Sermon notes: Galatians Number 1...

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NOTE: This is number 1 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post.

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd (now Clearnote Church, Bloomington)

October 26, 2003; AM

Galatians Series No. 1

"Paul, an Apostle"

Sermon Text: Galatians 1:1, 2

This Lord’s Day, we begin a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians. And for this, our first week, we will read the first two verses of the introduction of this book, verses through five. Please turn with me, then, to Galatians chapter one, verse one.

* Galatians 1:1, 2 This is the Word of God, eternally true.

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), and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: Galatians 1:1, 2, NAS95...

Although in the course of our study we will return to these themes, it would be good for us, as we begin, to note a few of the defining traits of this book in the New Testament.

The first word of the book tells us the author of the book—Paul.

Although there is much debate over the author of some of the other books in the New Testament, this particular book is universally agreed to be written by Paul, even by those who approach Scripture sceptically and doubt whatever is explicitly claimed in God’s Word. In other words, the fact that the first word of this book explicitly claims that it’s written by Paul, that wouldn’t be enough to convince many of the scholars, in and of itself, but other aspects of Paul’s personality, background, writing style, etc. do convince them here.

In fact, there are four books that scholars are pretty much agreed upon are the work of Paul—Galatians, preeminently, as well as 1&2 Corinthians and Romans. And among both these books written by Paul, and all the others he wrote in the New Testament, it is Galatians and Romans that stand at the top of those works which have given him his reputation as the teacher of the true Christian doctrine of the Christian Church.

A simple reading of these two books quickly reveals that both of them have at the center the treatment of the same subject: justification before God, not by works, but by grace through faith; that men are saved from the wrath of God not by trying to be good enough to enter Heaven, but by resting in the completed work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who gave Himself up for us that we might inherit eternal life.

This is the great theme of these two books, Galatians and Romans; but this same theme permeates the entire New Testament and is the New Covenant from which this second half of the Bible gets its name, the New Testament.

But if Galatians and Romans are the books which most specifically treat this subject, how do we distinguish these two books from one another?

Well, one (Romans) is longer than the other; and they do have different names and appear in different places in the Bible. But beyond the most obvious, Galatians and Romans differ in that Galatians is a particular batttle with a particular location and all the blood and guts that entails, while Romans is more a sort of theater of war treatment—high in the sky with observation planes and large-scale strategy and objective councils of war and so forth. In other words, Galatians is more polemical and Romans is more objectively theological.

The New Testament scholar, J. B. Lightfoot, puts it this way: “The Epistle to the Galatians stands in relation to the Roman letter, as the rough model to the finished statue” (p. 2).

Both works stand at the pinnacle of Paul’s work, but they have two different identities and purposes; Galatians is more a particular battle whereas Romans a general battle; Galatians more polemical and Romans less polemical—note I did not say that it’s not polemical at all, but only that it is less polemical than Galatians.

Two themes are prominent in Galatians, working their way through every other theme:

First, as was said earlier, justification by faith, apart from the works of the law; and

Second, the gift of the Holy Spirit; that this third member of the Trinity is freely given by God to all who believe in Jesus Christ and it is His power which works within us according to the redemptive will of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Right away we run into Paul’s polemical edge as we begin our reading of this book, although it is true that this particular argument made by Paul is made throughout his epistles—namely, his claim of apostolic office which comes immediately following his name, Paul.

The book begins, “Paul, an apostle.”

The second and third words of the book tell us his office, his authority, in writing this book—Paul, an apostle. More on

This question of the battle over Paul’s apostolic authority will frequently surface in our study of Galatians, but let us take some time this morning to introduce this word, the better to understand the key place it holds in the conflict within Galatia.

The word ‘apostle’ was in common use in the New Testament world and had a common meaning, but a common meaning that took on a more precise connotation when used in the early church, and specifically in the New Testament.

In common use, this word, ‘apostle’ delineated someone with a commission, so it was similar to the English words ‘emissary,’ ‘diplomat,’ or ‘ambassador.’ An apostle, in the ancient world, was one sent by a person in authority to carry out specific assignments delegated to him by that authority.

Where does this word first appear in the New Testament? When Jesus chooses the Twelve.

“And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:” Luke 6:13, NAS95.

