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Are You Experiencing Your Abba?

It is one thing to know legally, that you are a son of God

because of what Jesus did for you on the cross.

It is quite another to experience the love of God

because of the Spirit entering your heart,

and to have the confidence to cry out ABBA

which Tim Keller says is literally DADA.

That’s how intimate He wants to be with us.

This week I want us to reflect on what it truly means to be adopted,

and to cry out to God to help us not just to believe in our heads,

but to experience it daily in our hearts.

Steve and I were privileged to adopt two daughters from overseas orphanages,

both of whom experienced the love of their earthly father vividly,

and through him, the love of their heavenly Father.

This is our beautiful daughter, Beth, today.

We adopted her at the age of twelve.

She had been abandoned as a newborn, left to die,

bleeding in a field, her little arm severed.

She grew up without love in an orphanage.

When she was in college in our town, her speech teacher called me after Beth’s 1st speech.

She told me she would never forget Beth’s short speech.

Beth set up a little tape recorded with a song from Point of Grace called Who Am I?

She began:

When I was a baby my parents cut off my arm and left me to die.

But I didn’t die. Someone found me and rushed me to the hospital.

Then Beth pushed play on the tape recorder and they heard the beginning of Who Am I?

(Listen to a minute and six seconds)

 

Then Beth stopped the tape and continued:

In the orphanage, people hurt me. I was sad and cried.

God helped a man in Nebraska hear my cry.

He came and rescued me and adopted me.

Then she pressed play, to play the next verse and chorus

and then sat down.

The teacher told me:

“It took less than 3 minutes but I and the class will never forget it.”

 

 

Sunday: Reflecting on Our Adoption

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. What does it mean to you that God has adopted you? What parallels can you see between the above adoption story and your own?

Monday: Let Me Put This Question To You

Let me put this question to you.

How did you new life begin?

Was it by working your heads off to please God?

Or was it be responding to God’s message to you?

Are you going to continue this craziness?

For only crazy people would think they could complete

in their own efforts what was begun by God.

(Galatians 3:2-3 MSG)

My friend Sylvia said it took a while for the penny to drop for her, for she always thought the gospel was the way into Christianity, but then you tried very hard to obey God in her own strength. She didn’t understand how the same gospel that delivered her from the penalty of sin could also deliver her from the power of sin.

3. What is Paul telling us in Galatians 3:1-5?

In Galatians for You, Tim Keller explains how this works with forgiveness: He says if “we don’t forgive, something else has become our functional savior in place of Jesus. …We are looking to something else as a hope, to some other way to feel good and complete.”

4. Can you resonate with the above? When you hold on to bitterness, what do you think you are looking to in order to feel good and complete?

5. How could looking to Jesus, and to his crucifixion, help you to trust His love and control and release the person you are not forgiving?

6. Let’s try it with the sin of worry. You are anxious and unable to sleep, going over concerns in your heart. What do you think is your functional savior? How could you release this to Jesus and trust His love and control?

7. Let’s try it with indulging the flesh. You want to run to sugar, sex, shopping… your functional Savior. How could you melt your heart with the gospel, flee the temptation, and trust Jesus for HIs love and control? If you have had success here, share what you have learned.

Tuesday-Wednesday: Abraham Believed God

This truth may take a while to drop to your heart, so let us all pray for one another!

8. How did Abraham become right with God according to Galatians 3:6 and Romans 4:3?

 



9. Take a stumbling block in sin for you. There is something you are failing to believe about God. What do you think it is?

 

Cry out, “Abba, Father — I believe — help my unbelief!” Let the Gospel melt your heart. One way you know the Spirit is at work in you is that you are fighting this sin and not just surrendering.

10. Read Galatians 3:6-14

A. How can we be blessed along with Abraham according to verse 9?

B. The Message paraphrases verse 10 like this: “And that means that anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure.” Have you experienced the difference between living by your own effort and living by faith in the power of the gospel? If so, explain.

C. The Message paraphrases verses 11-12 like this: “The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you.” What do you think this means? Be specific.

11. Read Galatians 3:15-25. (This is a challenging passage, but I want you to get just a few things from it)

A. What came first — the law or the promise? Why is this significant?

B. What is the purpose of the law according to Galatians 3:24 and how does it do this?

Last week in our SonShip study we were given a tongue assignment. For a whole week we were not to complain, gossip, boast, or defend ourselves, but only encourage and share Christ with others. Of course the point of the assignment was that we couldn’t do it. Indeed, we are caterpillars in a ring of fire, are only hope of rescue is from above.

Thursday-Friday: Sons and Heirs, According to the Promise

I’ve been reading a biography of Jonathan Edwards that is helpful, in that the author has taken some of the weighty writings of Edwards and made them easier to understand. One helpful perspective from Edwards that illuminates what it means to live in the power of the Gospel, is from his writings on The Nature of True Virtue (published in 1765) Edwards explains that when we truly believe the love God has for us, we become focused on honoring Him out of deep gratitude. I know, in my own life, a transformation has come because of my growing sense, especially since Steve died 15 years ago, of God’s love and care for me despite my sin. Indeed, I realize as Luther said, I am simultaneously loved and sinful. That is not like human love, and I am so very grateful for it. Edwards was vividly aware of the love of God as revealed through His grace and meditated daily on this. Prepare your heart with this song from Andrew Peterson:

 

 

 

12. Read slowly Galatians 3:26-4:7.

A. What is the main theme of this passage?

B. Challenge question: Do you know why it is a good thing that women who believe are declared “sons of God?” rather than “daughters of God?”

C. What did God do for those who believed in His Son, according to Galatians 4:6?

 

13. Read also Romans 8:9-17

     A. What do you learn about the Spirit in verses 9-11?

B. Jonathan Edwards said that those who live for the Lord out of gratitude, shine His beams back to Him and the world. They grow stronger and stronger. How can you see this in verses 14-17?

Brennan Manning wrote “Abba’s Child,” and sums up what he thinks is most important for us to know in the following video. It fascinates me that Brennan Manning has such an impact on Rich Mullins, who had such an impact on Andrew Peterson. All of these men understand how important it is to realize God’s love for the sinner and to  live in gratitude to the One who adopted them out of love.

14. What stands out to from the above video and why?

 

I have promised not to give too much homework, but for those of you who wish to go deeper and grab hold of this truth, purchase Keller’s Message “The Experience of Adoption.” One of the reasons Keller is so good is that he stands on the shoulders of many he has researched. In this sermon alone he quotes Spurgeon, Martin Lloyd Jones, Jonathan Edwards, and many more. If you do listen, share your notes and comments. It’s a wonderful message.

https://gospelinlife.com/downloads/the-experience-of-adoption-5903/

 

Saturday: Take-A-Way

15. What is your take-a-way and why?

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. 3. What is Paul telling us in Galatians 3:1-5?

