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Third Quarter 2017 (June 24–September 29)


Week 9: August 19–25
COMMENTARY ON "Paul's Pastoral Appeal"


Following is a combined commentary on the material included in the Bible Study Guide with references as necessary to the supplemental passages included in the E. G. White Notes for the Sabbath School Lessons.

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all biblical quotes are from the English Standard Version (ESV).



Day 1: Sabbath Afternoon, November 19, 2011 - Introduction


Before we move on in our study of Galatians it's very important that we go over what we've already learned from God the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul.


Galatians One

  1. Some of the Galatian churches were concerned for others who had been deceived by Judaizers who were rising from within the congregation (in some cases) and teaching a different gospel.
  2. There is NO other Gospel.
  3. If anyone teaches you a different gospel then may they be accursed.
  4. He was very concerned that those in the churches of Galatia that had been saved by Grace were returning to the Law because of the Judaizers.


Galatians Two

  1. The Christians were under attack by the Judaizers who were trying to get them out of their freedom and back under the slavery of the law.
  2. None are justified by the works of the law, but by the faithfulness of Christ Jesus, even Paul as a Jew came to literally Believe Into Jesus Christ.
  3. We are justified by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the law because the works of the law justify no one.
  4. Through the law one dies to the law.
  5. Since I have been crucified in Christ, I no longer live but Christ lives in me.
  6. I don't set aside grace for if righteousness could come through the law then Christ died for nothing!


Galatians Three

  1. Did you receive the (Holy) Spirit through the works of the law or by hearing with faith?
  2. How foolish are you you began in the Spirit, you cannot complete things by human effort!
  3. All who rely on the works of the law are under a curse.
  4. No one is justified before God by the Law, the righteous shall live by faith.
  5. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.
  6. The law came 430 years after the promise to Abraham that Christ was the fulfillment of.
  7. The law was given because of transgressions until the Seed (Christ) would come.
  8. Before faith came we were imprisoned under the law. But now that faith (in Christ) has come we are no longer under a guardian (the law).
  9. In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith, you were baptized into Christ and thusly been clothed with Christ.
  10. IF you belong to Christ you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to the promise.


Galatians Four (So Far)

  1. Christ came at the exact right time born of a woman born under the law to redeem us from the law.
  2. If we are in Christ we are adopted into the family of God with the full rights of a son.
  3. God sent the (Holy) Spirit as a gift into our hearts.
  4. No longer a slave, but a son, and since we are a son we are also an heir.
  5. Since we are known by God why would we turn and go back to the basic forces (law)?
  6. Why again are you observing religious days, months, seasons and years (they are under basic forces/law).


Paul is desperate to be understood, he is begging the Galatians not to be conned by the Judaizers. He has been putting together very intelligent and well though out arguments to explain his position, and that position is don't mix law and grace. You were saved by grace do not return to the law to finish anything or you make void the sacrifice of Christ.

One last thing for today it is very important to remember that not all the people of the Galatian churches were fooled by the Judaizers. The message of the book of Galatians is for all readers Judaizers and believers. It exposes the falsehood and trickery of the Judaizers and it builds up the body through sound teachings and warnings.



Day 2: Sunday, November 20, 2011 - The Heart of Paul


Paul is encouraging the people in the churches in Galatia to become as he is, what is he that they aren't?

Well since Paul has put a massive emphasis on the fact that a large number of the Galatians were falling under the spell of the Judaizers I'd argue that they were either tempted to or had returned to doing things of the Law to complete their salvation.

Paul was not doing such, in fact he was teaching against that, Christ had after all died under the Law to redeem us from the Law.

Paul is resting in God's grace, as are many from the churches in Galatia but there are a awful lot that are not they are “returning to the law to complete things in the flesh”.

Paul is giving this impressive theological masterpiece to the Galatians, because he wants to see them truly believe into Christ fully. If one doesn't truly believe into Christ for Salvation then they will keep retuning to the Law thinking that they must offer up some kind of “Works” to help with their salvation. Whereas the only thing you have to bring to Salvation is the Sin you need to be saved from and a heart that is ready for transplant.

