Expository Studies

Play Video
Play Video

Daily Encouragement

Play Video

January 18, 2012

Back to Basics

Part One

Gifted for Purpose

Galatians 1:1-2, Page 1819

   As we all launch into the new year, I suggest we take some time and go back to basics.  I have mentioned to some of my friends that I want the year 2012 to be the best year ever, after salvation.  I mean that I look forward to the Lord Jesus making me more usable for His service.  I want to be rooted and grounded in only Christ, and to know nothing except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.  As the proverb proclaims, “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full light of dawn” (Proverbs 4:18, page  1007).  I look forward too to my path growing brighter and brighter each year, until the full light of dawn, because Jesus has given to me all of His righteousness by faith alone (Romans 3:21-22, page 1762).  So, we will begin our study of the Book of Galatians today, looking for a great new year in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Galatians 1:1, Page 1819

“Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),”

        You and Your Spiritual Gift.   I had a dear friend who lost her job several years ago.  For the first few moths, she needed to adjust to the reality that she was not going to work at her old job.  She had done hospital work for decades, and now the time had come due to health reasons where she could no longer work in the hospital, or really for any other employer.  She had developed a seizure disorder, which did not cause grand mal seizures, but seizures in her brain that were not obvious to others or herself.  Over time, medicine began to help her recover her mental bearings, but the disorder still takes it toll on her.  Not only that, but she also has other serious health problems that persist.  For her, life changed when she lost her job after decades of seeing herself as a hospital technologist.  In some ways, it was the best thing that ever happened to her.  She started to read her Bible more, and see herself the way that God sees her every day.  When we talk about going back to basics, let us start with how you see yourself and describe yourself to others.  For Paul, he considered himself an apostle.

       Paul the Apostle.  Paul wrote the epistle to the Galatians, and identified himself right in the first verse.  If you look at the epistles in the New Testament, many of the epistles start just the same way.  Today, we often sign our names at the end of the letter, but as a lawyer, I often identify myself and the purpose of my letter right at the beginning.  Paul described himself in terms of his spiritual gift: apostle.  An apostle means one sent for a purpose.  Jesus trained twelve apostles, and He knew from the beginning that Judas Iscariot was a “son of perdition” (John 17:12, page 1689).   After Judas Iscariot had died and Jesus was resurrected, the eleven apostles sought a man who could serve as a witness with them of the resurrection of Jesus Christ: the man must “have accompanied us from the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us” (Acts 1:21-22). The eleven apostles cast lots and Matthias was appointed to occupy the ministry and apostleship vacated by Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:19-26, page 1700).   In contrast to this method of selecting an apostle, Paul received his apostleship directly from God, without any immediate recognition from the other apostles.  In Galatians 1:1, page 1819, Paul states flatly that he received his apostleship directly from Jesus Christ and God the Father, and not through the agency of men.  Paul also stated that other men in Jerusalem (Peter, John, and others) were “apostles” before him (Galatians 1:17, page 1820).  Likewise, Paul mentions that James, the brother of the Lord, was also an apostle (Galatians 1:19, page 1820).  James, the brother of the Lord, was not one of the twelve apostles.  Paul never considered himself in “the least inferior to the most eminent apostles” (2 Corinthians 11:5, page 1815), even if Paul was unskilled in speech, but not in knowledge (1 Corinthians 11:6, page 1815).  In summary, we see that the twelve apostles met a special criteria of being with the Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry.  Those type of apostles have left the earth with the death of the last of the twelve apostles.  The Holy Spirit bestowed the spiritual gift of apostleship upon other men, and they often planted churches.  Some of those men also received special revelations from God.  Today, anyone who claims to be have the spiritual gift of “apostle” should be carefully tested, and see if they meet have been sent from God for a special ministry.  If they claim to have new revelation from God, we should remember that God said His Bible was complete.

Galatians 1:2, Page 1819

“and all the brethren who are with me.”

       All the Brethren.  In Galatians 1:2, page 1819, we read about brethren being with Paul.  Paul also addressed the Galatians as brethren (for examples, Galatians 3:15, page 1822 and Galatians 6:1, page 1826).  Paul’s entire ministry was about spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Jews first, and then to the gentiles (Romans 1:16, page 1758).  Paul did not labor alone, and as God converted people to salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone, they formed in local assemblies (churches), and some of the converts travelled with Paul. 