    You are in deception if you believe you can add anything to your salvation with your actions. Salvation was crystal clear to you but now you are behaving foolishly. How did you get the Holy Spirit?  You believed the message of Jesus!  You started out right but now you are trying to live this perfect life. Has all this been for nothing. Does God work miracles among you because you obey the law? Absolutely, not!  He does miracle among you because you heard the message of salvation and believe in the work Jesus did!

  2. 4. Can you resonate with the above? When you hold on to bitterness, what do you think you are looking to in order to feel good and complete?

    You are picking up your old life and attempting satisfy your self by holding others sins against them. You are also seeking to avenge yourself. You are trying to take care of yourself instead of allowing God to heal, nurture and meet your needs. You are exchanging the work of Christ for your own works!

  3. 5. How could looking to Jesus, and to his crucifixion, help you to trust His love and control and release the person you are not forgiving?  Looking to Jesus opens you up to receive what only Christ can give a true miracle of the heart. He has forgiven all of mankind to bring all who are willing into freedom. When we open our heart to him and his way of doing things, He is able to empower you to forgive with strength that only comes from the power of the resurrection. 

  4. Tuesday-Wednesday 

    10.   Read Galatians 3:6-14

    A.   How can we be blessed along with Abraham according to verse 9? 

    By putting our faith in Christ.

  5. 8. How did Abraham become right with God according to Galatians 3:6 and Romans 4:3. The amplified version of Romans states “Abraham believed in [trusted, relied on] God.” The Glatians verse in amplified states “conformity to God’s will.” Abraham believed God and this put him in right standing with God.

  6. Mon: Gal:1-5 is telling us That we are saved by Faith in Christ & not be our own efforts!

    When I hold onto bitterness I am justifying myself & my pride, & not trusting the Lord to forgive thro me.

    Looking to Jesus & His crucifixion can help me to release the person I am not forgiving, cause He suffered & died for EVERYone, including that person.  It can soften & heal my heart.

    When I worry I am probably trusting in a good outcome & good circumstances, rather than trusting in the Lord’s will to be done. It’s hard to release that worry, but thro prayer & meditating on Jesus’ love & His complete surrender to the Father, I can. I need to ask for the Spirit’s help to trust in His care of me & my loved ones.

    When I want to run to co-dependency I need to steep myself in His Word, His Presence, worship music, & ask others to pray with me.

  7. Tues/ Wed:  Abraham became right with God thro FAITH in Him.   My stumbling block in worrying is believing that He will provide what is best for my kids, even tho they are not looking to Him.

    A. We can be blessed along with Abraham by having faith in God’s promises.  When I live by my own efforts I do not have the Peace of God. When I trust Him & have faith in His power, I have peace & joy & energy, not heaviness.

  8. 11. Read Galatians 3:15-25. (This is a challenging passage, but I want you to get just a few things from it)
     
    A. What came first — the law or the promise? Why is this significant? – The promise came first when God gave it to Abraham and his Seed. The law came 430 years later. It’s significant because the inheritance was given with grace to Abraham through a promise and the law was added because of the transgressions. The promise was for us once the Seed that it was intended for came.
     
    B. What is the purpose of the law according to Galatians 3:24 and how does it do this? – The law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we may be justified. Does it do it by helping us get to a relationship with Jesus so we can see just what he has done for us. Does it open our hearts and minds to His ways so when the seed is planted we are ready?
     

  9. 8. How did Abraham become right with God according to Galatians 3:6 and Romans 4:3?
    He believed God. It was all there is to it. Nothing less, nothing more.
    9. Take a stumbling block in sin for you. There is something you are failing to believe about God. What do you think it is?
    I worry and do not believe that God is in control. I can think of 2 things right now that I wrestle with unbelief. “Abba, Father-I believe-help my unbelief.” With you, nothing is impossible. Thank you that you are helping me not surrender to this sin of worry.
    10. Read Galatians 3:6-14
    A. How can we be blessed along with Abraham according to verse 9? To rely on faith just as Abraham did.
    B. Have you experienced the difference between living by your own effort and living by faith in the power of the gospel? If so, explain.
    Yes, many times when I try to orchestrate for things to happen according to my plan, it backfires on me. But when I trust God, I see His hand at work and there is no iota of help from me to bring it about!
    C. The Message paraphrases verses 11-12 like this: “The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you.” What do you think this means? Be specific.
    I think this means instead of saying, “God I want this to happen, I wait for what comes and join God there. Like a dance that we have learned here in the blog. He leads and I follow.

  10. A9. Take a stumbling block in sin for you. There is something you are failing to believe about God. What do you think it is. Well, this is an interesting question because what I fail to believe is that *my* actions will produce fruit…but this is a belief about me, not Him… so this leads me to think the thing I am not believing is that HE would really work through me…. The point is not to think that I can eventually be brave enough and good enough at this Christian stuff to accomplish something worthwhile. God accomplishes His will regardless of me (though I AM responsible for my choices and actions). The point is to understand Him enough that it changes my heart to love others and love Hm most of all…then my actions become joyful worship. In a sense this boils down to me not believing that He is indeed powerful and moving intimately in my life and the lives of others… ouch. Yes, Lord! Help my unbelief!

    10. Read Galatians 3:6-14

    A. How can we be blessed along with Abraham according to verse 9? By having faith.

    B. Have you experienced the difference between living by your own effort and living by faith in the power of the gospel? If so, explain. I have had experiences when I clearly heard the Father’s voice and obeyed which had a sense of weight till completion and then a satisfaction,  not from haughty accomplishment, but from knowing I did as my Father asked. And then I have had times when I knew I wanted to or should do something because people were watching or I felt a perceived call due to guilt or a need… and this always feels weighty in a burdensome, uncomfortable, chaffing way…and the completion feels like relief from punishment rather than joy of being in my Father’s will. I think this is one way I have felt the difference between faith in the power of the gospel and living by my own effort…

    C. What do you think this means? Be specific. In line with what I shared above. *doing* things so easily becomes throwing rags on an altar of insufficient self-sufficiency.Entering into Christ’s sacrifice changes who you are and not only what you do but how and why. I walk God’s path rather than walking my path in a way I hope doesn’t get me voted off the island. It becomes not “what should/n’t I do” but rather a manifestation of who I am in Christ.

    11. Read Galatians 3:15-25

    A. What came first – the law or the promise? Why is this significant? The promise. Paul says this is important because the inheritance is protected by the original promise for it is given by the original covenant. And promises cannot be annulled or ratified.

    B. What is the purpose of the law according to Galatians 3:24 and how does it do this? The purpose of the law was to be a guardian to God’s people till the fulfillment of the promise. I am not exactly clear but I think the Law not only sets up the gospel message (one sacrifice once and for al) but in its wisdom keeps God’s people from harm and attuned their heart to be aware of sin. If we are not aware of sin we cannot be aware of salvation.

