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GALATIANS CHAPTER 4

KJV    NAS

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1&2 Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.

 

Gal 4,1-9

(162h) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Addicted to sin >> Being a slave to the nature of sin

(196d) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Immaturity >> Not mature enough to die to self >> Unable to put down your own flesh – Paul was talking about covenants, and the child refers to the individuals and nations under those covenants. Paul was using the child as an analogy for both Israel and for immature Christians. Israel was born under an Abraham-ic covenant, which was ruled by law, and through that law were held in bondage to the elemental things of the world, until the time set by the Father, and He sent His Son to establish a new covenant to redeem those under the law that we might receive the adoption as sons. So the child is Israel, but the duel purpose of the analogy refers to the immature Christians who are under the covenant of grace, yet no less under the guardian of the law, held in bondage to it through their fleshly ways that are contrary to the law. Paul is laying down a principle that if a person or a nation wants to be ruled by law, they have inadvertently rejected the grace of God. This suggests that nations without law are doomed to anarchy and chaos, while nations that embrace the law have rejected the grace of God, being a no-win situation. What would it take for a nation to walk in the grace of God? It would require the majority of its constituents to walk by the Spirit. This was Israel’s calling and they rejected it, and so has every gentile nation after them. The bigger problem lies in the mainstream church that, since it has chosen to become politically involved, has modeled themselves after their governments; the Church too has rejected the will of God to walk by the Spirit.

Gal 4,1-7

(30g) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Favor with God through His Spirit

(33d) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Kingdom belongs to the children of God Paul is giving an analogy of a child who was born to a king of a mighty kingdom; as an infant he is no different from the child of a slave, except that he is owner of everything, in that his Father is King of a kingdom that stretches over the entire creation, so in the life to come all other kingdoms will fall under His authority. Paul is talking about Christians who believe in Jesus in this life, equating them to children who are not old enough to assume the role of kingship. The child grows to become a toddler, then an adolescent; in this life we are princes of a kingdom that we are not yet old enough to inherit until the life to come. The flipside of this analogy is that Paul is talking about those in the Church who are not mature enough behavior-wise to occupy their position as ruler of a spiritual kingdom. Paul is saying that there is really no difference between not old enough and not mature enough to occupy the position for which we were born. Being young is not our fault, but we are indeed the cause of our immaturity, which keeps us from preparing to become kings and priest of a future kingdom, while currently hinders our effectiveness as members of a spiritual kingdom in this life. God wants to give us authority in this life over Satan and the powers of darkness and over the sinful nature of our flesh for the purpose of administrating the gospel of the kingdom through a state of spiritual maturity. We must practice upholding the gospel before He will give us authority to rule over nations.

(36l) Gift of God >> Adopted >> We are adopted by the Spirit -- These verses go with verses 21-23. Christ has adopted us as children who once belonged to Satan. Jesus came and died for our sins and paid for the children that He has called and chosen to inherit eternal life. Although we are His offspring and He created us, yet on a spiritual level we did not belong to Him. This is Satan’s version of owning us: throwing us in an orphanage. No one adopts a child from a home where he is already living. After Jesus died for our sins, He emptied the orphanage and led His children to his heavenly kingdom where they will live with Him forever; we belong to Him now.

(60b) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Going from the flesh to the Spirit / Going from bondage to freedom -- These verses go with verses 21-31

(117gb) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Vision >> Real-eyes God’s purpose for the Church >> Understand Jesus' exalted position with the Father When the fullness of the time came, Jesus was born and went through a process of maturity and became a man to assume His position as savior of the world that we might rule with Him as kings and priests in a future kingdom that will never end. It says that He was born under the Law, born under the same constraints as we in order to redeem us from the Law. Although He was born in a body like ours, He was without sin, the only perfect man, innocent of all evil, the Son of God. He willingly gave Himself for our sins, so that through our acceptance of His sacrifice the Father can forgive our sins and receive us into His presence, and we become sons and daughters of God, under Christ who is our leader, who became like us that we might become like Him. Although we are under His authority, He has given us a position like His own, and in the life to come we will become kings and priests to reign with Him, and we will rule over nations and planets, solar systems and eventually galaxies. For now we have a small position of weakness to teach us humility; many are overcome by this and fail to exert their authority over the elementary principles of the world. We are called to preach the gospel message in order that men might be saved, yet many struggle with their own base problems and the gospel falls to the wayside.

(119l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Curse of God is broken >> Curse of the law is broken

(205k) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> Faith versus works >> The faith of God versus the faith of men >> Faith versus the flesh -- These verses go with verses 21-31

(237m) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> Transferred from the law to the Spirit

(238e) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> New creation >> The new creation is our spiritual identity – We are not slaves but sons and daughters of God, heirs of His kingdom through Christ. We need to understand the level of authority that God intends to give us; in fact we have already received it. The little infant child is an heir of the kingdom; he already possesses the authority simply by virtue of being born (again) to the King. Therefore, to the degree that Christ will delegate all His authority to His people in the life to come to manage His kingdom is the degree to which we have authority over Satan and the evil forces of darkness of this world and over the sinful nature of our flesh. Mat 6-10 says, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” This verse in the Lord's Prayer is saying, As it is in the life to come so it is in this life. God wants to give us authority in this life as Christians to convey His gospel to the world in order that His kingdom may be filled.

