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GALATIANS CHAPTER 4

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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 the flesh – Paul is talking about covenants, where the child refers to individuals and nations under those covenants, and he used the child as an analogy for both Israel and immature Christians. Israel was born under an Abraham-ic covenant, which was ruled by law, and through that law they were held in bondage to the elemental things of the world, until the time set by the Father. Then He sent forth His Son to establish a new covenant in His blood to redeem those under the law that they might receive the adoption as sons. So the child is Israel, but the duel purpose of the analogy refers to immature Christians under the covenant of grace, yet are no less held in bondage to the elemental principles of their flesh 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 means that nations without law are doomed to anarchy and chaos, while nations that embrace the law have rejected the grace of God, suggesting a no-win situation. What does it take for a nation to successfully live with or without law? It requires a large nucleus of Christians to build a strong Church and become the salt of the earth and a city set on a hill as they were called. This was Israel’s calling and they rejected it, and so has every gentile nation after them throughout the new covenant.

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, who as an infant is no different from a child slave, except that he is owner of everything. His Father is King of a kingdom that stretches over all creation, so in the life to come all other kingdoms will fall under its authority. Paul is talking about Christians who believe in Jesus, 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. On the flipside of this analogy 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, 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 infantile behavior, which keeps us from preparing to become kings and priest of a future kingdom. 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. Our effectiveness in delivering the gospel will determine our future authority to rule over nations in the age to come.

(36l) Gift of God >> Adopted >> We are adopted by the Spirit -- These verses go with verses 21-23. The Father has adopted us as His 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 He created us, we did not belong to Him, for we were born under Satan's jurisdiction. Here is Satan’s version of owning us: he threw us in an orphanage and mistreated us; but 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 became a man to assume His position as Savior of the world to rule the nations as the Great High Priest of a kingdom that will never end. It says that He was born under the Law, born under the same constraints as we, that He might redeem us from the curse. 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, that through our acceptance of His sacrifice the Father may forgive our sins and receive us into His presence, and we become His sons and daughters and brothers and sisters to the King, leader of the universe. Although we are under His authority, He has given us a position like His own, and in the life to come we will rule with Him as kings and priests over nations and planets, over solar systems and eventually galaxies. For now, though, we have a small position in a state of weakness to teach us humility; many are overcome by it and fail the test-phase of their son-ship over the elementary principles of the world. See also: New heavens and a new earth (God will create another race of man and put us in charge of them); 2Tim 2-10; 234f

(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 has given us. The infant child is an heir of the kingdom, who already possesses the authority of his Father simply by being a child of the King. Therefore, to the degree that Christ delegates all His authority to His people for the purpose of managing 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.” On the flipside of this verse in the Lord's Prayer it 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

 

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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 children of God; He is the indwelling Holy Spirit who cries to God, longing to be with Him and entreats us to take Him there often as we can in prayer. Too often, though, our flesh subjects the Spirit of God within us to our filth and depravity, and as a result, the Holy Spirit grieves within us and we grieve with Him. We experience this as conviction but more importantly a call to repent.

(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 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 intimacy achieved by spending a lot of time together with the understanding that the Father loves His children very much.

(254j) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Holy Spirit >> Salvation of Jesus’ Spirit – Jesus was born with the Spirit of His Father dwelling in Him as His soul, suggesting that He has no soul of His own, which would define Him as a unique person; as it is, He gets His identity from His Father. We are just the opposite having a soul but no spirit, that is, being unique persons but having no connection to God. Therefore, God and man complete each other, God giving us the Spirit of His Son and the Church collectively being the soul of Christ, which defines the marriage between Christ and the Church.

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 slave, showing the difference between those who were born into royalty, who enjoy all the benefits of being a son of a rich man, having access to all the wealth of the estate, and the butler who earns a weekly salary for his services. Although God commands our flesh to be slaves of righteousness, we in our spirit are free as sons. The son and the slave are the same person regarding flesh and spirit, either being slaves of God and embracing the promises or slaves of the devil and free in our flesh to do as we wish, which bears consequences. We either walk in the flesh, forsaking the will of God, or we become His slave, forsaking the desires of our flesh, but we cannot have it both ways.

