Forgiven Therefore Free: Introduction Letter

I wish I was sitting across the table from you right now with a hot cup of coffee in each of our hands at my favorite coffee shop with the lake view in the background. We all have fantasies of what our devotional and Bible study time will look like. For me, it involves that favorite coffee shop, gathered together with others, hot beverages clutched in hands that are cool from a morning stroll around the lake, the early morning sun shining in around us, being clad in my favorite leggings and plaid shirt, the smell of caramel rolls and easy inspiring conversation flowing around us. That is a fantasy.

Generally what Bible study time looks like for me is in a church basement, after a frantic morning getting kids where they need to go, gathered together with a group who all hold their own difficult mornings and insecurities in their hearts and minds, wearing  whatever is clean, children screaming in the background, and beverages getting cold in front of us.

We have fantasies of what our personal Bible study time looks like. It’s early morning. The birds are chirping, a fireplace is crackling, the sun is peeking, the brook is babbling, I am at peace, the kids are sleeping, the house is clean, breakfast is in the oven, lunch is prepared, laundry is clean, I have unlimited time, it is quiet, I learn something every time I open my Bible, I know exactly what to study, I apply each Bible passage appropriately to my life and the lives of my children, and did I mention it is quiet?

My reality is a 4-year-old eating cheese balls for breakfast because I scrolled through Facebook for too long before he woke up. A cartoon playing in the background. The coffee is hot then shockingly cold. Sitting in my office with pistachio shells all over the floor from the dog trying to snack on my leftover shells. Looking down and realizing it is already what time?! Reading what I can with 1500 interruptions about breakfast, school, and butt wiping. My mind racing through what I need to get done today. Wondering why I even try.

Whatever your Bible study and devotional time look like, it is good. We do not need to create some sort of utopia when we study the Bible.  The Holy Spirit will show up on your dirty kitchen table just as much as he would show up in a lakeside coffee shop.

As we read Scripture, the Holy Spirit is working in our hearts and our minds to reinforce and remind us of the gospel and point us to Christ. This resource is for personal and group use.  We were created to be in community.  The Holy Spirit works through the Bible and through other believers. We learn from resources like these, from our pastors, from fellow Christians, from Christians who lived well before us.

The One at work in all of these resources is the Holy Spirit.  He is at work as I write and put this resource together, and he is at work when you pick up your Bible.

This resource is intended to get you to study the book of Galatians and familiar with Bible studies if you are not.  I pray that this resource will be just one point in your study of Galatians and the rest of the Bible.  Perhaps you have the book memorized or this is the first time your eyes have hit the page.

Regardless of your familiarity, the Holy Spirit is the one doing the work and revealing the goodness of Christ to you. Throughout Scripture, he works in the hearts and minds of those familiar and unfamiliar with the book.

As you are using this resource, feel free to reach out to me with questions, comments, or suggestions. I am so excited you are going to be studying the book of Galatians and I can’t wait to hear from you!

Katie Koplin

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