    1. Jill I strongly identify with you here:

      ” I am not believing is that HE would really work through me…. The point is not to think that I can eventually be brave enough and good enough at this Christian stuff to accomplish something worthwhile. ”

      Praying right now for us both

      1. Chris, thank you. And I am pausing now to pray for both of us as well in this regard.

  11. 11. Read Galatians 3:15-25. (This is a challenging passage, but I want you to get just a few things from it)
    A. What came first — the law or the promise? Why is this significant?
    The promise came first. God has established it first with Abraham and He cannot go back on His word. The law came later.
    B. What is the purpose of the law according to Galatians 3:24 and how does it do this?
    The law served as our guardian until Jesus came. And when He came, we no longer need the law as guardian because we can come to Christ through faith. Salvation is no longer based on the works of the law but on faith and belief in Christ. I think of all the sacrifices that needed to be done in order to be “clean” before God. It was driven by works. When Jesus came, there was no need for those sacrifices anymore. His death put an end to that.

    There is such an overwhelming sense of peace that has come upon me as we study Galatians. Although the penny hasn’t dropped completely for me, I continue to trust God to help me get to that point.

  12.  
    C. The Message paraphrases verses 11-12 like this: “The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you.” What do you think this means? Be specific.
    I shouldn’t try to manipulate circumstances to make things the way I want them to be; instead I need to ask the Lord “What do You want to teach me thro this situation? What are You doing & how do You want me to work with You?”

    11. Gal 3:15-25 The PROMISE came before the LAW. It is significant cause it was all God’s doing by His Grace; His plan alone.

    The purpose of the Law was to be “our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith”. Praise Him!

     

  13. Tuesday-Wednesday 

    10B.   The message paraphrases verse 10 like this:  “ And that means that anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure. “   Have you experienced the difference between living by your own effort and living by faith in the power of the gospel?  If so, explain. 

    Yes, when I live by my own efforts, I don’t have the peace or joy that I do when living by faith.  I depend on me rather than God…not a good place to be.

    C.   The message paraphrases verses 11-12 like this:  “The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you.“.  What do you think this means? Be specific.  

    God’s already arranged how I can live in a right relationship with Him…there isn’t anything I can do or add to what He’s already done.  I need to live by faith…putting my trust in Him.

    11.   Read Galatians 3:15-25.  ( this is a challenging passage, but I want you to get just a few things from it).

    A.   What came first- the law or the promise? Why is this significant? 

    The promise.  It’s significant because the agreement God made with Abraham couldn’t be cancelled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses.  God would be breaking His promise.

    B.   What is the purpose of the law according to Galatians 3:24 and how does it do this? 

    To be our tutor and disciplinarian to guide us to Christ.  I think it did this by showing us our need for a Savior…to see that we are sinners and can only be justified by faith.

  14. Dee, glad you made it home safely! Congratulations on the newest addition; beautiful!

     
    12. Read slowly Galatians 3:26-4:7. 
    A. What is the main theme of this passage? 
     

    I think the theme here is family…that we have God within us making us first His son and then His heir, receiving the promise that He gave to Abraham. We are His so we gain the benefit as Jesus did because He sent Jesus to redeem us so we could be adopted by Him.

     
    B. Challenge question: Do you know why it is a good thing that women who believe are declared “sons of God?” rather than “daughters of God?”
     

    Not really?  The Message says we are all equal?

     
    C. What did God do for those who believed in His Son, according to Galatians 4:6?
     

    He sent the “…Spirit of His Son into our hearts…”

  15. 3. What is Paul telling us in Galatians 3:1-5?
    They became Christians by responding to the Gospel resting in His righteousness, not their own. How can they, after being His freely via His sacrifice for them, go back to working hard to earn his favor?
    4. Can you resonate with the above? When you hold on to bitterness, what do you think you are looking to in order to feel good and complete?
    I need to have control by enacting my own internal justice to feel satisfied.

    5. How could looking to Jesus, and to his crucifixion, help you to trust His love and control and release the person you are not forgiving?

    That I am just like the person I am angry at-my sins are NO DIFFERENT. I have hurt others and Jesus with my actions yet He was humiliated and hated so that I and that person I am not forgiving would never be hated by Him, rather passionately loved in the most intense way-beyond any earthly love we have experienced. His love is not dependant on whether I intentionally sin or unintentionally sin. Once I am His, I am His..forever. His love is unconditional. How can I, as Paul would say-the chief of all sinners-who has been forgiven SO MUCH and released not forgive and release someone else?

  16. 6. Let’s try it with the sin of worry. You are anxious and unable to sleep, going over concerns in your heart. What do you think is your functional savior? How could you release this to Jesus and trust His love and control?

    It seems not forgiving and releasing someone else hasn’t been much of an issue (yet) for me as this one!! Oh my! However I am experiencing progress for I do have much going on to become anxious about-DAILY-so it hits me just about every morning. My functional savior is control and comfort. The more I am growing confident in His love the more I cry out to Him as Dee said in her f.b. post-as Abba (daddy). It just seems that if the issues do or don’t go the way I hoped, it isn’t having as much power over me as He does. He is more satisfying and bigger. He truly is becoming more and more my peace in these storms. When worry creeps in, at least what I am aware of in the moment, I find myself starting off saying to myself, so if this happens will it be the end of the world? What does it compare to life with Jesus now and in the future? What joy!! What could be better than Jesus is mine and I am His? Even when I am experiencing the impact of another who continues to make foolish decisions, I am developing the habit of massaging deeper in the Gospel and just praying and trusting.

    1. “What could be better than Jesus is mine and I am His?”

  17. 8. How did Abraham become right with God according to Galatians 3:6 and Romans 4:3?

    He simply believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. In my own words, Abraham took God at His word.

    9. Take a stumbling block in sin for you. There is something you are failing to believe about God. What do you think it is?

    I was thinking about this last night and this morning when I awoke, and also question #7, because it is linked with this question in my mind – indulging my flesh, wanting to run to my functional savior. This is my stumbling block in sin. Being very vulnerable here, it is my longing for a ‘wonderful husband’ who is warm, tender, romantic, my best friend, showing love to me in the way I want it shown, kind, loving….and when my flesh cries out for that, I run to my functional savior of a fantasy man that I make up in my own mind. And I started to do this again last night, but I thought about our study here, and that I have a choice between my fantasy, and Jesus. What is it that I am failing to believe about God? That He can meet and fulfill every longing I have? That He loves me deeply? Maybe the bigger question is not that He can, but does He want to do that for me? I do not doubt that God can love and forgive even the worst of sins – for others, but when it comes to me, I doubt.

