1:3Grace to you and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, 1:4who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil world, according to the will of our God and Father: 1:5to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
There Is No Other Gospel
1:6I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; 1:7which is not another gospel only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 1:8But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. 1:9As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema.
Paul's Vindication of His Apostleship
1:11For I make known to you, brethren, as touching the gospel which was preached by me, that it is not after man. 1:12For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ.
1:13For ye have heard of my manner of life in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and made havoc of it: 1:14and I advanced in the Jews' religion beyond many of mine own age among my countrymen, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 1:15But when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me, even from my mother's womb, and called me through his grace, 1:16to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles; straightway I conferred not with flesh and blood: 1:17neither went I up to Jerusalem to them that were apostles before me: but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned unto Damascus.
1:18Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and tarried with him fifteen days. 1:19But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. 1:20Now touching the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.1:21Then I came unto the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 1:22And I was still unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ1: 1:23but they only heard say, He that once persecuted us now preacheth the faith of which he once made havoc; 1:24and they glorified God in me.
“In Christ,” “In the Spirit.” Borg says that Paul uses the term “in Christ” 165 times in this letters and another twenty times he uses the synonymous term “in the Spirit.” These terms convey what Borg calls Paul's “vision of the Christian life.” In other words, they speak to how we should live. When Paul speaks about living “in Christ” or “in the Spirit” he is speaking about being free from sin, which means it is how we live when there is no separation from God. For the metaphysician, a life lived with no separation from God-Mind results in the flow of Divine Ideas into consciousness. I will describe that flow in a moment.
“In the Flesh,” “In Adam,” “Judgment.” In contrast to a life “in Christ,” Paul describes another way of living, separate from God and one of bondage to sin, which he refers to as life “in the flesh” or “in Adam.” Since traditional Christianity views the separation from God as being inescapable, the traditional view of bondage to sin is also inescapable, meaning that overcoming a life in the flesh is not a matter of will power. Paul writes in Romans, “I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (7:14-15).
If sin is the term that conveys separation from God, then judgment is the term that conveys living in bondage to sin. There is a difference. Sin is a state of separation. Judgment is what happens to us when we remain in that state. John has Jesus saying “anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24). We will get to passing from death to life in a moment.
Metaphysical “judgment,” the constriction of Divine Ideas. Judgment, for the metaphysician, is known as “compensation,” which is an immediate and absolute constriction or tightening of our soul, preventing the flow of Divine Ideas from God-Mind. The flow of Divine Ideas into our soul corresponds to our sense of oneness with God Mind. Emerson writes,
See how this rapid intrinsic energy worketh everywhere, righting wrongs, correcting appearance, and bringing up facts to a harmony with thoughts. Its operation in life, though slow to the senses, is at last, as sure as in the soul. By it, a man is made the the Providence to himself, dispensing good to his goodness, and evil to his sin. Character is always known.
Divine Ideas are, for the metaphysician, our source of well-being, health and prosperity. Charles Fillmore writes,
Divine ideas are man's inheritance; they are pregnant with all possibility, because ideas are the foundation and cause of all that man desires. With this understanding as a foundation, we easily perceive how "all . . . mine are thine." All the ideas contained in the one Father-Mind are at the mental command of its offspring. Get behind a thing into the mental realm where it exists as an inexhaustible idea, and you can draw upon it perpetually and never deplete the source. (Charles Fillmore Christian Healing 13)
By constricting the flow of Divine ideas into our soul, sin, the state of consciousness of being separate from God, brings on what the Paul called living “in the flesh” and the traditional Christian calls judgment.
See Divine Ideas in Paul's Writings, Bible Interpretation - Acts to Revelation.
Borg, Marcus. Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (2001). New York: Harper Collins
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