Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Am Free! (A Study in Galatians) Lesson 1

Welcome to our series I Am Free! (A Study in Galatians)
These weekly lessons coincide with the teachings on Coffee and the Word Radio.

Freedom—we all want it! We desire freedom from oppression, poverty, war, illness. But freedom from our own spiritual bondages is what we need to pursue. Galatians is about the freedom we can have in Jesus Christ. Galatians was written by Paul, a former Christian persecutor. God set him free from religious bondage and he wanted everyone to know this freedom.

Paul had visited Galatia before traveling on to other areas. Very soon after he left, false teachers infiltrated the young churches and tried to convince them they were not really Christians. They did this by telling them that if they weren’t following the law of Moses, they weren’t really saved. They mixed Mosaic law with grace as a condition of salvation. Paul heard about this and immediately wrote a letter the Galatians’ churches.
Galatians is the only letter that Paul wrote directly to a group of churches. Galatia was a region, an area, not a particular city. It actually encompassed many towns. At the time of this letter, false teachers were present in the churches. They were legalists (Judaizers). These false teachers taught that men and woman must observe the law of Moses for salvation from sin. But Acts 15:11 says we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were false teachers.

Read Galatians Chapter 1 

Read verse 1-5
Where did Paul’s authority come from?
Read verses 6-10
How did the beginning of this letter differ from the other letters Paul wrote?
What is Paul’s major concern with the Galatians’ church? 
Read verses 11-17
Where did Paul’s gospel come from?
Where do we see the proof of the divine origin of Paul’s gospel?
When was Paul appointed for the work of the gospel? (Read Jeremiah 1:5)
Paul received no human instruction following his conversion, so where did he learn the substance of the gospel?
Read verses 18-24
Who did Paul meet in Jerusalem? 
What was the purpose of his visit?   
Live it out: Freedom in Jesus Christ--what does that look like? How would your life be different if you were totally free from all bondage?
Further Study: Re-read, and meditate on, Chapter 1 of Galatians. What stands out to you?


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