(245f) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm is imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestation of Jesus Christ >> Jesus is the manifestation of God’s grace

Gal 4,1-5

(215c) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing >> Fulfillment of God’s time >> The moment we have all been waiting for

Gal 4,1-3

(197c) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Spiritual laziness >> Rebelling against where God wants you to go >> Refuse to walk in freedom -- These verses go with verses 8-11

Gal 4-1

(5d) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Disciples are servants

(34e) Gift of God >> Believer owns everything >> All things belong to us

 

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

3-7 So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

 

Gal 4-3

(164g) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world system >> Satan’s system of authority >> His elementary principles of the world -- This verse goes with verses 8&9

Gal 4-4,5

(41b) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Jesus is without sin >> He fulfilled the law

Gal 4-4

(37e) Judgment >> Jesus’ humanity >> He was part of the lineage of David

Gal 4-6

(70d) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Being sensitive to the Spirit >> Spirit grieves over the flesh – We have the witness in our spirit that we are the children of God. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us who cries to God, longing to be in His presence and entreats us to take Him there as often as we can. Too often, though, we in our flesh subject our spiritual part to the filth of our depravity. As a result, the Holy Spirit cries in us for God. We interpret this as conviction of the Holy Spirit, which it is, but more important than the call to repent, God is calling us to bring our spiritual part into the presence of God and serve the child that God has placed in us.

(132k) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in God’s people >> Holy Spirit is in the hearts of men

(208g) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Personal relationship >> Being the friend of God >> Father & son relationship – In the sense that we are sons of God as Jesus is the Son of God, so we are kings and priests of Christ as Jesus is the King of kings and the Great High Priest, who made the ultimate sacrifice for us. Now we are His Sons and daughters and we cry “Abba Father”. God Almighty is our Daddy, and for a child to call His Father “Daddy” indicates that they spend a lot of time together, and there is an understanding between them that the Father loves His children very much, and He is willing to do anything for them.

(254j) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Holy Spirit >> Salvation of Jesus’ Spirit

Gal 4-7

(14c) Servant >> Slave is free/free is slave – Paul is pointing out the difference between an heir of the promise and a servant. He’s showing the difference between those who were born into royalty, who enjoy all the benefits of being a son of a very rich man, who has access to all the wealth of the estate, and the servant of the house who earns a weekly salary for his service. Even though God commands our flesh to be slaves of righteousness, we in our spirit are free as sons of the kingdom. Therefore, the son and the slave are the same person regarding flesh and spirit. We are either slaves of God and free in our spirit, which holds to promise, or we are slaves of the devil and free in our flesh to do what we wish, which bears consequences. We either do the demands of our flesh, forsaking the will of God, or we become a slave to the will of God, forsaking the desires of our flesh. We cannot have it both ways.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

8&9 However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?

 

Gal 4,8-17

(197e) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Man withers when he is in control >> Fruitlessness >> A fruitless life offends God

Gal 4,8-11

(171e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Vanity lacks worth

(176b) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Lacking experience with God

(197c) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Spiritual laziness >> Rebelling against where God wants you to go >> Refuse to walk in freedom -- These verses go with verses 21-31. Paul is getting closer to his real point. The Galatians are allowing themselves to slip back into bondage to various doctrines and belief systems rooted in values of the world that will eventually have more influence on them than the gospel itself if left unchecked, and for this reason Paul is concerned about them. He wants the truth of God to influence the Galatians, and if possible nothing else. Paul’s standard for the Church is extremely high, but he had to be that way, or else they would have forfeited the truth for 30 pieces of silver as Judas Iscariot received from the Pharisees for betraying the Lord Jesus Christ, and generations after them would suffer for their complacency which accumulates over the centuries, which has finally come to us. The gospel itself has changed very little as we read the Bible, but the behavior that we observe in so many religions and denominations influences us to interpret the Scriptures according to what we see in the Church instead of what we read in the Scriptures.

Gal 4,8-10

(231k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Count the cost >> Don’t look back to bondage -- These verses go with verses 21-31

Gal 4-8,9

(145h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Demon possession >> Human state >> Filthiness >> Deeds of the flesh

(161c) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Wander >> Wandering from the character of God >> Wandering from the truth

(161l) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Carried away by sin

(164g) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world system >> Satan’s system of authority >> His elementary principles of the world -- These verses go with verse 3. Paul asks why we are willing to become enslaved to these elemental things all over again? This sounds strikingly familiar to the Corinthian Church. They also had fleshly problems. They were more convinced in their flesh than they were in the things of God. The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, and that these things are more real than the world itself, which has no truth and is constantly changing. The world is based more on deception than fact. God's truth and His kingdom never changes and will never end.

