Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathway - Dec. 2, 2011


Read Galatians 4


No more a servant, but a son . . . an heir . . . through Christ (Gal. 4:1-7). Live in freedom through Jesus (5:1, 5-6,13-14). The indwelling Spirit of God produces fruit (5:22-23).

The history of Hagar and Sarah represents two different Covenants — the Law and the Gospel of Grace. Hagar and Abraham, by human planning, gave birth to Ishmael — symbolic of the efforts of the Law to accomplish the will of God, while Sarah represents the grace of God in the miraculous birth of Isaac when both were too old to have children. But God miraculously imparted, by faith, the ability to give birth to Isaac (Gal. 4:26-28).

In today's Bible reading, the Apostle Paul warns of 17 specific sins: Now the works of the flesh are manifest (evident), which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (sensuality), Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance (discord), emulations (jealousy), wrath, strife, seditions (dissensions), heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God (5:19-21). Sexual immorality, which includes adultery and fornication, heads the list. These sins include sexual intercourse between any man and woman who are not married to each other, as well as all sexual perversions.

In contrast, we are to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (II Cor. 10:5) and to present your (our) bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your (our) reasonable service (Rom. 12:1).

The Law can direct worshipers to outwardly keep religious symbolism, rules, and regulations, and appear to be very devoted; but it can never produce an inner desire from the heart to keep the Commandments of God and express the fruit of the Spirit in love, joy, and peace. The legalistic Pharisees were products of Law in contrast to grace (Christ's indwelling life).

The Law with its outward obedience is in contrast to the born-again new life experiences, through which one has the desire to do the Commands of Christ because it's the nature of all who are born again. Our source of motivation is His indwelling Spirit that we received by faith (John 16:13; Rom. 8:8-13; Eph. 2:8-9).

There is much that we should do as we walk . . . after the Spirit (Rom. 8:1). As we abide in Him and follow His will as revealed in the New Testament and illustrated in the symbols of the Old Covenant (Old Testament), the righteousness of the Law . . . (can) be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom. 8:4).

Thought for Today:

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25).

Cross References:

For Gal. 4:27: See Is. 54:1. Gal. 4:30: See Gen. 21:10. Gal. 5:14: See Lev. 19:18.

Word Studies:

4:4 made under the Law, born of a woman as a subject to the Law; 4:6 Abba, Aramaic word for Father; 4:12 injured, wronged, taken advantage of; 4:24 gendereth to, leads to; 4:25 answereth, corresponds; 5:19 uncleanness, immoral conduct; lasciviousness, immodesty, vulgarity, unrestrained lust; 5:20 variance, contentious temper, strife; emulations, jealousy, rivalry; seditions, dissensions, divisions; 6:6 communicate unto, share in the financial needs of; 6:12 constrain, compel.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Helen A. Porter • Bible Pathway Media Director: Rick Hash • Staff: Chris Robison • Government Official: Sen. Harry Reid (NV) • Country: Haiti (7 million) in the West Indies • Major languages: French and Creole • Religious freedom • 75% Roman Catholic; 17% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His faithfulness and mercy (Lam. 3:22-23).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 6:15

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