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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 into bondage to worthless doctrines and worldly beliefs that will overtake their hearts if left unchecked. He wanted the truth of God to influence the Galatians, and if possible nothing else. Paul’s standard for the Church was 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 did in his betrayal of the Lord. Generations after them would have suffered for their complacency which accumulates over the centuries, finally coming to us. The gospel itself has not changed as we read in the Bible, but the behavior that we observe in so many people who claim to believe in Jesus tempt us to interpret the Scriptures according to what we see in them, rather than what we read in Scripture.

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 so willing to become enslaved to the elemental things of the world? This sounds strikingly familiar to the Corinthian Church, for they too had fleshly problems. The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and that is more real than the world itself, if we could just believe it, but the world's "truth" is constantly changing, because it is based on deception rather than fact, whereas God's truth and His kingdom never changes, and it 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.

(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 –  We can spend our whole lives coming to know God, but it will forever remain true that God knows us far better than we know Him. When we meet Him face to face, then we will realize that we were merely introduced to Him by the pledge of the Spirit that He has given us, and that for the rest of eternity we will come to know Him; meanwhile He knows us inside and out. To say we know God requires a bit of interpretation in that we do know God compared to those who don't, but how well we know Him, seeing through a glass dimly (1Cor 13-12), is more exaggeration than fact.

(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

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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, and he did it all at a high cost to his person. Most likely, Jesus still has the nail holes in his hands and feet in His heavenly body, and His back is still scarred. So too with Paul and all who suffer persecution for the cause of Christ; they will forever bear in the their heavenly bodies the brand marks of 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 been thinking the second time they tied him to the post? He was also mercilessly beaten and suffered shipwreck and was often in peril from man and beast (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 being 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 to a whipping post, but that the Church would fall away from the faith. The Galatians observed certain holidays, whether pagan or Jewish; he was concerned that they trusted these things for their salvation. Paul didn't want them adding to the gospel, which is to take away significance from the cross, which is the only thing we believe that finds favor with God. The cross is all that makes us right with God. See also: Paul's suffering; 1The 3,1-5; 209h

(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 spoke on their level and requested they stop acting like children in their thinking and behavior and grow-up.

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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; 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 be patient as God weaves His perfection in us. We want our lives ordered, every circumstance, every situation, every jot and tittle under control, and when there is something we consider out of place, we want to merely pray and God will come running to fix it, 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 God's word perfected Him through trials and difficulties. If we want a perfect life, we will have to wait for heaven, 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. God cannot perfect His power in us apart from suffering, in that suffering pushes us into His presence closer to Him than we would otherwise care to go and 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. Apparently, he had some sort of 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. They pursued him from town to town and beat him, persecuted 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 bloodshot eyes oozing 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 plateau 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, for we all will be healthy in the life to come, but God tends to let things fall as they may in this life, refusing to order our circumstances or be in charge of every detail but works through the 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, suggesting that the sinful flesh of our bodies is not included in the blessings and promises of God. The very organ he used to see Him was damaged, his eye problem being 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

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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: we meet someone and become friends, and then we tell him about our faith in Jesus Christ, and suddenly he becomes our enemy. This repeatedly happens to every disciple of Jesus who conveys his faith, whether it be in the world or in the Church.

(75h) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Being manipulative >> Controlling people in the dark >> Through hidden motives – Paul told the Galatians about Christ, and he made enemies with some of them; how much more did he make enemies in the world preaching the gospel to unbelieving sinners? It shouldn't make enemies in the Church to tell the truth from God, but it frequently does. They supposedly have made a claim to faith in the truth, except that there are two kinds of Christians: faithful and unfaithful. Those who are faithful in Christ have dedicated their lives to the word of God and prayer and avoid contradicting their words and actions, but unfaithful Christians contradict themselves on every level. They are like a confluence of waters running into each other from different directions, causing dangerous currents and deadly undertows. There are just about as many unfaithful as faithful Christians in the Church these days, who are playing the game of churchianity, and when we tell them the truth, they become our enemies. They eagerly seek us, not commendably but shut us out to make us seek them. They want everything on their terms, using their flashy personalities to seek popularity among the brethren and then shun us in hope that we will seek their status. If we do, they put us in bondage to the elementary principles of their flesh to which they are enslaved. Like finding a dead deer along the road, we smell it before we see it. If we seek their fellowship, it is like following their decaying scent trail for meat, cutting into it and finding nothing salvageable. See also: Cliques; 223c