(195h) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Worshipping other gods as a servant – Our possessions own us more than we own them, being tethered to them through the elementary principles of the flesh.

(203k) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Back-slider >> Practicing sin >> Living in sin

(208ja) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Personal relationship >> Being married to God >> Knowing God >> Church knows Christ as a woman knows a man –  It is more significant that God knows us than that we know Him. We can spend our whole lives coming to know God, but in the grand scheme of things, when we meet Him face to face, we will realize then that we were merely introduced to Him by the pledge of the Spirit that He has given to us, and that for the rest of eternity we will come to know God; meanwhile He knows us inside and out. So, to say that we know God requires a little interpretation, because yes we do know God, compared to those who don't, but how well we know Him is a matter of seeing through a glass dimly (1Cor 13). It is not an exaggeration that God knows us better than we know ourselves.

(217h) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> I never knew you >> Because you never did His will

Gal 4-8

(234i) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Sold out >> Relinquishing your assets to Christ >> Dispose of every asset except Christ

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

10-12 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain. 12 I beg of you, brethren, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong; 

 

Gal 4-10,11

(24b) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Anxiety >> Fear of losing the fruits of your labors -- These verses go with verse 20. Paul won thousands of people to the Lord and established many churches traveling the world preaching the gospel of Christ, and he did it all at a high cost to his flesh. Most likely, Jesus still has the nail holes in his hands and feet in His heavenly body, and His back will still be scarred, so too with Paul and everybody who has suffered for the cause of Christ. They will all bear in the their heavenly bodies throughout eternity the scars they incurred by faith in Jesus. Paul was whipped to the point of death five times. It is unimaginable to go through something like that once, let alone five times. What must he had been thinking the second time they tied him to that post? He was also mercilessly beaten and suffered shipwreck and was often in peril from both natural and human origin (2Cor 11,23-30). So yes, Paul was very possessive about the Church. For him to go through all that just to have the Galatians fall away from the faith would have been too much for him to bear, suggesting that while he was tied to the post and feeling the whip across his back, he was thinking about them as worth the pain. In Paul’s mind, simply responding to the gospel wasn’t good enough; they had to make it all the way to heaven before his suffering would be meaningful. He was concerned about the Galatians, wondering what he had to do to get through to them. The worst thing that could happen to Paul is not that they would string him up again but that the Church would fall away from their faith. The Galatians observed certain holidays, whether pagan or Jewish, these things did not pertain to faith in Jesus. We can go to a baseball game or a football game, because they don’t pertain to our faith in Christ. They are just recreational activities; Paul was more concerned that they trusted these things for their salvation. Paul was concerned that they were adding to the gospel. Adding anything to the gospel is to take away the significance of the cross, which is the only thing we believe that finds favor with God. The cross is all that gets us to heaven; it is all that makes us right with God.

(101h) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Managing God’s business

(173k) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Man’s Religion >> Deeds that are not initiated by God >> Traditions of men

(177d) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> False doctrine >> Doctrines of the precepts of men

Gal 4-11,12

(240c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Pastor (Shepherd) >> Paul has a shepherd’s heart -- These verses go with verse 19

Gal 4-11

(235k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> All things are for your sake >> We are fighting for you >> Our effort is for your sake

Gal 4-12

(11j) Servant >> Paul is our example of how to walk with God

(94a) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective on this life >> It is our investment in the Kingdom of God – Paul was beckoning the Galatians to rise to a higher level of maturity. He had come and preached to them where they lived and understood their ways, and instead of preaching the gospel according to his own perspective, being a Jew and an ex-Pharisee, he came to them as a Galatian and fellow man and spoke on their level and then requested them to stop acting like children in their thinking and behavior and become more like him.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

13-15 but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; 14 and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself. 15 Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me.

 

Gal 4,13-15

(43k) Judgment >> Satan destroyed in the absence of sin >> Perfected in weakness – When Paul asked God to take away the thorn in his flesh, which some say was his eye disease, He answered, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2Cor 12-9). God often leaves us in our circumstances in order to perfect His power in us. Sometimes people grow bitter because they think God should heal them; we want our lives perfect, but God wants His power perfected in us. Our lives will be perfect in heaven, but for now we must live in the imperfect and stand in awe as God weaves His perfection in us. What we want is our lives ordered, every circumstance, every situation, every jot and tittle; we want God to control it all for our benefit, and when there is something we consider out of order, we only need to pray and God will fix it for us; that is what we want, but God says that He is not serving us; we are serving Him. God served us when He sent His Son to die on the cross for us, and He lived a relatively miserable life. He wasn’t handsome or had an appearance that people sought; likewise, Paul was literally an eyesore, but His word that was perfected in Him through trials and difficulties hosted the power of God. If we want a perfect life, we will have to wait for our resurrected bodies, but until then, we live in an imperfect body and in an imperfect world, though we serve a perfect God, who desires to empower us with His grace through suffering. That is, God cannot perfect His power in us apart from suffering, which pushes us into His presence, causing us to seek Him for a remedy to our problems, and in that process He empowers us with his strength.

