Galatians , lesson 13

Lesson 13

Prayer:

Our Father in heaven, give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our trespass, even as we forgive those who trespassed against us, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians 5: 1-15, freedom in Christ

VV 1-3, 1 stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed, I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3, And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

Greek for stand fast is “steko”, which means persevere. Paul encouraged his audience and us to strive for the freedom of Christ and not be enslaved by the yoke of the law and work-based self-righteousness. Circumcision is of no value and will not make anyone righteous before God. Every person who underwent circumcision is obliged to keep the law which is utterly impossible, Romans 3:23.

Romans 3:23, for all, have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

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VV 4-5, 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 for we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Greek for estranged is “naqa”, which means alienated. Self-righteousness leads to alienation from Christ, falling from grace and faith to law-keeping and work-righteousness.

VV 6-8, 6 For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything but faith working through love. 7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.

Circumcision and Jewish rituals are of no value in Christian spirituality. What count is faith in Christ alone, working through love for God and love for others. Greek for hindered is “egkopto”, which means cutting into someone’s way in a race. Paul continued his rhetorical question. Who cuts into your way and prevented you from knowing the truth?

VV 9-12, 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. 11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!

Leaven is symbolic of sin. A little sin somewhere will soon spread everywhere. Paul was confident the Galatians Christians would be able to break free from the false teachings and deceptions of the Judaizers. If Paul still preached on circumcision, why did he still suffer persecutions? The Jews persecuted Paul because he opposed circumcision and Jewish rituals.

VV 13-15, 13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

Grace is not a license to sin but freedom to serve Christ from gratitude for God and love for people. The ten commandments can be summarised into one, love God and love others. Christ’s new commandment is to love one another just as He had loved us.

Romans 6:1, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?”

Matthew 22: 36-39, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ “.

John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another”.

Application:

Grace free you from legalism and work-righteousness. Grace enabled you to love God and others. You are saved by grace through faith in Christ and not by work.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, help us to love You and to love others so that everyone will know that we are Your disciples. Thank You for Your grace, mercy, compassion, and faithfulness, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians, Lesson 12

Lesson 12

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we acknowledge that You are the Bread of Life, Living bread, Living manna, Living water, and water of Life. We pray for the filling and divine help of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians 4: 21-31, Law and grace, flesh and Spirit.

V 21, Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?

Paul asked rhetorical questions. You, who wanted to be under the law, do you know what is in the law? The Jewish Rabbi had added so many oral traditions to the written Mosaic law until it was ridiculous and absurd. By the time of Jesus, there were 613 laws.

VV 22-23, 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,

Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael was Hagar’s son, and Isaac was Sarah’s son. Ishmael was the son of a slave woman born according to the flesh. Isaac was the son of a free woman born according to the promise of the Abrahamic covenant.

VV 24-26, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children 26, but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Greek for symbolic is “allegoroumena”, which means allegorically. Symbolically, Hagar represents Mount Sinai, Mosaic law, and earthly Jerusalem. Sarah represents grace and heavenly Jerusalem.

V 27, For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren, You who do not bear! Break forth and shout, You who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.”

Paul quoted Isaiah 54:1, “Sing, O barren, You who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, You who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate”.

VV 28-29, 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh, persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so, it is now.

The Galatians Christians and we are children of promise. We are born again by the Holy Spirit and adopted into God’s family as God’s children. Ishmael, who was born according to the flesh, persecuted Isaac, who was born according to the Spirit. Ishmael, the flesh, waged war against Isaac, the Spirit, Galatians 5:17.

Galatians 5;17, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish”.

V 30-31, 30 Nevertheless, what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

Paul quoted Genesis 21. God rejected Hagar and Ishmael but accepted Sarah and Isaac. We are born according to promise, saved by grace and faith in Christ.

Genesis 21:9-10, “But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”

Genesis 21:14, “Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba”.

Application:

There is two nature in every Christian. The flesh and the Spirit. The flesh wars against the Spirit. The works of the flesh are sinful and immoral. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We are to cast out the flesh and walk in the Spirit.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray for victory over the flesh through Christ, by walking in the Spirit and by surrendering our lives to You. Empower us by the resurrection power of Christ to walk in the Spirit, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians, Lesson 11

Lesson 11

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, Your word is a lamp to our paths and a light to our way. Illuminate us with the true light of Your word, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians 4: 1-20, the law, Part 2

VV 1-2, 1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.

Even though a son is an heir of his father’s inheritance, he has no access to it as long as he remained a child. He had to be under the care of trustee, guardians, and stewards until he reached adulthood. A child is no different from a slave. To be under the law is to be immature. Once we are matured in the faith, we are no longer under the law. For the Galatians Christians to go back to the law means that they were regressing to immaturity.

VV 3-4, 3, Even so, we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Before the coming of Christ, we were slaves to the law under the world’s system. God sent Jesus, born by a woman, under the law, to redeem us from the law and adopt us as sons.

6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

When we are born again, God sent the Holy Spirit into our hearts so that we can call Him ABBA Father, and we become sons of God, heirs, and joint-heirs with Christ in the kingdom of God.

VV 8-11, 8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.

Before we became Christians, we worship idols. After we became Christians, we worship God. Paul asked rhetorical questions again. Now that you have become Christians, why are you going back to laws, rituals, and legalism? Paul was afraid that his teachings to them were fruitless.

VV 12-14, 12 Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all. 13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. 14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

Paul encourages his audience and us to imitate him. Even though Paul was very ill when he preached the gospel to the Galatians, they accepted him warmly as an angel of God.

