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But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem. and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth – Acts 2:8

As the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost (Spirit) they were filled with the graces of the Spirit and were more than ever under His sanctifying influences. They were more than filled with the comfort of the Spirit, rejoiced more than ever in the love of Christ and the hope of heaven and with the power of God abiding in their humanity. Read More

The Cross

And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quicken (made alive) together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses. Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross – Colossians 2:13-14.

As Christians, we have the privileges through the Jews rejection of Jesus Christ and the gospel to be children of God. Through Jesus’ death is our life. A state of sin is a state of spiritual death. As the death of the body is the corruption of it,  so sin is the corruption of the souls. Read More

Sunday School Lesson – February 12, 2017 Delivered from Bondage

                                To follow along, visit your local Christian bookstore, and ask for the Bible Expositor and Illuminator

Time:  Probably A.D. 48 – Place: from Syrian Antioch

Golden Text:  “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly element, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” (Galatians 4:9).

The wonders of divine love and mercy towards us of God the Father, in sending His Son into the world to redeem and save us, in suffering so much for us, and of the Holy Spirit, in condescending to dwell in the hearts of believers for such gracious purposes. The great and invaluable advantages which Christians enjoy under the gospel. We receive the adoption of sons. We who by nature are children of wrath and disobedience have become by grace children of love. We receive the Spirit of adoption. All who are received into the number of partaking of the nature of children of God; for He will have all His children to resemble Him. Those who have the nature of sons shall have the inheritance os sons.

Galatians 4:8 – Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. The Apostle Paul reminds the Galatians what they were before the gospel was preached to them. Then “they knew not God”, they were under the worst of slaveries, for they did service to those which by nature were no gods, therefore were utterly unable to hear and help them. Those who are ignorant of the true God cannot but be inclined to false gods. The Galatians have forgotten their previous spiritual bondage. They were reminded they had worshiped so-called gods that were nothing more than man-made images. They were enslaved to images they had created, their religion was their own creation. The Jewish believers were similar to the Galatians, they had previously been enslaved to law keeping, having perverted it into the way of salvation in place of faith. Today, millions of people are following practices, better known as religion to make themselves acceptable to God rather than believing the gospel of Jesus Christ through faith.

Galatians 4:9 – But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? He calls them to consider the happy change made to them by the preaching of the gospel. This happy change in their state did not owe to themselves, but to Him. All our acquaintance with God begins with Him; we know Him because we are known of Him.  The unreasonableness of their suffering themselves to be brought again into a state of bondage. His question was, “How is it that you, who have been taught to worship God in the gospel way, should now be persuaded to comply with the ceremonial way of worship?”. Paul pointed out that they had been freed from this bondage by coming to know God. To know God is to be born again to eternal life through faith in Christ (And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent – John 17:3). This occurred when the Galatians responded in faith to the preaching of the gospel. Paul reminded their coming to know God was not a matter of their effort but a work of God Himself “they were known of God”, that is He had chosen them and brought them to faith and salvation. The Galatians believers who had been delivered from bondage to pagans gods were now being influenced by false teachers to enslave themselves again to weak and useless practices. Many of today’s Christians has left the gospel to turn to other false teachings and practices other than faith and commitment to God. This is why it is so important for Christians to read and study the Word of God to be aware of false teachings.

Galatians 4:10 – Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. Their weakness was the more aggravated in submitting to them, and in observing their various festivals, days, months, times and years. These were Jewish celebrations, Sabbaths, feasts and other special days established by the Law of Moses. It is likely this list is representative of all the Jewish religious practices the Judaizers were proclaiming as the incumbent on followers of Christ. It is possible for those who have made a profession of belief to be afterward drawn into great defections from the purity and simplicity of it. They no longer wanted the simplicity of the gospel, but rather they desired to be in bondage under the weak and beggarly elements of the law.

Galatians 4:11 – I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. He expresses his fears concerning them. He had been in a lot of pains for them, but now they were rendering his labor among them fruitless, and with the thoughts of this he could not but be deeply affected. Pastors whose heart is for the sheep are deeply affected when they labor with the congregants, and it appears they aren’t growing spiritually. The same goes for our unsaved loved ones, when we have prayed, fasted and ministered to them about salvation and they continue to live a life opposite of the Word of God, we question ourselves what have we done or haven’t done to be an effective spokesperson for God.

Galatians 4:12 – Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. Affectionately Paul addresses himself to them as brethren though he knew their hearts were in alienated from him. He informed them he had no quarrel with them upon his own account. He endeavors to appease their spirits towards him, that so they might receive the admonitions he was giving them. In reproving others, we should take care to convince them that our reproofs do not proceed from ourselves but from the sincere regard to the honor of God and their truest welfare. Because Paul was a man of utmost integrity and by God’s grace had conducted himself in a pure and upright manner among the Galatians, he could appeal to them by his experience with them. He urged them, “Be as I am; for I am as ye are”. Paul had once lived as they were, under the law, now he’s trying to convince them to be free from the law through faith in Jesus and to live in the grace and freedom that Christ gives.

Galatians 4:13 – Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. He magnifies their former affection. He puts them in mind of the difficulty under which he labored when he came first among them. He expresses the temptation that was in his flesh. It seems it made no impression on them to his disadvantage.

Galatians 4:14 – And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. They did not despise him on the account of it, but on the contrary, received him as an angel of God. Those who believed his message treated him even as they would have received Christ Himself. What type of infirmity Paul had is not mentioned, it could have been a physical weakness could have been malaria, a serious eye problem or the continuing effects of persecution. The Greeks valued a speaker’s appearance and delivery almost as much as the content of his speech, Galatians were not put off by his appearance.

Galatians 4:15 – Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. He’s telling them, you once thought yourselves happy in receiving the gospel; have you now any reason to think otherwise? He’s saying you know your life had been changed, you were no longer under bondage but freedom through the gospel I presented to you. You welcomed me to the point, if it were possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. Paul apparently had poor eyes sight; he often used a secretary to compose his books. When he did write he used large letters in his printing, this may have been the infirmity he wrote about.

Galatians 4:16 – Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? How is it that I who was before your favorite am now accounted as your enemy. When speaking the truth to unbelievers as well as believers sometimes, they will consider you as their enemy rather than their friend or you having their best interest at heart because you give them the truth of God’s Word. As Christians, we can’t condone sin in other people’s lives as well as our life. If we’re sensitive to the Spirit of God, He will tell us when or when not to confront sin in other people, when sin is in our life, He will let us know if we will not deny what He’s showing us, if we confess and repent, He will give us the strength we need to conquer sin.

Galatians 4:17 – They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. Here he gives them the character of those false teachers. He tells them they were designing men, who were aiming to set up themselves. What they were aiming at is to engage your affections to them. They might have appeared to have a lot of zeal, but little truth and sincerity.

Galatians 4:18 – But it good to be zealously affected always in a good thing; and not only when I am present with you. It is a good rule that zeal is exercised only upon that which is good; for zeal is then only good when it is a good thing. It is good to be zealous always in a good thing, not for a time only, or now and then.

Galatians 4:19 – My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you. He’s expressing his concerns for them. This is what faithful pastors do for their spiritual children, they labor in prayer and fasting to draw their flock to Jesus and will do so until Christ be formed in them. We too that are praying for our unsaved loved ones, should continue to pray and fast until they receive Jesus as their Saviour and Lord.

Galatians 4:10 – I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. He knows well what to think of them. But he would be glad to find that matters were better with them than he feared and that he might have occasion to commend them, instead of reproving and chiding them.