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Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church

Sunday Galatians Bible Study

 Leader: Pastor Warskow


Leader: Pastor Warskow
Beautiful Savior Luttheran Church
N5015 Beaverbrook Avenue,
Spooner, Wisconsin  54875

Meeting Day(s): Sundays
Meeting Time: 10:15 AM 


 After Paul had preached the Gospel to the Galatian congregations, some false teachers (Judaizers) told the people that they had to keep the Old Testament Ceremonial Laws, such as circumcision.  They told the people that Paul wasn't really an apostle.  The Holy Spirit moved Paul to write this letter to teach that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, and not by works of the Old Testament Law, or any other law.
 This was Martin Luther's favorite book, he called it "my Katherine von Bora."  We are not sure of the date of this letter, perhaps it was after Paul's first missionary journey (about 50 A.D.).  It is believed to be the earliest of Paul's letters.
Galatians 1
1:1 Why does Paul need to stress this point in the very first verse? 
1:4 What 2 important truths are found in this verse? 
1:6 Normally, Paul has a section of thanksgiving here in his letters.  Why does he "get right to it"? 
1:8 It's not the person or the personality of the messenger it's the: ________________________. 
1:9 Why does Paul repeat this harsh thought?  

 Compare the "modern church" view of this matter. 

1:10 Why might a minister become very "unpopular"? 

 Whose approval is more important?  Why? 
Should we be "people-serving" or "Christ-serving"?         

Is it always possible to do both?

1:12 cp. 1:1  Why is this so important to every pastor and member? 
1:15   Did Paul make a personal decision1:17 Why did Paul go to Arabia -- what did he do there? 

1:19 Who is this James 

1:20 Sadly, what is much of "religion" today? 
1:21 cf. Acts 9:26-30  Tarsus was in Cilicia. 


2:1    This is either the visit mentioned in Acts 11:27-30 or Acts 15.
2:3    Why wasn't Titus circumcised, while Timothy was? (cf. below). 

Titus was not circumcised, because some were demanding it as necessary for salvation. Timothy was circumcised (Acts 16:3), so as not to add a stumbling block in mission work among the Jews.) 

2:4    "Judaizers" said Gentiles must be circumcised and obey the Law of Moses (ceremonial). 

"Freedom" - a key word in Galatians.  We are free from the Old Testament legal code (civil and ceremonial).  We are free to serve Christ by willingly obeying His moral law.  We do this as an expression of our appreciation for Christ's salvation, NOT as a CONDITION necessary for salvation.
Civil Law: Israel's governmental laws.
Ceremonial Law: Israel's worship laws, sacrifices etc.
Moral Law: Unchanging right and wrong before God.

2:5    Evaluate: Joe told his sister Jane that babies must be immersed or they aren't really baptized.  Jane and Bob's child could be validly baptized by immersion or sprinkling, but which should they choose and why?
         Read verse 5 again for proof.
2:6    Was there ever a "vicar of Christ" or pope among the apostles?
2:7    How did the Lord divide the work?
         What one word tells us that it was the Lord's decision? 

Defend against the possible charge that this is "racism" or "discrimination."    (hint: What was it that made the Jews different from everybody else AT THAT TIME?)

          Yet, Paul preached to Jews first in every town, and Peter preached to Gentiles also in Acts 10.
2:8    Whose work is it, really?
2:9    How did the apostles view Paul and Barnabas?
2:10 In an era of cut backs, we would do well to heed this reminder.
2:11 Should we be tolerant of false teaching, if it's from people we like; people that are nice to us?
2:12 What was Peter's problem? Compare this to his courtyard experience. 

"circumcision group" = Judaizers.
A/D: Sometimes we may agree with the "religious right."  Other times we may freely tell them to take a hike.
When pressure influences how we act or teach, what have we become?  (spiritual infants; anchorless ships; weathervanes)
Eph 4:14   Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming 

What is the solution to this problem? 

2:13  Name the sin:___________________________.
2:14 What does the Gospel say in Galatians 3:26-29?
2:16 Is it possible to misunderstand these words or miss the point?

 A/D: Anyone who teaches salvation by works just doesn't know the Bible or doesn't care what it says. 

  "have put our faith in Christ" is poorly translated.  It should read, "have believed in Christ."  (so NKJV, KJV, NASB, AAT, NET etc.)  What's the big difference?