(130l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Accept one another >> Accept the weak – Paul digressed talking about a bodily illness, being the reason he preached to them the first time. Supposedly he had some kind of an eye disease. Some people consider this Paul’s thorn in the flesh, but the fact that it was mentioned only here, and maybe one or two other places, suggests that it was not much of a thorn. Paul’s thorn was quite a bit more significant than that. His thorn was the Jews, who pursued him from town to town and beat him with rods persecuting him and mercilessly whipped him.

(136b) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Similarity in the body >> The body suffers together – Paul did not tell the Galatians that God wanted us healthy all the time. It would be difficult for Him to make that point with his eyes oozing red with pus so severe that it was hard to look at him. If he didn’t teach the Galatians prosperity doctrines that we hear today, then he didn’t teach them to any of the churches; it simply was not taught in the first century, and if it wasn’t taught then, then it shouldn’t be taught now. We have not progressed to a higher plane or understand God better than the original apostles; if anything we have regressed to a point far lower in spiritual maturity. We know that God wants us healthy, and we will be healthy in the life to come, but God tends to let things fall as they may in this life, refusing to order all the circumstances of our lives or be in charge of every detail but works through a state of randomness that clearly exists. God heals when he wants and doesn’t heal when He wants, both for reasons that he will not tell us. At other times in Paul’s life God healed everyone who came in contact with him (Act 19-11,12), including Paul.

(145ea) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Those who were not healed

(169c) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> Blinded by Satan’s thoughts >> Blinded by a false sense of sight – By the time Paul got to Galatia he had developed an eye disease, which is ironic since Christ afflicted Paul’s eyes on his way to Damascus when he saw the glorified Christ. Jesus showed Paul a glimpse of Himself, and it caused him to suffer with eye problems throughout His life. The very organ he used to visualize Him was damaged, and apparently Paul was a rather horrid sight for the Galatians to behold. Paul came and preached Jesus to them, and he wasn’t much to look-at, but his words were anointed and they believed in Jesus despite his physical appearance. The Galatians received him as though he were Jesus Christ Himself.

Gal 4-14

(15f) Servant >> Angels are messengers from God >> They are sent to change our perspective

Gal 4-15

(101g) Thy kingdom come >> Zeal >> Zeal comes from a grateful heart

(204c) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Back-slider >> Practicing sin >> Withdrawing from a righteous standard of living

(235h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Giving (your inner self) >> Be liberal in your giving to be like God

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

16 So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?

 

Gal 4-16,17

(57fa) Paradox >> Opposites >> Making enemies by telling the truth – “Have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?” This is a common scenario in the Church these days. We meet people and become friends with them, and then we tell him about our faith in Jesus Christ, and suddenly they become our enemy. This has happened to virtually every Christian who conveys his faith. Many people in the world don’t want to know anybody who believes in Jesus or preaches at them.

(75h) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Being manipulative >> Controlling people in the dark >> Through hidden motives – Paul told the Galatian Church about Christ, and he made enemies with some of them. They called themselves Christians; how much more did Paul make enemies in the world when he preached the gospel to sinners? If members of the Church are enemies of those who tell the truth, how big are their enemies in the world? We shouldn’t make enemies in the Church by telling them the truth about Jesus. Those in the Church have supposedly made a claim to faith in the truth, except that there are two kinds of Christian: faithful and unfaithful. Those who are faithful in Christ have aligned their body with their spirit to avoid contradicting themselves; their words and actions correspond with their faith, and everything flows in the same direction toward Christ, but those Christians who are unfaithful contradict themselves on virtually every level. They are like a confluence of water currents running into each other from different directions, causing dangerous whirlpools and undertows. There are just about as many unfaithful as faithful members in the Church these days, who are just playing the game of Christianity. Their commitment to Christ and their faith virtually don’t exist, and when we tell them the truth, they become our enemies as Paul experienced. These are the very ones who eagerly seek us, not commendably, but they wish to shut us out so we will seek them. This means that if we want to fellowship with them, we must do so on their terms and not on terms of faith and love. They seek popularity in the Church, and when they find us, they shun us in hope that we will seek them, this being one of many contradictions in a thread of opposition that weaves throughout their lives. The only thing that doesn’t contradict itself is their self-contradiction. They are like finding a dead deer along the road; we smelled it before we saw it. If we seek spiritual fellowship from them, it is like following their decaying scent trail for meat. We cut into it looking for a part that isn’t rotten, and we find that the decay has infiltrated every fiber of the carcass, nothing we can cut off, throw into a frying pan and eat.

