The belief system of the ancient Hebrews was rigorously monotheistic, “mono” expressing “one” and “theistic” from the Greek word for “God,” meaning that there is only one true God. This position is unwavering all through the Old Testament.
There is but one God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and not many gods as the nations and tribes around the Hebrews believed. In this sense, the religion of the Bible was unique.
How does God speak about Himself in Exodus 3:13–15? How do [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: Deut. 6:4; Phil. 2:6; Matt. 28:19; Gen. 1:26, 27; John 14–16.
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 20, 21, NKJV).
Key Thought: Scripture contains references and hints to the deity and unity of the divine Godhead.
Though the word Trinity itself doesn’t appear in the Bible, the teaching definitely does. The doctrine of [...]
“The cross of Calvary challenges, and will finally vanquish every earthly and hellish power. In the cross all influence centers, and from it all influence goes forth. It is the great center of attraction; for on it Christ gave up His life for the human race. This sacrifice was offered for the purpose of restoring man to his original perfection. Yea, more, it was offered to give him an entire transformation of character, making him more than a conqueror.
“Those who [...]
A friend of mine tells the story of the time when he was on a train filled with other academy students, returning home for a term break. It was one of those trains where the carriages comprised individual compartments, called “dog boxes” in Australian parlance. Students, being students, were making the most of these dog boxes after a term of enforced “do not touch!”
For some reason my friend found himself alone, and the guard, feeling a bit sorry for him, [...]
“Look,” I told my three teenagers, “we need to be united in our faith. We go to one church, and your new mom goes to another. But since you don’t like either church, then find a faith we all can follow.” It was a challenge, and I didn’t really expect them to meet it. But God had other plans.
I’m from a tribal area of southern Philippines, and my wife is from an island. We belonged to different Christian churches, [...]
Stan: Can you believe it? We have fourteen Sabbaths this quarter!1
Pam: And one of the shortest books in the Bible.
Stan: You’re right. I think that’s made a big difference in our study this quarter, don’t you?
Pam: Sure. I think most of us have been blessed by studying the book of Galatians so intensely.
Stan: Then why don’t we do that for the whole Bible?
Pam: There’s too much in the Bible for us to cover. Maybe in heaven we’ll have time.
Key Thought: Paul closes his letter to the Galatians with a strong appeal, clinging only to the cross as his reason for life.
[Teaching plan for "Boasting in the Cross" December 28, 2011]
1. Have a volunteer read Galatians 6:11-13.
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Why does Paul say some wanted the new Christians to be circumcised?
C. Personal Application: Are there any “rules” that your church has that [...]
Paul bestows his blessing on those who, he says, “follow this rule” (Gal. 6:16, NIV, NRSV). Given the context, what “rule” do you think Paul is talking about? 1
The word translated “rule” literally refers to a straight rod or bar used by masons or carpenters for measuring. The word eventually took on a figurative meaning referring to the rules or standards by which a person evaluates something. For example, when people talk about the New Testament canon, they are referring to the twenty-seven books [...]
Having emphasized the centrality of the Cross of Christ to the Christian life, Paul now emphasizes the second fundamental tenet of his gospel message: justification by faith.1
As we have seen all quarter, Paul has basically pitted circumcision against the gospel. Yet, he’s not against the practice itself. Paul has made several strong statements against circumcision (see Gal. 5:2–4), but he does not want the Galatians to conclude that being uncircumcised is more pleasing to God than being circumcised. That is not his point, [...]
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world”(Gal. 6:14).1
Having exposed the motives that prompted some to insist on circumcision, Paul presents his gospel message to the Galatians one final time, though only in summary form. For Paul, the gospel is based on two fundamental tenets: (1) the centrality of the Cross (vs. 14) and (2) the doctrine of justification (vs. 15). In today’s [...]
Read Galatians 6:12, 13. What is Paul saying in these verses? 1
Although Paul has hinted previously about the agenda and motivation of his opponents (see Gal. 1:7, 4:17), his remarks in Galatians 6:12, 13 are the first explicit comments he makes about his opponents. He describes them as wanting “to make a good showing in the flesh” (ESV). The phrase “a good showing” in Greek literally means to put on “a good face.” In fact, the word for “face” is the same in Greek as the word for an actor’s [...]
Compare Paul’s closing remarks in Galatians 6:11–18 to the final remarks he makes in his other letters. In what way is the ending of Galatians similar to and different from them? (See the final remarks in Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and 1 and 2 Thessalonians.) 1
Paul’s closing remarks are not always uniform, but a number of common elements appear in them: (1) greetings to specific individuals, (2) a final exhortation, (3) a personal signature, and (4) a closing benediction. When these typical features are compared to Paul’s final remarks in Galatians, two [...]