Galatians Reading (#12)

Take a few minutes to catch up and pray that God would bless you through the reading of His word.

Read Galatians 4:8-20

[4:8] Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. [9] But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? [10] You observe days and months and seasons and years! [11] I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.

[12] Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. [13] You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, [14] and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. [15] What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. [16] Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? [17] They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. [18] It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, [19] my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! [20] I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.


  • What was true of the Galatians knowledge of God “formerly” (v 8)? 
    • How does Paul describe their spiritual status at the end of v 8?
    • What is true of their knowledge of God “now” (v 9)? How does Paul clarify what it means to “come to know God” (v 9)?
  • What question does Paul ask about their behavior in light of their being known by God (v 9)?
    • What behaviors does Paul describe in v 10 that demonstrate what he is talking about in v 9?
    • What fear does Paul express in v 11?
  • How does Paul entreat them (v 12)? For what reason?
    • What occasioned Paul’s initial preaching of the gospel in Galatia (v 13)?
    • How does Paul describe the Galatians’ reception of and care for him (v 12, v 14, v 15)?
    • What questions does Paul ask in light of their current rejection of him (v 15, v 16)?
  • What do “they” do (v 17)? What do they want? 
    • What is “always good” (v 18)? When is it good?
    • How does Paul address the Galatians in v 19? 
      • How does he feel about them?
      • Until what time?
    • What does Paul wish (v 20)? Why?


  • What/who are “those that by nature are not gods”? What does that tell us about what motivates someone to try and earn their salvation by obedience to the Law? 
  • What does it mean to “observe days and months and seasons and years”? 
    • Why is that wrong? 
    • How is it a way of returning to their former slavery?
  • What would it mean for the Galatians to become like Paul? Why is that something that he wants?
  • Who are “they” in v 17? Look through v 13-20 and compare Paul’s motivation for his ministry among the Galatians with theirs (v 17).


  • Paul told the truth to the Galatians, even though they did not want to hear it (v 16). The false teachers in the churches lied to them in order to get something from them.
    • How does that help us tell faithful Christian leaders from charlatans and predators?
    • Are their ways that you need to speak the truth to someone, even though they might be upset by it?
  • Paul talks about the way that the Galatians had been known by God and encouraged them not to turn back to the slavery that characterized their life before Christ. How can you daily live out the freedom that you have? 
  • What extra-biblical rules or observances tempt you to “observe” them in an unhelpful way? How can you tell?

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