Galatians 4:8-20

Intro

  • Recap the argument so far and the issues at stake.
  • Illus: a friend who has weaned off of heroine who is going back into it.

(read v. 8-11)

v. 9a – “now that you know God—or rather are known by God”

  • Q: What distinction is Paul making here and why is it important?

 

v. 9b – Returning to the weak and worthless principles of the world

  • Q: How are idolatry and legalism similar?
  • Q: What might idolatry look like in our lives? How can we recognize our idols?

Good quote: “…that most basic question which God poses to each human heart: “Has something or someone besides Jesus the Christ taken title to your heart’s functional trust, preoccupation, loyalty, service, fear and delight?” Questions… bring some of people’s idol systems to the surface. ‘To who or what do you look for life-sustaining stability, security and acceptance? …What do you really want and expect [out of life]? What would [really] make you happy? What would make you an acceptable person? Where do you look for power and success?’ These questions or similar ones tease out whether we serve God or idols, whether we look for salvation from Christ or from false saviors. [This bears] on the immediate motivation of my behavior, thoughts, feelings. In the Bible’s conceptualization, the motivation question is the lordship question: who or what “rules my behavior, the Lord or an idol?”
— David Powlison, “Idols of the Heart and Vanity Fair”

(read v. 12-20)

Up until this point Paul has been contrasting his doctrine with the false teachers’ doctrine. Here he is not doing that so much as he is contrasting their ministries.

 Q: What are some of the differences between the false teachers’ approach and Paul’s approach to the Galatians?

Q: How have the Galatians changed since Paul’s initial visit with them?

  • Lost their joy (15)
  • Paul is their enemy (16)
  • Etc.

Q: Why would legalism lead to a loss of joy?

 

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