    1. Susan, your answer here makes my heart ache for you. You have had to live with what seems to me so much rejection from your husband. Oh, how hard it is for us to believe that Jesus loves us deeply, will meet and fulfill every longing! As you say, “when it comes to me, I doubt”! Hugs, sister. I am praying that you will feel the deep, deep, never failing, always and forever love of Christ today, in the midst of your pain.

      1. Thank you, Diane, for the prayers. That book by Rose Marie Miller is really giving me a lot of insight, though….she and her husband were both Christians, yet they had marriage difficulties for several years because she made demands of him that he could not meet – she expected him to be her ‘functional savior’. She would complain to him that he never listened to her, that he was so busy helping everyone else but never helped her….and I’m thinking that wow, they were both believers yet still having these problems, so the fact that my husband is not a believer can’t be whole source of our problems. The teaching of Leslie Vernick has also been helpful to me. She gave an example of a woman she was counseling who complained about her mom not helping her with her kids, as she was a single mom. She believed her mom “ought to and should do”….which Leslie said isn’t necessarily unreasonable, yet when we demand from someone what they either are not able to give or don’t want to give to us, then we’re in trouble.

        1. Susan, I can truly agree and identify with this: “when we demand from someone what they either are not able to give or don’t want to give to us, then we’re in trouble.” Yet, we often feel entitled! How courageous you are to continue fighting toward God’s way, in spite of your circumstances!

  18. 10. Read Galatians 3:6-14

    A. How can we be blessed along with Abraham according to verse 9?

    We can be blessed along with Abraham by having faith – believing God.

    B. The Message paraphrases verse 10 like this: “And that means that anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure.” Have you experienced the difference between living by your own effort and living by faith in the power of the gospel? If so, explain.

    This is so subtle and sneaky because there have been times when I would have said I was acting on faith, but it was really my plans, my efforts, my helping things along and trying to control the outcome, or basically what I wanted. Diane mentioned in her post guilt – and I can relate to a feeling of guilt pushing me to do something that I really didn’t want to do, and that’s not faith. As I read Rose Marie Miller’s book about living like an orphan, there was something she wrote that made sense to me, and that is that she tried unsuccessfully to love, or to forgive, for example, because the Bible verse said we are to love, to forgive. But she realized that the verse itself does not give us the power to obey it! My NIV translation of verse 10 says that all who rely on observing the law are under a curse. That’s what it feels like when I read a verse in the Bible that tells me what I am commanded to do but I can’t seem to do it. I have to learn to rely on the power of the gospel to enable me to obey.

    C. The Message paraphrases verses 11-12 like this: “The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you.” What do you think this means? Be specific.

    Doing things for God means I hike up my boots and try, try, try to live out the commands and things the Bible tells me to do and the things I feel I ought and should do to be a “nice person”. In the back of my mind I am hoping that God will see me favorably and be happy with me because of how nice I am behaving. But what if I just stood before Him and admitted that I often feel/am lazy, not nice, complaining, selfish, mean, and embraced what He has arranged for me – to put my faith in Him and His plan for my salvation and His plan for my transformation? ( I’m still learning how exactly to do this)

  19. 11. Read Galatians 3:15-25. (This is a challenging passage, but I want you to get just a few things from it)

    A. What came first – the law or the promise? Why is this significant?

    The promise came first; the law was introduced 430 years later. This is significant because Paul says that just as no one can set aside or change a human covenant, so no one can alter or change the covenant (promise) that God made with Abraham. That covenant/promise was set and remains fixed and the law has no power to set it aside. Therefore, believers today can still count on the original promise made by God to Abraham.

    B. What is the purpose of the law according to Galatians 3:24 and how does it do this?

    The law was “put in charge” (NIV) or was our “guardian” (ESV) to lead us to Christ. The law exists because of sin, but it cannot impart righteousness to us. When we realize we can’t obey it, it leads us to look to Christ to justify us by faith.

     

  20. 12. Read slowly Galatians 3:26-4:7.

    A. What is the main theme of this passage?

    That believers are sons of God and we have the full rights of sons – God has made us His sons and heirs.

    B. Do you know why it is a good thing that women who believe are declared “sons of God” rather than “daughters of God”?

    In Galatians 3: 28 Paul says that we are all ONE in Christ – there are no racial distinctions (neither Jew nor Greek), class distinctions (slave nor free), or gender distinctions (male or female). It makes no difference who you are, where you were born, man or woman, you have the full rights of a son. Throughout history women are often at a disadvantage in society. In England, for example, a woman would not inherit the estate of her father even if there was not a son. I recently met a woman who lived in Saudi Arabia from the age of 8 to 16, and she told me about the scores of homeless women because if the woman’s husband died, she was out of luck. If there were young children, they would be taken in by the husband’s family, but not her. She was left with nothing.

    C. What did God do for those who believed in His Son, according to Galatians 4:6?

    God sent the Spirit of His Son into the hearts of those who believed in His Son – because they were sons. The Spirit itself calls out “Abba, Father”.

    1. Your answer to 12 B is spot on, Susan. And wow, what an example from Saudi Arabia! Is it still like that today or was this from some years ago? Just, wow! That reminds me of the book of Ruth and how compassionate Boaz was to take Ruth and Naomi under his protection.

      1. The young lady that I met just last week is in her mid to late twenties, I’m guessing, so it’s not that far in the past. She was born in the Philippines and her father is an oil engineer. He still lives in Saudi Arabia – her mom moved back to Manila and she lives here in the States.

        1. Yes, Susan. The treatment of widows in Saudi Arabia today is deeply disturbing. Thanks for the information.

  21. A. How can we be blessed along with Abraham according to verse 9?

    By being people of faith, I like how the Amplified Bible expands this idea “people who live by faith (with confidence in the power and goodness of God)”
     
    B. The Message paraphrases verse 10 like this: “And that means that anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure.” Have you experienced the difference between living by your own effort and living by faith in the power of the gospel? If so, explain.

    When I neglect abiding, when I don’t spend any time with the Lord in his word, in prayer, and I find myself in a conversation with someone who needs wisdom I find I have nothing to offer them, I when I am apart from him, no matter how much I want to have something good to offer, I can’t do or say anything that is really worthwhile.

     On the other hand, when I am abiding richly, I have experienced having that hope that abounds and splashes over onto and encourages others.

  22. C. The Message paraphrases verses 11-12 like this: “The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you.” What do you think this means? Be specific.

    Embracing what God arranges for me can mean good things, that is automatically where my mind goes, but it can also mean suffering. Entering into, as opposed to resisting, this implies a surrender of control to me. A willingness to be governed believing that the good shepherd really is good. 
     
