Free in Christ: Study on Galatians
(True Freedom) It all begins with God
September 30, 2018
God has wired every person to have a great desire to be free. Often, we look for the things of this world to set us free. Yet, we soon realize these things bring much pain and hurt to our souls. Timothy Keller shares, “the book of Galatians is dynamite. It is an explosion of joy and freedom which leaves us enjoying a deep significance, security, and satisfaction- the life of blessing God calls His people into.” It’s our prayer that God will use this study to help us better walk in Christ’s freedom. Pastor John
Passage: Galatians 1:1-10
Memory Verse: Galatians 1:4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.
Big Idea: True freedom begins, endures and ends with God.
Background to Galatians: Who: Paul, Galatians, Why: False teachers distorting the gospel, adding the fulfilling of the law to it. When: 48-50 AD. Where: South Galatia- Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, Pisidia Antioch (Acts 13-14) What: Galatians is an explosion of joy and freedom in Christ. It’s an explanation and arsenal of the true gospel to guard the church for generations.
I. Jesus Christ rescues us from ____________ freedoms.
Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead
Apostle- One commissioned and sent
Not from men nor through man- (See Acts 13:3, 9:4 & 9:15)
Galatians 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Grace is fundamental, peace is its result. Grace is undeserved favor by which sinners are received and cleansed from sin and guilt.” R.C.H. Lenski
Galatians 1:4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
To deliver us- to pluck out, to rescue. The gospel is a rescue an emancipation from a state of bondage.
“All that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitute a most real and effective power, being the moral or immoral atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale.” Trench
Evil (poneros)- not content unless it is corrupting others as well, pernicious.
According to the will of our God and Father
Galatians 1:5 All glory to God forever and ever! Amen. (Paul’s motive)
Only Jesus can break the hold of this present evil age.
II. Beware of false freedom whose source is ________ not God.
Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
Deserting-changing from one religious conviction to another. Present tense
Different- heteros- not only a difference in kind but also speaks of the fact that the character of the thing is evil or bad.
“Every system of religion except the Bible bases salvation on the good works of the worshipper.” Kenneth Wuest (See Question 8) Titus 3:5
Luke 22:31“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-14
These direct claims reveal that Paul writes Galatians to combat people who are pressuring the Galatians to undergo circumcision and submit to the law of Moses as a means of completing their Christian experience. Doug Moo
Galatians 3:1a O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?
Two lies: True Gospel is false. False Gospel is true.
The error of Cain is that he substituted his own way instead of embracing God’s sacrifice. (See Genesis 4)
Galatians 5:4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.
Human doing is always inadequate. Works always fall short.
III. Accept no substitutes except the __________________ substitution.
Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
“Jesus did all we needed to do, but cannot do. The moment you revise the gospel you reverse it.” Tim Keller
Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. (Galatians 6:14-15, Titus 3:5, Hebrews 10:12)
Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
True freedom comes when I realize I am accepted not because of what I have done or do, but solely on what Jesus did for me. True Freedom begins and ends with God!
Growth Group Questions for September 30, 2018
Opener: Have you ever been led astray? Have you ever been convinced by a dynamic speaker or persuasive book only to later find out that it was wrong? Please describe. How should we test truths?
1. Read Galatians 1:1-10. Describe in your own words what is happening here. Why is this important?
2. Read Galatians 1:1-5. What key themes emerge in verses 1-5 in response to the controversy with the false teachers? Discuss: “You are in such a hopeless position that you need a rescue that has nothing to do with you at all. And then it says: God in Jesus provides a rescue which gives you far more than any false salvation your heart may love to chase.” (Keller: Galatians for You page 17)
3. Read Galatians 1:6-10. Paul’s tone reminds us that Christian faith is a matter of heart, as well as head—feelings, as well as intellect. How does this encourage you? How does it challenge you? Why are his words so strong against these teachers? When do you find it hardest to accept the authority of apostolic N.T. teaching? Why?
4. Read Galatians 1:3-5. How would you explain the gospel to someone who asked you today what you believe? Create an outline of the gospel based on these verses. How can we recognize the true gospel? How important is gospel truth to you? How is this shown in your life?
5. Why will understanding the true gospel produce anger at false “gospels?” (deception: true gospel a lie, false gospel as truth)
6. Which of the three modern false-gospel dangers could you or our church most easily fall for? (1. Saved through surrender plus right beliefs and behavior, 2. Doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are good person. 3. Extremely intolerant of small differences of dress or custom.) Why are we so prone to false gospels? Do you know someone being swayed by false teaching and how can you help that person? How can we pray for you this week?
Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
“Jesus is not so much a teacher as He is a rescuer. Because that’s what we most need. Nothing in who we are or what we do saves us. This what theologians call spiritual inability.” Timothy Keller