Friday, March 9, 2018

Galatians Chapter 4

A bible study on Galatians chapter 5 and instructions on how to interpret the bible.

  • Galatians 4:1-7
  • Galatians 4:8-20
  • 1 Corinthians 10:19-21
  • Galatians 4:21-31
Children in Christ
  • How do you View God?
  • Quitting
  • Transforming into his image
Back to the Old Ways
  • Worshiped things that were no gods
  • Elemental things
Bond vs Free
  • Two women
  • Two sons
  • Two cities
Bonus: Methods of Interpreting the Bible

Review of Galatians 3

  • We learned that we get faith when we hear the gospel and believe it
  • Our salvation comes as soon as we believe that Jesus died for our sins
  • It is not based on any works we do.  It’s not based on:
  • Saying a prayer
  • Getting baptized
  • Confessing your sins in front of people
  • Changing your lifestyle
  • We should do those things
  • We just need to understand that  they aren’t what saves us
  • Salvation by faith wasn’t something that Paul introduced
  • Paul explained that salvation by faith was in place even in Abraham’s time
  • Abraham was declared righteous because he believed God
  • Paul said that those who live by the law are under a curse
  • The law contained blessings and curses
  • God said whoever doesn’t follow the commands of the law are cursed
  • If we choose to live under the law then we are choosing to live under a curse because no one can keep the law completely all of the time
  • God promised blessings to Abraham and his descendants through his seed
  • The law wasn’t given to Moses until 430 years after Abraham received the promise
  • Therefore the laws can’t break the promise that was made to Abraham
  • Not following the law can’t revoke Abraham's  promise
  • Through Jesus, Abraham’s promised seed, we are considered the descendants of Abraham
  • Therefore we share in the blessings of Abraham

Children in Christ

Galatians 4:1-7
1Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, 2but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. 3So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. 4But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”7Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
  • Jesus came to redeem those under the law
  • So that we could be received as adopted sons
When we have the law as our taskmaster, we view God as the Master who is keeping us in line.  He's the one who will punish us if we break the law.
Paul is telling us that we should now view God as our father.  
  • We are heirs of God
  • Abba means “daddy”

How Do You View God?

Your parents helped define your self image
  • Your parents helped define who you think you are
  • If your parents think you are a doctor you become a doctor
  • If your parents always called you a failure you become a failure
  • It's how you believe they view you that influences you
Paul told us that we are children of God
  • We should allow God’s opinion of us to shape what we become and how we behave
  • We should view ourselves how the Bible tells us we are


Some people made a decision not to try to live up to the expectations of their parents
  • It’s often because they felt that it was too difficult
  • Instead they rebelled
  • They wanted to take control of the situation and not disappoint their parents or themselves
  • They can say “no I didn’t fail; I wasn't trying to achieve that”
This happens in the natural and in religion
  • Some people give up on God and religion because they see it as a standard that they can’t live up to
Example: preacher’s kids, Catholic school kids

Transforming Into His Image

Children with good parents often model themselves after their parents
Example: Jerome’s son
  • Learning to talk like him
  • Learning to think like him
When we see God the way He truly is, we become transformed into His image
  • We begin to talk like Him
  • We begin to think like Him
We are transforming into the image of the God that we believe is true.  
  • If we see Him as a loving father then we begin to love people
  • When we are legalistic we view God as a scorekeeper in Heaven keeping record of our bad deeds
  • If we see Him as a judge waiting to punish us we become critical and judgmental
When we don’t see God the way he is truly is He becomes transformed into the image of Him that we've created
That’s why the church is full of judgmental people
  • They view God as judgemental
  • They worship a judgmental God
  • They feel like they need to perform to earn God’s love
  • They feel like they need to perform to earn salvation
The closer they get to the God they have imagined the more they become like Him
  • The law taught them about God as a master
  • The traditions and rules and laws become their God
  • Their works become their idol
  • They become transformed into the judgmental figure they imagine
We need to accept what Jesus told us about God
  • Jesus came to introduce us to God as a father
  • As our “daddy”