This is the Twelve’s commissioning through which Jesus delegates His mighty authority to them and sends them out to carry on His work across the cities, towns, and villages of Israel.

“Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him. These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans;” Matthew 10:1-5, NAS95.

Notice something unusual here: notice that the disciples are here called ‘apostles.’

2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;

* apostolov apostolos {ap-os'-tol-os}

AV - apostle 78, messenger 2, he that is sent 1; 81

1) a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders

These particular men, the Twelve Disciples, were very deliberately chosen by Jesus and given a special office and role; they were the chosen and sent ones, and they had apostolic authority. And the apostolic office has always been seen by the Christian Church as centrally important.

* Robertson’s Word Pictures

This is the official name (missionaries) used here by Matthew for the first time.

Apostles were ships or men sent on a mission; therefore, quite literally they can be called ‘missionaries.’ Usually the word was used more for a group than an individual; but sometimes the leader of the group was called an ‘apostle,’ as an admiral leads his fleet.

An apostle, then, is “a person or group which is sent out.”

And in the New Testament this is the word used as the official name of those Twelve Disciples whom Jesus chose to send forth first to preach the gospel and to be with him during the course of his ministry on earth.

The word also appears to have been used in a non-official sense to designate a much wider circle of Christian messengers and teachers See:

2Co 8:23 Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers (apostolos) of the churches, and the glory of Christ.

There were those officially designated as ‘apostles,’ so we see we are dealing with an office, and not just a description:

(1) The original qualification of an apostle, as stated by St. Peter on the occasion of electing a successor to the traitor Judas, was that he should have been personally acquainted with the whole ministerial course of our Lord from his baptism by John till the day when he was taken up into heaven.

“At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said, “Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. “For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry.” (Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) “For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘LET HIS HOMESTEAD BE MADE DESOLATE, AND LET NO ONE DWELL IN IT’; and, ‘LET ANOTHER MAN TAKE HIS OFFICE.’ “Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all 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--one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.” Acts 1:15-26, NAS95.

(2) They were chosen by Christ himself (as we saw last week.)

Lu 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

Ga 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

(3) They had the power of working miracles (as we see this week in verse one where we read:

1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. (Matthew 10:1, NIV).

Mr 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Ac 2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

(4) They were inspired. #Joh 16:13|

13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (John 16:13, NIV).

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

1Th 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

(5) Their world seems to have been pre-eminently that of founding the churches and upholding them by supernatural power specially bestowed for that purpose.

(6) The office ceased, a matter of course, with its first holders-all continuation of it, from the very condition of its existence (cf. #1Co 9:1| ), being impossible. (The ones who had seen the Resurrection died, thus the office with them.)

1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? (1 Corinthians 9:1, NIV).

On the feast of Pentecost, ten days after our Lord's ascension, the Holy Spirit came down on the assembled church, Acts 2; and from that time the apostles became altogether different men, giving witness with power of the life and death and resurrection of Jesus, as he had declared they should. #Lu 24:48; Ac 1:8,22; 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 13:31|

Acts can be called the Acts of the Apostles, or the acts of the Holy Spirit in building the Church through the Apostles.

And the apostles were a gift to the Church for its planting and protection, that souls might be saved and kept safe until the Return of our Lord:

11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-15, NIV).

It’s clear that these men had a key role in the Church from the beginning, a key role which is echoed and affirmed by the battles over apostolic authority recorded in the epistles, and by the commendation of the apostles indicated by the following in the book of Revelation:

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. (Revelation 21:10-14, NIV).

Simon heads the list (prwtov) in all four lists including #Ac 1:13f|. He came to be first and foremost at the great Pentecost (#Ac 2| and #Ac 3|). The apostles disputed a number of times as to which was greatest.

Judas Iscariot comes last each time save that he is absent in Acts, being already dead.

This is apparently their first preaching and healing tour without Jesus.

He sends them forth by twos (#Mr 6:7|). Matthew names them in pairs, probably as they were sent out.

They’re sent out two by two, as Mark explicitly states:

7 Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. (Mark 6:7, NIV).