(170a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Stepping on people to get to the bottom >> Those who seek glory from men discard others

(223c) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Conceit >> Imposing your opinion of self on others >> Cliques make people seek your acceptance – People who were trying to place the Galatians in bondage to their religion used the old standby method of conceit to shut them out in order to make the Galatians think they had something of value to make the Galatians seek them. People who secretly introduce false doctrine and destructive heresies often do it through conceit. They attempt to invoke jealousy in their victims to get them to seek the very ones who are trying to place them in bondage, if they are foolish enough to take the bait. The best thing to do when people deploy their conceit on you is to ignore them right back, for people who use psychological mechanisms to control and manipulate people are the most easily manipulated.

Gal 4-16

(107i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> hearing from God >> Church is of the truth >> God’s people speak the truth – Paul asks the question, ‘Have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?’ This is a common occurrence. If you want to lose a friend, tell him the truth. If you want to make more enemies, tell them the truth. The truth does not make friends, but it sure does influence people. The negative response from telling people the truth is the result of their rejection of it. However, when people receive the truth, it becomes the main ingredient in unity. So, ironically the truth binds the Church together, but when people have an aversion to the truth, it has the power to divide. Therefore, however many religions there are in the world, and however many denominations there are in Christianity is a measure of people’s aversion to the truth. Paul was concerned about the Galatians in that he did not want division to gain a foothold among them. 

(124h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love your enemies >> Loving your enemies leaves room for God to Work >> Leave room for the salvation of God

(201d) Denying Christ >> Jesus is an offense >> Truth offends error >> The word offends peoples’ sinful lifestyles – Having an aversion to the truth is a symptom of something that runs deeper and is more insidious than division in the Church. Jesus claimed to be the truth; therefore, anyone who has an aversion to the truth has an aversion to Christ, raising a lot of red flags including the question of their salvation, for how can someone be saved and despise their savior? It also leaves the person open to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit if they despise His work in them and among them. This is the height of hypocrisy for Christians to despise the truth, since their great claim is that they are representing the truth in this world. The Bible says that those who belong to God are born of the truth and their lives revolve around the truth, so that if they have an aversion to it, they have an aversion to their own spiritual composition, which is a form of self-loathing. Christians above all need to know and love the truth, so that they can know and love themselves and each other, and allow the truth to bind them together in unity, for unity proves their love of the truth.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

17&18 They eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out so that you will seek them. 18 But it is good always to be eagerly sought in a commendable manner, and not only when I am present with you.

 

Gal 4-17

(22h) Sin >> Lust (craving pleasure) >> Boasting in the flesh – This verse is saying that people of the circumcision would seek out Christians who were trained by Paul not to receive circumcision, and would then give them the cold shoulder, attempting to make the Christians seek their approval, which would give them the opportunity to persuade them of their false teachings. The early church really struggled with the issue of circumcision, Paul harder than anyone, because he knew the threat that this mindset posed against Christianity, having once believed in circumcision as a Pharisee prior to his salvation. If he allowed symbolism to become the object of their faith, like baptism now is to some people, it would have replaced faith in Jesus with that of a mere formality.

(22l) Sin >> Pride glorifies self >> Seeking the glory of man

(58h) Paradox >> Opposites >> Shut you out that you might seek them

(76h) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Living by a double standard

(160k) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Temptation to walk in unbelief >> Tempted to pursue your addictions

(162i) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Being slaves of men >> Bad company >> Bad company will entangle you in their bondage -- This verse goes with verses 21-31

(165f) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Do not partake of the world >> Do not love the world

(167b) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind is set on the flesh >> Carnal mind cares only for itself

(202c) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Running from God >> Running to your sinful nature >> Run from God by running to your flesh

(222k) Conceit (Key verse)

(250g) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> Spiritual then the natural (anointing then miracles) – Israel completely misunderstood the Old Testament hundreds of years before Jesus ever came to them, so when Christianity came along and they tried to make circumcision a requirement of the new covenant, Paul was there to immediately squelch the dissenters. Israel over the years turned the symbolism of circumcision on its head, saying that those who were circumcised believed in God because they were circumcised, putting the cart before the horse sort-a speak. They claimed that the act of circumcision made them believers, whereas from the beginning Abraham believed first, then he was circumcised. Changing the order makes the difference between circumcision being a mere sign of their faith to being the very substance of it (Rom 4,1-13). Paul’s argument was that circumcision was not the faith of Abraham, only a sign that Moses perpetuated through the command of God. Since circumcision was misunderstood in the old covenant, Paul all the more wanted to eradicate it from the new, for had it been allowed to cross covenants, the misunderstandings surrounding it would have contaminated Christianity. Instead, we have taken baptism to mean the same thing, where people perform baptisms and then proclaim the participants Christians because they were baptized, not because they believe in Jesus. The order of events is important: first faith, then baptism.

