“Lesson 119: Galatians 5–6,” New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2016)
“Lesson 119,” New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual
Paul encouraged the Galatian Saints to restore their faith in Jesus Christ and to trust that salvation is attainable only through Him rather than through obedience to the law of Moses. Paul concluded his letter by inviting members of the Church to become new creatures through Christ and to help others do the same.
Draw an image of a tug-of-war on the board.
What is a tug-of-war? How do you win one?
In what ways are our lives similar to a tug-of-war?
If students did not mention it, point out that one aspect of our lives that is similar to a tug-of-war is our struggle against temptation. Invite students to look for truths as they study Galatians 5 that can help them know how to win the struggle against temptation.
Remind students that some Jewish Christians had misled the Saints in Galatia by teaching them that they needed to live the law of Moses and be circumcised in order to be saved. Paul described these false teachings about the law of Moses as a “yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).
Invite a student to read Galatians 5:1 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for who Paul said brings freedom from this yoke of bondage.
Who brings freedom from this yoke of bondage?
Summarize Galatians 5:2–15 by explaining that Paul chastened the Galatian Saints for being so easily swayed away from the liberty of the gospel of Jesus Christ and returning instead to the bondage of the law of Moses. He then clarified that even though followers of Christ had been freed from the bondage of the law of Moses, that did not mean they had the freedom to indulge freely in sin.
Invite a student to read Galatians 5:16–17 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for two competing forces Paul described.
What are the two competing forces Paul described?
Create a chart on the board by drawing a vertical line down the center of the image of the tug-of-war. Write Walk in the Spirit above one side of the tug-of-war, and write Fulfill the lust of the flesh above the other side.
What does it mean to “walk in the Spirit”? (verse 16). (To live worthy of and follow the Holy Ghost.)
What does “the lust of the flesh” (verse 16) refer to? (Temptations to sin.)
How are these considered competing forces?
What principle can we learn from verse 16 about how we can overcome the temptations of the flesh? (Students may use different words but should identify a principle similar to the following: As we walk in the Spirit, we will overcome the temptations of the flesh. Write this principle on the board.)
Ask students to ponder which side they are on in this tug-of-war and which force is winning in their lives.
Divide the class into groups of two or three. Assign half of the groups to read Galatians 5:19–21 aloud together, looking for the results of “[fulfilling] the lust of the flesh.” Invite the other half to read Galatians 5:22–23 aloud together, looking for the results of walking in the Spirit. When they finish reading, invite one member from each group to list in the appropriate column on the board one of the answers they found. Invite them to continue listing their answers until the chart reflects what Paul listed. You may want to bring a dictionary to class and invite a student to look up any words that are difficult to understand.
According to verse 21, what did Paul teach will happen to people who give in to the “works of the flesh”?
According to verses 22–23, what fruits, or results, indicate that someone is walking in the Spirit? (Students may use different words, but make sure they identify the following truth: The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. You may want to suggest that students mark this truth in their scriptures.)
Refer to the side of the chart where the fruits of the Spirit are listed.
Why are these blessings worth having?
Below the chart draw a large arrow pointing toward the side where the lusts of the flesh are listed. Ask students to imagine that in this figurative tug-of-war we allow ourselves to move toward the lusts of the flesh.
What happens to the fruits of the Spirit when we give in to the lusts of the flesh? (We begin losing the fruits of the Spirit.)
Erase the arrow and draw another arrow pointing toward the fruits of the Spirit. Ask students to imagine that we now allow ourselves to move toward this side.
What happens to the works of the flesh when we walk in the Spirit? (They cease to be a part of our lives.)
Invite students to write in their class notebooks or scripture study journals about a time when they felt or experienced one of these fruits of the Spirit. Ask them to include what they were doing to walk in the Spirit at that time. When they finish, invite a few students to share what they wrote.
Invite a student to read Galatians 5:24–25 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what disciples of Jesus Christ try to do with the lusts of the flesh.
What do disciples of Jesus Christ try to do with the lusts of the flesh? (Crucify them, or eliminate them from their lives.)
Invite students to consider what they will do to walk more fully in the Spirit. Encourage them to follow the promptings they receive so they can enjoy the fruits of the Spirit.
Invite students to think of someone they know who is currently not receiving the blessings of the gospel, even if that person is a member of the Church. Ask the class to look for a principle as they study Galatians 6 that can guide them in their efforts to help the person they thought of to receive the blessings of the gospel.
Invite a student to read Galatians 6:1–2 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Paul taught about how members of the Church should respond to someone who has sinned. (You may need to explain that to be “overtaken in a fault” [verse 1] means to sin.)
According to Paul, how should members of the Church respond to someone who has sinned? (“Restore” the person, or help him or her return to the gospel path.)
Why is it important to have “the spirit of meekness” (verse 1) as we help someone return to the gospel path?
What are some ways we can “bear … one another’s burdens”? (verse 2).
Summarize Galatians 6:3–5 by explaining that Paul taught that we should not be arrogant and self-righteous and that every person will “bear his [or her] own burden” (verse 4), or be accountable for his or her choices.
Display a few seeds of a fruit or vegetable that students will easily recognize. Ask them to identify what kind of seeds they are.
What can you expect if you plant these seeds?
Invite a student to read Galatians 6:7–8 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Paul taught about what we can expect when we plant seeds.
What did Paul teach about what happens when seeds are planted? (What you sow, or plant, is what you reap, or harvest. This is called the law of the harvest.)
How does the law of the harvest relate to the decisions we make?
Invite students to read Galatians 6:9–10 silently. Ask them to look for why Paul taught the law of the harvest.
Why do you think Paul taught the law of the harvest after he invited the Galatians to help each other stay on or return to the gospel path?
What principle can we learn from these verses about helping others who are not enjoying the blessings of the gospel? (Students may use different words but should identify a principle similar to the following: If we are diligent in well doing, we will reap the blessings of our actions.)
How can the promise that we will reap “in due season” help us to not “faint” (verse 9), or give up, in our efforts to serve others and live the gospel in our own lives?
When have you or someone you know been diligent in well doing even though the blessings did not come immediately? (You might also consider sharing an experience.)
Summarize Galatians 6:11–18 by explaining that Paul concluded his epistle to the Galatian Saints by reiterating that the peace and mercy of Jesus Christ are upon all those who become new creatures through faith on His name.
Encourage students to “not be weary in well doing” (verse 9) and to prayerfully consider who they can help return to the Lord’s path. Invite them to diligently follow the impressions they receive from the Holy Ghost.
To help students memorize Galatians 5:22–23, invite the class to recite it one word per student at a time. For example, the first student would say “but,” the second student would say “the,” the third student would say “fruit,” and so forth until both verses are completed. Time the class, and give them multiple tries to achieve a target time. As you repeat this activity, consider shifting the order of students so that they say different words. You could also suggest that students practice at the beginning of class several days in a row so they can improve their time. After students have heard the scripture repeated several times, invite them to try reciting it from memory to someone sitting near them.