Week 42: Freedom and Victory in Christ

During the few years I lived in the East coast, there were some things I just never could understand. For instance the difference between townships and municipalities and boroughs and cities and towns…and so on. Our house where we lived was part one city while belonging to another township. And some parts of the city belonged to one school district that was part of the township and the rest belonged to other school districts in neighboring cities. I could never keep them straight when we went to the city and when we had to contact the township.

This week’s Bible journey is going to be a bit similar when it comes to understanding the geography of the audience as we look at Paul’s letters to both the Galatians and the Ephesus.

  • Galatia was a province that covered a lot of region and geography. It was not a small or a single city. And to this day Biblical scholars conjecture that Paul most likely addressed the churches in southern region of Galatia that included the cities of Antioch (near Pisidia), Iconium, Lystra and Derbe.
  • Ephesus was a big metropolitan city that used to be part of Asia Minor
  • However, today both the city of Ephesus and the ancient Roman province of Galatia are part of modern day Turkey.

You can take a look for yourselves in this map.

So keeping in mind this primary difference in the locality of the audiences that Paul is addressing in each of these books, let us look at some central themes in each of these letters.

  • Galatians:
    • Once again, Paul has to deal with the tension between the Jewish Christians and the gentile Christians. The Jews were bent on making the gentiles conform to the Jewish laws and tradition. So Paul has to work extra hard to convince them that the freedom in Christ also sets one free from the laws welcoming all to be part of the family of God without any conditions.
    • There is only one gospel in Christ and that is based on grace.
    • The laws had a purpose but now that Christ has fulfilled the law, we no longer are bound by the requirements of the law.
    • True life and freedom is experienced through the Spirit and not the works of flesh.
  • Ephesians:
    • The gospel we have in Christ is one of grace for we are saved only by grace
    • Both Jews and gentiles are reconciled in Christ
    • Unity in the body of Christ is essential for there is only One Spirit even though there are many gifts that are expressed to build up the Church.
    • Paul gives some good sound instructions for the Christian households.
    • The struggles we face are spiritual and requires the armor of God.

All in all, we see some common themes in both these books while Paul manages to keep them relevant to the respective constituency.

Weekly Summary

We are saved by grace by Christ who has set us free from the law into a new freedom and life we have in the Spirit who helps us conquer all battles.

Weekly Reading Plan

And now here is the weekly plan for you to read through this section.

screenshot 2021-10-14, 21_09_23

Don’t forget to use the template I shared previously to help you on this journey. Also, check out my resources page where I explain this template a little more.

Digging Deeper

If you want to dig deeper here are some of my suggestions:

  • Use the above schedule to read through all of the text
  • Search up the bible passages where the different cities mentioned appear and re-read Paul’s interactions with  the believers in each of those places.
  • Explore further the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and/or the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
  • Optional (if you want to really read through the Bible in a year): Read Psalm 120-123.

And that is it for week 42!

Happy Bible Learning!


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