“…for you welcomed the message…with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6, NIV
One of the most beautiful sights is the smile on the face of someone who has just given their heart to Jesus. Their heart is so full of joy from the experience that the light of that joy bursts forth from every seam of their being. If you have experienced that change, you know what it means to feel that way, but even if you [...]
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and [...]
“Genuine faith always works by love. When you look to Calvary it is not to quiet your soul in the nonperformance of duty, not to compose yourself to sleep, but to create faith in Jesus, faith that will work, purifying the soul from the slime of selfishness. When we lay hold of Christ by faith, our work has just begun. Every man has corrupt and sinful habits that must be overcome by vigorous warfare. Every soul is required to fight [...]
Let Freedom Ring1
The Israelites in bondage. Do you think they dreamed of freedom from slavery?
The woman from church dying of cancer. Do you think she dreams of freedom from
The family on their way home from church. Do you think they dream of freedom from each other?
The alcoholic in lockup. Do you think he dreams of freedom from the shame of
The teenager taking an exam. Do you think she dreams of freedom from the classroom?
You and I
Do you think [...]
How do you reconcile Paul’s negative comments about “do[ing] the whole law” (Gal. 5:3) with his positive statement about “fulfill[ing] all the law” (Gal. 5:14)? Compare Rom. 10:5; Gal. 3:10, 12; 5:3 with Rom. 8:4; 13:8; Gal. 5:14. 1
Many have seen the contrast between Paul’s negative comments about “doing the whole law” and his positive assertions about “fulfilling the whole law” as paradoxical. They really aren’t. The solution lies in the fact that Paul intentionally uses each phrase to [...]
Key Thought: Faith in Christ frees us from slavery to sin, death, and the devil. We are free to express our faith in loving and joyful service.
[Teaching plan for "Freedom in Christ" November 7, 2011]
1. Have a volunteer read Galatians 5:1-6.
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Why did Paul focus on circumcision as an example of being a debtor to the whole law?
C. Personal Application: [...]
Galatians 5:13 marks an important turning point in the book of Galatians. Whereas up to this point Paul has focused entirely on the theological content of his message, he now turns to the issue of Christian behavior. How should a person who is not saved by works of law live? 1
What potential misuse of freedom did Paul want to keep the Galatians from committing? Gal. 5:13.
Paul was well aware of the potential misunderstanding that accompanied his emphasis on the grace [...]
The way in which Paul introduces Galatians 5:2–12 indicates the importance of what he is about to say. “Look” (ESV), “Listen!” (NRSV), “Mark my words!” (NIV), “I, Paul, say to you” (ESV). Paul is not fooling around. By his forceful use of the word look, he not only calls for his readers’ full attention, but he even evokes his apostolic authority. He wants them to understand that if the Gentiles are going to submit to circumcision to be saved, then [...]
Paul’s command to stand firm in freedom is not made in isolation. An important statement of fact precedes it: “Christ has set us free.” Why should Christians stand firmly in their freedom? Because Christ has already set them free. In other words, our freedom is a result of what Christ has already done for us. 1
This pattern of a statement of fact followed by an exhortation is typical in Paul’s letters (1 Cor. 6:20; 10:13, 14; Col. 2:6). For example, [...]
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1).
Like the rallying command of a military leader to his wavering troops, Paul charges the Galatians not to surrender their freedom in Christ. The forcefulness and intensity of Paul’s tone cause his words nearly to leap off the page into action. In fact, this seems to be exactly what Paul intended. Although this verse is connected thematically [...]