Gal 4-18 

(81f) Thy kingdom come >> Pray without ceasing >> Obedience through continuous prayer

(92j) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way connects you to God >> It demonstrates your relation to Him

(143f) Sought commendably (Key verse)

(143i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Popularity >> Sought commendably >> Being sought for your relationship with God – To be eagerly sought we must have something in us that people need; and since we are talking about spiritual matters, if we have committed ourselves to spiritual maturity and achieved some level of it, we should expect to be sought commendably by those of less experience, who are striving for the things of God and are looking for someone to train them, so they too might grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, for those who have put in the time and effort to grow in the things of God nobody is seeking them; it is an indication that people are not interested in God. If anyone does anything at all to spiritually mature, he will be more spiritual than the average person, because in the Church today very few people are striving for spiritual maturity. If anybody is seeking us in these days, it is usually for material gain. For example, walk down the street and someone with a sad story may ask us for money; meanwhile, eternal life is dwelling in us and they don’t care about that in the least. What the mature Christian can expect to accomplish in these days for all their work is that he will find himself very much alone. In other words, people in these last days are not very commendable; there is little sincerity of heart among those who call themselves Christians; few are actually seeking God.


19&20 My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you- 20 but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

 

Gal 4-19,20

(3m) Responsibility >> Parents for their children >> Paul feels responsible for those he brings to the faith

(247d) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> God’s interests >> Concern >> Caring about the body of Christ

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Gal 4-19

(4e) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Being accountable in your stewardship

(33g) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Children need a Father to care for them

(43c) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Conform to the character of Christ >> Conform to His image

(72l) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> Authority makes you accountable >> Parents are responsible for their children

(99a) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Enduring the will of God >> Enduring the word of God >> Endure obeying the word of God

(99m) Thy kingdom come >> Persevere in ministering to the body of Christ

(135e) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Sins of the body >> Abortion >> Consequences of abortion >> The woman has no authority over the fetus because she cannot control what she conceives

(137g) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturing in Jesus is hard work >> Maturity is the process of growing

(173a) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Scripture that contradicts the catholic faith >> Relationship between Jesus and His mother >> Jesus is our savior, not Mary

(187c) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Ministry of dying to self >> Die to self to minister to people >> die to self to help the weak

(188d) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Suffering >> Growing pains >> Growing inwardly

(225j) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables about nurturing the people of God >> Parables about a woman in labor giving birth to a child – The Bible often uses the analogy of a woman giving birth to a child to represent the relationship between God and man. Paul is using it to represent his relationship with the Galatians. He was in constant labor and hardship with them, doing everything in his power to ensure their maturity. Paul suffered a lot for the Church. Not only was he whipped and beaten “times without number,” he also suffered the Galatians’ disobedience and immaturity in his struggle to wean them onto the Spirit and to deeper teachings of Christ. He struggled to keep their doctrines pure and the Church free from heresy and bondage.

(229h) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> Kingdom assumes the mind of Christ >> Kingdom grows into the likeness of Christ – It is interesting that Paul is the one in labor, though the child is formed in the Galatians, suggesting that Paul is the head of the Galatian Church, while the Galatians are the body of Paul’s ministry. Usually when a person is in labor, the child is about to be born, but Paul was in labor throughout the entire term of pregnancy, until Christ was formed in them. Then they could give birth to a ministry that would manifest Jesus Christ on the earth. Until then Paul continues in his suffering with the Galatians, striving with them in stride with God, helping them understand what God wants from them, that they might come to a full realization of the truth and be liberated from all their vices and devices that are in the world that want to enslave them to evil desires that oppose the will of God.

(238b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> Born again >> Born of the Spirit by the will of man – Paul depicted himself as though he were a pregnant woman with the Galatians; they hadn’t yet become infants, let alone mature in the faith. A baby is expelled from the womb after it is fully formed, and the child begins to grow from there. This process of growth in the womb requires no effort from the fetus; things happen to it outside its control with no responsibility. When it is born and becomes an infant, though, there are still low expectations on the child, until later when it becomes a toddler, and then responsibilities are slowly added to the child. He must begin to control what he does and where he goes it and what he puts in his mouth, etc. More and more responsibilities are given to the child until he becomes an adult. The stage of the fetus is where Paul saw the Galatians, not mature enough to do anything for themselves. Paul was doing everything for them; he preached Jesus to them and the Holy Spirit did His work without requiring anything from them. However, no woman wants to be pregnant forever. The hope of pregnancy is that she will give birth to a healthy baby who will then grow, mature and take on responsibility, and this was Paul’s hope for the Galatians. Paul could hardly ask them to do anything. All he could do was preach Jesus to them and hope they would receive it, until the creation of God was ready to be born, and then Paul could just begin to ask things from them.

