Paul’s Pastoral Appeal

Read for This Week’s Study

Gal. 4:12–20, 1 Cor. 11:1, Phil. 3:17, 1 Cor. 9:19–23, 2 Cor. 4:7–12.

Memory Text

“Friends, I beg you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are” (Galatians 4:12, NRSV).

As we’ve seen so far, Paul did not mince words with the Galatians. His strong language, however, simply reflected the inspired passion he felt concerning the spiritual welfare of the church that he had founded. Besides the crucial theological issue Paul was dealing with, the letter to the Galatians in a broad sense also shows just how important correct doctrine is. If what we believed were not that important, if doctrinal correctness did not matter all that much, then why would Paul have been so fervent, so uncompromising, in his letter? The truth is, of course, that what we believe matters greatly, especially concerning the whole question of the gospel.

In Galatians 4:12–20 Paul continues his discourse, though he changes his approach, at least a bit. Paul has made a number of detailed and theologically sophisticated arguments to persuade the Galatians of their errors, and now he makes a more personal, pastoral appeal. Unlike the false teachers who had no true interest in the Galatians, Paul reveals the genuine concern, hope, and love of a good shepherd for his wayward flock. He was not just correcting theology; he was seeking to minister to those whom he loved.

* Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, August 26.

19/08/2017

Paul’s Pastoral Appeal

20/08/2017

The Heart of Paul

21/08/2017

The Challenge to Become

22/08/2017

I Have Become as You Are

23/08/2017

Then and Now

24/08/2017

Speaking the Truth

25/08/2017

Further Thought