How We Represent God

We are supposed to represent God to the lost
  • Many non-believers see “the church” as judgmental and critical
  • Because it's true
  • Because that’s how many Christians view God
We don’t minister in love because we don’t know God as a loving father
  • The first step to getting free from legalism is changing your view of God.  
Our hearts should sing:
  • He’s a good good father, that’s what He is, that’s what He is
  • And I’m loved by Him, that's who I am

Back to the Old Ways

Galatians 4:8-20
8However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. 9But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?
10You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.  12I beg of you, brethren, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong; 13but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; 14and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself. 15Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. 16So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17They eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out so that you will seek them. 18But it is good always to be eagerly sought in a commendable manner, and not only when I am present with you. 19My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you— 20but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
  • Paul's illness
  • He refers to it elsewhere as his “thorn in the flesh”
  • Some scholars think Paul's ailment was his eyes
  • Some conjecture that it happened when he was made blind when he encountered Jesus
  • Others say it happened when he was stoned
  • But, on the other hand,  “Pluck out your eyes” was a figure of speech back then like “give shirt off your back”

They Worshiped Things That Were “no gods”

Before they were saved they Worshiped things that were no gods
  • Now they are going back to the elemental things
  • Before they were saved, they weren’t under the law because they were Gentiles
  • They weren’t following the laws of Moses before they got saved
  • So that’s not what they went back to
  • Paul is saying that they still followed their old pagan or cultural practices
They used to worship things that “by nature are no gods”
  • They used to worship idols
  • They used to worship demons
1 Corinthians 10:19-21
What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?
20 No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.
21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
  • Before they were saved they worshiped demons and satan
In the Greek culture, every mountain, tree, grove and and fountain has a god associated with it
  • They were polytheistic worshiping many god
They observed days, months, seasons and years
  • They still celebrated their old pagan festivals and feasts
  • They still celebrated on the days of their old religion
  • They still followed the pagan customs
He's saying you don't need to follow the Jewish laws and customs
  • But don't go back to your old customs though

Do We Follow Elementary Things?

Do we follow wordly or cultural practices today?
  • Catholic Traditions
  • Setting up an altar with food for Mary
  • Praying to saints
  • Last month was Chinese/Lunar New Year
  • days, months, seasons and years
  • Worshiping: Kitchen God, Gate God, Joy God, Wealth God, and Well God


The Babylonians and many ancient cultures worshiped the sun god, Nimrod
  • Nimrod’s Birthday was celebrated on December 25th
  • This is near the winter solstice which is the darkest night of the year
We celebrate Christmas on that day because the Catholic Church purposely put Christmas on the same day as the existing pagan holiday
  • They claimed that the goal was to make it easier for pagans to convert
  • Similar with Easter
  • Many American holidays can be traced back to pagan days, months, seasons, and years
I’m not saying that you should go to work on Christmas
  • We don't need to get legalistic about it
  • But maybe consider whether or not you want to lie to your kids about Santa Clause
  • Is that part of celebrating Jesus?

Bond and Free

Paul makes his point using an allegory about Sarah and Hagar
  • A story, picture or poem that has has a literal and a deeper moral, religious or political meaning
Abraham and Sarah’s story (Gen 16; Gen 21)
  • God chose Abram as the man through whom He would redeem humanity
  • God came to him and told him to follow Him and leave the land he lived in
  • When Abraham was 75 years old God promised him many offspring
  • God changed Abram’s name to Abraham
  • From father to father of many
  • 12 years later they still didn’t have children
  • Sarah told him to sleep with her servant Hagar
  • Hagar became pregnant and had a son named Ishmael
  • Hagar became proud because she was having Abrahams child and loathed it over Sarah
  • Sarah became jealous and told Abraham to kick Sarah out
  • Abraham kicked her out
  • The Angel of the Lord told Hagar to go back and submit to Sarah
  • When Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 they had Isaac
  • Isaac was the son who fulfilled God’s promise of a large blessed nation of offspring
Galatians 4:21-31
21Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. 23But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.24This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.
27For it is written,
            THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND.” [Isaiah 54:1]
28And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.
30But what does the Scripture say?
31So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.