People were returning to the Law because it gave them a comfort that trusting solely upon Christ did not, which to me is amazing. To them however the Law gave them a checklist if you will of things that they could do in order to show that they were remaining in fellowship with God. They were doing works to stay separate from the other nations and remain in God's favor. Paul is saying in Galatians that Christ, the God-Man, Fulfilled the Law, and in order to be saved all we need to do is go to the cross, place our Sins upon Christ and be clothed in His righteousness. Then God sees us as if we are His Son, but returning to the Law after being saved by Grace is in effect placing Jesus back up on the cross.

Law and Grace are like oil and water they cannot be mixed, Paul is as a Christian solely relying on Grace, and is strongly urging the Galatians to do so also. Talk about a huge transformation! And yet multitudes of Jews embraced Christianity, gave up over many thousands of years of sacrifices, not to mention the Law to rest in the Grace of Christ, and trust in that alone.



Day 3: Monday, November 21, 2011 - The Challenge to Become


The other day I briefly touched on this topic I'm going to build on it a little more and clarify things a bit. Becoming a Christian is to become an entirely new creation, when we are Born From Heaven we are transferred from the Domain of Darkness into the Kingdom of the Son. Our Spirit is brought back to life, God the Holy Spirit comes into us, lives in us and He seals us for Heaven and eternity. He gives us a brand new heart and writes the Law of the Spirit in our Hearts and Minds. We become an eternally living new creation in a dead and dying world. And as I've come to realize recently as a Christian returning to the Law is basically placing Him back on the cross and banging the nails back in myself. Returning to the Law after being saved by Grace is not a small issue it is a huge error.

Paul has turned to Christ, been saved by His Grace, and is resting in it. His works that he's now doing, were those that God had planned for him before the world ever existed. These works that one does after Salvation are not the empty dead works you did before Salvation to try and earn it, they are the evidence that you are a New Creation resting in God's grace.

The Galatians were in danger of returning to the Law for the comfort of having a check list of external directives, that gave them a measuring stick to show how they were either in good standing or not. To trust in something called Grace and the Law of the Spirit, things that cannot be seen just wasn't enough for those in the churches of Galatia. They wanted to return to the Law just in case this invisible Crace wasn't enough.

Paul was saying, that Grace is enough, don't mix it with the Law. When you do so you alienate yourself from Christ.

Paul is calling us to rest in God's Grace and the Salvation that was brought for us on the cross. And by returning to the Law, after being saved by Grace, we are denying the Grace and Salvation of Jesus death on the cross. By returning to the Law we are denying the only way provided for Salvation.

So Paul who is entirely resting on the Grace of Christ, turning his back completely on the Law which He used to keep “perfectly”, because the Law cannot save anyone only Grace can.

Paul is telling the Galatians that they need to be like him and rest in God's Grace.

Yet to make this point very clear, the Judaizers were wanting to lead the believers in Galatia back to the Law because the Judaizers were not under God's Grace but the Law. And those in the churches of Galatia were being drawn back to the Law because part of them wanted to follow a checklist because it showed them an outer certainty of being right with God. They could not fully trust in His Grace.

Since this was the case many could not trust in God's Grace alone like Paul was.

Through the book of Galatians he is imploring the believers in the churches of Galatia to not fall under the Law behind and trust Grace because the two cannot be mixed.



Day 4: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - I Have Become as You Are


“Paul had been a proud self righteous Pharisee , trusting in his own righteousness to save him. But when he came to Christ, he abandoned all efforts to save himself, trusting wholly in God's grace. He urged the Galatians to follow his example and avoid the Legalism of the Judaizers.” John McArthur Study Bible note for Galatians 4:12.

Here we have a very interesting proposition of how what Paul meant when he said “I have become as you are” in the quarterly. That Paul had become a gentile without the Law so that he might reach the gentiles amongst them with the gospel.

While yes he did become without the Law, he was not without A Law. He had the Law of the Spirit at work in him. God gave Paul the gospel message to speak to the gentiles, but He only gave it to him after he was Born Again. Since this is the case the Jew is never NOT under a Law, so the Judaizers were trying to drag the people of the churches of Galatia under the Law, just like legalists today apply a Law to themselves that was meant only for the Jews to follow, and then try and drag people under it.

The Law was given specifically to Israel to separate them from all the other nations. For all the world though they are designed not to be kept for it is impossible for any human to keep it, but to point us to the Cross. They are a signpost pointing to our only way to salvation.

Paul himself was born under the Law, he followed the Law for multitudinous years, and yet after his conversion he was transformed, reborn Spirit, filled with the Holy Spirit, sealed by the Holy Spirit, new heart, NEW LAW written on his new heart and new mind.

