Abstract

This article demonstrates, primarily through a reading of key moments in Paul’s pastoral intervention in the life of his congregations in Galatia, three theses. First, Paul believes that our living justly before God—our embodying righteousness and holiness ever more fully in our dispositions and practices in the hope that we will indeed stand blameless before God—is God’s good purpose for us in Christ, who freed us from the penalty of sin, through the Spirit, who frees us from the power of sin. Second, Paul believes the Holy Spirit to play a significant role in God’s drama of setting things right with us, in us, and among us. Indeed, the Spirit merits equal billing with the Son in this drama, rather than being relegated to a merely supporting role. Third, Paul believes that experiencing the Holy Spirit’s work of what Protestant theologians typically call “sanctification”—this deliverance not only from sin’s penalty but also from sin’s power—is integral to experiencing the full salvation that is God’s purpose for us in Christ.

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