Always a Jesus Thing – Galatians 1:1-10 – Sermon Notes

Paul is asking ‘what has happened to all your joy?’ in this letter. He says there is a type of joy that can survive all things. This celebration is on offer but the Galatians don’t have it. If something has happened, it’s a symptom of something else. Losing your joy is a Jesus issue.

Listen up (v1-5)

Who are you going to listen to? What is it that God wants to communicate? Jesus gave himself for our sins. He died to rescue us from this present evil age. God decided he should do that. Jesus himself loved, gave up his very self, to rescue you. Jesus did everything that was needed to rescue us from the evil that hurts us.

Don’t be amazing (v6-9)

Paul says the important thing is to look at what Jesus has done for you. Once we say it’s about what we do, the focus isn’t on Jesus. What you trust about him is much more important than what you do. The Bible does talk about a way to live. Why would anyone ever do good things? Trying to follow rules doesn’t make you more kind or godly.

Amazingly approved (v10)

The reason the wrong teaching was accepted was that people could compare themselves with others. Whatever judgements are made about you, you are safe with the one who matters. You are safe with the only one who has any right to make a judgement.

Freedom in Christ – Galatians 5:1-26 – Bible Study Notes

Why does a child obey their parents? Why not?

Read Galatians 5:1-12.

1. What does Paul mean when he uses the word ‘freedom’ in v1?

Free from the law.

2. What is the difference between the gospel that Paul teaches and the gospel the false teachers are preaching (v2-10)?

The false teachers were saying that you need something extra. Obedience of the law. It could’ve started out small and then spread throughout the church and got worse.

3. Why is Paul so passionate to speak against them?

If they follow the false teachers then Christ will be of no value.

4. What does Paul mean when he says the cross is offensive in v11? Do you agree?

The reason for the cross is irrelevant if the church believes the false teachers.

Read Galatians 5:13-26.

5. What links this section with the last?

Paul talked about the freedom we have in Christ. Now he talks about how we should use it.

6. What is the danger Paul is warning the church against if they don’t change their view of the gospel (v15)?

They’ll end up destroying each other. Things will get worse. There won’t be unity.

7. Paul talks about the role of the Spirit in our battle against sin. What links together the sins he lists in verses 19-21?

Ones that are selfish, ones that are against others.

8. What is the encouragement for the Christian struggling with sin in verses 22-25?

The Spirit helps us. The desires of the flesh have been crucified.

9. Why does Paul close this passage with a warning?

Shows the seriousness of the passage and what could happen in the church.

10. What would it look like in our church if we took this warning on board?

Community united by the gospel in love.

11. How might we encourage a Christian struggling with sin using this passage?

Remember the freedom we have in Christ and the fruits of the Spirit.

12. Why is the gospel wonderful?

We have total freedom in Christ.

By Faith or by the Law? – Galatians 3:1-25 – Bible Study Notes

If you were to ask people in your town or city how can you ‘get right with God’, what might they say?

Read Galatians 3:1-5.

1. What are the different questions Paul asks in verses 1-5?

How did you receive the Spirit? By works of the law or hearing with faith?

2. What is the answer Paul anticipates?

They’ve been foolish.

3. What is the danger that Paul is warning the church against?

Believing that you can be saved by works.

Read Galatians 3:6-14.

4. How did Abraham become right with God?

Simply by believing him and trusting in him.

5. What is the problem with living by the law?

You’re under a curse.

6. How can God credit us as righteous without being unjust if verse 10 is true?

No one is justified before God by the law. The righteous shall live by faith.

Read Galatians 3:15-25.

7. What doesn’t the law achieve?

It doesn’t achieve salvation through Jesus’ work on the cross.

8. What does the law achieve?

It shows us our sin and shows how bad we really are.

9. What’s the point of the law?

God gave it to bring sin to life, to make sin utterly sinful, to show us the way we are is really wrong.

10. Why do people need to know that God has laws before they can understand why Jesus’ death is good news?

If they don’t know about God’s high standard, they won’t know what Jesus came to do or why they need saving.

11. Why do we often lose confidence in justification by faith and turn back to trying to complete the law?

We like to try and do things our own way, to prove to ourselves that we can keep it so that God might be pleased with us.

12. What might we say to someone who has done this?

Point to Jesus’ death and resurrection. That’s what matters. We are saved through what he’s done.

13. Why is the gospel wonderful?

We’re saved through faith in Jesus and not by anything we’ve done or can ever do.

Paul’s Story so Far – Galatians 1:10-2:10 – Bible Study Notes

Tell the story from Galatians 1:10-24. Read the passage and ask what was missed. Ask if anyone (or the group) would like to have a go.

1. What kind of person was Paul before Christ? What is encouraging about v15-16?

  • He hated Christians and tried to destroy the church.
  • God revealed Jesus to him.

2. What gives Paul the authority to correct the false teaching he has heard about in the church in Galatia (v11-12)?

The gospel didn’t come from man. It came via a revelation from Jesus.

3. Why do you think Paul didn’t feel the need to consult any human being (v16-17)?

Paul was under attack. People might have thought that the gospel was of human origin.

4. Sometimes the truth isn’t widely believed and so isn’t well received. Why is Paul able to resist people pleasing (v10)?

He wants to serve Christ. That’s what matters.

5. How can Paul’s example help us to be God pleasers rather than people pleasers?

If we’re trying to please people, we’re going to be comparing ourselves with others. We should try and please God and serve him wholeheartedly.

Move on to Galatians 2:1-10. Tell the story. Read the passage and ask what was missed. Ask if anyone (or the group) would like to have a go.

6. Why does Paul present the gospel he has been preaching among the Gentiles to the leaders in Jerusalem (v4-5)?

He wanted to make sure that false teaching hadn’t made its way to the top.

7. What did the apostles in Jerusalem recognise about Paul (v6-9)?

They recognised Paul had been entrusted with preaching the gospel to the Gentiles and that God was at work in him.

8. In verses 6-10 we see that Paul’s trip to Jerusalem brings unity amongst the early church leaders. What is at the core of church unity (v5)?

A love for God, the gospel and other people.

9. Why do you think it’s important for every Christian to have a growing understanding of the gospel?

If we aren’t reminding ourselves of it, we won’t become more like Christ and we won’t grow spiritually.

We can be encouraging to others in the gospel and what we’re learning about God.

10. We see that Paul and the leaders in Jerusalem have a deep concern for the poor. Where does that concern come from?

Jesus often talked about the poor (spiritually/physically).

11. How can we cultivate that kind of concern for the poor today? Why is the real gospel wonderful?

The gospel is for everyone. No one is excluded.