Paul’s Footsteps #74

Footsteps #74.

I teach my year 8 English students about the power of metaphors and similes in written and spoken English. Paul used over 40 metaphors (some multiple times) in his 2500-word letter to the church in Galatia. As I reflect back on our walk with Paul through his letter to the Galatians, I sat down and made a note of all the metaphors Paul uses to enrich his theology. I list them here for your edification: 

Deserting(1:6), Running (2:2,5:7) Slipping (2:4), Freedom, Bondage, (2:4, 4:8, 5:1, 5:13, Pillars (2:9) Justified-legal (2:16,21, 3:11), Building/tearing down (2:18), bewitching (3:1), accounted/reckoned (3:6), to buy back/redeem (3:13, 4:15), man’s will (3:15), offspring (3:16), inheritance (3:18), Schoolmaster (3:23), custodian (3:24), Sons of God )3:26, 4:7, Baptism (3:27), heirs (3:29, 4:7&11, guardian or trustee (4:2), slaves (4:3, 4:9 & 25), adoption 4:5, plucking out eyes (4:15), enemy (4:16), childbirth (4:19,27) 2 sons the slave and the free (allegory) (4:22-27), flesh (4:23,29 5:17) yoke of slavery (5:1) Freedom (1:3,4, 2:16, 3:13), Leaven (5:9), Castration (5:12) biting and devouring (5:15), led/walk by the Spirit (5:16,19,25), war (5:17), Fruit 5:22, overtaken (6:1), bearing burdens (6:2), sowing and reaping (6:7-9), growing weary (6:9), crucified (6:14), new creation (6:15). The Israel of God (6:16) 

Paul was the ultimate insider, possessing the most impressive religious, educational and social credentials available. Nevertheless, Paul’s boast became nothing other than Christ Himself. Paul, a writer of more than a dozen NT letters, the most celebrated first-century Christian missionary, the framer of NT theology, counted all his accomplishments but rubbish, seeking no praise for himself but everything for Jesus, ‘As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.” 6:14.NLT I am reminded as we leave Galatians behind us, that this letter was the first NT Document written. How significate that it is a powerful Gospel presentation, introducing us to the doctrine of Justification by faith alone. This mighty doctrine is one of the grand pillars in the NT cathedral.

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