Two Women

Hagar was Abraham's slave
  • Hagar was a bond woman
  • She represents
  1. Natural
  2. Works
  3. Legalism
  • She also represents the
  1. Old Covenant
  2. Mosaic law
Sarah was the Abraham’s wife
  • She was a free woman
  • She represents
  1. Supernatural
  2. Promise
  3. Freedom
  • She also represents
  1. New Covenant
  2. Grace
Paul tells us that we are not children of the bond woman.  
  • We're children of the free woman.  
  • We live under the grace system not under the law

Two Sons

Ishmael was born a slave
  • He was the child of a slave woman so that made him a slave
  • Ishmael was born “according to the flesh”
  • He was born through human effort
  • Abraham and Sarah decided they were tired of waiting on God
  • Ismael represented the legalistic Jews
  • They are still slaves to the law
  • They are trusting on their works to get them into Heaven
Isaac was born free
  • He didn't do anything to become free
  • He was born according to the promise
  • We are children of promise
  • We are children of the free woman
  • We receive the promise through faith
  • We do not need to work to gain salvation

Two Cities

Hagar represents Mt Sinai
  • This is where God gave the law to Moses
  • Hagar represents the law and being in bondage
Hagar also represents  “present day” (Paul’s time) Jerusalem
  • Romans had conquered Jerusalem
  • At that time Jerusalem was in bondage
Sarah represented the Heavenly Jerusalem
  • This refers to the future Jerusalem that we will live in after Jesus’ return
  • This is a picture of Heaven
  • The Jerusalem above is seen as the free Jerusalem
  • It represents the New Covenant
  • He says “she is our mother”
The main message is that we are free from the law
  • Sarah stands for trusting in God alone
  • Hagar stands for pleasing God in our own efforts
  • We are children of freedom and not bondage
“God the Mother”
  • Some denominations see “God the Mother” as another being
  • They worship
  • Even though Paul explicitly says he’s using allegory
  • The mother is never called God
  • If Paul worshiped a mother goddess he would have mentioned her clearly (as would Jesus)

Methods of Interpreting the Bible

New Revelation

  1. The New Testament redefines the Old Testament
  • The revelation replaces and supersedes the old
  • Establishes that the new revelations can replace old revelation
  • We need to be cautious when people start claiming that they have received new revelation
  • Any self proclaimed prophet can claim that God told them something
  • Mormonism, Islam
  • The new has to be inspired
  1. The New Testament fulfills the Old Testament
  • We know Christ is legitimate because of what previous revelation said about Him
  • There are many prophecies pointing to Christ, so we were expecting Him
  • New “revelations” need to be supported by previous prophecies

Hermeneutic Principles

The theory and methodology of interpretation, especially the interpretation of biblical texts
  1. Moral and Allegorical method
  • The focus is on how the book is perceived by the reader, not on the intention of the author.
  • Application, morals to the stories, types
  • Teachers often draw parallels to relate the scripture to our modern lives
  • Example: David and Goliath
  • God will fight your battles
  • It’s not always the strongest who wins
  • You have to kill your lion in private before you get public victory
  • This is what you’ll most likely hear in church
  • Caution is that there can be many interpretations, often contrary to scripture
  • We need to be careful when implying what the author’s true intent was
  1. Historical Grammatical (Literal) method
  • The aim of the historical-grammatical method is to discover the meaning of the passage as the original author would have intended and what the original hearers would have understood.
  • What was the author trying to convey
  • The original passage is seen as having only a single meaning or sense.
  1. Historical-Critical method
  • This method attempts to discover the sources and factors that contributed to the making of the text as well as to determine what it meant to the original audience.
  • They look for similar writings from other sources
  • Scholars who use the historical-critical method treat the Bible as they would any other text
  • Caution is to remember that the bible is an inspired text
  1. Anagogical
  • Each scripture has a surface meaning and a deeper, esoteric meaning
  • This type of interpretation is also known as mystical interpretation.
  • It tries to explain the events of the Bible and how they relate to or predict what the future holds.
  • Makes use of numerical values of Hebrew words and names of God
  • Caution is that there is no biblical authority when you go beyond what the Bible says
  • This can also lead you into some occult practices (e.g. Jewish Kabbalah)  
Things to Consider
  • What does the text say?
  • How is it used in context?
  • How would the audience have understood it?
  • How does it compare with the rest of the Bible?
  • Only after that can you look for application