(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 standard method of conceit to shut them out in order to tempt the Galatians to seek them. People who secretly introduce false doctrine and destructive heresies often use conceit, invoking jealousy in their victims to get people to seek them for the sake of putting them in bondage, if they are foolish enough to take the bait. The best thing the Galatians could do was ignore them. Those who use psychological mechanisms like this to control and manipulate people are also easily manipulated. See also: Cliques; 75h

Gal 4-16

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

(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 a problem much bigger and is even more insidious than division in the Church. Jesus claimed to be the truth; therefore, anyone who has an aversion to the truth hates Christ. This raises a lot of red flags including the question of their salvation, for how can someone be saved and despise their own Savior? 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 Christ are born of the truth and their lives revolve around Him, so if they have an aversion to the truth, they have an aversion to their own Master and Lord, which is paradoxical to say the least.

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Gal 4-17

(22h) Sin >> Lust (craving pleasure) >> Boasting in the flesh – People of circumcision (legalism) seek those whom Paul trained to refuse circumcision, giving them the cold shoulder, trying to make them seek their approval, which would give them 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 this mindset posed against Christianity, having once been a legalist as a Pharisee prior to his conversion. If the Galatians allowed symbolism to become the object of their faith, like baptism is now to some people, it would have replaced faith in Jesus with mere formality. See also: Legalism; Gal 4-20; 138e

(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 was born, so when Christianity came along and they tried to make circumcision a requirement of salvation, Paul was there to immediately squelch the dissent. Israel over the years got the cart before the horse and transformed circumcision from a symbol of faith to faith itself, saying that those who were circumcised believed in God because they were circumcised. They claimed that the act of circumcision made them believers, forcing circumcision ahead of faith, whereas from the beginning Abraham believed first, then he was circumcised. Changing the order turns circumcision from a mere sign of faith to the very substance of it (Rom 4,1-13), whereas Paul’s argument was that circumcision did not encapsulate Abraham's faith but merely represented it. Circumcision was misunderstood in the old covenant, and Paul all the more wanted to eradicate it from the new covenant, for fear that the misconception would cross covenants and contaminate Christianity too. We have taken baptism to mean the same thing; people perform baptisms thinking it saves people, and then proclaim the participants saved because they were baptized, whereas the Bible teaches that we baptize people who first believe. 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 faith in 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, we should expect to be sought commendably by those who are striving for the things of God, so they might grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 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 people seek the disciples of Jesus, it is probably for material gain. What the mature Christian can expect in these days is that he will find himself very much alone. In other words, people are not very commendable; there is little sincerity of heart who call themselves Christians, few who actually seek the Lord.

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 revelation of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Paul 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” (2Cor 11-23), he also suffered the Galatians’ disobedience and immaturity in his struggle to wean them from the flesh to the Spirit. 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 was formed in the Galatians, suggesting that Paul was head of the Galatian Church, while the Galatians were 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 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 continued in his suffering with the Galatians, striving with them in stride with God, helping them understand what the Lord wanted from them, that they might come to a full revelation of the truth and be liberated from all their vices and devices that were in the way of understanding Christ.

(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 a pregnant woman with the Galatians; they hadn’t yet become infants, much less mature children 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 responsibilities applied, and once the child is born and becomes an infant, still few expectations are placed on her, until she becomes a toddler, and then responsibilities are slowly added to the child. She must begin to control what she does and where she goes and what she puts in her mouth, with more responsibilities added as she races toward adulthood. The Galatians were stuck in the infant stage of life, 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. No parent wants to permanently raise their children but wants to see them grow, mature and take on responsibility.