    I have wrested with, and still sometimes do, thinking I can behave myself into a less painful path, if I behave God won’t have to discipline me.
    Really focusing on the gospel, the love that Christ has shown in rescuing me releases some of my fear…honestly not all of it…I know I need to keep my gaze on more and more Jesus

  23. 11. Read Galatians 3:15-25. (This is a challenging passage, but I want you to get just a few things from it)
    A. What came first — the law or the promise? Why is this significant?
    The Promise being first is significant because no one behaved themselves into deserving the promise, God promises to keep his side of the promise knowing that we will fail to live up to ours. When we are honest the law makes our insufficiency plain to us.
    B. What is the purpose of the law according to Galatians 3:24 and how does it do this?
     
    The law is our teacher, it guides us to Christ by showing us our utter need for a savior.

  24. Thursday-Friday

    12.   Read slowly Galatians 3:26-4:7

    A.   What is the main theme of this passage? 

    Believers in Christ are no longer slaves but sons of God and heirs through the gracious act of God through Christ.

    B.   Challenge question:   Do you know why it is a good thing that women who believe are declared “sons of God?” rather than “daughters of God?

    In the Jewish society women did not receive an inheritance…and it says in 3:28 that one of the areas there is no  distinction in regard to salvation is between male and female.

    C.   What did God do for those who believe in his son, according to Galatians 4:6? 

    He sent the Holy Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out “Abba! Father!”

  25. 13. Read also Romans 8:9-17 
         A. What do you learn about the Spirit in verses 9-11?
     

    Those who believe have the Spirit within them. They are not controlled by their inheirit sinful nature but by the Spirit. God gives life to the flesh upon death because of this Spirit within them.

     
    B. Jonathan Edwards said that those who live for the Lord out of gratitude, shine His beams back to Him and the world. They grow stronger and stronger. How can you see this in verses 14-17?
     

    The believers are not slaves to their flesh, so they have this extra appeal that others can see, to them. They shine the light of God. People wonder what is going on in their lives for them to be so content!

     

     

  26. 12. Read also Romans 8:9-17

    A. What do you learn about the Spirit in verses 9-11?

    If the Spirit of God lives in you, then you are controlled by the Spirit, not by your sinful nature. If anyone does not have the Spirit, he does not belong to Christ. Through His Spirit our bodies are given life.

    B. Jonathan Edwards said that those who live for the Lord out of gratitude, shine His beams back to Him and the world. They grow stronger and stronger. How can you see this in verses 14-17?

    I see the ‘growing stronger and stronger’ in verse 15, because the spirit that we receive doesn’t put us into slavery and make us afraid, fearful, but rather makes us a son of God. So we don’t receive a spirit that makes us cower in fear, but stand up and take our place as rightful sons and heirs of God. The Spirit himself encourages us and reminds us of who we are (v. 16).

  27. 12. Read slowly Galatians 3:26-4:7. 
    A. What is the main theme of this passage? 
    Sonship or our adoption into our inheritance which has resulted in our freedom from the law!
    B. Challenge question: Do you know why it is a good thing that women who believe are declared “sons of God?” rather than “daughters of God?”
    Only a son had an inheritance in most instances.
    C. What did God do for those who believed in His Son, according to Galatians 4:6?
    He gave us the Spirit of Adoption so that He is now our Papa. The Message says we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. That heritage is the one that was forfeited by Adam and Eve.

    13. Read also Romans 8:9-17

    A. What do you learn about the Spirit in verses 9-11? The indwelling Spirit is the sign that we have been adopted…no Spirit…no adoption. For it is only through the Spirit that we can have a “resurrected” life! It is the Spirit that breathes new life…the life of Christ…into these dead mortal bodies of ours…these bodies that have been kidnapped by the Law!

  28. 14. What stands out to you from the above video and why?

    Brennan’s words are penetrating: “I am now utterly convinced that on Judgement Day, the Lord Jesus is going to ask each of us one question, and only one question: ‘Did you believe that I loved you? That I desired you? That I waited for you day after day, that I longed to hear the sound of your voice?” The real believers sill answer, ‘Yes, Jesus, I believed in your love and I tried to shape my life as a response to it.’ But many of us…..are going to have to reply, ‘Well frankly, no Sir, I never really believed it….’ and there’s the difference between the real believers and the nominal Christians that abound in our churches across the land.

    Brennan says that our gloom, pessimism, low self-esteem, self-hatred, and despair so effectively block God’s way to us. That is why is it so important to lay hold of this basic truth of our faith, because you’re only going to be as big as your own concept of God. Man has made God in his own image, making him as fussy, rude, narrow-minded, legalistic, judgmental, unforgiving and unloving as we are. “The God of so many Christians I meet is a God who is too small for me, because He is not the God of the Word, He is not the God revealed by and in Jesus Christ.”

    In Brennan’s words, Jesus would come right to your seat and say to you: “I dare you to trust that I love you just as you are, and not as you should be, because you’re never going to be as you should be.”

    So I have a question: is he saying that those who don’t believe in the love that Jesus has for them are not true believers? He used the word ‘nominal’ Christians – is he saying that they are unbelievers? He says that our own pessimism, self-hatred and low self-esteem effectively block God from getting through to us. It’s all a question of belief, or unbelief. Why do we have these psychological hang-ups if we really believe in the love God has for us?

    He said that you’re only going to be as big as your concept of God. This reminded me of Jesus’ parable about the men who were given money, and the one buried it in the ground because he believed his master to be harsh and so he was fearful of trying to do anything with what he was given.

    1. Susan…I think in the context of Brennan’s teaching…he is describing the difference between Christians who light up their world because they have believed God loves them unconditionally as opposed to the nominal Christians who have been saved by their belief in what Jesus did for them but whose belief stops there…they have not yet been able to believe (because of their own gloom, pessimism, self-hatred, and low self-esteem) that God truly loves them just as they are. When we are stuck in that place, we cannot light up the world around us! Others are not drawn to Jesus because they see Him as we portray Him…fussy, rude, narrow minded, judgmental! That is such a sad place to be but I think while we still are in this world, we will all circle back to that place on occasion…but my prayer this morning is that those times will get less and less frequent and that the time I am stick there will get shorter and shorter each time I visit that place. Maybe we have to revisit this place in order for God to reveal another area of our unbelief in how loved we are😊

      1. Lucy, you explained this so well….thank you! I am still processing!

  29. Not sure how my post above got labeled…undefined but it is mine😊

    B. Jonathan Edwards said that those who live for the Lord out of gratitude, shine His beams back to Him and the world. They grow stronger and stronger. How can you see this in verses 14-17?

    The Message says it this way in vs 15-17: This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next Papa?” Now that is a life lived out of the gratitude of one who is reveling in their adoption!

  30. 14. What stands out to from the above video and why?