Both children and slaves are required to be obedient
  • Children need to be obedient to their parents
  • Slaves need to be obedient to their masters
  • When we were young in the faith we needed to be governed by rules
  • We were enslaved by these laws and rules
  • The goal of the laws was to bring us to Christ
  • The law taught us that we needed a savior
Once we become mature, we realize that we are free from the law
  • Not meaning that we shouldn’t be moral or try to please God
  • But meaning that we know that the law isn’t what saves us
  • We obey the law voluntarily because God is continually changing our heart
Paul mentions that the Galatians kept going back to their old ways
They kept focusing on their previous life
  • When we focus on how we were before we were saved we become shameful
  • We feel like we don’t deserve the freedom that God gave us
  • We feel like we’re not good enough for eternal life
  • We feel we need to earn it through works
To be real, for some it’s not because we focus on the bad things of the past
  • We’re focused on how we are today
  • We’re focused on the secret sins that only God knows about
  • And feel we need to earn our salvation because we don’t deserve it
We need to remember that our good works:
  • Didn’t get us saved
  • Won’t keep us saved after we become Christians
  • Don’t prove that we are saved
We get saved when we believe that Jesus died for us
  • At that point you become a child of God
  • The same way that nothing a son or daughter can do will make them lose their status as a child to a loving parent
  • Nothing we can do can make us lose our salvation
  • Yes make God unhappy when we disobey Him
  • But He will never disown His children
  • He’s not a deadbeat dad
He is a loving father waiting for us to draw closer to Him
...don’t keep Him waiting

Presenter: Michael Leadon 


Freedom Through Faith
The Image of God
  • Kris Vallotton
Galatians 4:1-9

Galatians 4:10-31

Session 5 The Bond And the Free

Cast Out The Bondwoman (Galatians 4:21-31)

Abraham’s Two Sons

Galatians 4 lesson by Dr. Bob Utley


Sons of God

John 1:11-13
11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Ephesians 6:1-6
     1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.
     4Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
     5Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; 6not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.
Romans 8:12-17
12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

Back to the Old Ways

They worship things there were no gods

Deuteronomy 32
"They made Him jealous with strange gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
17 "They sacrificed to demons who were not God,
To gods whom they have not known,
New gods who came lately,
Whom your fathers did not dread.
18 "You neglected the Rock who begot you,
And forgot the God who gave you birth.

Christmas Trees

Jeremiah 10:1-4
1 ¶ Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel.
2 Thus says the LORD,
"Do not learn the way of the nations,
And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens
Although the nations are terrified by them;
3 For the customs of the peoples are delusion;
Because it is wood cut from the forest,
The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
4 "They decorate it with silver and with gold;
They fasten it with nails and with hammers
So that it will not totter.
  • They took trees, stood them on wood planks and decorated them
  • Christmas trees

Bond vs Free

When we don’t follow God’s plan, we produce an Ishmael and not an Isaac
Ishmael is the father of the Muslims
  • Abraham was a Hebrew
  • Muslims are Hebrews too

Methods of Interpreting the Bible

  1. A belief that there are a series of stages in God's self-revelation and plan of salvation
  2. God administers differently in the different stages
  3. A cycle of God revealing new plans and man failing the test
  4. The New Testament fulfills the Old Testament
  5. Christ is legitimate because of what previous revelation said about Jesus
  6. There are many prophecies pointing to Christ, so we were expecting Him
  7. New “revelations” need to be supported by previous prophecies


