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#16881 Mon Aug 09, 2004 9:14 AM
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Our small group has been studying Galatians. Last night we focused on Galatians 4:8-20.

Paul's strong rebuke to the Galatians and his heartfelt personal reminder to them about their former relationship with him (they had formerly received him as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus) made me wonder, for the first time, what the Galatians response was to this letter. Were they stricken in their souls as they considered Paul's pleadings with them in the Holy Spirit? Is there any Biblical record of the response? Did Paul ever make it back to the Church in Galatia?

Are there any early church writings that tell us how the church of Galatia responded to Paul's letter?

Any light that can be shed on this question, or any links to articles would be most appreciated.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
gotribe #16882 Mon Aug 09, 2004 11:20 PM
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Kim,

I cannot answer the first questions you pose, but as for your last question, St. John Chrysostom, in his Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, written in Antioch about 395 AD, writes regarding Chapter 6:
Ver. 18. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen."

By this last word he hath sealed all that preceded it. He says not merely, "with you," as elsewhere, but, "with your spirit," thus withdrawing them from carnal things, and displaying throughout the beneficence of God, and reminding them of the grace which they enjoyed, whereby he was able to recall them from all their judaizing errors. For to have received the Spirit came not of the poverty of the Law, but of the righteousness which is by Faith, and to preserve it when obtained came not from Circumcision but from Grace. On this account he concluded his exhoration with a prayer, reminding them of grace and the Spirit, and at the same time addressing them as brethren, and supplicating God that they might continue to enjoy these blessings, thus providing for them a twofold security. For both prayer and teaching, tended to the same thing and together became to them as a double wall. For teaching, reminding them of what benefits they enjoyed, the rather kept them in the doctrine of the Church; and prayer, invoking grace, and exhorting to an enduring constancy, permitted not the Spirit to depart from them. And He abiding in them, all the error of such doctrines as they held was shaken off like dust.


This leads me to think that if Chrysostom was correct, the church at Galatia did indeed respond positively to Paul's message, and that they adhered to the truth of the Gospel for many years after that.

Theo

Theo #16883 Tue Aug 10, 2004 7:06 AM
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Thanks! That is a wonderful quote; I especially love the part about teaching and prayer being "the double wall" being a security, because that is a true characterization of Paul's ministry--he taught and he prayed. O, the comfort there is in the knowledge that the Spirit indwells and abides in us, "shaking off the error of such doctrines like dust", perservering in us to bring us to glory.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
Theo #16884 Tue Aug 10, 2004 5:40 PM
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Where ever Christianity flourished for a period of time, it did not last. The remnant either moved on or were persecuted.


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
John_C #16885 Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:59 PM
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John,

As far as I know, there were bishops sent to the Council of Constantinople in 381 from that region in Asia Minor. Christianity may have endured in Galatia until the 11th century, when that region was conquered by the Turks--if so, it lasted longer there than in North Africa, for example. I must admit I wonder if Christianity in the West will last that long, but we do know that in the end, the Church will triumph.

Theo


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