    You are only going to be as big as your own concept of God! Lord, forgive me for making You so small, reducing You to man’s image instead of reflecting You accurately to the lost around me. Help me take up Brennan Manning’s dare…I dare you to trust that I love you just as you are! Lord, may that knowledge be imbedded so deeply in my spirit and so brought to life by the resurrecting power of Your Spirit that it reshapes my entire identity and brings forth a deep wellspring of love and gratitude! Amen

  31. 12.  The main theme here is the difference between being a slave and being a son. I think it’s interesting that neither slaves nor underage sons were free. In our case, I think it means that neither as an unbeliever or as a believer before the fullness of salvation has full freedom. We live our lives in the ‘now and not yet’. Someday we will not have to fight  sin any longer and will have our inheritance as sons. The MacArthur study Bible says of 4:1 that the child referred to is a minor, spiritually and intellectually immature and not ready for the privileges and responsibilities of adulthood. I certainly qualify as a child. I’m not able to handle the responsibilities or the freedom God will someday give me. Too often I am, as James said, wanting to spend what I get from God on my own pleasures.

    b.  Challenge. It is good that we are sons of God, because secular daughters inherited nothing. Even the Jews of that day discounted women, which was against the Mosaic law.

    C.  The Spirit has been sent to live within those whom God adopted.

     

    13.a.  The Spirit is the proof we belong to God. While our bodies are still subject to physical death, His Spirit within us gives us life.

    C.  The Spirit within is growing us more and more toward looking and acting as sons of God, free of fear.

     

     

  32. 14.  Brennan Manning says we can’t be more than our image of God. (But our image of God can keep growing.) Pascal said God made man in His own image, and man returned the compliment. God dares us to believe that He loves us as we are, not as we should be, since we will never be as we should be.

    He is so right. Most of us- all of us- have built a God who is too small. One we can understand. But who, then, in turn is not big enough to understand us. One too small to see down to our secret motives and love us as we need. It helped me in watching this to know that Brennan never totally got control of his drinking. He fought his alcohol addiction his entire life. He didn’t fight it to earn favor with God, but because he wanted to live closer to what he should be. To be free. That gives me hope. I’ve been looking for a permanent solution for myself. Something that would relegate my besetting sin to the past. Maybe God means for me to fight it as Brennan fought drink. To fight it as Paul endured his thorn in the side. To remind me daily that there is only freedom while I am walking that razor edge with Him. To keep relishing the hope of that day I will walk with Him in complete freedom.

  33. 12. Read slowly Galatians 3:26-4:7.
     
    A. What is the main theme of this passage? – What I see as the main theme is that you come to know Jesus through faith, that it doesn’t matter where you came from, what gender you are, or how rich or poor you may be. None of that matters to Jesus. What matters is that you have faith in Him and Him alone.
     
    B. Challenge question: Do you know why it is a good thing that women who believe are declared “sons of God?” rather than “daughters of God?” – The note in my bible says that women are still women, he didn’t do a way with that, but he abolished the discrimination that may go along with being a woman. The only way anyone can come to know Jesus is through faith and repentance.
     
    C. What did God do for those who believed in His Son, according to Galatians 4:6? – He sent the Spirit of his son into our hearts.
     

  34. 13. Read also Romans 8:9-17
     
         A. What do you learn about the Spirit in verses 9-11? – If we are children of Christ, the Spirit lives in us and our sins our dead but our spirit is alive because of righteousness.
     
    B. Jonathan Edwards said that those who live for the Lord out of gratitude, shine His beams back to Him and the world. They grow stronger and stronger. How can you see this in verses 14-17? – If the Sons Spirit is in us, we are not given a spirit of being a slave to fear, but His Spirit continues to testify to our spirit that we are God’s children, heirs of God and co-heirs to Christ.
     

  35. 14. What stands out to from the above video and why? – The very last statement that God loves me as I am, where I am, and that I will never get to the point where I think, that He believes I should be. He knows I will not get to that point. This is helpful because I think at times I try to hard to do good that it really isn’t coming from my heart, but it is just a motion I go through because I think I need to do it to please God.

  36. 12. Read slowly Galatians 3:26-4:7.
    A. What is the main theme of this passage?
    Adoption to sonship in the family of God
    B. Challenge question: Do you know why it is a good thing that women who believe are declared “sons of God?” rather than “daughters of God?”
    I kind of vaguely remembered reading something about sonship. So from memory: Does this have to do with the importance of the blessing to the first son as legal heir? Or the fact that we have a new name when we accepted Christ? And that we have a new name when we accepted Christ? And that Jesus is THE SON therefore we become like Him?
     From researching it(Smile): From Desiring God written by Chelsea Stanley
    “In ancient cultures, sons were named as the legal heirs. In turn, husbands and fathers were expected to provide for the women of their households. Being a direct heir, in society, would not have been possible for the Galatian women, though they would receive a kind of indirect inheritance through marriage.
    Imagine the Galatian women coming to hear of this new status in God’s kingdom as Paul speaks in these otherwise familiar terms. Picture these women hearing Paul’s letter read — a letter addressed to the entire Galatian church. They understood sonship and all that it entailed, so hearing that God had given both brothers and sisters together the status of sons would have blown them away! God stepped in and radically declared that men and women are one in Christ, equally privileged and exalted (Galatians 3:28), co-heirs together (1 Peter 3:7). In his kingdom, both men and women receive the full inheritance through faith in him.”
     

  37. C. What did God do for those who believed in His Son, according to Galatians 4:6?
    He gives us the Spirit and that we can call God our Abba and Father. 
    13. Read also Romans 8:9-17
         A. What do you learn about the Spirit in verses 9-11?
    The Spirit lives in me and gives me life. He is the One that infuses life into all that I do.
    B. Jonathan Edwards said that those who live for the Lord out of gratitude, shine His beams back to Him and the world. They grow stronger and stronger. How can you see this in verses 14-17?
    From being a slave to fear to being a son who has the boldness to cry out to the Father. And because we are His children, we are heirs of everything He has now and in the future. Thinking of this, one couldn’t help but be grateful. And a grateful heart pleases the Lord and He gives us His joy and that joy beams to others as well.

  38. 12. Read slowly Galatians 3:26-4:7.
    A. What is the main theme of this passage?
    Adoption to sonship in the family of God
    B. Challenge question: Do you know why it is a good thing that women who believe are declared “sons of God?” rather than “daughters of God?”
    I kind of vaguely remembered reading something about sonship. So from memory: Does this have to do with the importance of the blessing to the first son? Or the fact that we have a new name when we accepted Christ? And that Jesus is THE SON therefore we become like Him? 

    From researching it(Smile): “In ancient cultures, sons were named as the legal heirs. In turn, husbands and fathers were expected to provide for the women of their households. Being a direct heir, in society, would not have been possible for the Galatian women, though they would receive a kind of indirect inheritance through marriage.
    Imagine the Galatian women coming to hear of this new status in God’s kingdom as Paul speaks in these otherwise familiar terms. Picture these women hearing Paul’s letter read — a letter addressed to the entire Galatian church. They understood sonship and all that it entailed, so hearing that God had given both brothers and sisters together the status of sons would have blown them away! ” https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/daughters-god-has-made-you-sons

  39. 14. “He loves you as you are not as who you are going to be.” So hard to get this…

     

    If I am to be like Jesus and love those as they are, boy do I have a long way to go! I want my children to be better than what they are now (mostly). Is that wrong?