So in my humble opinion Paul was always under a Law, but Christ gave him a direct revelation of how he would give the Good News to the gentiles.



Day 5: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - Then and Now


When Paul first came to Galatia to teach the message it hadn't been his intention, of course God is the one who controls the situation- this was God's time for the Galatians to hear the message. Paul had some kind of physical malady which forced him to enter Galatia and to rely on the small number of believers who were already there to bring him back to health. They not only too him in and nursed him back to health but they gratefully accepted the message of the Good News.

Now we don't know exactly what the malady was that Paul was suffering from, some suggest that he had been practically stoned to death and had come in with great injuries from that. Others say that he had an eye problem, malaria, or perhaps from the “thorn in his side” however the whole point is that Paul was accepted and helped through this time of suffering.

Now Paul is standing over the churches of Galatia in their suffering and confusion and he is lovingly but firmly correcting them and putting them back on the road to recovery. Just like the people he had brought the Good news to when he was broken, these people he loved with a Godly love, he was coming to them as beloved and attempting to nurse them back to health as they had for him.

He is so very passionate for the welfare of the churches of Galatia that he started he is willing to go over and over and over again and again the dangers of Legalism. The dangers of returning to the Law, the flat out impossibility of mixing Law and Grace.

It is the ultimate reversal of position, and Paul will minister to to those in Galatia until they recover their firm footing and their health no matter how long it takes.



Day 6: Thursday, November 24, 2011 - Speaking the Truth


16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? (HCSB)

Paul had seemingly become an enemy of the churches of Galatia by telling them the truth, but in reality he was an enemy of the Legalistic and Judaizers. These words from this book may indeed have caused hurt and pain amongst the churches of Galatia, but through the words of this book they themselves could also see the great love and care that Paul had for them.

Paul was not their enemy but their greatest earthly friend and ally.

17 They are enthusiastic about you, but not for any good. Instead, they want to isolate you so you will be enthusiastic about them. (HCSB)

They refers to the Judaizers and Legalistic who are very enthusiastic about these Galatian believers because they are very fresh and new in their understanding. This makes them easy pickings for the Judaizers, and the Judaizers want to place them under the Law. They want to isolate them from other Christians, so that they will get the praise of these new converts.

Exclude (isolate) is literally "lock you up." For now, the legalists are courting the Galatians, but once they have alienated them from Jesus and from Paul, the legalists will demand that the Galatians serve them. Legalism is almost always associated with some kind of religious bondage.

Whereas the Grace of the Lord and the Freedom in Christ from the Law is freedom from bondage.

So this mysterious “locking out” that the quarterly is confused about is the locking out through Legalism of the person under the Law. While Freedom in Christ is what God brought for us on the cross through Jesus the Son. Those are some very heavy words against the Legalist, in fact the entire book of Galatians is heavily against legalism.

In conclusion it is imperative that if you are Born Again, Born From Heaven, that you remove yourself from any place where legalism abounds, for Grace and Law are not interchangeable. Grace and Law are at odds, and if you stay in a place of Legalism you will find yourself under the bondage of the Law instead of finding the Freedom that Jesus, the God-Man, brought for you on the Cross when he called out: “It is Finished!”



Day 7: Friday, November 25, 2011 - Further Study




Based on Faith (2:16)

Based on works (2:16)

Justifies sinful men (2:16-17)

Incapable of resulting in justification (2:16-17)

Begins and ends with Christ (2:20)

Makes Christ nothing (5:3)

Is the way of the Spirit (3:2, 3, 14)

Is the way of the flesh (3:3)

Is a “blessing” (3:14)

Is a “curse” (3:13)

Is God’s desired end for His people (3:23-24)

Was intended to be only a means to an end 3:23-25)

Results in intimacy with Christ (3:27)

Results in estrangement from Christ (5:4)

Makes one a son of God and an heir of Christ (4:6-7)

Keeps one a slave (4:7)

Brings liberty (5:1)

Results in bondage (5:1)

Depends on the power of Holy Spirit (5:16-18, 22, 23)

Depends on human nature (5:19-21)

Is motivated by love (5:13, 14)

Is motivated by pride (6:3, 13, 14)

Centers on the cross of Christ (6:12-14)

Centered on circumcision (5:11, 6:12-15)



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