And as Matthew lists them—in pairs, that is:

        First Pair: First, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew;  (brothers)

        Second Pair: James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; (again, brothers)

        Third Pair: Philip and Bartholomew;

        Fourth Pair: Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;

        Fifth Pair: James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;

        Sixth Pair: Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Why two by two? Turn with me to Ecclesiastes:

7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun: 8 There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" This too is meaningless--a miserable business! 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no-one to help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:7-12, NIV).

This is an ordination service in which God sets apart ministers of the Gospel and as a part of setting them apart, He gives them a charge. And here we find that charge:

Verse 5: “With the following instructions…” Jesus sends the Twelve out, and He gives them their orders. There is a strong note of a military commander giving orders to his troops prior to their going out on a mission.

Jesus sends the Twelve to the Jews; not to the Gentiles. And this is also the pattern which Christ Himself followed:

5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. (Matthew 10:5,6, NIV).

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession." 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." 24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." 25 The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. 26 He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." 27 "Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." 28 Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.  (Matthew 15:21-28, NIV).

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:19,20, NIV).

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8, NIV).

Paul was the “Apostle to the Gentiles,” hence the extreme controversy which always surrounded him:

13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry (Romans 11:13, NIV).

The Twelve were to go “preaching and healing,” just as their Master had also given Himself to these two emphases:

18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour." (Luke 4:18-19, NIV).

* Controversy Surrounding Who Was and Who Wasn’t an Apostle

6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:6-10, NIV).

1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? 2 Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

3 This is my defence to those who sit in judgment on me. 4 Don't we have the right to food and drink? 5 Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas? 6 Or is it only I and Barnabas who must work for a living? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk? 8 Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn't the Law say the same thing? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses: "Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain." Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10 Surely he says this for us, doesn't he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the ploughman ploughs and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. (1 Corinthians 9:1-10, NIV).

Finally, how are the disciples to provide for themselves on their mission? What provisions are they to take for their own needs?

8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9 Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10 take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep. (Matthew 10:5-10, NIV).

The general principle is to be that they are to make no provision for their own needs, whether by demanding payment for services rendered, or by laying up supplies which they themselves will carry with them.

Verse 8: Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

This is the same principle Jesus had already taught them in the Sermon on the Mount in which He said:

25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:25-33, NIV).

* Didache

 (Greek: "Teaching"), also called TEACHING OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES, the oldest surviving Christian church order, probably written in Egypt or Syria in the 2nd century. In 16 short chapters it deals with morals and ethics, church practice, and the eschatological hope (of the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time) and presents a general program for instruction and initiation into the primitive church.

Some early Christian writers considered the Didache canonical, and Egyptian authors and compilers quoted it extensively in the 4th and 5th centuries. Eusebius of Caesarea quoted it in his Ecclesiastical History (early 4th century), and it formed the basis of chapter 7 of the 4th-century Apostolic Constitutions, a collection of early Christian ecclesiastical law. It was known only through such references in early Christian works until a Greek manuscript of it, written in 1056, was discovered in Istanbul in 1873 by the metropolitan Philotheos Bryennios.

He published it in 1883. Two fragments of the work were later discovered, a 4th-century Greek papyrus in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, and a 5th-century Coptic papyrus in the British Museum.

The Didache is not a unified and coherent work but a compilation of regulations that had acquired the force of law by usage in scattered Christian communities. Evidently several pre-existing written sources were used and were compiled by an unknown editor.

Chapters 1-6 give ethical instruction concerning the two ways, of life and of death, and reflect an early Christian adaptation of a Jewish pattern of teaching in order to prepare catechumens (candidates for Christian baptism). Chapters 7-15 discuss baptism, fasting, prayer, the Eucharist, how to receive and test traveling apostles and prophets, and the appointment of bishops and deacons. Chapter 16 considers the signs of the Second Coming of the Lord.

But concerning the apostles and prophets, so do ye according to the ordinance of the Gospel.

Let every apostle, when he cometh to you, be received as the Lord; but he shall not abide more than a single day, or if there be need, a second likewise; but if he abide three days, he is a false prophet.

And when he departeth let the apostle receive nothing save bread, until he findeth shelter; but if he ask money, he is a false prophet.

And any prophet speaking in the Spirit ye shall not try neither discern; for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven.

