February 19, 2017 Sunday School Commentary
Lesson Guide, Direction
Freedom in Christ
Devotional Reading: Galatians 5:22-26
Highlighted Text – Galatians 5:1-17
Key Verse – “For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another” (Galatians 5:13).
Have you ever found yourself at a church meeting that prompted you to wonder if you were at a political rally? You initially agreed to attend because you were under the assumption that spiritual matters would be discussed; church growth, evangelism and discipleship. However, ten minutes into the meeting you were able to gain insight of the business aspect of the church and how similar it can be to corporate America. Whereas, there is a relevant business component to church administration, it should never override the core purpose of the church. Tradition and hidden agendas can cause a leak to plunge into delivering the Gospel message and the local church’s vision. In today’s lesson, this is the issue that the apostle Paul addressed to the Galatians, a group of Jewish Christians.
Be Not Entangled (vv. 1-6)
Paul boldly and directly addressed the false teaching that was being taught by the Judeo-Christians that instructed circumcision of the Old Testament was still required. He urged them to be liberated, freed from the Mosiac law (Leviticus 12:3) that required it and that was also a common ancient practice. Paul’s argument against this teaching was that all Christian believers have been freed from bondage; any past custom or law, through the blood of Jesus Christ which is the New Testament covenant. Under the old covenant, a constant debt would have to be paid for sins. Jesus paid the eternal debt!
Point to ponder: Is there a tradition that is keeping you in bondage right now?
Stay on the Right Course (vv.7-12)
The Galatians are reminded of the faith they had when they first became believers. But they ended up allowing false teachers to keep them in bondage. Paul tries to remind them that they are saved by grace through their faith and not through their circumcision. Anyone who teaches anything differently is trying to divert them off course. It is imperative that they remain on the right course and not return to the old mindset they once had.
Point to ponder: Are you firm in God’s teachings that you recognize false teachings?
Called to Be Free (vv. 13-17)
Paul reiterates to the Galatians that they are free. This freedom does not give the liberty to sin, but that they should exercise love just as Jesus did. This is done by exercising an Old Testament commandment that is also charged in the New Testament, to love one another.
Point to ponder: Are you more focus on keeping the ordinances of your church that you do not act in love?
As Christian believers, we must stand firm on the teachings of the Word of God. We are unable to stand upon what we do not know. We are all continuously learning about God’s Word, but we should become solid on the basics. If you do not know, I urge you to learn them. If you have forgotten or they have become vague to you, I urge you to refresh yourself. Do not allow yourself to grow stale on God’s Word that you will eat whatever seems fresh. Remember, God’s Word gives us freedom from bondage. We are not held captive. But we have freedom in Christ.
Commentary by, Minister Shulanda Hastings
Senior Ministry Leader
Spirit Realm Divine Manifestation Ministries