Galatians 4:1-20: The Joys of Growing Up

Have you ever longed to be a child again—to be free from work, mortgage payments, bills and taxes? Remember the carefree days, when from morning till night your job was to play? The Galatians did. They longed to return to the spiritual childhood of the law. But aren’t we forgetting something? Just think of all the things we couldn’t do as children. In Galatians 4:1-20 Paul reminds us of the joys of growing up.

Warming Up to God

What is frustrating you today? Take time to journal or talk to God about how you are feeling and why. Work at it until your mind is clear and you are ready to study.

Read Galatians 4:1-20

Discovering the Word

  • How was life under the law like spiritual childhood (vv. 3-7)?
  • Verse 4 states, “When the time had fully come, God sent his Son.” How did things change because of his coming (vv. 4-7)?
  • In view of Paul’s discussion in verses 1-7, how does the Galatians’ behavior seem incredible (vv. 8-11)?
  • How and why had the Galatians’ attitude toward Paul changed (vv. 12-20)?
  • What do these verses reveal about Paul’s feelings toward the Galatians?
  • How do verses 12-20 illustrate the care and concern we should have for other members of God’s family?

Applying the Word

  • In what ways do you sometimes act like a spiritual slave?
  • How can you begin acting more like God’s beloved son or daughter?

Responding in Prayer

Spend a few minutes of intimate prayer with the Father, thanking him for the privileges of being a member of his family.

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