The purpose of the law
  • Couldn’t make you a better person
  • Showed you how you couldn’t obey it
  • How law and faith work together
Blessings come through Christ
  • No other method
Blessings are obtained by faith in Christ
The law prepares us for Christ
Law keeping fails
Some people say:
  • You must do good works to be saved
  • After you get saved you have to do good works to stay saved
  • If you sin after you were saved you were never saved
We are children of faith
Even though they disobeyed they were blessed because they believed
We are children of Abraham.  We are children of God.
We are not bond servants but we're free,

Israelites in the Wilderness

The Israelites also wanted to go back to slavery
  • They asked Moses “why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the desert”
  • They wished they could go back to Egypt
  • They wished they could return to slavery
  • Even though they had seen God deliver them supernaturally
  • The didn’t realize what God was offering them
  • They forgot about all of the miracles God had performed to free them in the past
  • He freed them from bondage

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Galatians 3

A study of Galatians Chapter 3.

  • Galatians 3:1-4
  • Romans 10:13-17
  • Galatians 3:6-9
  • Genesis 15:3-6
  • Genesis 22:15-18
  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-4
  • Galatians 3:10-14
  • Deuteronomy 27:26
  • Deuteronomy 21:22-23
  • Galatians 3:15-18
  • Galatians 3:19-20
  • Exodus 20:18-19
  • Galatians 3:21-27
  • Galatians 3:28-29
  • Deuteronomy 30:19
Was the law a blessing or a curse?
  • It contained both blessings and curses...

Review of Galatians 2

  • Paul went to Jerusalem to meet with the leadership of the Christian movement to discuss:
  1. His call to preach to the Gentiles
  2. The debate on whether Gentile converts needed to be circumcised
  • James, Peter and John were the leaders of the church at that time
  1. James, Jesus’ brother, was the bishop of Jerusalem
  • They agreed that Gentiles didn’t have to be circumcised
  • Paul and Barnabas then continued to Antioch
  • When Peter came to Antioch  he socialized and ate with the Gentiles
  • When some of James’ people came Peter didn’t want to be seen fellowshipping with the Gentiles
  1. Even though Peter had been the first one that God told to witness to a Gentile
  • Paul confronted Peter about this
  • We then discussed the conflict between Paul and James
  • This is seen to be the conflict between “grace vs the law” or “faith vs works”
  • Paul’s writings emphasize salvation by faith and James’ book emphasizes works of law
  1. Paul’s view is seen as salvation by grace alone
  2. James’ view is seen to be salvation that is dependent your obedience to the law
  • Scholars have proposed many explanations for the apparent contradiction
  • One view says that Paul wrote to the Gentiles whereas James wrote to the Jews
  1. This implies that Jews and Gentiles have different requirements to be saved
  • Another view says that the books are applicable at different dispensations or times
  1. Paul’s writings are applicable now
  2. James’ writings will be applicable during and after the rapture/tribulation
  • Another view says that they don’t contradict at all
  1. They were written for different purposes
  2. Paul is telling us how to get saved
  3. James is telling us how to live once we are saved
We’ll look at two more views at the end of this lesson, and revisit the subject as the conclusion of the book of Galatians.  

Galatians 3:1-4

Galatians 3:1-4
You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of  the Law, or by  hearing with faith?
3 Are you so foolish? Having begun  by the Spirit, are you now  being perfected by the flesh?
4 Did you  suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
  • Did you receive salvation from works of the law or by believing?
  • If you got saved through grace why do you think you need the laws to stay saved?
  • No one has received the Holy Spirit by the works of the law
  • No matter how righteous you are you can’t be saved by your righteousness
  • And it won't keep you saved

Faith Cometh By Hearing

They received the Spirit by hearing with faith

Romans 10:13-17
14How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”
 16However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ
  • “Word of Christ/God” here is not referring to the bible
  • This verse talks of the sequence of what needs to happen for you to be saved
  • In order to  believe you have to have heard the gospel
  • In order to  hear there needs to be a preacher
  • In order for one to  preach they need to have been sent
  • So hearing the gospel is what triggers your faith
  • You got saved by hearing the good news about Christ
  • If someone never hears the gospel they cannot be saved
Hearing the gospel is what saved you
  • To be saved, you have to believe
  • To believe you have to hear the gospel
You didn't receive the Spirit by:
  • Saying a prayer
  • Being baptized
  • Joining a church
  • Confessing your sins
  • Confessing Jesus in front of men
You received salvation because you heard the gospel and believed it
Salvation occurs as soon as you hear the gospel and believe that the gospel applies to you
  • Getting someone to pray “the prayer” is good, but that’s not what saves them
Many people who live in countries without evangelists say that Jesus Himself came and proclaimed the gospel to them
Example: African who Jesus appeared to

