Praying God’s Will; Galations, Chapter 4

Hi friends.  I made it back from a 4 day class in time to see my oldest girls all off to camp for staff training.  3 of them returned home this evening.  Chaos!  But I had all our laundry at home finished and cleared out so that the campers could start their mound.

They also came home thinking they were starved.  🙂  Good thing I had a big dinner in the works!

It was a relief to me to dig back into Galations.  I’m eager to finish this study.  As you remember, Paul is writing to the churches in this region because a group of people he calls “Judaizers” has convinced the Gentile Christians there that they need to adhere to the Jewish Law in order to be saved.  Paul is using every means possible to explain how the law was part of the Old Covenant, and they are under the New Covenant of Grace… they can’t be saved by following rules, but only through faith in Jesus and the gift He provides to all of us through his death and resurrection.  To go back to the law, Paul says, is slavery.

So, chapter 4…

Praying Notebook Galations

 

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My Notes:

Verses 1-7– Paul uses an analogy they will be familiar with to explain their position in Christ.  Before they knew God, they were like children under a manager.  At that time, a slave was consigned responsibility for their tutoring, and someone else managed their inheritance.  They had no rights.  But when they were saved through Jesus they were adopted as sons, no longer like a slave who is “managed”, but full heirs.

Verses 8-11– Originally the Galations had been slave of false religion.  But now, being saved, they know the true God and they are known by Him.  {Isn’t that amazing?  We are known by God!}  Yet, the Galations were living as slaves again by observing traditions of the Jews which were not ever intended for the Church.  😦

Verses 12-20– According to the IVP Bible Background Commentary, in these verses Paul appropriately appeals to the Galations, softening his tone after a harsher chastening.

vs. 14, 15– The Galations had once loved Paul and accepted his messages as being from God…

vs. 16, 17– Paul was willing to tell the Galations the truth because he loved them, and some were now holding it against him (rather than accepting him as a messenger of God); Meanwhile, the Judaizers flattered them, but their intentions were impure and selfish.  Ever met someone like that… every so helpful, but only because of the attention it garners them and not because of genuine concern for the person they’re “helping”?

vs. 21– Paul uses Sarah and Hagar as an analogy of the 2 covenants… something the Galations should understand.

Abraham and Sarah tried to fulfill God’s promise of an heir through their own effort, using Hagar to bear Abraham’s son.  Hagar indeed had a son, Ishmael.  But this was not God’s plan!  Paul explained that Hagar and her heirs are in slavery, just as those who continue to cling to the law.

On the other hand, Isaac was Sarah’s son, born of God’s promise.  Paul explained that the Galation Christians, saved by Grace in fulfillment of God’s promise, are children of this new covenant, represented by Sarah–the free woman.  They are not meant to be slaves to the law (and neither are we).

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What do you think of this?

I have to say, I grew up in a very legalistic environment… my mom used to call it following “the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of the law”.  God has had to dredge up a lot of my foundation and relay it, teaching me in so many ways to look to Him for love and acceptance that is not based on anything I do right or wrong.  Instead, God’s love, and His salvation, is completely based on Him and who He is.  He knows me.  He chooses to love me.  Because Jesus, the perfect lamb, died for you and for me and was then resurrected, we can choose to accept God’s forgiveness.  We can be adopted as His son’s and daughters, and enjoy the full benefit of being His heirs!  We can’t earn it.  It is a FREE gift.

Now and then I find myself pushing to “work” for the Lord, when really He wants me to rest in Him.  When I do that, the work… the fruit comes easily because it is by His power, not mine.  What a burden lifted!!  We’re going to learn more about that in chapter 5.  It will be a nice review of the Fruit of the Spirit.

There are so many false ideas out there.  Lots of “false teachers”.  Galations is a reminder to us that we need to stay grounded in God’s Word so we are not led astray.

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“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”  1 John 5:14-15

How can I use these observations to pray according to God’s will?

*Praise God that we are sons and daughters and recipients of all that comes with that… God’s heirs!  (If you have not accepted God’s gift of forgiveness and eternal life, ask me how!)

*Thank Him that we know and are known by Him, the true God.

*Pray that we, and all the Church, will love deeply and be willing to share the hard truth just as Paul did, and that our motivation in “helping” others will be pure.

*Pray that we will recognize empty flattery, but also ask that God will enable us to discern when others speak the truth to us and be willing to receive it.

*Praise God for fulfilling His promises, and providing us with salvation by grace.

*Pray for the lost, that they will have hearts to receive the gospel and be saved, never again to be slaves to sin and false religions.

My heart is filled with gratitude as I write this, as well as love for my brothers and sisters in Christ.  Thank you for reading.

You can begin at the beginning of Galations with this post. 

3 thoughts on “Praying God’s Will; Galations, Chapter 4

  1. Pingback: Praying God’s Will; Galations, Chapter 1 – Growing Grace-Full

  2. lynnabbottstudios

    I missed this one… and what a powerful post it is! I’m so glad I found it now. God’s grace… I’m so grateful for it and that I am no longer living under the law! I love your explanation of “manager” and how Paul’s readers would have understood this passage. Thank you for your indepth studies! You are truly a blessing! ❤ ❤

    Like

    1. Linda

      Lynn–I am very grateful as well! And I’m glad you found your way back to this post. You brightened my day! 🙂 God bless you. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Like

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