July 3rd, 2016
Note to leaders: Do not feel that you have to use every question. Pick and choose as the Spirit leads you but don’t skip over the first question in the discussion from the message!
Warm Up: When you first moved away from home, what did freedom mean to you? Free to do what? Free from what? Did such a responsibility scare you at all or did it make you stop and think about the choices you were making and where they ultimately might lead you?
Background: In an age where our freedoms have more potential than ever before to led a person into bondage by its misuse, we must be careful that we don’t define freedom solely as the “freedom from” someone or something. The real test of freedom’s value is how we use it. True freedom carries great responsibility. Freedom is not just about being free to do whatever you want. It’s about exercising our liberty in such a way that our freedom doesn’t lead us back into bondage.
Text: Gal. 5:1-16
- What does it mean to be “free” in Christ? How have you seen Christian freedom abused?
- How do you challenge the person who thinks that freedom in Christ means they can do what ever they want because they are saved and it doesn’t really matter?
- Why does Paul make such a big deal about circumcision and conforming to the outward letter of the law?
- What is the danger in mixing the law and grace? What were the Galatians in danger of losing by trying to live a sanctified life through their own efforts and determination?
- Since Jesus never said that he came to abolish the law but to fulfill it, what purpose does the law currently play in the life of a believer? In the life of a lost person?
From the Message: Phil. 3:16-4:1
- What spoke to you the most from the message and why? What challenged you the most? Don’t rush by this!
- This morning Pastor Steve said, “When you abandon grace for the Law, you always lose..” How so?
- This morning Pastor Steve said, “External demands can never bring about internal transformation.” Have you ever promised God not to do something only to find yourself failing to keep your promise a short time later? What went wrong?
- Read Gal. 5:5-6 in the Message translation. According to this, what is Jesus, our Bridegroom, looking for from us when it comes to our lifestyles and our service?
- Read Gal. 5:13-16. This morning Pastor Steve said, “It is not law on the outside, but love on the inside that makes the difference. Laws can never change the heart. Christianity works because it changes people from the inside out. When Christ comes in, he changes everything. The amazing thing about love is that it takes the place of all the laws God ever gave.”
- What does it mean to “live” or to “walk” by the Holy Spirit?
- How can this group pray for you in this area?
- How can we pray for one another as it comes to a deeper and more personal relationship with Jesus?
Reflect: Simply trying harder or self-imposing rules to govern our behavior never brings about the kind of change that God is looking for in our lives. If anything, it makes a mockery of the work that Christ did for us on the cross and it negates the work that the Holy Spirit is actively seeking on our behalf. The Gospel of grace is the only force powerful enough to change the heart.
Once we understand this, our love for who Christ is and for what he has done for us will grow. And when our love for Christ grows, so will our desire to live a life that pleases him. And this is the place that God wants his people to live from—their passion for him—and it is the place where we will find the greatest freedom and joy.