  40. 15. What is your take-away and why?

     

    I tried really hard to keep up this week because I want to understand more about living in the freedom of the gospel! It has helped me to think about my temptations to sin, and what I am running to as my functional savior, and how I could turn to Jesus instead. The Brennan Manning video is also a take-away for me; I have re-listened and also found other messages by him on the internet. A few years ago, I watched the movie Ragamuffin, about Rich Mullens’ life, based on Dee’s recommendation. At that time, the same film company was working on a movie about Brennan. I found the trailer to the movie, Brennan. I want to watch it as well.

    I need to keep pressing in and pressing on to get that penny to drop more and more from my head, to my heart.

  41. Read the this in Abba’s Child last night.

    ”The betrayals and infidelities in my life are too numerous to count. I still cling to the illusion that I must be morally impeccable, other people must be sinless, and the one I love must be without human weakness. But whenever I allow anything but tenderness and compassion to dictate my response to life- be it self-righteous anger, moralizing, defensiveness, the pressing need to change others, carping criticism, frustration at others’ blindness, a sense of spiritual  superiority, a gnawing hunger of vindication- I am alienated from my true self. My identity as Abba’s Child becomes ambiguous, tentative, and confused.”

    Brennan Manning

  42. 6. Let’s try it with the sin of worry. You are anxious and unable to sleep, going over concerns in your heart. What do you think is your functional savior? How could you release this to Jesus and trust His love and control? 
    The most challenging thing for me is to recognize in the back of my mind the fear, worry, replay of my problem etc…It is like a quiet radio in the back of mind.  When I realize, I take the thoughts captive, discipline myself and begin to think about the promises that speak to my situation.  I pray and release the situation to God.  I picture in my mind taking all the worries and putting them in a big box and laying them at the feet of Jesus.
    7. Let’s try it with indulging the flesh. You want to run to sugar, sex, shopping… your functional Savior. How could you melt your heart with the gospel, flee the temptation, and trust Jesus for HIs love and control? If you have had success here, share what you have learned.
    This is almost the same situation as above except even more discreet.  I really have to be in touch with what is going on inside of me.  I am still working it out.  It is almost as if I need to really be present for myself and ask myself why do want to indulge in this food and undo all your good behavior.  WHY?  When I walk myself through the consequences of indulging in sugary foods and what it will do to me, I have a strong chance of saying NO!  If I just tune out and go with the flow, I am eating the wrong things!  If I decide to say no, here is what I do.  I picture myself giving it to Jesus as an offering and ask for his strength to not give in.  I will use scripture to reinforce this path and break the cycle of looking to food to enjoy myself or feel pleasure. Here are scriptures that speak to me.  Romans 12:1,2  I urge you brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to discern what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God.  Galatians 5:24 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
     

  43. 12. Read slowly Galatians 3:26-4:7.

    A. What is the main theme of this passage? That those who have faith are sons of God, no matter their earthly circumstance.

    B. Do you know why it is a good thing that women who believe are declared “sons of God” rather than “daughters of God?” At first glance it seems just a literary technique (a generic use in the masculine tone to indicate all humans). However, upon reflection I see in that culture sons were the ones who received the inheritance. Also, daughters lost their family identity when given in marriage, so being a son would secure your familial lineage.

    C. What did God do for those who believed in His Son, according to Galatians 4:6? He sent His Spirit into our hearts with the cry of, “Abba, Father!”

    The Message says, “You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, ‘Papa! Father!’ Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child?”

    13. Read also Romans 8:9-17

    A. What do you learn about the Spirit in verses 9-11?  The Spirit in us is our mark of belonging to Him. The Spirit gives life.

    B. Jonathan Edwards said that those who live for the Lord out of gratitude, shine His beams back to Him and the world. They grow stronger and stronger. How can you see this in verses 14-17? If I am indeed led by His Spirit, being His child, then the Spirit will, in me, do what the Spirit does – love and serve. This is just WHO I AM, not a to-do list to be checked nor a competition to complete.

  44. 14. What stands out to you from the above video and why? Likes thunderclap- the concept that my struggles with low self-esteem, pessimism, etc. is me blocking God’s way to me! A sin against Him who is patiently pursuing and a conscious buffer against His work…. wow… sorrow and repentance…

  45. Tuesday-Wednesday: Abraham Believed God
    8. How did Abraham become right with God according to Galatians 3:6 and Romans 4:3?
      Abraham believed God and he was counted as righteousness.
    9. Take a stumbling block in sin for you. There is something you are failing to believe about God. What do you think it is? 
    I struggle in times of waiting on God for his promises to come to pass.  For example, I had two sons with no problems but then miscarriage after miscarriage after miscarriage.  We really wanted another child and especially a daughter.  Every time I miscarried, God would give me the same scripture to comfort my heart and it would heal my wounds and convince me I was going to have a daughter. My first miscarriage and the birth of my daughter were 16 years apart.  The dream of having a daughter was dead to me because our sons were nearly grown.  So I guess time is a stumbling block to me.  Currently, I am waiting on God for a promise and it has taken almost seven years of praying.  During this time, I question did I really hear God?  Was my impression correct?  Maybe I missed interpreted what God was saying.

    10. Read Galatians 3:6-14
    A. How can we be blessed along with Abraham according to verse 9?
    We must rely on faith, not works, not sight, just faith in God and his promises.
    B. The Message paraphrases verse 10 like this: “And that means that anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure.” Have you experienced the difference between living by your own effort and living by faith in the power of the gospel? If so, explain.
    Yes, one time we were trying to sell our house in another state during a corporate move and it took 18 months.  We did everything we knew how to sell it even lowering the price multiple times.   We were living in a 2 bedroom corporate apartment sparsely furnished (4 forks, 4 plates etc.)…my husband and I, two boys and two dogs.  Everything seemed to be against us…the ill tenant below complained we were too noisy, the company was putting pressure on us to get the house sold and enquiring with us weekly, a pipe bomb in a package was delivered to a neighbor on our street and she was killed, potential buyers were bringing it up when they looked at the house (I know, who could make this stuff up).  God spoke to us to stop complaining and believe him to sell it.  We purposed in our hearts to be grateful, speaking out loud thanking God for our apartment, 4 forks, our beautiful home for sale…the atmosphere changed.   We could feel a completely different atmosphere, God’s presence.  Our attitude, our faith attracted God to us.  God sent a realtor named Jack of Diamond (as stated on his real estate card) and our house sold in 3 weeks!  We learned some big lessons!  Big God!!!
    The Message paraphrases verses 11-12 like this: “The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you.” What do you think this means? Be specific. 
    I think just like the story above…we were doing everything to sell our house and it fell flat.  But when we embraced God’s provision (the small sparsely furnished apartment) with thanksgiving and faith in God our house sold immediately.  We tried to accomplish selling the house by our own works but faith got the job done!
    11. 
    A. What came first — the law or the promise? Why is this significant?
    The promise through Abraham and the law came much later through Moses.
    B. What is the purpose of the law according to Galatians 3:24 and how does it do this? 
    The law is our guardian showing us right from wrong and pointing us to a coming saviour that will free us from our sins. Our faith is the righteousness of the law and salvation through faith in our God saves us!
     

