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Copyright ©2000 The Good News Broadcasting Association, Inc. All right reserved All Scripture is taken from The New King James Version. Copyright ©1979, 1980, 1982 Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. alatians: Experiencing Freedom G
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2 Table of Contents Introduction Lesson 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Power of Grace Lesson 2 . . . . . . . . . . . .Freedom From Tradition Lesson 3 . . . . . .The Preeminence of the Promise Lesson 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Children of Promise Lesson 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Liberty in Christ Lesson 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Limits of Freedom Conclusion
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3 I NTRODUCTION Millions of people are looking for freedom. They want to be free from fear, from poverty, from war. These freedoms are important but not one of them gets to the real heart of our prob- lem. The freedom that people and nations everywhere need most is freedom from sin. Until people are set free from the bondage and slavery of their own sinful natures, the other “free- doms” ultimately will never satisfy. Galatians was written to explain the freedom provided by Christ Jesus—a freedom that will satisfy. The writer of this letter is the apostle Paul, a convert from Judaism to Christianity. After his conversion he traveled from place to place preaching the gospel of the grace of God. Christ had set him free from bondage to sin and religious traditions. He was determined that others also should know the truth that would set them free. One of the areas Paul visited was Galatia, located in the part of Asia Minor now called Turkey. On his first missionary journey, Paul had the joy of winning many to Christ and estab- lishing several churches in Galatia (see Acts 13:14-14:23). After he left, false teachers (Paul calls them “false brethren”) came to these churches. These men taught that accepting Christ as Savior was not enough. In addition to Christ, certain Jewish customs such as circumcision (Galatians 1:3,4) and the observing of special days and seasons (Galatians 3:10) needed to be kept as well. Many groups today still add such “extras” to the Gospel message. For some it involves keeping a particular day, as the “Sabbath.” For others, it’s being baptized or demonstrating a spiritual gift such as tongues. Galatians speaks to us today concerning these situations just as surely as it did to the first century Christians. Study this book and discover how you can expe- rience the freedom Christ meant for you to have. Instructions: It takes only about fifteen minutes to read the whole Epistle to the Galatians. Please read through the entire book once, then go back and reread the first chapter of Galatians again in preparation for the first lesson.
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L ESSON 1 T HE P OWER OF G RACE Galatians 1:1-24 Background: Paul ministered in Galatia for a time before moving on to other regions. Soon after he left the infant churches in that area, false teach- ers infiltrated the local groups of believers and began to teach the new converts that they were not true Christians unless they lived under the law of Moses. In other words, these false teachers mixed the Mosaic law with the grace of God as a condition for salvation. The
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