2:17 Is Christ promoting sin by not requiring us to EARN heaven by WORKS?
2:18 It destroys the real purpose of the LAW to ask people to try to work their way in to heaven.  According to ROMANS 3:20, "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin."  


2:19 We don't obey to "keep the Law" but to "please God"!
2:20 We live by ________ in the Son of God.
2:21 A key passage: if you are trying to EARN heaven by WORKS, you are saying to Christ, "Christ...
3:1 What was Paul's preaching/teaching about? 
3:5 What was the purpose of MIRACLES in the time of the apostles? 

John 10:38   But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."
John 14:11   Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
Acts 2:22   "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.  

READ and give the lesson each teaches: 

Hebrews 2:1-4: 
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12: 
2 John 10:  

3:6 Was Abraham righteous by LAW-WORKS or GOSPEL- FAITH?
3:7 Who are Abraham's children?  (even Gentiles?) 
3:8 A/D: The Gospel was the same in the Old Testament as in the New. 
3:10 What has to be done to earn heaven? 

"Continue to do _____________________ written in the Book of the Law." 

 Read JAMES 2:10:  What does this add? 
 Read GENESIS 5:1-3:  What more do we learn? 
 Read PSALM 51:5:  Who must say this? 

 Read I JOHN 1:8-10:  Whose fooling whom?

3:11 The answer:

3:12 Could someone be admitted to heaven by works of the LAW, IF that person were somehow not born in sin, and IF somehow that person kept the Law perfectly? 

  How big are those ifs?  (Is it possible?)

 3:13 Define: REDEEM: 

Christ "FOR US" is the Gospel.  Use other words to amplify what "FOR" means here.

 3:17 Paul views the time of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) as one time period. The Egyptian slavery lasted about 400 years.  Then God gave the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai.

The SINAITIC Covenant was not given to replace ABRAHAM's Covenant.  Abraham's
was before it, and continues.  See illustration below:

Abraham's Covenant
Sinai/Moses LAW Covenant

3:18 Our salvation doesn't depend on the Law, but God's _____________. 
3:19 The Laws given to Moses were given FOR THE ISRAELITES of the Old Testament. They were only for a specific time period, not before and not after, to serve as a: 

 CURB to:
 HEDGE to: 

 TYPE to:

Moses was the mediator of this temporal covenant.  God commanded (one side) and the people promised to obey (other side).  Blessings were CONDITIONAL upon obedience.  Often the Israelites lost these earthly blessings due to disobedience (captivity; loss of land).

 3:20 God (one side) promised unconditionally to bless Abraham.  There were not two sides in God's Gospel promise to send a Savior through Abraham (the Seed).
3:21-22 Answer those who say Jesus told us the way to earn our own way to heaven. Who is a "prisoner to sin"? 

 Who receives the promise of heaven?

3:23 Cf. Galatians 4:4-5.  Here "this faith" refers to the revelation of Christ -- the SEED -- who ended the time period of the Mosaic Law Covenant.  (Understand it as: "Before Christ came").  "Faith" here is the content of the Gospel: objective faith, what/who you believe.  It refers to the FULFILLMENT of the promise.  The New Testament is the time of faith. NOTE WELL: There is a FAITH which believes, and a FAITH which is believed.  We have faith in the Christian faith, as summarized in the Apostles' Creed.
Jude 1:3   Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. 
3:24 The footnote is much preferred!
 Law as a CHAPERONE.
3:25 Summary: The Sinaitic Covenant (especially the ceremonial Laws) set Israel apart as a reminder of the coming Messiah: This stresses:

2. Not God's will for all time (e.g. "No turn on red 7:30 - 4:30");
3. Urged Old Testament Jews to look to the "SEED" for justification by Faith.

3:26 Who are the heirs?
3:27 How were we adopted?

  3:28 Distinctions of race, sex, or social status are immaterial in figuring "who are the sons of God."  What is the only distinction in this question?

4:3 A/D: For a time, God treated His people like children.
4:4-5 Here is "this faith" of 3:23. 

 What made "the time" the right time?
Universal Language: Greek
Road System: Roman Way
Peace: Pax Romana
Dispersion: Jews all over the world (Word too!)
 How does this passage prove that Jesus is:

  true God?
  true Man?
  our Substitute under the law?
 What was His goal?

 4:6 Did He succeed in His goal?

