Bible Study - Galatians C4 V7 to V16

Channel 10, Holy Teens Jason Clay 14 June 2022

Paul's Emotional Appeal to the Galatians (Galatians 4:7-17).

Having described how God had saved them from bondage to external law and ceremonial religion, and evil spirits, and given them the liberty and inheritance of sonship (v7-8), Paul points out how foolish is it for them to desire to return to being in bondage again to external ceremonial laws, such as observing days, months, seasons and years (v9-10), which he describes as weak and beggarly elements (v3,9) – that is, they are impotent to save, and have no intrinsic value. They are not reality, but only shadows of reality, whose purpose is to point to the substance (Christ). But now we are in Christ, our faith connects us directly to His realities, so these outward observances are no longer necessary. In fact, if we believe that we must focus our lives on obeying them, the danger is that it will cause us to focus on externals, rather than on the reality in Christ.
Then Paul makes a series of personal appeals to the Galatians, reminding them how much he had sacrificed and laboured among them, so they would know the truth (v11), how much he had identified with them and come alongside them, which should cause them to stop distancing themselves from him, but instead be loyal to him (v12). He then reminds them how they received him with love and honour as God’s messenger, when he came to them with the Gospel, even though he came in weakness, and with much bruising around his eyes, having just been stoned to death (v13-14, see Acts 14:19-25). He reminds them of the blessedness of their time together, when God’s love flowed freely between them, when they would have been willing to give up their own eyes for his sake (v15). Then he shames them by saying: “have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” (v16). Finally, he points out that the false teachers are making a fuss of them for selfish reasons, so that they would be able to possess the Galatians for themselves, and so control them, and cut them off from Paul and everyone else (v17), which is exactly the way that cults operate.

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