This week’s readings: Galatians
Don’t forget to record your impressions and read the ideas outlined in the Come, Follow Me manuals on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
This scriptural insight comes from Verse by Verse: Volume 2 by Andrew C. Skinner and D. Kelly Ogden.
A modern scholar explained clearly the difference between justification and sanctification in Paul’s discussions: “In its theological sense, justification is a forensic, or purely legal, term. It describes what God declares about the believer, not what He does to change the believer. In fact, justification effects no actual change whatsoever in the sinner’s nature or character. Justification is a divine judicial edict. It changes our status only, but it carries ramifications that guarantee other changes will follow. . . . Justification is distinct from sanctification because in justification God does not make the sinner righteous; he declares that person righteous (Romans 3:28; Galatians 2:16)” (MacArthur, Faith Works, 89–90).
These ideas and topics are compiled from Come, Follow Me and have been adapted for specific situations. Check out the manuals online for more ideas, or come up with your own as you study!
As you study together this week, perhaps you could spend some time talking about what it means to be “weary in well doing.” If either of you are feeling weary, you could take some time to share what good things you are weary of doing. You could also take some time to encourage each other and help identify ways that the other person’s efforts are contributing to your marriage, family, or their own life. You might even talk about ways that you can encourage each other in your righteous efforts this week, such as leaving a note on the mirror or sending each other encouraging texts about the effort that is feeling tiresome.
As you learn about the Galatian Saints this week, perhaps you can focus on what Paul taught them about being bound by old or false traditions. One way to avoid being led astray by false teachings is to study the words of the apostles and prophet and stay informed. Perhaps in conjunction with your scripture study, you can pick some topics that you either don’t know about or aren’t sure about and learn what Church leaders have said about them. The Gospel Topics Essays are a good resource. In the introduction it says:
“Recognizing that today so much information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be obtained from questionable and often inaccurate sources, officials of the Church began in 2013 to publish straightforward, in-depth essays on a number of topics. The purpose of these essays, which have been approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has been to gather accurate information from many different sources and publications and place it in the Gospel Topics section of ChurchofJesusChrist.org, where the material can more easily be accessed and studied by Church members and other interested parties.”
For families with young children:
As you read about the fruits of the spirit and the “law of the harvest” in Galatians chapters 5 and 6, there are many activities you could do with your children to help them understand these concepts. For example, you could write different choices on seed packets and write the consequences on the fruit or vegetable that the seed becomes and have your children match the choices to the consequences or the seed to the kind of fruit it will produce. You could also draw a tree labeled “Spirit” on a piece of paper and have your family members write down the different fruits of the spirit that you read about on pieces of paper shaped like fruit. Then you can hang your “Fruits of the Spirit” tree somewhere where family members can see it and remember to seek the spirit this week.
For families with teens:
Galatians 3 focuses on the Abrahamic covenant and finding freedom through living the laws of the gospel. Perhaps you could help your family better understand the purpose and promises surrounding the Abrahamic covenant this week by using the resources listed in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families to make a list of the blessings promised to Abraham and his seed and a list of actions that lead to spiritual bondage and could disqualify you from receiving those blessings. Perhaps you could invite your family members to pick one of the actions they thought of that lead to spiritual bondage to work on this week in order to qualify for the blessings of Abraham.
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