Sunday: Covenant Basics
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Joshua Renews the Covenant

Many regard Paul’s interpretation of the history of Israel in Galatians 4:21-31 as the most difficult passage in his letter. That’s because it is a highly complex argument that requires a broad knowledge of Old Testament persons and events. The first step in making sense of this passage is to have a basic understanding of an Old … [Click to read more …]

Sabbath: The Two Covenants
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Read for This Week’s Study: Gal. 4:21-31; Gen. 1:28; Gen. 2:2-3; Gen. 3:15; Gen. 15:1-6; Exod. 6:2-8; Exod. 19:3-6. Memory Text: “But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother” (Galatians 4:26, NIV). Christians who reject the authority of the Old Testament often see the giving of the law on Sinai as inconsistent with the gospel. They conclude that the … [Click to read more …]

Friday: Further Thought – Paul’s Pastoral Appeal
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Spectacles on Bible

Further Thought: “In the Galatian churches, open, unmasked error was supplanting the gospel message. Christ, the true foundation of the faith, was virtually renounced for the obsolete ceremonies of Judaism. The apostle saw that if the believers in Galatia were to be saved from the dangerous influences which threatened them, the most decisive measures must … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: Speaking the Truth
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Speaking the Truth

Read Galatians 4:16. What powerful point is Paul making there? In what ways might you yourself have experienced something similar? (See also John 3:19; Matt. 26:64-65; Jer. 36:17-23.) The expression “speaking the truth” often has negative connotations, especially in our day and age, when it can be viewed as a hard-hitting, no-holds-barred, spare-no-enemies tactic of telling someone the facts, no … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: Then and Now
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Hospital Visitation

Paul’s relationship with the Galatian believers was not always as difficult and frigid as it has now become. In fact, as Paul reflects on the time when he first preached the gospel in Galatia, he speaks in glowing terms of how well they treated him. What happened? What event seems to have led to Paul’s … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: I Have Become as You Are
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I am One with You

Read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. What does Paul say in these verses that can help us understand better his point in the latter part of Galatians 4:12? (See also Acts 17:16-34, 1 Cor. 8:8-13, Gal. 2:11-14.) Galatians 4:12 can seem a little confusing. Why should the Galatians become like Paul, if he had already become like them? As we saw in yesterday’s study, … [Click to read more …]

Monday: The Challenge to Become
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The Challenge to Become

Read 1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-9; and Acts 26:28-29. What is Paul saying there that is reflected in Galatians 4:12? How are we to understand his point? Several times throughout Paul’s letters, he encourages Christians to imitate his behavior. In each situation, Paul presents himself as an authoritative example that believers should follow. In 2 Thessalonians 3:7-9, Paul … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: The Heart of Paul
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The Heart of Paul

Read Galatians 4:12-20. What is the thrust of Paul’s message in these verses? The initial indication of the concern that weighs heavily on Paul’s heart is his personal appeal in verse 12. The appeal follows immediately after Paul’s insistence that the Galatians “become as I am.” The significance of the word entreat or beseech is, unfortunately, not fully conveyed in … [Click to read more …]

Sabbath: Paul’s Pastoral Appeal
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Read for This Week’s Study: Gal. 4:12-20, 1 Cor. 11:1, Phil. 3:17, 1 Cor. 9:19-23, 2 Cor. 4:7-12. Memory Text: “ Friends, I beg you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are” (Galatians 4:12, NRSV). As we’ve seen so far, Paul did not mince words with the Galatians. His strong language, however, simply reflected the inspired passion … [Click to read more …]

Friday: Further Thought – From Slaves to Heirs
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Spectacles on Bible

Further Thought: “In the council of heaven, provision was made that men, though transgressors, should not perish in their disobedience, but, through faith in Christ as their substitute and surety, might become the elect of God predestinated unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to [H]imself according to the good pleasure of [H]is will. … [Click to read more …]