VV 15-16, 15 What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I, therefore, become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

What blessing did you receive from me? Paul had blessed the Galatians with the gospel, and they had supported him. Have I become your enemy? Paul was disappointed by their change of attitude toward him.

VV 17-20, 17 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. 18 But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 20 I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you.

The Judaizers were friendly to them out of impure motives. The Judaizers wanted to enslave them with circumcision, law, rituals, and legalism. It is good to be zealous for the right reasons, but not for the wrong reasons. Paul had a burden for them. He had laboured hard to bring them to Christ. He wanted to visit them personally to correct their mistakes.

Application:

The law is a tutor. Immature people need a tutor. Although a spiritually immature Christian is a son of God, he is no different from a slave. On the other hand, a spiritually mature Christian is a son of God who is no longer under the law. To go back to the law is to regress in spiritual maturity. Do not go back to legalism. Christ has set us free from the law. You are to be free from the law and become a slave to Christ, our new master.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, help us mature in the faith, turn away from legalism, and turn to You. Thank You for freeing us from legalism to serve You in the kingdom, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians, Lesson 10

Lesson 10

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we lay down at Your feet to listen to Your word of instruction. Help us to listen, hear, feel, touch, apply, and obey Your instructions, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians 3:19- 22, the law, part 1.

VV 19-20, 19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.

Paul asked rhetorical questions. What is the purpose of the law? Paul explained that the purpose of the law is to be a mirror to show that everyone all had sinned until Christ, the Seed comes. Greek for transgression is “parabasis”, which means intentional violation of the Mosaic law. The law revealed our sinful nature, Romans 7:7. Only Christ had obeyed the law perfectly, Matthew 5:17-18.

Romans 7:7, What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet”

Matthew 5:17-18, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the law until everything is accomplished”.

VV 21-22, 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Is the law contrary to God’s promises? Certainly not! The law cannot save or justify sinners. The law proved that everyone is a sinner and needs a Saviour, Romans 3:23. God’s promise of the Saviour was fulfilled in Christ to those who believe, Romans 6:23.

Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

VV 23-25, 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterwards be revealed. 24 Therefore, the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

The law revealed God’s perfect standards to show people’s poor record. The law is a tutor to point us to Christ. Once we know Christ, we are under grace and not law. We are slaves to Christ, our new master, who operates by grace. Grace is not a license to sin but freedom to serve Christ out of gratitude of love.

VV 26-29, 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.

Since Christians are sons of God, baptized into Christ, there is no discrimination between Jews and Gentiles, slaves and freedmen, and males and females. Christians are Abraham’s spiritual descendants and heirs of the kingdom.

John 1:12-13, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”.

Ephesians 2:14-15, “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace”.

Romans 8:16-17, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him,that we may also be glorified together”.

Application:

The law is a mirror to convict you of sins. The law is a tutor to bring you to Christ. If you confess your sins to Christ and believe that He died for your sins, you will be saved. If you want to receive salvation and forgiveness of sin, say this prayer with me:

“Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe that You died on the cross to pay the punishment of my sins for me. I surrender my life to You, in Jesus’ name, Amen”.

If you have prayed the above prayer, you are born again as a Christian. Please find a Christian church where you lived and let the church pastor know about your decision.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for all that You have done for us in our life. We pray for those who do not know You as Lord and Saviour to come in You by faith, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians, Lesson 10

Lesson 10

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we lay down at Your feet to listen to Your word of instruction. Help us to listen, hear, feel, touch, apply, and obey Your instructions, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians 3:19- 22, the law, part 1.

VV 19-20, 19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.

Paul asked rhetorical questions. What is the purpose of the law? Paul explained that the purpose of the law is to be a mirror to show that everyone all had sinned until Christ, the Seed comes. Greek for transgression is “parabasis”, which means intentional violation of the Mosaic law. The law revealed our sinful nature, Romans 7:7. Only Christ had obeyed the law perfectly, Matthew 5:17-18.

Romans 7:7, What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet”

Matthew 5:17-18, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the law until everything is accomplished”.

VV 21-22, 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Is the law contrary to God’s promises? Certainly not! The law cannot save or justify sinners. The law proved that everyone is a sinner and needs a Saviour, Romans 3:23. God’s promise of the Saviour was fulfilled in Christ to those who believe, Romans 6:23.

Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

VV 23-25, 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterwards be revealed. 24 Therefore, the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

The law revealed God’s perfect standards to show people’s poor record. The law is a tutor to point us to Christ. Once we know Christ, we are under grace and not law. We are slaves to Christ, our new master, who operates by grace. Grace is not a license to sin but freedom to serve Christ out of gratitude of love.

VV 26-29, 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.

Since Christians are sons of God, baptized into Christ, there is no discrimination between Jews and Gentiles, slaves and freedmen, and males and females. Christians are Abraham’s spiritual descendants and heirs of the kingdom.

John 1:12-13, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”.

Ephesians 2:14-15, “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace”.

Romans 8:16-17, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him,that we may also be glorified together”.

Application:

The law is a mirror to convict you of sins. The law is a tutor to bring you to Christ. If you confess your sins to Christ and believe that He died for your sins, you will be saved. If you want to receive salvation and forgiveness of sin, say this prayer with me:

“Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe that You died on the cross to pay the punishment of my sins for me. I surrender my life to You, in Jesus’ name, Amen”.

If you have prayed the above prayer, you are born again as a Christian. Please find a Christian church where you lived and let the church pastor know about your decision.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for all that You have done for us in our life. We pray for those who do not know You as Lord and Saviour to come in You by faith, in Jesus’ name, Amen.