Believing in Jesus for your salvation means you’re adopted by God and headed to heaven. But becoming a Christian won’t help you change and grow unless you’re cooperating with God’s Spirit in your life. You’re either moving forward or sliding backwards. Spiritual growth is not automatic. And any plan that includes your trying to obey the law as a means of sanctification will actually restrict your growth and place you in bondage.
What causes Christians to drift away from Jesus? Read Galatians 4:8-11. What are the similarities between the Galatians’ previous idolatry (v. 8) and their desire to keep the Old Testament law (vss. 9-10)?
Paul was afraid his investment in the Galatian believers might be a waste of time (4:11)? Why did he think this? Have you ever felt discouraged about your investment in someone else? What were the circumstances?
How were the Galatian believers gracious to Paul when he was with them (4:12-15)? Why would they have felt joy or experienced being blessed by this interaction with Paul (v. 15)?
Paul possesses an intensity about the issue of God’s grace. Read Galatians 4:16-20. Describe Paul’s intense dialogue with these believers. What “doubts” was Paul having about them? What was his driving passion for them (v. 19)? (compare 4:19 to Colossians 1:28)
Paul uses an allegory to illustrate that life under the law is bondage and life in the Spirit is freedom. Read this lengthy section (4:21-31) and describe the meaning.
Describe your spiritual progress over the last 6 months. Have you been moving forward or backwards? How do you know? What is your plan for moving forward?