Tuesday: Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar
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Why does Paul have such a disparaging view of the incident with Hagar? Gal. 4:21–31, Genesis 16. What crucial point about salvation is Paul making through his use of this Old Testament story?  1 Hagar’s place in the Genesis story is directly related to Abram’s failure to believe God’s promise. As an Egyptian slave in Abram’s household, Hagar likely … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: Covenant Basics
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Covenant of the Rainbow

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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Read for This Week’s Study: Gal. 4:21–31; Gen. 1:28; 2:2, 3; 3:15; 15:1–6; Exod. 6:2–8; 19:3–6. Memory Text: “But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother” (Galatians 4:26) 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 covenant given … [Click to read more …]

Further Study: Paul’s Pastoral Appeal
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“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 saved from the dangerous influences which threatened them, the most decisive measures must be taken, the sharpest … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: Speaking the Truth
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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 … [Click to read more …]