Too Much Commentary
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commentaries-c

I know a woman who is a fabulously good cook. Not only is the food delightful to taste – it is seriously good for you. The problem is that all her food comes with commentary.

Did you know that this food has Vitamin K?
And you get 85.6% of your selenium requirements from this kind of parsnip!
There are 28 trace elements required by the human body and this meal today is providing 14 of them!

To the extent that sometimes I feel so [...]

Further Study: Freedom in Christ
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future_study

“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 [...]

Inside Story: For God Alone
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gis117

Jordy is 12 years old and lives in Ecuador. Although his family has suffered much, he feels that he is blessed, for his parents have shown him how to live for God alone.

His mother has a painful disease that has left her unable to walk. In spite of her pain, her love for Jesus shines through everything she does. And last year his father lost his job, so the family had no income. But they don’t blame God for their [...]

11: Freedom in Jesus – Thought Starters
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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
pain?

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
alcohol?

The teenager taking an exam. Do you think she dreams of freedom from the classroom?

You and I

Do you think [...]

Thursday: Fulfilling the Whole Law
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GoodSalt.com-lwjas0100 (1)

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 [...]

11: Freedom in Christ – Teaching Plan
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gless11

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: [...]

Wednesday: Liberty Not Licentiousness
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GoodSalt.com-lwjas0213 (1)

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 [...]

Tuesday: The Dangerous Consequences of Legalism
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GoodSalt.com-stdas0746

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 [...]

Monday: The Nature of Christian Freedom
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Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

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, [...]

Sunday: Christ Has Set Us Free
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GoodSalt.com-kibas0390

“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 [...]

Sabbath: Freedom in Christ
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gless11

Read for This Week’s Study:

Gal. 5:1–15; 1 Cor. 6:20; Rom. 8:1; Heb. 2:14, 15; Rom. 8:4; 13:8.

Memory Text:

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13)

In Galatians 2:4, Paul briefly referred to the importance of protecting the “freedom” that we have in Christ Jesus. But what does Paul mean when he speaks about “freedom,” which he does so often? What does this freedom include? How far does this freedom [...]

Further Study: The Two Covenants
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future_study

Read Ellen G. White, “The Law and the Covenants,” pp. 363–373, in Patriarchs and Prophets.

“But if the Abrahamic covenant contained the promise of redemption, why was another covenant formed at Sinai? In their bondage the people had to a great extent lost the knowledge of God and of the principles of the Abrahamic covenant. . . .

“God brought them to Sinai; He manifested His glory; He gave them His law, with the promise of great blessings on condition of obedience: ‘If ye [...]