Galatians 3:6-9

Galatians 3:6-9
 6So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.  7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”d 9So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
  • Notice that those who rely on faith are blessed
  • What about those who rely on their works?
  • If you rely on your works you could be missing your blessing
God pronounced the gospel to Abraham.
  • Abraham was credited as being without sin because of his faith

Announced the good news in advance

  • What good news was announced to Abraham?
Genesis 15:3-6
3And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” 4Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” 5And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
  • Abraham was declared righteous because he believed in God
  • Abraham didn’t do any works to obtain his righteousness
  • All other nations were following other gods
  • Abraham’s Family was following other gods
  • Abraham was rewarded for choosing to follow God
  • All nations will be blessed because of Abraham
Genesis 22:15-18
15Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,17indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
  • Is the word “seed” singular or plural?
  • All nations of the earth will be blessed because Abraham obeyed
  • Is this works?
This could be what James was referring to when he said Abraham’s works saved him
  • But this isn’t pertaining to salvation though
  • Abraham was already declared righteous 7 chapters ago
  • But this does say that Abraham was blessed because of his righteousness

Old Testament vs New Testament Blessings

In the Old Testament, they were blessed because of their righteousness
  • In the Old Testament your works were rewarded by physical blessings
  • In the New Testament our faith is rewarded by spiritual blessings
  • In the Old Testament you had to earn your blessings
  • In the New Testament your blessing is a gift that you don't deserve
The good news that was announced to Abraham was that Abraham would have many offspring and that all nations would be blessed through him.
  • Through Jesus all nations can be blessed

Angel of the Lord(?)

Who was talking to Abraham?
  • The Angel of the Lord
  • Who is the Angel of the Lord?
  • Jesus
We saw that the Angel of the Lord was the angel that accompanied the Children of Israel when they went through the wilderness

1 Corinthians 10:1-4
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
  • Christ accompanied the Israelites
  • Jesus was The Angel of the Lord
So not only was the good news announced to Abraham in advance, it was announced by Jesus Himself.
See the whole study on the subject here:  The Angel of the Lord

Galatians 3:10-14

Galatians 3:10-14
10For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”e 11Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”f 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”g 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”h 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
  • The righteous “live by faith”
  • Those under the law “live by the law”
  • The law was made to reveal sin
  • Those who rely on the law are not justified by God
  • They are justified by their works
  • We saw that those who rely on their faith are blessed
  • Now we see that those who rely on their works are cursed
  • Cursed because you're because you're being held to a standard that you can't meet

The Curse

To live under the law is to live under a curse

Deuteronomy 27:26
"Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"
  • If you broke a single law you were cursed
  • Therefore everyone who lived under the law was cursed
  • They could atone by sacrifices
This is the verse Paul is referring when he says “everyone who hangs on a tree is cursed”:

Deuteronomy 21:22-23
22 "If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.
  • Criminals were executed by being hung on trees
  • Someone is considered a criminal when they break the law
  • They are cursed because they are criminals
  • Not specifically because they are hanging on a tree
  • Criminals were the only ones who hang on trees (back then)
  • Jesus died the death of a criminal for us

Galatians 3:15-18

The Law and the Promise

Galatians 3:15-18
15Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”imeaning one person, who is Christ. 17What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
  • God’s promise to  Abraham didn't have conditions
  • Paul explains that Abraham’s seed wasn't the Jews
  • The ‘seed’ was Jesus
  • And therefore us through Jesus

The Promise

God couldn't just break the promise to Abraham’s seed
  • The law couldn't break the covenant God had already made
  • The law came 433 years after the promise
  • God made a promise to Abraham before the law existed
As Christians, we are qualified to receive the blessings of Abraham
  • Not following the law can’t disqualify you from the promise
  • Jesus’s death eliminated the need for us to satisfy the law in order to receive the blessings of God
  • It also allowed us to be heirs of Abraham which qualifies us for the promise

Galatians 3:19-20

Galatians 3:19-20
19Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 20Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one.
  • The law was given because of our transgressions


Was it an Angel Who Gave Moses the Law?

