“What is more important: Being right or being loving?”
- Galatians 4:12-20 – Paul pleads the Galatians heed his counsel and remember his love for them.
- 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 – Paul became all things to all people so he could win some for Christ.
Key Points and Questions:
1. Paul’s Heart for the Galatians: Paul’s words in Galatians 4:12 reveal that while he certainly had a no-nonsense approach to dealing with doctrinal error, he also had a heart full of compassion for the wayward Galatians.
A. How important is the manner in which we share the Gospel with someone? And what guidelines can we learn from Scripture about how we speak to others? Consider Eph 4:15, Eph 25, Col 4:4, 1 Thes 2:4,James 1:19, James 2:12.
B. Although Paul reveals his softer side in Galatians 4:12-20, do you think Paul has been too overbearing and forthcoming in his remarks so far? How should we act when someone teaches doctrinal error or simply does not follow what the Bible teaches?
2. The Challenge to “Become”: When Paul tells the Galatians to “become as I am,” he is referring to the confidence, freedom, love, and faith that make up his spiritual life as a follower of Jesus.
A. In your opinion, should Christians today follow the apostle Paul’s example in telling others to “become as I am”? And if so, how much of one’s life should be “in order” before making such a declaration?
B. How far should we go in modeling our lives after others? How can we avoid looking to others, more than looking to God?
3. I Have Because As You Are: A comparison of Paul’s gospel presentation to his fellow Jews in Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-3) and with that of pagans in Athens (Acts 17:22-31) reveals that Paul was willing to vary his presentation based on the nature of his audience.
A. How far should one go in trying to contextualize the gospel? Are there limits?
B. What, if any, danger does the church face in failing to try to contextualize the gospel?
4. Speaking the Truth: Paul talks about telling the truth (Gal. 4:16). In a world where many do not believe in “absolutes,” is truth telling even possible? What does Paul mean when he refers to “speaking the truth” in Galatians 4:16?