Welcome back to our online Inductive Bible Study on the book of Galatians, “Free from Bondage God’s Way” by Kay Arthur. We just completed Week One, “Saved by Grace but in Bondage to the Law?” Our first assignment was to read through the entire book of Galatians in one sitting. I always find it enlightening to read the entire book in various Bible translations as well.
Paul wrote to the churches in the region of Galatia. If you were to receive a letter like this in your mailbox, what would your initial impression be? My first impression was ….
Paul is disappointed, possibly even frustrated, maybe even angry, with the Galatians, whom he called his “brethren.” But because Paul referred to the Galatians as brethren, they must be Christians, and he cared enough about them to write them a letter to set them straight.
“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” Galatians 1:6
The Galatians had heard Paul’s preaching, they accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and they placed their faith in Him. So what could have happened to these early Christians that caused them to turn away from Jesus Christ?
They were listening to what Paul called “a gospel contrary to what you received” (1:9), and listening to legalists who said they needed both the keys of faith and good works (the law) to be saved. Imagine their confusion! However, many people today are just as confused and think they have to do good works in order to be saved.
Paul said, “For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:11
We know the Gospel is true because it comes straight from God and it changes lives. We need to know God’s Word, and the only way to know it is to study it for ourselves, so we do not become confused when we hear a sermon preached that is contrary to God’s Word. A teacher may be sincere and still be sincerely wrong. And so my friends, that is the purpose of Inductive Bible Study. We are going straight into God’s Word and studying it for ourselves, Word for Word, Precept upon Precept. It may even seem a bit repetitive, but that’s how we learn, by reading, re-reading and re-reading again until the truth of God’s Word permeates into our very soul, heart and mind.
What an awesome first week of study this has been! Aren’t you awed by all that you have observed on your own simply by observing the text for yourself? Savor these truths, think about these truths, store these truths in your heart, talk to your Father about them, and thank Him for giving you His Holy book to study and to live by!
BIBLE STUDY TIP: It is so exciting to discover truth for yourself! Do not consult any outside sources until you do your homework first. Once you have completed your weekly assignments, read what the scholars have to say in your favorite commentary. Then you can decide if you agree based on what you have discovered in your study.
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Join a small group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students. https://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCInductiveStudies/
- Complete your study of Week Two, “Shackled by Your Past?”
- Pray before you begin your study. Ask your resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
- Do an online word study on the “Gospel” (Galatians 1:6, 8, 11) at www.blueletterbible.org. Instructions for doing a word study are located in “Files” in the Inductive Studies chat room.
- Store in your heart Galatians 1:8 (Week One, Day Seven).
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment here)
- The title of our study book on Galatians is “Free from Bondage God’s Way.” Do you sense that the Galatians were under any sort of bondage? Do we face any of the same issues that the Galatians faced? Give examples.
- What does Paul mean by “this present evil age” (Galatians 1:4)? Do you have any alternative choice but to live in this present evil age? How then are we to live?
- From the book of Galatians, what do you see as your own responsibility with respect to the gospel?
- What attitudes, actions, and habits do you have that show the world you are trying to please God and not people?