Starter: What do we think causes people to be ‘enslaved’? What about us?

The previous passage (Gal 4:4-7) highlighted the liberating good news that God sent his Son
and Spirit to redeem and adopt us into his family. Not only do Christians have the status of
sons, but we are given the experience of sonship because we have the Spirit of God’s son in
our hearts. So we are no longer slaves, but sons and heirs. All by trusting in Christ, not by doing
the works of the OT Law.

  1. (V8-10) Why was it so dangerous that the Galatian Christians were turning back to
    Jewish festival observance?
    What kind of language does Paul use to describe this?
  2. Can you think how we might be tempted back into slavery by the things of this world
    even after trusting in Jesus?
    Are there particular rituals, superstitions or calendar routines
    that we might turn to boost our confidence before God? Can we see why these are ‘weak
    and miserable forces’ compared to Christ and his gospel?
  3. (V11). Do you think Paul is over-reacting here? Why is what they are doing so serious in his
  4. (V12-20) What do you notice about Paul’s tone and manner in these verses? How might
    this challenge or encourage us in our relationships with other believers?
  5. How might our group look different if our motivation for one another was the same as
    Paul’s in v19?
  6. How practically will we help one another in light of the challenge of this passage?

Group Handout (PDF)

Leaders Notes (PDF)

More about the author :

Santhosh Thomas

Santhosh is one of our pastors, with special responsibility for overseeing our small groups and various teaching and discipleship programmes. Born and raised in London, he has previously worked in churches in Oxford and Central London. He’s married to Jess and along with their three young children they enjoy sport, swings and meeting new people!

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