The gospel: Living in the freedom of grace

What’s it all about? Paul continues his appeal to the Galatians to live in freedom from the Law’s bondage and walk in the newness of God’s grace. He urges them to become like himself and live as one who has been freed from the Law’s curse.

[12] Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. [13] You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, [14] and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. [15] What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. [16] Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? [17] They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. [18] It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, [19] my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! [20] I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you. (Galatians 4:12-20 ESV)

So what? Paul’s appeal to the Galatians was based on his own life. He had been freed from the bondage of the Law and was living in the freedom of the gospel. Paul’s concern for the Galatians provides the reader with an example of how Christians should approach those who are enslaved to false ideologies and legalistic religions.

Like Paul, we must plead with those who are still under the bondage of legalism, moralism, or false religion, and appeal to them to trust in God’s grace in Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation. 

Questions from the Text:

1. Before the arrival of false teachers, how had the Galatians initially responded to Paul’s ministry (4:12-14)?

2. What blessing had the Galatians received as a result of believing the gospel (4:15, c.f. 3:1-5)?

3. What are the primary differences between gospel preachers and false teachers (4:16-18)?

4. Why was Paul so concerned for the Galatians (4:19-20)?

the gospel_living in the freedom of graceNow what? First, we honor and support those who preach the gospel. Second, we must devout ourselves to teaching and living the gospel in our homes and communities. Third, we must be willing to sacrificially give of our time, talent, and other resources in order to make a lasting impact in our communities.

Small Group Questions – Scripture: 1 Peter 3:13-17; Jude 1-25

1. What does Jude mean by “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (v. 3)?

2. In what ways are Christians to contend for the faith?

3. What can we learn from Jude’s examples (Israelites, fallen angels, & Sodom and Gomorrah) about God’s judgment?

4. How do Cain, Balaam, and Korah represent false teachers?

5. How does Jude command Christians to respond to apostasy (vv. 20-23)?

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