Tuesday, June 25, 2019

2019.06.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ Galatians 4:1-11

Questions for Littles: Who is just like a slave (Galatians 4:1)? For how long? What is he, really? What does his father appoint until the right time (Galatians 4:2)? What were believers under in Galatians 4:3? What time came that put an end to that (Galatians 4:4)? Whom did God send forth? Of whom was the Son born? Under what was the Son born? Whom was the Son sent to redeem (Galatians 4:5)? That believers might receive what? What did God do to believers because they are sons (Galatians 4:6)? Whose Spirit is sent? Into what is He sent? What does He do there? What are believers, no longer, after the sending of Christ (Galatians 4:7)? What are they now? What did unbelievers do before they were converted (Galatians 4:8)? What changed that (Galatians 4:9a)? To what are they now turning (verse 9b)? What does Galatians 4:10 identify as the “beggarly elements” of verse 9b? What is the apostle afraid might be true, since they have returned to this (Galatians 4:11)?
This week’s Call to Worship, Invocation, Confession of Sin, Song of Adoration, and Announcement of the Gospel came from Galatians 4:1-11.

This passage tells us about two ages. The age before Jesus came was the age of observance of a church calendar—one invented by God as a guardian and steward until the time that He would send Jesus. These are the “elementary” things mentioned in Galatians 4:3, the weak and beggarly things of Galatians 4:9, that get called out explicitly in Galatians 4:10.

This earthly/elementary church calendar was replaced, when Jesus came. He had to observe them, just as He had to be born under them (Galatians 4:4). But one big reason for His coming was to get believing Jews out from under this calendar from the law (Galatians 4:5a) and into the superior age of the pouring out of the Spirit (Galatians 4:5b to Galatians 4:6) who makes our hearts to cry out to God as Father.

For a Jew to go back to God’s ceremonial calendar would have been the equivalent of renouncing their inheritance in Christ (Galatians 4:7). It’s even worse for those who have been adopted into God’s family from outside the church altogether (Galatians 4:8-10). Why would those who go from strangers to sons desire to follow relapsing Jews into slavery?

How serious is it that they would go for identifying with a church calendar? The apostle actually declares that he fears that his gospel work among them may have been wasted. Such externals, not belonging to the age of the Son and the Spirit of the Son, are in competition with the reality of the Holy Spirit convincing our hearts of our adoption.
What religious rites has Jesus instituted for the age of the Spirit? What rites are people tempted to observe in addition? With what reality are these in competition?
Suggested songs: ARP103B “Bless the LORD, My Soul” or TPH394 “Eternal Spirit, God of Truth”

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