(240c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Pastor (Shepherd) >> Paul has a shepherd’s heart -- This verse goes with verses 11&12

Gal 4-20

(24b) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Anxiety >> Fear of losing the fruits of your labors -- This verse goes with verses 10&11. The Galatians were like a puzzle that Paul couldn’t put together. He did his work; he preached and preached to them, still they were grossly immature. Paul said in chapter three, “Who has bewitched you?” suggesting that they were into witchcraft and paganism, living like they did before they got saved, believing in their foolish idols and doing their own thing and expecting God to bless them. These are all common problems with the Church today. The Church is a puzzle, like Humpty Dumpty, and no one can put him together again. There is not just one piece out of place; the whole puzzle is scrambled and we can’t find two pieces that go together. It is a hopeless mess and only God can solve it. For Him to do that we must wait for Him, and He will fix our problems in His time and in His way.

(138e) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Reproof >> Reprove your brother for spreading false doctrine – Paul was perplexed about the Galatians because they were not content with their salvation based on faith. Certain legalists were trying to dissuade them to base their salvation on works, so that when they performed a list of procedures, it would qualify them for heaven, and at the top of the list was circumcision. How terrible it would be for the Son of God to give His life and then for us to be saved instead by performing a list of rites and ceremonies, circumventing the cross. One the one hand, Paul was perplexed about them because faith is so easy; he didn’t know why they wanted to make things difficult for themselves. On the other hand there is a lot of presumption surrounding “faith”, it is not easy for most people. We need to understand that faith means believing in Jesus’ blood sacrifice, in that if we believe in something else, it wouldn’t be faith that Paul taught. Most people consider faith too intangible for their taste; they would prefer to trust something that exists in the natural realm. This makes them naturalist Christians, and secularism is an extension of naturalism. Legalists don’t want to step their toe in the spiritual realm but prefer to remain in the realm of baptism, circumcision and communion, not that we shouldn’t do these things, but we shouldn’t entrust our souls to them. We have all heard individuals say that they have fixed their salvation on the fact that they were baptized, but the Bible teaches that we get baptized because we are saved, not in order to get saved. The ceremony of baptism represents obedience, among other things; in fact Jesus called it righteousness at His own baptism. If a person believed in Jesus for eternal life but was never baptized, he would still go to heaven, yet the nagging question would remain that since he believed, why wasn’t he baptized? Baptism is a symbol of faith, and so is communion and all the ceremonies; they are not the substance of faith. Baptism in the first century was not the stumbling block that it is today; instead, their stumbling block was circumcision. Now people believe that you must be baptized in order to be saved, just like they believed in the first century that you needed to be circumcised to be saved, but Paul said that we are saved by grace through faith, not as a result of works (Eph 2-8,9).


21-31 Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. 23 But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. 24 This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. 27 For it is written, "REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND." 28 And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. 30 But what does the Scripture say? "CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON, FOR THE SON OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE AN HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREE WOMAN." 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.

 

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Gal 4,21-31

(11b) Servant >> Standard for being a servant >> A Spirit-filled life – You don’t hear much about this portion of Scripture, I think because it is not easily understood; you need to be well versed in both the New and the Old Testaments. Being spirit-filled is only one of many things that Paul was trying to get across to us here. In some respects he was summing up the theme of the New Testament (which is freedom), contrasting examples from the Old to make his point. The goal of freedom is obedience, and the goal of obedience is living a spirit-filled life. Don’t let that phrase "spirit-filled" trip you up; it simply means obeying the Holy Spirit.

(20g) Sin >> Doubt is the consequence of the fear of death – The sons of Ishmael, Hagar’s son, have most likely become the middle-eastern terrorists who are plaguing the world today. Had Abraham not bore a son through Hagar, middle-eastern terrorism probably would not exist. As it is, there has always been enmity with Israel from jealousy, because Abraham’s son Isaac received the promise, and it happened that Abraham had another son, who was not meant to be, and there is rivalry between Isaac and Ishmael to this day. Some say that the rivalry descended from jealousy between Jacob and Esau; either way it is the same. Ishmael was Abraham’s idea, whereas Esau was God’s idea. If the current rivalry against Israel is the result of jealousy between Jacob and Esau, that rivalry is something God has ordained, but if it is the result of jealousy between Isaac and Ishmael, then it is the result of Abraham’s disobedience, and that actually makes more sense. It is more likely that the problems we face today with terrorism are the result of man’s sin, Abraham’s moment of weakness.

(33c) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Believers are children of promise -- The difference between Sarah and Hagar is the difference between an heir of the king and a slave, as mentioned in the beginning of this chapter: the heir has access to the entire kingdom, whereas the bondwoman received a mere wage. Paul associated Ishmael, the child of the bondwoman, with the current Jerusalem; having been born according to the flesh, born outside the promise. So, Jerusalem is a city that exists in the natural realm, but there is also a heavenly city. The New Jerusalem is the dwelling place of God and His children, which Paul associated with the promise of Isaac who represents the promise of the spirit, whereas Ishmael represents the law. The child of the bondwoman is in slavery even as Jerusalem is in bondage to the limitations of the natural realm, but He says of Isaac that his descendants will be more numerous than the sand on the seashore, far outweighing the greatness Ishmael.

