has sent the Spirit of his Son
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
So through God,
crying, “Abba! Father!”
into our hearts,
you are no longer a slave
because you are sons.
And if a son then an heir!

a My structure was created from the RSV Bible using verbatim sentences and phrases.

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 3:19-29

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings  and ideas by the use of distinctive style, rhythm and structure.a

Why then the law?
It was added because of transgressions,
till the offspring should come
to whom the promise had been made.
If a law had been given which could make alive,
righteousness would indeed be by the law.
Is the law then against the promises of God?
Certainly not!

Scripture consigned all things to sin.
We were confined under the law,
kept under restraint until faith should be revealed.
It was ordained by angels through an intermediary.
An intermediary implies more than one.
God is one!
The law was our custodian until Christ came,
that what was promised to faith in Jesus Christ,
might be given to those who believe.

Now that faith has come
we are no longer under a custodian.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ
have put on Christ.
You are all sons of God,
through faith.

There is neither Jew nor Greek,
neither slave nor free,
neither male nor female.
You are all one in Christ Jesus,
heirs according to promise
that we might be justified by faith.
You are Abraham’s offspring,
if you are Christ’s!

a My poetic structure is created verbatim from the sentences and phrases of Galatians 3:19-29 in the RSV Bible

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 3:15-18

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, structure and rhythm.a


To give a human example, brethren;
promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring,
referring to one, which is Christ.
No one annuls even a man’s will, or adds to it, once it has been ratified.

I mean: the law.
God gave it to Abraham by a promise,
It is no longer by promise,
if the inheritance is by the law,
so as to make the promise void.
Four hundred and thirty years afterward.
does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God.

a My structure created verbatim from the sentences and phrases of the RSV Bible.