Galatians 4:12-20

Introduction: Paul has been very harsh in his letter to the Galatians. Finally in this text we get to see that he is not angry at them as much as he is worried about them. He shows his love for the Galatians by calling them back to the truth, remembering their love for him, exposing the goals of the Judaizers, and explaining his goals in the proclamation of the Gospel.

I. Paul’s Call
A. Be like me
B. I became like you
C. Remembering the Gospel first preached

II. The Galatian response to Paul
A. Initially

1. Joy
2. Love
3. Acceptance of the truth

B. Now

1. Bondage
2. Hatred
3. Rejection of truth

III. The Goals of the Judaizers
A. Exclusion of the Gentiles from the promises
B. Zealousy for themselves

IV. The Goals of Paul
A. Zeal for Christ
B. Christ formed in them
C. Faithfulness to Christ

Conclusion: Paul’s Gospel was initially accepted by the Galatians in spite of Paul’s personal deficiencies. They gladly accepted him and cared for him. But later, because of deception and persecution, they had come to regard Paul as an enemy even though he still proclaimed the same truth from as he had from the beginning.
Our response to the Gospel and the preacher should not change just because the preacher has a hard text for us, or because of his bedside manner, his personality, his lack of a sense of humor, or any other deficiency, but we must continue faithfully to follow their examples and obey the truth of the Word, to the end that Christ may be formed in us. The Gospel of faith in Christ is our means of sanctification. There is no other way to be transformed then through the renewing of our minds by the faith in the Gospel message.

“What should matter to the people is not the pastor’s appearance, but whether Christ is speaking through him. And what should matter to the pastor is not the people’s favour, but whether Christ is formed in them. The church needs people who, in listening to their pastor, listen for the message of Christ, and pastors who, in labouring among the people, look for the image of Christ. Only when pastor and people thus keep their eyes on Christ will their mutual relations keep healthy, profitable and pleasing to almighty God.” -John Stott, “The Message of Galatians”

1 Comment

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One response to “Galatians 4:12-20

  1. Steve Weaver

    Good lesson! Thanks for your labor in the Word for your Sunday School class! Great quote by Stott!

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