Did God give Moses the law directly or through angels?
The Greek word translated as “angel” is aggellos
  • It literally means “messenger”
YLT (Young's Literal Translation) bible seems to be the only one to get this right
  • Moses is the “messenger”
  • “ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator”
  • Should be: “ordained by messengers by the agency of a mediator”
  • Meaning ordained by “messengers” acting as mediators
  • The messengers held the office of mediators
Moses was the “messenger” (aggellos) through whom the Jews received the Law.
  • It wasn’t an “angel” per se
Note that this is a correction to view we had in a previous study (It Was An Angel: It Wasn’t God)

Why Use a Mediator

Why did God use a mediator?  

Exodus 20:18-19
18  All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance.
19 Then they said to Moses, "Speak unto us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die."
  • Initially God gave the law directly to the people
  • Since the people were afraid of God, He used Moses as a mediator

Galatians 3:21-27

Galatians 3:21-27
21Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23Before the coming of this faith,j we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24So the law was our guardian [tutor / school teacher]  until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
26So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 

The Law Was Our Guardian

  • When a child receives an inheritance they are often given a guardian to steward the money until they come of age
  • The law was our guardian for our blessings
  • The guardian determines how you’re blessed
  • The guardian also has the authority to discipline you
  • Now that we are of age, We no longer have a guardian determining whether or not we get blessings
  • The Jews earned blessings based on whether they followed the law
  • Our blessings are now given by grace
  • We are no longer blessed based on whether we are bad or good
  • We receive salvation through faith by grace

Galatians 3:28-29

Galatians 3:28-29
28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
  • All Christians are equal in God’s eyes
God only sees 3 groups of people
  1. Christians
  2. Lost Israelites/Jews
  3. Lost Gentiles
We can indeed qualify for the blessings of Abraham since we are now made righteous through Jesus.  

Who is a Jew?

There are many problems in determining who is a Hebrew/Israelite/Jew
All Israelites aren’t necessarily called Jews
  • The term Jew is from the tribe of Judah
  • The tribes of Judah, Benjamin and (some of) Levi are referred to as Jews
  • In 922 BC Israel split into 2 houses:
  • Israel in the North (10 tribes)
  • Judah in the South (2 tribes)
  • At one point the two houses became 1
  • So it’s unclear to me if “Jew” refers to all of the original 12 tribes or not
All of Abraham’s descendants aren’t Jews
  • Ishmael
  • Esau
Abraham wasn't Jewish
  • Abraham was a Hebrew
  • He's the patriarch of the Jews
  • Hebrew means a descendent of Eber
  • Eber was 6 generations before Abraham
  • Eber was 4 generations from Noah
  • There were many many Hebrews in Abraham’s time
  • He and his family are the only Hebrews who worshipped God
  • All the other Hebrews were pagans
  • Are they Jews or Gentiles?
  • Are they under the promise?


The purpose of the law was to show us that we were sinners and we needed a savior.
The system of rewards based on faith was not a new system created by Jesus or Paul.  It was put into place by God at the establishment of the Old Covenant with Abraham.  Because of Abraham’s faith, he was called righteous.
Some people try to use the law to earn favor with God.  They believe that because they follow the law God owes them a reward.   They see how people in the Old Testament were promised blessings for following the law and assume that God still operates this way.
 They ignore Paul's warning in Galatians 3:10 where he says: “For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse”.   Because the law says  "Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out."    You are cursed because you are choosing to gain merit based on your own righteousness.  You are choosing a standard you can never live up to.  
In Matthew 7 Jesus tells us
 1“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.  
Jesus is saying that we'll be measured by our own standards.  This tells us that we have an influence on how we are judged.  Similar to how Paul says if someone thinks eating a certain food is sin then it is sin to them.
You have the choice whether you want to live under the law or whether you want to live under the grace of God.  That doesn’t mean that we don't do our best to follow the law, but it means that we don’t rely on the law for our salvation.  Jesus died so that we would no longer need to perform to attain salvation.  This is the good news that we have heard...all you need to do is believe that Jesus died and was resurrected as atonement for your sins.  You can choose the law or you can choose Jesus.   You can choose to accept Jesus’ gift or you can choose to try to earn your own righteousness through your works.