Find the Trinity in verses 4-6.

 4:7 You are an ___________________.
4:10 What was wrong with observing the Sabbath or Day of Atonement? 

Col 2:16-17   Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with
regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. {17} These are a
shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
Seeing a shadow coming around the corner alerts you that someone is coming.  When that someone enters the room, do you keep staring at their shadow? 

 How was the Sabbath such a shadow?

 What is the real Sabbath?

  What was the real Day of Atonement? 

4:15 Paul's illness may have involved eye trouble.
4:16 A question asked by many called workers and Christians of unrepentant or thankless people.
4:17 Zeal or sincerity doesn't mean a thing if you are in the wrong, does it? 

If you are very zealous and sincere about going somewhere, but are heading in the wrong direction, will you get there?

 4:18 Can you think of examples of misplaced or misdirected zeal?
4:24 How do we know Paul is teaching figuratively or using symbols here? 

 See the illustration as follows, for the thoughts here:

Hagar - Ishmael - Slaves - Law of Sinai - earthly Jerusalem
Sarah - Isaac - Free - Promise/Abraham - heavenly Jerusalem

4:31 In other words, let the legalists have their earthly dream of a millennium on earth, with an earthly Jerusalem, we look forward to the heavenly Jerusalem by faith!

5:1 What are some dangers to our Christian freedom?
5:2-4 Circumcision is an adiaphoron, but when people demand it as a CONDITION to earn heaven, we must refuse.  May we never fall from GRACE into LAW.

There are only two religions in the world, what are they?

5:7 What does "obeying the truth" mean here?
5:9 What is the "yeast" here?

What does this passage teach us about the "ecumenical movement"?  Can't we all just
overlook our differences and get along?
What does this passage teach us about HOW we train our pastors/teachers/laymen?
What does this passage teach us about WHO can teach or preach to us, and WHAT they are to say?
What is the danger of "just a little smidgen" of false doctrine?
What happens when people hear the "yeast" of false doctrine and don't really discard it
Should our church and synod "stop being so unloving" and get into the ecumenical
movement, or are we one of the precious few really showing love?


Why is it loving to "mark and avoid" false teachers and their supporters?

Put verse 9 in your own words...
5:10 When?  The heathen temples were always full to overflowing!  When William Miller predicted the date of Jesus' return (falsely) over 50,000 people left all to follow him!  He founded the Seventh Day Adventist Movement.  There are more examples.  Meanwhile, our missions close and struggle to gain followers.  The false teachers always had large followings in Bible times, in church history, and they do today too!  Is all this a mirage? 
           When will this passage be fulfilled?
5:11 What is "the offense of the cross" today?  (i.e., what doctrines would people love to see us change, soften, or keep quiet?)
5:13 Not "free to sin," but "free to serve."  Not license to sin, but liberty to serve.
5:16 In this section, the "Spirit" seems to refer to the Christian's New Nature/New Man which is led by the Spirit of God.  The "sinful nature" or flesh refers to our Old Adam/Old Man.
5:24 But the Old Adam keeps coming back!  Romans 8:13 says "keep putting [the Old Adam] to death."
6:1 "gently" literally means "in a spirit of humility."  (Think: it could be me.)
6:2 How?
6:5 "Each one will carry his own load."  This may refer to God's judgment.  Each one is responsible to God for himself.  Then the load would be sin.  And boasting would be foolish, because of that load of sins.  When we "test" ourselves in the mirror of God's law, we will be humbled.  Our only boast is that Jesus takes our load of sin away. EACH OF US IS ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD.  Thank God for Jesus' redeeming work!
6:6 God wants the hearers of His Word to share material blessings for the spiritual blessings they have received.  These are to be offered to the instructor, but he will not demand this offering.
6:10 An appeal to bear fruits of faith.
6:12 Who would persecute the uncircumcised? 

 Why might someone want to compel us to: (how would each avoid pressure?)

 * have open communion?
 * stop baptizing babies?
 * let women be leaders/teachers over men
 * discard the creed/Lutheran Confessions
 * be quiet about the pope being the Antichrist
 * not say abortion is sinful
 * let unmarried couples live together
 * look the other way in divorces
 * get rid of the liturgy?

 6:14 A good prayer!
6:16 Who is "the Israel of God"?
6:17 Where did the marks come from?
Final Thoughts:


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