Wednesday: Then and Now
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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? 1

What event seems to have led to Paul’s decision to preach the gospel in Galatia? Gal. 4:13.

Apparently it had not been Paul’s original intention to preach the gospel in Galatia. Some sort […]

Tuesday: I Have Become as You Are
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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? 1

As we saw in yesterday’s lesson, Paul wanted them to become like him in his complete faith and confidence in the all-sufficiency of Christ […]

Monday: The Challenge to Become
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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?1

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 offers himself as an example of how the believers in Thessalonica should work to earn their own living and […]

Sunday: The Heart of Paul
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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 some translations. The word in Greek is deomai. Although it can be translated “to urge” (NKJV) or “to entreat” (ESV), […]

Sabbath: Paul’s Pastoral Appeal
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gless09

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 4:12-20)

As we’ve seen so far, Paul did not mince words with the Galatians. His strong language, however, simply reflected the inspired passion he felt concerning the spiritual welfare of the church that he had founded. Besides the crucial theological issue Paul was dealing with, the […]

Inside Story: Someone Is Watching
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David Zhang

I grew up in China, where religion wasn’t a part of our lives except that we honored our ancestors during special times of the year. I moved to New Zealand when I was 12 years old and had to learn English. I also began learning a bit about God in the weekly Bible classes offered in New Zealand’s schools.

I enjoyed hearing Bible stories and liked to draw pictures of Bible characters. The teachers didn’t tell us we had to […]

Friday: Further Study – From Slaves to Heirs
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“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 himself according to the good pleasure of his will. God wills that all men should be saved; for ample provision has been made, in giving his only-begotten Son to pay man’s ransom. Those who perish will […]

08: Be an Heir Rather Than a Servant – Thought Starters
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“I wish we would win the lottery,” Marcia announced at the dinner table.

“That’s impossible,” her father said. “We don’t play the lottery.” 1

“Why not?”

“Because it’s a foolish gamble. You have one in eighteen million chances of winning. And that’s in a lottery for a single state. Some lotteries are for several states, and your odds could be as low one in one hundred and twenty million.”

“It’s still one chance.”

Thursday: Why Turn Back to Slavery?
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GoodSalt.com-lwjas0165

Read Galatians 4:8–20. Summarize on the lines below what Paul is saying there. How seriously does he take the false teachings among Galatians?

Paul does not describe the exact nature of the Galatians’ religious practices, but he clearly has in mind a false system of worship that resulted in spiritual slavery. Indeed, he deemed it so dangerous and destructive that he would write such an impassioned letter, warning the Galatians that what they were doing was akin to turning away […]

08: From Slaves to Heirs – Teaching Plan
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11-12

Key Thought: As we accept Jesus Christ into our lives, we are called children of God, not because of our merits, but because of His gifts to His children.

[Teaching Plan for From Slaves to Heirs November 16, 2011]

1. Have a volunteer read Galatians 3:27-29.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. What does it mean to “put on Christ”? How do we wear Christ?
C. Personal Application: How difficult […]

Wednesday: The Privileges of Adoption
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In Galatians 4:5–7, Paul expands on his theme, stressing that Christ has now “redeemed those who were under the law” (vss. 4, 5, ESV). The word to redeem means “to buy back.” It referred to the price paid to buy the freedom of either a hostage or a slave. As this context indicates, redemption implies a negative background: a person is in need of being liberated. 1

From what, though, do we need to be freed? The New Testament presents four […]

Tuesday: “God Sent Forth His Son”
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Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law”(Gal. 4:4, ESV).

Paul’s choice of the word fullness indicates God’s active role in working out His purpose in human history. Jesus did not come at just any time; He came at the precise time God had prepared. From a historical perspective, that time is known as the Pax Romana (the Roman Peace), a two-hundred-year period of relative stability and peace across […]