Why Should Rockland Care about Galatians?
The Apostle Paul wasn't writing to us. Or was he?
When Paul was writing one of his letters (in this case, Galatians) who did he have in mind? Was he only thinking of the immediate receivers of the letter? Was he thinking about the entire early church? Was he thinking about us here in Rockland in 2017? Did he know that his letter would last this long?
As recently as a few years ago, I would have said:
"He was writing to Christians in a certain church, in a certain point in history, in a certain context. Namely, those Christians in churches in the region of Galatia. Period."
That answer, though, can open the door for someone to dismiss what the Bible says by saying it was for another church, other people, in other times, and now times have changed. But it shouldn't. We have to remember that there are two authors of Scripture: the human author(s) and the divine One.
The Bible has its origins in the mind of God (i.e., 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21), and that fact changes everything.
This is the Biblical, Christian concept of the 'dual authorship' of the Bible. It was inspired by God and written by humans. (How else would God have gotten His Word to us?) Was Paul thinking of Rockland when he wrote? Did he know that his work(s) would be collected, affirmed by church fathers over centuries and preserved for eternity? (Isaiah 40:8) Nope. But God did. And since the Spirit of God guided Paul in his writing, we can say that Paul didn't know about Rockland, the English language, America, or this modern concept of how churches operate. But God did.
So, was the Apostle Paul writing to us? In a sense, yes.
He just didn't know it at the time.
See you Sunday as we continue to look at Paul's letter to 'us'.