The good news that an angel shared with shepherds over 2000 years ago is the good news that we celebrate every year at Christmas. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that this good news is not just for us to keep to ourselves, but it’s for all the people. If we really understand the good news of Jesus Christ, then we’ll understand that it’s good news to be shared.
When we study the Bible it’s important to pay attention to the context of the passages we’re looking at. What does the word context mean? What can happen if you ignore the context of passages you read in the Bible? How does the context help you understand the meaning of a Bible verse?
Read Galatians 5:4. Why is this verse sometimes understood to imply the loss of salvation? Is there anything in this verse that would indicate a believer can lose his or her salvation? Take a look at the clear teaching of Scripture on the subject of eternal security (John 5:24, 10:28-29, 6:39-40, Ephesians 1:13-14).
Now look at the overall context of Galatians 5:4 by reading Galatians 5:1-4. What is Paul saying about the Old Testament Law? Look at the broader context by reading Galatians 2:16. What conclusions can you draw about the distinction between Law and grace (see Romans 6:14).
Some people imply that we can’t get saved by keeping the law but that after becoming a Christian, one should obey the law as a means of spiritual transformation and growth. Read Galatians 3:1-5. In light of insights from these verses, what do you think is the role of the Old Testament law in saving you and growing you up as a Christ-follower?
If you have looked at the previous Scripture passages and answered the questions, you’re more informed to interpret Galatians 5:4 correctly. Based on your study of the context, what does it mean to “fall from grace?”