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Liberated from Legalism - pt 6 [5-30-21]

Let's start out with two points of clarity.

First, while sarcasm can be a valuable rhetorical device, and I appreciate well-placed sarcasm, and Paul, at times, employed sarcasm, there are two things to remember here with Galatians 2. Sarcasm is not a spiritual gift, and Paul does not use it in chapter 2. It just vaguely sounds like he does.

Here's what I mean. In Galatians 2:6 Paul writes:

And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.

Sounds like sarcasm, right? While Paul can be sarcastic, this isn't one of those times. Paul isn't downplaying the apostles' leadership and importance here. Paul is simply saying that God's grace levels the playing field. Remember how Paul also spoke about himself. He has already said that what looks like his personal achievement and accomplishment is

garbage compared to the grace and mercy of God. It doesn't matter who anybody was before Christ. All that matters to Paul is the gospel they proclaim. No one ought to be intimidated by anyone's status. As I shared last month, a young pastor wrote something I would have loved to have articulated when I was his age - "Ministry Goals: Preach the Gospel; Give Glory to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Die; Be Forgotten." We all stand together preaching the one true gospel that saves sinners.

The second point i