The past couple of weeks we have been studying the Book of Galatians. This Friday we looked at chapter 3, verses 23-29. Here’s an outline, a few of the thoughts, questions and other Bible verses that came up.
- emphasis on faith again, as the means of being justified, freed from the law
- being the children of God - what does it mean, what are the implications?
- blessings AND responsibilities, as well -salvation: from death, from sin →free from sin? → does not mean that we don’t sin anymore, at all, we keep living in a fallen world, but since we have been freed from the power of Satan, and we are in Christ, through his power, it is much easier to fight against sin, and get in line with who we are meant to be as children of God. And also, without (before) becoming children of God, on our own, it may not even occur to us that there’s something wrong, that there’s sin that we should go against
- the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control - Galatians 5:22-23)
- “baptized into Christ” - we talked about the different ways different denominations understand and practise baptism
- all these things apply only if we have been baptized? Do we have to get baptized? - it’s somewhat like getting married; if we have made the decision, to follow Jesus, why wouldn’t we make it official and share it with the people closest to us?
- verses that came up, connected to Abraham (because his “faith was credited to him as righteousness” Romans 4:9):
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
- “heirs according to the promise” → what is the promise? It is often difficult to tell if something is a promise from God, or just something we really want. → Good questions to ask: do we have real peace in our hearts in connection with the thing? Is that not going against love? (e.g. Would that hurt others?) … And a basic/general principle to go by: instead of hoping primarily for things to happen, we should put our hope in the person, in Jesus. Because yes, his plan for us is good, but even if we mess up, he has a plan B, a plan C, etc. and even if we go through the alphabet 18 times, God is still good, and powerful enough to make the 184th plan as beautiful as the first one.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.