(60b) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Going from the flesh to the Spirit / Going from bondage to freedom -- These verses go with verses 1-7. The Bible speaks extensively about inheritance. We inherit things from our relatives after they die, and we received our inheritance of the new creation from Christ through the cross after He died, but God raised Him from the dead. The situation we now find ourselves as born-again believers in Jesus is that we have become co-owners of the creation with Christ. After we leave this body and take on immortality, our relationship with God will be the same with God and His creation that Christ has with His Father.

(119a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Law of the spirit >> Freedom from the law

(151b) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> New Testament bears witness of the Old >> The Patriarchs >> Abraham >> Promises to Abraham – Paul launched a complex argument, contrasting the son of promise (Sarah’s Isaac) with the son of the bondwoman (Hagar’s Ishmael). Abraham had two sons from two different women, one from the bondwoman and one from the free woman. The promise of a son was given to Abraham and his wife, Sarah. Hagar was Abraham’s idea, having tired of waiting for God and thought the promise would never come, he decided to take matters into his own hands and bore a son through his wife's maid. In spite of this act of disobedience God still considers Abraham to be the Father of our faith, because Abraham fulfilled God’s plan, though he had periods of doubt, though there are consequences that plague the world to this day. On the one hand, the lineage of Ishmael is a fork in the genealogy of Abraham, the son that resulted from Abraham’s doubt. Ishmael’s descendants largely comprise the Muslim faith and have persecuted Christianity to this present day. On the other hand, Isaac was the son of the free woman; he was the son that God promised Abraham through Sarah. 

(162i) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Being slaves of men >> Bad company >> Bad company will entangle you in their bondage -- These verses go with verse 17

(172h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Tares among the wheat >> False doctrine among the truth

(184j) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Abusing the grace of God >> Dragging God’s Grace Through The Mud >> Unwilling to honor God’s grace

(187ha) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Spirit versus the flesh >> Deny the flesh to walk in the Spirit >> Deny bondage to walk in freedom

(192g) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Waiting for God to do it His way >> Being patient to receive something better – Just because God promised Abraham a son didn’t mean he would receive it immediately. God made Abraham wait for many years. Isaac would become a miracle upon a miracle, who would come both from a barren woman and from a woman well beyond her child bearing hears. This is how God operates; He harvests as much faith from us as possible prior to fulfilling His promise, because faith honors Him. Therefore, don't be offended if God makes you wait before He fulfills His promises. 

(197c) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Spiritual laziness >> Rebelling against where God wants you to go >> Refuse to walk in freedom -- These verses go with verses 1-3

(205k) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> Faith versus works >> The faith of God versus the faith of men >> Faith versus the flesh -- These verses go with verses 1-7. The problem with the Galatians was they wanted to be under law. They wanted to go back to the familiar way, where Paul met them and preached the gospel of Christ to them while they were under Jewish law. Paul had to remind them that there is a new and better covenant now, but they needed to receive it and walk in the new covenant anointing of the Holy Spirit.

(231k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Count the cost >> Don’t look back to bondage -- These verses go with verses 8-10

(240g) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Hindering the kingdom >> Natural disadvantage of the flesh >> The sinful flesh

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Gal 4,21-23

(36l) Gift of God >> Adopted >> We are adopted by the Spirit

Gal 4-21

(178h) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Hypocrisy >> Hypocrisy of the Church is rebuked >> The Church is rebuked for disunity

Gal 4-23

(167g) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind does not receive the things of God >> It does not understand the word of God -- This verse goes with verse 29

Gal 4-24

(205g) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> New covenant >> The new one is a better one

Gal 4-29

(167g) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind does not receive the things of God >> It does not understand the word of God -- This verse goes with verse 23

(238aa) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> Born again by the will of Christ

(243e) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Sources of persecution >> Persecution from jealousy – Paul reminded the Galatians, though they were gentiles, that they belonged to the child of the free woman, who was Isaac. They are children of promise who live and walk by faith, but also warned that those who were born according to the bondwoman persecuted those of the free woman. As the world persecutes Christianity, so those in the Church who walk according to the law of their flesh will persecute those who walk in the Spirit. “But what does the Scripture say? Cast out the bond woman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.” The descendants of Ishmael will never submit to the gospel of Jesus Christ, anymore than those who love to be ruled by law will submit to the covenant of the spirit, for the flesh and the spirit are opposites, just as freedom and bondage are opposites.

Gal 4-30,31

(191g) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Set apart >> God sanctifies us by His doing

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