(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 they were into witchcraft (performing certain rites expecting to move the hand of God, such as in circumcision) and paganism (worshiping god in ignorance hoping to gain his favor), 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; it is in bondage to idolatry. 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, apparently being too intangible for them. The reason legalists try to persuade people to base their salvation on works, is because they personally do not believe in Jesus. The perform a list of procedures hoping to qualify them for heaven, but this is the same recipe that witches use to perform their incantations of magic. At the top of the list of the many forms of witchcraft that the Galatians were doing was circumcision. All forms of legalism are witchcraft, defined as anything we do in hope of obtaining God's favor. We are already in God's favor (Lk 2-13,14), and so there is nothing we need do but believe in Him! How terrible it would be for the Son of God to give His life just to be saved by performing a lot of lifeless 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 complicate things. On the other hand there was a lot of presumption surrounding “faith”; it is not easy for most people. We need to understand that the object of our faith is Jesus’ blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin, but if we add anything to that, it is no longer faith but works. Legalists are secularists, and secularism is an extension of naturalism, and naturalism is linked to atheism, which believes God doesn't exist. So legalists unwittingly treat God as though He doesn't exist. We have all heard people say that they are saved because they were baptized. The Bible teaches that we get baptized after we are converted to the faith, not before, that is, not for the purpose of getting 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 be that since he believed, why wasn’t he baptized? The same can be said about obedience... if a person is saved, then why doesn't he obey Christ? Baptism is a symbol of faith, and so is communion and all the ceremonies; they merely represent our faith. Baptism in the first century was not the stumbling block that it is today; their stumbling block was circumcision. Now people believe that you must get baptized in order to be saved, just like they believed in circumcision, but Paul said that we are saved by grace through faith, not as a result of works (Eph 2-8,9). See also: Legalism; Gal 4-17; 22h

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Gal 4,21-31

(11b) Servant >> Standard for being a servant >> A Spirit-filled life – Being spirit-filled is only one of many things 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 Testament to make his point. The goal of freedom is obedience, and the goal of obedience is to live a spirit-filled life, which is to be led by the Holy Spirit.

(20g) Sin >> Doubt is the consequence of the fear of death – The sons of Ishmael, who was born to Hagar, Sarah’s maid, have most likely become the middle-eastern terrorists who are plaguing the world today, suggesting that had Abraham not born a son through Hagar, middle-eastern terrorism may not exist today. There has always been enmity against Israel, because Abraham’s son Isaac received the promise, and it happened that Abraham had another son, who was not conceived according to promise, Ishmael, and there is rivalry between them to this day. Some say the rivalry descended from jealousy between Jacob and Esau, but Ishmael was Abraham’s idea and Esau was God’s idea, meaning that if the current rivalry against Israel is between Jacob and Esau, that rivalry is something God has ordained, but if it is between Isaac and Ishmael, then it is the result of Abraham’s disobedience, which makes more sense. It is more likely that the problems we face today with terrorism are the result of Abraham’s moment of doubt.

(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 receives a mere hourly wage. Paul associated Hagar's seed with the current Jerusalem; having been born according to the flesh apart from the promise made to the free woman, who is Sarah; she is our mother. Jerusalem is a city that exists in the natural realm, but there is also a heavenly city, the New Jerusalem. It is the dwelling place of God and of His children, who inherited the promise through Isaac, but Ishmael represents the law that holds no promise for the afterlife. Therefore, the child of the bondwoman is confined to the earth and is in slavery to the elementary principles of the world, even as Jerusalem is in bondage to conflict and turmoil. God says of Isaac that his descendants will inherit eternal life and be more numerous than the sand that is on the seashore. No one has ever counted the grains of sand that a five-gallon bucket can hold, because the number would range in the millions. So if we filled a thousand buckets with sand, the grains of sand they held would represent about as many people that have descended from Isaac throughout the centuries. That hardly accounts for all the sand that is on the seashore, so was God being sarcastic when He made His promise to Abraham? No! God intends to create a new race of man through the Church in heaven, and they will multiply into infinity, fulfilling God's promise to Abraham that His descendants will be more numerous than the sand that is on the seashore. See also: New heavens and a new earth (Church is wife of the Lamb); Eph 5,22-33; 224e

(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 as Christ 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, but 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 moments of doubt. However, there are consequences that have plagued the world since Abraham's sin. 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, whereas 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, when Paul met them and preached the gospel to them under Jewish law. Paul had to remind them that there is a new and better covenant now, but they needed to leave the old and cleave to 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 flesh 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.” Those who love this present world and are ruled by the flesh will never submit to the freedom of the Spirit, for the flesh and the spirit are opposites, 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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