Galatians: Fully Accepted by God Copyright 2012, 2017 by Q Place

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1 All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. The NIV and New International Version are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc. Scripture quotations marked NASB are taken from the New American Standard Bible. Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. ( Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation. Copyright 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois All rights reserved. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from Q Place, P.O. Box 1581, Wheaton, IL, 60187, USA; ; Galatians: Fully Accepted by God Copyright 2012, 2017 by Q Place Previously published as Galatians & Philemon Copyright 1996 by Neighborhood Bible Studies Previously published as 2 Corinthians & Galatians Copyright 1975 by Neighborhood Bible Studies Cover photo used under license from Dusan Kostic stock.adobe.com. First printing 2017 Printed in the United States of America ISBN:

2 CONTENTS GETTING STARTED How to Use this Discussion Guide What Is a Q Place? Q Place Guidelines Q Place Discussion Tips... 7 Tools for Studying the Bible in a Q Place When You Are the Question-Asker GALATIANS: Fully Accepted by God Introduction Acts 13 14; Galatians 1 6 Background and Overview of Galatians Galatians 1 Paul s Credentials Galatians 2 The Authentic Gospel Galatians 3:1-18 What Makes Us Acceptable to God? Galatians 3:19 4:7 Slaves or Heirs? Galatians 4:8-31 Growing Up Spiritually Galatians 5:1-15 True Freedom Galatians 5:16 6:5 Live by the Spirit, Walk by the Spirit Galatians 6:6-18 Motives and Boasting Map... 68

3 GALATIANS Fully Accepted by God Introduction The large Roman province of Galatia extended almost from the coast of the Black Sea to the coast of the Mediterranean, through the mountains and plains of central Asia Minor, which is now Turkey. (See the map on pages ) The gospel came to Galatia because God led the church at Antioch in Syria to send out Paul and Barnabas to preach the good news of Jesus (Acts 13 14). On arriving in Galatia, Paul and Barnabas spoke first to the Jews in the cities of Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe, and many believed. When unbelieving Jews opposed their preaching, they turned to the more receptive Gentiles. Their enemies pursued Paul and Barnabas from city to city, stirring up persecution against them. At Lystra, they stoned Paul, leaving him for dead. He recovered, and Paul and Barnabas retraced their steps, visiting the newly founded churches, encouraging them and appointing leaders in each one. Shortly afterward, some Jewish Christians, like those in Acts 15, came from Judea to Galatia insisting that in addition to faith in Christ, Gentile converts must keep Jewish customs in order to be accepted by God. They were saying, Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved (Acts 15:1). These Judaizers also attacked Paul s authority, saying he was not a true apostle of Jesus. When news of this reached Paul, he poured out his alarm, frustration, and anger in this passionate letter (probably A.D ). I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel.... You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? (Galatians 1:6; 3:1). Introduction 9

4 Paul recognized that the real issue was how a person can be accepted by God. Is it as the Judaizers said: Christ plus circumcision? Or is it as Paul preached: the grace of God in Christ plus nothing? Would these young Christians return to the bondage of keeping the law and deny the grace of God and the reason for Jesus death? As Paul implores the Galatians to grasp the central truth of faith in Christ, he also shows how living in Christ affects every aspect of life: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1). In these nine discussions, be prepared to find a message that convicts and challenges one that insists on being applied practically to life. 10 Galatians: Fully Accepted by God

5 1Acts 13 14; Galatians 1 6 Background and Overview of Galatians Paul and Barnabas brought the good news of Jesus to the cities in southern Galatia. Luke s account of their travels doesn t include a description of the steep mountain roads between these bustling commercial cities. Instead, he focuses on the pattern of their ministry, their message, and the varied responses of the people. Read Acts Trace Paul s travels on the map on page 69. What impresses you about Paul s ministry in Galatia (13:14 14:28)? 2. What do you learn about the people of Galatia and their culture? Background and Overview of Galatians 11

6 3. How do you account for the different ways people respond to Paul s message about Jesus in: Acts 13: : :1-5 14: :18-20 Read Paul s Letter to the Galatians 4. Take one chapter each and read aloud the whole letter from a contemporary translation (NIV, NLT, CEV). From the words and ideas that are repeated, what do you recognize as the major themes of this letter? 5. What issues in the church prompted Paul to write this letter? 12 Galatians: Fully Accepted by God

7 Why do you think we still need to understand and apply this letter today? 6. What questions does this letter raise for you? 7. What ideas do you want to investigate more? SUMMARY 1. If you had been a church leader in Galatia, how would you have felt as you heard this letter read? 2. What range of emotions does Paul express in this letter? Why? Background and Overview of Galatians 13

8 PRAYER Gracious Lord, thank you for the courageous ministry of Paul and Barnabas to the Jews and Gentiles of Galatia. Help us understand Paul s letter to the Galatian Christians for whom he cared so deeply. Grant us insight into how Paul s words relate to our needs and our life situations today. In your name we pray, amen. 14 Galatians: Fully Accepted by God

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