  46. Saturday: Take-A-Way
    15. What is your take-a-way and why?
    “It is one thing to know legally, that you are a son of God because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. It is quite another to experience the love of God because of the Spirit entering your heart, and to have the confidence to cry out Abba.”
    Just always humbling to remember I do not deserve the love of God but that He chose me and He enters my heart through the Spirit. Every day is a testament to the never ending struggle of sin in my life. Just when I think I am spiritual, then I am not. Just when I think I am doing something good for God, then I realized I am being proud with my own efforts. Ugh! Lord, thank you for not giving up on me.

    Brennan Manning’s words resonate “God loves you just as you are not the way you should be because you are not as you should be.”

    Thank you, Dee for leading us to a better understanding of who we are in Christ.

  47. 12. A. What is the main theme of this passage?
    We are all heirs in Christ Jesus!
    B. Challenge question: Do you know why it is a good thing that women who believe are declared “sons of God?” rather than “daughters of God?”
    Sons were heirs while woman were to be cared and provided by law by the men in their lives.  Women did not have the power that sonship provided!
    C. What did God do for those who believed in His Son, according to Galatians 4:6?
    He adopted us and made us sons! God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, c Father

    13. Read also Romans 8:9-17
         A. What do you learn about the Spirit in verses 9-11? 
     We are in the realm of the Spirit, he lives in us, the spirit gives us life to our bodies!  if we allow God, he can truly transform us because the resurrection power of Jesus lives in us.  The Holy Spirit can give God’s life, his power to overcome this evil world.  First we must be made aware of this invaluable truth and then we must yield and trust the spirit.
    B. Jonathan Edwards said that those who live for the Lord out of gratitude, shine His beams back to Him and the world. They grow stronger and stronger. How can you see this in verses 14-17?
    We become his children, adopted, not slaves as in working for our inheritance.  We are heirs in all that God is and has!  Just as Jesus suffered, we to will suffer but as Jesus suffering has ended and is glorified, we too will share in that glory, both now and in the future.

     

  48. 11. Read Galatians 3:15-25.A. What came first — the law or the promise? Why is this significant?

    The promise came first and it cannot be annulled.

    B. What is the purpose of the law according to Galatians 3:24 and how does it do this?

    The law was our guardian, our model for how to live, until Christ came.

    12. Read slowly Galatians 3:26-4:7. A. What is the main theme of this passage?

    We have been adopted! We are full heirs, all the rights of sons, legally bound. We have FULL access to the Father, as our Abba.

    B. Challenge question: Do you know why it is a good thing that women who believe are declared “sons of God?” rather than “daughters of God?”

    Sons receive the full inheritance, legally.

    C. What did God do for those who believed in His Son, according to Galatians 4:6?

    He sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”–we are no longer slaves, but sons, heirs

    13. Read also Romans 8:9-17.      A. What do you learn about the Spirit in verses 9-11?

    The Spirit dwells in us and confirms our identity, our union with Christ. Because the Spirit dwells in me, I have the righteousness of Christ and the promise of  eternal life.

    B. Jonathan Edwards said that those who live for the Lord out of gratitude, shine His beams back to Him and the world. They grow stronger and stronger. How can you see this in verses 14-17?

    Led by the Spirit–not falling into fear, but instead, filled with a boldness, a confidence that is ready to die to my self-centered thinking and live boldly, broken and poured out, for His glory.

    14. What stands out to from the above video and why?

    “I dare you to trust that I love you, just as you are! Not as you should be.”

    15. What is your take-a-way and why?

    Romans 8: 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

    I have loved Romans 8:15 since my earliest memory of reading it, when I was about 12. But oh, how it’s depth has become more real to me over time. Now, I read it and think of my oldest child, the fear at the root of her anger that adoption is part of her story…my youngest whose “normal” child like tantrums still quickly spiral into a traumatic outrage from his past, fueled by fear of another abandonment. Their fear, their lack of trust that I really do love them as if I’d birthed them (because I know no different!), that fear changes them. It affects not just how they live, but their core beliefs, and it’s a barrier to love. My middle child has always responded to his adoption with complete gratitude at what God gave him–and I am humbled and challenged by his heart of faith, trust.

    Then I look at my own heart and how it is always fear that allows a chasm to grow between Christ and I, between me and my Father. Fear that He is disappointed in me, that He doesn’t see me, that He has forgotten me, fear that I am not enough for Him. In a sense, I am saying “are You sure You really want me, Lord?” Oh how it must grieve Him.

    I wish I could have pondered this study more but I can’t seem to get here as much as I’d like. Still, what I was most struck by is that this tendency to fear or not trust His love for me–is sin, it is serious, it affects every part of who I am. It is vital that I choose to fully believe in my adoption as His child, that I am fully known and loved, as I am. It’s not just that I will experience more joy to the degree I believe His love–it grieves Him when I do not fully believe it, dwell in it, celebrate it, trust it. This Spirit we are given, CRIES out, full of emotion, “Abba! Father!” He has proven His love, proven He sees me, proven He cannot forget me–I am etched in His hands. I feel a shift within–to fully, forever, respond with absolute conviction and boldness, “Abba!”

    1. Lizzy, I too have gotten behind here in reading comments, but yours is worth pondering as usual. Your parallels between your adopted children and “us” is so profound.  And then this:

      “Then I look at my own heart and how it is always fear that allows a chasm to grow between Christ and I, between me and my Father. Fear that He is disappointed in me, that He doesn’t see me, that He has forgotten me, fear that I am not enough for Him. In a sense, I am saying “are You sure You really want me, Lord?” Oh how it must grieve Him.”

      We have so far to go in truly trusting God!

  49. My take away is the focus on my stumbling block of sin which is the thoughts that I have about my co-workers (they’re lazy, uneducated, have no integrity, etc.) it’s judgemental and I know that it stems from pride and I wonder if it showing that I don’t feel accepted so I puff myself up in my head by bringing others down.

    I need to know that God sees me, knows me (the real me), loves me and most of all accepts me.