Yet not every one that speaketh in the Spirit is a prophet, but only if he have the ways of the Lord. From his ways therefore the false prophet and the prophet shall be recognized.

And no prophet when he ordereth a table in the Spirit shall eat of it; otherwise he is a false prophet.

And every prophet teaching the truth, if he doeth not what he teacheth, is a false prophet.

And every prophet approved and found true, if he doeth ought as an outward mystery typical of the Church, and yet teacheth you not to do all that he himself doeth, shall not be judged before you; he hath his judgment in the presence of God; for in like manner also did the prophets of old time.

 And whosoever shall say in the Spirit, Give me silver or anything else, ye shall not listen to him; but if he tell you to give on behalf of others that are in want, let no man judge him.

 But let every one that cometh in the name of the Lord be received; and then when ye have tested him ye shall know him, for ye shall have understanding on the right hand and on the left.

 If the comer is a traveler, assist him, so far as ye are able; but he shall not stay with you more than two or three days, if it be necessary.

 But if he wishes to settle with you, being a craftsman, let him work for and eat his bread.

 But if he has no craft, according to your wisdom provide how he shall live as a Christian among you, but not in idleness.

 If he will not do this, he is trafficking upon Christ. Beware of such men.

 But every time prophet desiring to settle among you is worthy of his food.

 In like manner a true teacher is also worthy, like the workman, of his food.

 Every firstfruit then of the produce of the wine-vat and of the threshing-floor, of thy oxen and of thy sheep, thou shalt take and give as the firstfruit to the prophets; for they are your chief-priests.

 But if ye have not a prophet, give them to the poor.

-from the Didache

The Twelve Disciples, the Twelve Apostles Jesus is sending out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons, are to be blindly liberal in their ministry.

As God gave so graciously to them, so they are to give to others.

Verse 8: “Freely you have received; freely give.”

“You didn’t have to pay for the gifts God gave you; now don’t charge others for the gifts you will be giving them.”

Why? Why were they not to carry a backpack loaded with all kinds of extra supplies?

Because, according to verse 10:

10 take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep. (Matthew 10:10, NIV).

14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:14, NIV).

17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages." (1 Timothy 5:17,18, NIV).

But for us today, the authority of this book is not simply the apostolic authority of its author, but the fact that this book is Sacred Scripture, and therefore the very words of God. So we approach this book, not with a critical and defensive spirit, but loving God and trusting His Holy Spirit to speak to us through His Word, we come expectantly, submissively, reverently, attentively.

But because all Scripture is God-breathed, as we are told in 2Timothy 3:16.

* * *

EXPLANATION: Sermons are pastoral, and therefore of only limited value to those who are not present when a pastor feeds the flock God called him to serve. Yet, knowing even notes may be of some value to others, I'm posting past sermon notes here on Baylyblog. Because the notes weren't written for publication, no editor has cleaned them up for reproduction on the web. So, for instance, although the notes I take into the pulpit have formatting that highlights quotes, I haven't taken the time to reproduce that formatting here.

Please keep in mind these are only notes and not a transcription of the sermon that was preached. It is my commitment to depart from them, seeking freedom from the Holy Spirit to proclaim and apply God's Word to the souls under my care in a way that is helpful to them and gives all glory to God.

Bible quotes are from the New American Standard Bible (Updated '95 Edition). This is the best Bible available in the English language, having by far the closest correspondence of any English Bible in common use today between the original Hebrew and Greek and the English translation. We should all own a print Bible and it should be a two or three decade investment, so here are the NASB Bibles that will read easily and hold together best for twenty years. Their paper is opaque, their type is clean, their binding is superb, and I have no hesitation saying you would do well to spend one or two hundred dollars on one for yourself, your wife, and each of your children.

If the reader has good eyes, buy the Pitt Minion. It's very small and light and will last for decades. If the reader has fading or poor eyesight, buy the Clarion Reference. It has the larger typeface and, again, will last for decades. If the reader likes writing notes in the margin, buy the Wide-Margin Reference. It's big and heavy and you will be able to write to your heart's content.

Finally, near the beginning of each week's notes you will often notice repetition from the previous week. Each week I pick up where I left off the previous week.

May God bless you, dear brother and sister, as you study the Word of God and, only by faith, find it sweeter than honey.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

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