Tuesday: Abraham, Sarah and Hagar
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Hagar

Why does Paul have such a disparaging view of the incident with Hagar? Gal. 4:21-31, Gen. 16. What crucial point about salvation is Paul making through his use of this Old Testament story? Hagar was an Egyptian slave in Abram’s household. Hagar’s place in the Genesis story is directly related to Abram’s failure to believe God’s promise. … [Click to read more …]

Monday: The Abrahamic Covenant
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The Abrahamic Covenant

What covenant promises did God make to Abram in Genesis 12:1-5? What was Abram’s response? God’s initial promises to Abram make up one of the more powerful passages in the Old Testament. These verses all are about God’s grace. It is God, not Abram, who makes the promises. Abram had done nothing to earn or merit … [Click to read more …]

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 …]

Singing with Inspiration – 9: Paul’s Pastoral Appeal
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The introduction to our lesson study for this week shows that Paul appeals to the Galatians in a broad sense which “shows just how important correct doctrine is.” There are two hymns that come to mind with this theme: Hymn 203, “This is the Three-Fold Truth” and Hymn 612 “Onward, Christian Soldiers” and we could … [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 …]

9: Paul’s Pastoral Appeal – Discussion Starters
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The heart of Paul. In the nine verses starting with Galatians 4:12, why does Paul say at the end of his discourse, “I have doubts about you”? How could it be that the members of the early Christian church in Galatia have already lost their first love? Does the church you attend show the character … [Click to read more …]