Free in Christ: Study of Galatians
Applying the Gospel Brings Freedom: Christ being formed in us
November 25, 2018
The Gospel (death, burial and resurrection of Jesus) applied brings great
freedom. The apostle Paul desired for the Galatians to thrive spiritually.
The Gospel changes us by addressing our physical, emotional,
psychological and spiritual needs. Yet, sometimes believers get off track
and need to find their way back to Jesus being formed in them. Today, we
will look at ways to thrive spiritually.
Galatians 4:12 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,
Memory Verse: Galatians 4:19 my little children, for whom I am again in
the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.
Big Idea: We thrive spiritually when we apply the Gospel to every area of
our life. May Jesus Christ be formed in each of our lives!
I. Apply the Gospel to our past ______________________ to God.
Galatians 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to
those that by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know
God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the
weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you
want to be once more?
Enslaved- “they slaved for those who by nature are not gods.” They were
exchanging one form of slavery for another form of slavery. Lenski
The gospel unapplied always leads to enslavements.
I Corinthians 8:3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.
“Therefore, Paul is saying that earning one’s own salvation through
scrupulous biblical morality and religion is just as much enslavement to
idols as outright paganism and all its immoral practices! In the end, the
religious person is as lost and enslaved as the irreligious person.” Timothy
Keller (See questions 2&3)
● ______________ of your propensity to return false gods.
Galatians 4:10 You observe days and months and seasons and years!
11 I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.
4:11 “These words breathe tears.” Martin Luther
2 Timothy 2:19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The
Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of
the Lord depart from iniquity.”
The basic principle of the world is that we need to save ourselves. We will
worship what we think we need to fulfill ourselves, to give us “life”. And
Paul is saying that any basic “thing”—money, sex, mountains and so
on—can be worshiped, treated as a god, and become the basis of your
religion. And whatever it is that we worship, we will be enslaved by. Keller
(see questions 3&4)
Drop old idols! May Jesus Christ be formed in each of our lives!
II. Apply the Gospel to your present ____________ and _________.
Galatians 4:12 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,
God does not promise to bless Christians by removing suffering, but to
bless Christians through suffering. Keller (see question 6)
Lord, help me to look for gospel openings in my trials.
III. Appeal to past receptivity and ___________ to continue thriving
Galatians 4:14 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.
Galatians 4:16 Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?
“Paul is the truest friend the Galatians have even as he is telling them the
truth.” Lenski. (Ephesians 4:15, John 8:31-32, John 14:6)
Loving the truth of the Scriptures brings new life to Christ followers.
IV. Applying the Gospel means seeing Christ ____________ in me
Galatians 4:19 My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of
childbirth until Christ is formed in you!
Formed-morphe- is always the form which expresses the essence, the
inner reality, it is never a mask or an assumed form which one can lay
aside. Here Paul deals with faith as embracing Christ, him fully, him alone.
1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves report concerning us the kind of
reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to
serve the living and true God, (Acts 14:15b, I Corinthians 4:15)
It pains Paul when people are not thriving spiritually. He wants Christ to
dominate their lives so that there can be no change from a settled spiritual
condition. Douglas Moo (question 8&9)
Colossians 1:28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching
everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works
Our goal is to see Christ put into the hearts of each person.
Applying the Gospel causes us to thrive spiritually.
Growth Group Questions for November 25 th
Opener: Who has been like a spiritual mother or father to you?
Describe how they have helped you?
1. Read Galatians 4:8-20. Describe in your own words what is happening
here. Why is this important?
2. Read Galatians 4:8-11. What did the Galatians life look like before they
heard the gospel? (v.8) What were they returning to? (v.9-10) What
was Paul concerned might happen with them? (v.11)
3. How can turning to a works salvation be considered enslavement to
false gods? What idols are you in most danger of serving?
4. Read Galatians 4:9, I Corinthians 8:3. What makes a Christian is not
so much us knowing God, but Him knowing us. Our knowing of God will
rise and fall depending on many things. But God’s knowing of us is
absolutely fixed and solid. How could this truth help you fight idolatry?
5. Read Galatians 4:12. In what sense did Paul want the Galatians to be
like him? Was it prideful for him to say this? Why or why not?
6. Read Galatians 4:12-14. Tim Keller shares that Gospel ministry is
culturally flexible, (v.12), transparent (v.12) and looks for opportunities in
hardship. (v.13) Discuss what this looked like for Paul and what it might
look like for us in our worlds. How can God bless us in our suffering?
7. Read Galatians 4:15-16, Ephesians 4:15, John 8:31-32, 14:6. What
do you see that changed the relationship the Galatians had with Paul in
the past and now? What should our relationship be with the truth?
8. Read Galatians 4:17-18. Contrast what Paul and his companions
wanted for the Galatians and what the false teachers wanted? Do you
ever find it appealing to have people relying on you in some way? Why?
Could you be motivated by the same goals as the false teachers?
9. Read Galatians 4:19-20. What did Paul want for the Galatians? What
encourages or discourages you in relation to what Paul is sharing?
How can we pray for Christ to be formed in you this week?