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First reading: Read Galatians 3 in Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase The Message. What word, phrase, or verse stands out to you? Does it bring up a question? Speak to a question you’ve been having? Just resonate somehow? Is it confusing? Disturbing? Comforting? Make a note of it.
Comprehension & Reflection: Read the chapter again, answering the following:
Of what powerful images and experiences of God does Paul remind the Galatians in the first five verses? What is he trying to accomplish by reminding them?
In this version of verse 5, Eugene Peterson essentially defines miracles as the “Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves.” How would you define a miracle?
What experience have you had of miracles in your own life and the lives of those around you? Did they seem to correspond to any particular human action?
Paul argues his point first from the Galatians’ experiences, and then from the scriptures. Look up some of the references he makes and list his main points from scripture. [Genesis 15:6, 22:18, 26:4; Deuteronomy 27:26; Habakkuk 2:4; Leviticus 18:5; Deuteronomy 21:23]
What are the results of living by faith that cannot be gained from living by the law?
How would convincing the Galatians to think of themselves as descendants and inheritors of Abraham’s covenant protect them from the Judaizers’ demands? How was the Galatians’ initial faith like Abraham’s?
Restate in your own words the logic of Paul’s analogy of the ratified will in verses 15-20.
What does Paul say is the purpose of the law? What sort of roles does he assign to it?
In verse 28, what sort of general divisions does Paul say shouldn’t exist in Christ’s family? Do they still, in your experience? What error would Paul say these divisions indicate?