Deuteronomy 30:19
"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life…”
...choose Jesus

Presenter: Michael Leadon


Galatians 3:1 to 3
Galatians 3:4-14
Galatians 3:14-16
Galatians 17-29


Law of God vs the Law of Moses

  • Paul and James were talking about 2 different laws
  • There is a “Law of God” and a “Law of Moses”
  • Paul meant that we don’t need to follow the Mosaic laws
  • James meant that we need to follow the Laws of God
The law of God is the 10 commandment and was written by God Himself.  
The other six hundred something laws are the “Law of Moses”.  
  • Jesus’ death abolished the “Law of Moses”
  • Jesus’ death didn’t eliminate the 10 commandments.
In many churches this is implied when:
  • We assume that it's a sin to murder, but it’s okay to eat shrimp
  • We assume that we are still supposed to follow the 10 commandments
… to be continued …


Paul called the Galatians “foolish”.  Is this appropriate?
Matthew 5:22
22“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
Luke 12:20
20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’
1 Corinthians 15:35-36
 35But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” 36You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies;

Angel of the Lord

Exodus 23:20-22
20“Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 21“Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him. 22“But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
  • The Angel of the Lord has the ability to forgive sins
  • This is the angel that travelled ahead of the children of Israel


Hebrews 11:4-7
4By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. 5By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. 6And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. 7By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
  • Abel, Enoch,and Noah attained righteousness through faith
  • Enoch never died

What is Sheol?

Ancient Hebrews had a belief that all people went to Sheol when they died
  • Both the righteous and the unrighteous go to Sheol
  • Souls stayed in Sheol awaiting judgment on Judgment Day
  • In the Old Testament, Sheol is referenced as the permanent place for the dead
  • The New Testament refers to it as Hades
  • Sheol was not hell
  • Ancient Hebrews believed God would take the righteous out of Sheol
  • The Greek word gehenna is used in the New Testament for “hell”
  • There was a deeper part of Sheol called “the Abyss”
  • The Abyss is where the fallen angels are being held in bondage by Michael until Judgment Day
  • Note: so they aren’t the demons on earth today
  • Some think the demons today are the Spirit part of the half angel half human Nephilim of Genesis 6
Psalms 16:10
For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
  • David believed that God would rescue him from Sheol
Psalms 49:15
But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, For He will receive me.

Abraham’s Bosom

During the 2nd Temple period (time between Old Testament and New Testament) the concept changed
  • “Abraham’s bosom” was a comfortable place in Sheol where the righteous await judgment
  • Ideas formed of righteous dead as being separated from unrighteous in the fires by a river or chasm
  • The righteous side was called  “Abraham’s bosom”
  • This is where Lazarus was in the story of Lazarus and the rich man
  • The souls of the righteous, at death, go directly into the Presence of God
Mark 12:26-27
26“But regarding the fact that the dead rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, and the God of Jacob’? 27“He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; you are greatly mistaken.”
  • Jesus also taught that the righteous were in Heaven with God


Deuteronomy 11:26-28
26  "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:
27 the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today;
28 and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.
  • Those living under the law who disobeyed the law were cursed by God
  • The specific sin He names is idolatry or following other gods


Deuteronomy 5:25 - 27
25‘Now then why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any longer, then we will die. 26‘For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? 27‘Go near and hear all that the LORD our God says; then speak to us all that the LORD our God speaks to you, and we will hear and do it.’