1-3: Children heir’s are the same as slaves in that they are still under the authority of others until a specified time in their life. In the same way, the Jews were a slave to the law, and the Gentiles to their various pagan religions.
4-7: But God sent Jesus at just the right time, so that we may be adopted as God’s children so we no longer have to be slaves, but his child, making us an heir because what Jesus did for us.
Question: The idea of adoption is a major theme in Christianity. In some ways adoption is more selfless of an act than having your own biological children. How does it make you feel knowing that God wants to adopt you, instead of you being a “biological” child in which case you “deserved” his love and grace?
Question: How should this idea of adoption help us deal with the racial tension and issues in our country?
8-11: The Gentiles were enslaved to “gods” that were not really God, the Jews who thought the law could save them were a slave to that. So Paul is asking why they would want to go back there.
12: Paul is encouraging to become like he is, which is not a slave to these things.
17: Some Jewish leaders by going back to following the law, were trying to shut out those who did not follow it.
19: Paul refers to the Galatians as little children, because they haven’t been growing in their faith, and in fact many are doing the opposite and going back to things that are not the Gospel to “save” them.
Question: The Gospel frees us from being a slave to things. Not just to sin, but also to things we think we must do for God to love us. Either before you became a Christian or now, what are some of the things that you thought you had to do to make God love you?
Question: Spiritual maturity is not a linear thing, we all go back and forth at times when it comes to growing in our faith. What are some common themes for you that cause you to stagnate or “go backwards” in your faith?
22-24: Paul is using that life of Abraham and his two sons Isaac and Ishmael as an example. Ishmael was born of the “flesh,” that is when Abraham and Sarah took matters into their own hands and weren’t trusting God to provide.
26: The promise, Isaac, came from God (who promised Abraham a son), not of a forced effort by Abraham and Sarah.
Paul is saying that we are children of the promise, and not to be slaves to things of this world.
Question: When was a time in your life where you know you were trying to force something instead of being faithful to God’s leading?
Question: What is the hardest thing for you when it comes to waiting faithfully on God and his timing?