       With Me.  In Galatians 1:2, page 1819, we also read that Paul had men with him.   Paul describes Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke as fellow workers with him (Philemon 24, page 1869).  Paul often mentions in his letters the people who travelled with him.  Some served as messengers (for example, Tychicus (Ephesians 6:21, page 1834) to the churches they came from (for example, Epaphroditus from Philippi (Philippians 2:25, page 1837).  Paul always took men with him so that they could work as a ministry team, ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ and forming and strengthening local assemblies.  Some people had special ministry to Paul in his imprisonment (for example, Onesimus (Philemon 13, page 1869).  I remember a friend of mine telling me that I should always consider taking a new believer with me, even when I went to the hardware store or did some other errand.  I have found that spending time with young believers, to encourage them in Christ, has been very profitable.

        So we learn more about Paul and basic Christianity.

     ●  Paul the apostle based his entire life upon using the spiritual gifts the Lord Jesus and God the Father had bestowed upon Paul.

    ●   Paul emphasized that Jesus has been raised from the dead, and so we should live with that truth in mind all day, every day. 

     ●   Paul had other Christians around him as part of a ministry team all the time. 

Application for Today


        As I walk through life today, I want to use the spiritual gifts that God has placed into my life by His power and for His purpose.  I intend to use His gifts in my life to emphasize to people that Jesus has been raised from the dead, and Jesus now lives to give eternal life to everyone who turns to Him alone for salvation by faith.  I want to encourage every believer I know to be a part of a ministry team for Jesus Christ this year.  With these basics in mind, I look forward to the greatest year of my life, after salvation.  Will God be making this the best year of your life, starting today?

 Christ Assembly Basics 

Christ Assembly provides free access to various studies from the Bible, the Word of God. The studies in this website are not inspired, but God produced the Bible, consisting of sixty-nine books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). The Holy Spirit inspired authors to produce original autographs of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Those original authors wrote over the course of many centuries. They wrote divinely inspired words and every word was divinely inspired. The authors communicated in their own styles, and with their own vocabulary, but God breathed out every word of the final autographs. The words in the Bible really matter, and deserve careful study. 
As we study, we seek to love Jesus more because His word has instructed us so that we learn His ways. Eternal life consists in knowing God the Father, and Jesus Christ Whom God sent. As the eternal God of Glory, One with His Father, the Son of God took flesh and dwelt among us. Because of His death, He used His blood to purchase our redemption. He was raised for our justification. We now live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit abides in every born-again believer and fills us with His presence and blessings. He leads us into all truth. Jesus is the truth, and the way, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Jesus, our Lord. 
We look forward to His imminent return to the clouds of earth, to snatch away the believers alive on earth, so that we may be forever with the Lord. When He returns to the clouds, He will bring with Him all those people in Christ who died before His return to the clouds. We encourage one another with the promises of God, Who makes our path grow brighter and brighter, until the full light of day shines forth. We love Jesus and look forward to seeing Him soon. After Jesus removes the believers from the earth, then a terrible period of seven years follows where God brings measured and precise judgments upon the people alive on earth. God cut those days of  Tribulation short, or no flesh would have been saved. Jesus will then return to earth, slay His enemies, and place His feet on the Mount of Olives where He ascended to heaven. He will then reign on earth for a thousand years, and believers will reign with Him. After the Millennial Reign of Christ, all unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will suffer according to their deeds done on earth. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire, a place of torment night and day for eternity, because they never received the free gift of salvation while alive on earth. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. Today we invite you to come and see Jesus, and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart. Take His yoke upon you, for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He will give you rest for your soul as you trust Him. We receive salvation only from Jesus, by faith alone in Jesus, Who gives us the free gift of eternal life. 
We accept the teaching of the Word of God. As born again believers, baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, the anointing from God teaches us all things. We love to study the Word of God as we abide in Christ Jesus our Lord. God blesses all of us when we read His word, hear His word, and heed His word. We share original studies of the Word of God without cost and we do not receive donations. We support the finances of this ministry through private means, so that we are not a burden to anyone. We oppose charging people to read books, articles, journals or other studies of the Word of God. Such work should be supported by donations, but not in prescribed amounts and not as a requirement to gain access to what God has freely provided. What God has freely given, we should freely share. Just as Paul worked making tents, so we work to support this ministry. 

 Christ Assembly License

The author of all original material on this website retains all legal and equitable rights to the properties at issue. The author granted Christ Assembly a limited-use, revocable license to publish material on this website, while reserving all ownership rights to the original author. You may use any original material on this website to the glory of God, but you may not receive anything of value for such use. You may not receive any donations related to any original material on this website. All use of original material on this website is subject to the revocable, limited license above. You must conspicuously indicate on any use of the original material that it originated from ChristAssembly.org.  Any revocation of the license shall be posted on this website and all rights to use material may be revoked without prior notice. By copying and using any original material from this website, you consent to such license. Christ Assembly opposes any payment for access to studies, articles, journals, or other publications of studies concerning the Word of God. As God has freely given, so also the products of His grace should be freely shared.