1: A commonly cited verse, where Paul is reiterating that Christ has set us free from following the ceremonial laws and regulations in order to be accepted by Him.
2-7: Paul’s point that no matter how “small” or “big” something is, all matters. Anything you add to the Gospel makes Christ of no advantage. Only faith in in Christ can save you. Not Christ plus something else.
Question: When in your life have you felt the most free and why was that the case? How does the Gospel give you that same sense of freedom?
Question: What do you do or struggle with in your life that limits your freedom?
7: Initially the Galatians were running well. That is they believed in the gospel. Then many of them were turning back to following the law as a means of earning God’s love.
11: If Paul still preachers circumcision, it takes away the offense of the cross because then human pride and effort would return as a way to “earn” salvation. The cross is offensive because it means that there is nothing we can actually to do earn it.
13-14: Paul is saying that grace doesn’t free us to do whatever we want, but it frees us to resist enslaving ourselves to things of this world. The command to love and serve others then is not a means of earning God’s love, but instead a response to what God has done for us.
Question: Who in your life is really difficult to love, and why is the case? How does remembering how Christ has loved you help you love these difficult people?
Question: The Galatians had false teachers pulling them away from the truth of the Gospel. What in your life do you find pulls you away from believing and knowing God loves you for you and not your performance?
16-18: The desires of the flesh and the spirit lead us into two opposite directions.
19-24: Paul then gives a list of the things that come from either walking by the flesh or walking by the spirit. And if you belong to Christ Jesus, you should desire to crucify the flesh.
Question: How have you experienced the fruit of the Spirit in your life when you have intentionally loved and served others above yourself?
Question: When you are in periods where your relationship with Christ isn’t where it should be, what fruits of the Spirit are noticeably absent for you?