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Program Guide

Galatians

The Most Important Thing (6:11-18)

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It is one thing to say that we believe something. It is quite another to be willing to suffer for it. In fact, we can gauge the depth of our convictions by how much persecution we are willing to endure for holding our beliefs. The Apostle Paul was so convinced that salvation can only be attained through following Jesus Christ that he was willing to spend his life spreading Christ’s message to others in spite of all opposition.

Doing Good (6:1-10)

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The way to become righteous is not to try to keep a set of religious rules and regulations, but to have a changed character which, by nature, does not want to sin. When a person becomes a follower of Christ, his old self is crucified by being baptized into Christ’s death and he is resurrected as a new person. From that time forward, God’s Spirit lives in this new person and directs his life. A person who is directed by the Spirit has both a godly character as well as a godly lifestyle.

Flesh And Spirit (5:19-26)

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Throughout history mankind has attempted to control behavior by rules and regulations. However, the problem with this approach is that it cannot change human nature. A person may conform to the law because of fear of the consequences of breaking the law, but law can never curb desire. This is one of the fundamental problems with any religion which is based on law. The Holy Scriptures recognize this problem. It says, “Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” (Colossians 2:23 NIV) For example, a person might refrain from theft because his religion forbids it, but a rule against theft will not prevent greed.

Led By The Spirit (5:13-18)

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One of the problems every society faces is how to regulate behavior. It is obvious that unless people agree on rules of conduct, society would soon degenerate into chaos. Many of the rules have nothing to do with morality or ethics – they exist merely to create order. For example, traffic laws have nothing to do with moral right and wrong, but the reason we have traffic regulations is to balance an efficient flow of vehicles and pedestrians with safety. Similarly, land use regulations are intended to help cities grow in an orderly way. Building standards are intended to help people build structures which are safe and do not endanger others.

Law vs. A New Nature (5:1-12)

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Certain choices are mutually exclusive. If we do this, we cannot do that. We cannot do both this and that. We have to make a choice between the two. It is the same way in spiritual things. Faith in Christ is incompatible with trying to earn our salvation by doing good works. Either we have been set free by faith in Christ, or we are still in bondage to sin.

The Parable Of Hagar And Sarah (4:21-31)

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We do things in the expectation that we will obtain particular results. Unfortunately, things which we did not expect often result from our actions. These unexpected consequences occur because we often do not take sufficient time to think about our actions, or we are ignorant of the significance of what we do.

Miserable Principles (4:8-20)

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Why do people turn away from the truth? There could be several reasons. Some are deceived. In other words, they have mistakenly believed falsehood as the truth. Others are misinformed. They do not understand the truth which has been told to them. There may be another reason as well: For example, they have begun to doubt the trustworthiness and character of the person who told them the truth and have fallen under the charismatic personality of a false teacher.

Heirs Of The Promise (3:26-4:7)

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In his letter to the followers of Christ in the Roman province of Galatia, the Apostle Paul proved that we attain righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ rather than through attempting to keep a law through our own efforts. If righteousness were the only result from putting our faith in Christ, it would be extremely precious. But faith does much more. In verses 26 through 29 of chapter 3 of his letter Paul explains:

Our Custodian (3:15-25)

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One of the characteristics of God is that He does not change. We can take great comfort in this. How tragic it would be if all our lives we did our best to do God’s will, only to find out that what pleased Him in the past is the very thing which brings His anger upon us now.

The Basis Of Justification (3:1-14)

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Do we trust in our own good works to save us from our sins, or do we rely on the work of God to do so? In his letter to the churches in the Roman province of Galatia, Paul forcefully stated that the followers of Christ are not obligated to keep the Law of Moses. In fact, attempting to be justified by keeping the Law is to turn one’s back on the grace of God.