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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday - New Birth Brings Freedom - Galatians 4:8-20 -2/12/17

The apostle Paul commended the Galatians for not rejecting him, even though his condition was revolting (he doesn't explain what was wrong with him).


Such caring was what Jesus meant when he called us to serve the homeless, hungry, sick, & imprisoned as if they were Jesus himself. Do you avoid those in pain or facing difficulty - or are you willing to care for them as if they were Jesus Christ himself?


If you feel guilty & inadequate check your focus. Are you putting your faith in Christ or in rule-keeping?


The apostle Paul did not gain great popularity when he rebuked the Galatians for turning away from their first faith in Christ. Human nature hasn't changed much - we still get angry when we're scolded. But don't write off someone who challenges you. There may be truth in what he says. Receive his words with humility, carefully think them over. If you discover you need to change an attitude or action, take steps to do it.


"They" in verse seventeen refers to false teachers who claimed to be religious authorities, experts in Judaism & Christianity. Appealing to the believers' desire to do what is right, they drew quite a following. The apostle Paul said, however, that they were wrong & that their motives were selfish. False teachers are often respectable & persuasive. That is why all teachings need to be checked with the Bible.


The apostle Paul led many people to Christ & helped them mature spiritually. Perhaps one reason for his success as a spiritual father was the deep concern he felt for his spiritual children; he compared his pain over their faithlessness to the pain of childbirth. We should have the same intense care for those to whom we are spiritual parents. When you lead people to Christ remember to stand by them to help them grow.

Reference summary used from the Life Application KJV Bible, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois