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How To Be Spiritual Without Being Religious


A STUDY ON GALATIANS

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How To Be Spiritual Without Being Religious


A STUDY ON GALATIANS

A SMALL GROUP SERIES!

This series takes a close look AT the letter to the Galatians.

discover the big ideas that Paul was writing about and how it can fit into your life.


WEEKLY TOPICS

Session 1 - What's a Galatian?

Session 2 - Man Made "Religion"

Session 3-  Approval Junkie

Session 4 - Keep Growing Forward

Session 5 - The Freedom of Living by Faith

Session 6 - The Results of Our Relationship with God

Session 7 - Staying On Course

Session 8 - The Bottom Line


WATCH THE MESSAGES FROM THE SERIES

Week One


What's a Galatian?

Week One


What's a Galatian?

  • Have you ever stopped to think about the "books" of the Bible: their individuality, their purpose, the fact that they were each written by people, during a time-period, about something specific?

 

  • Does it change how you interact with the Bible to know that a part of the Bible (like the letter to the Galatians), was written by a person (Paul), to a specific group of people (a church he started), for a specific purpose (to tell them to take a look at what they have begun to believe)?

Watch a Clip from Sunday's Message

  • Have you ever worked really hard and poured yourself into a project or something only to have someone come behind you and mess it up?

READ: Galatians 1:6-9

God, by his grace through Christ, called you to become his people. So I am amazed that you are turning away so quickly and believing something different than the Good News. Really, there is no other Good News. But some people are confusing you; they want to change the Good News of Christ. We preached to you the Good News. So if we ourselves, or even an angel from heaven, should preach to you something different, we should be judged guilty! I said this before, and now I say it again: You have already accepted the Good News. If anyone is preaching something different to you, let that person be judged guilty!

  • Everyone has a story of how they first heard about God's love: who told you, what it meant to you at the time, what it means now. Who, when, what, how did you first hear "The Gospel" and how did it effect you then?

 

  • Does it still effect you now?
 

Pastor Chris gave his definition of "Religious" and "Spiritual"

  • What do these words mean to you?

Week Two


Man-Made Religion

Week Two


Man-Made Religion

As we enter into this series on Galatians, we are going to add a new component that will allow your groups to dive deeper into the Scriptures. If you're group enjoys our current format of discussion around the Sunday message, don't fear because that element will remain. However, if you're group is interested in doing a more traditional "Bible Study" format, we have added that option at the bottom of the page. Please enjoy whichever (or both) option(s) your group is comfortable with.

And as always, please remember that this outline is just a tool for your group. Use the things that are useful and skip the rest.

Never feel like you have to "get through" all the material!


DISCUSS

  • Have you ever had a job that had rules or procedures that just didn't seem to make sense?
    • Can you name one of them?

 

  • Have you ever been faulted at work or school for not following one of these rules?

 

  • Have you ever been told by a church or another believer that you had to do x, y, or z in order for God to love or in order to be right with God?
    • How does/did that make you feel?

watch a clip from sunday's message

READ: GALTIANS 1:6-7

I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ.

You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all.

You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.


  • Have you ever encountered something "Christian" that didn't seem at all like "good news"?
    • What turned you off?

 

  • Paul says that these sorts of things are "no Gospel at all" - in other words, they aren't good news so they aren't from God.
    • What is "the good news" of God?

 

Everything we do, then, can be classified by this thought:

is it good news, or not so good news?

The things we do, say, think, write, work for, save for,

all these things should pass the litmus test of good news

and we can check by asking the question,

"Does this ____ hurt or help people (all people, not just myself and those I know)?


In-Depth Look at Galatians Chapter 1

Key Ideas   

1. Because of the problems in the Galatian churches – people adding more regulations to the believers – Paul is forced to establish the source of his apostleship.

2. The greeting is from Paul and his entourage and is directed to the churches of Galatia which are likely: Antioch (Acts 13:14-52), Iconium (Acts 14:1-7), Lystra (Acts 14:8-20), Derbe (Acts 14:20-21).

3. "Grace" is the standard Greek greeting, while "peace" is the standard Jewish greeting. (This shows the diverse makeup of the church.)

4. “Gave himself” literally means that Jesus “exposed” himself to our “sins” – to our “destructive choices” – in order to “expose” the futility of living in this “evil world” – or, living by the standards and wisdom of the dominant culture. Jesus’s sacrifice was a means of severing our connection with that mindset.

6. The epistle to the Galatians, like that to the Romans and Hebrews, instructs believers to refrain from allowing a resurgence of the “old law” – or covenant – with the new. This hybrid gospel constitutes "another" gospel, “no Gospel”.

8-9. Paul warns about adding things to the Gospel message and pronounces a curse (anathema) on those who would teach or preach any variation (anathema means they have become separated). Paul knows that grace is a very difficult concept for humans to accept, that our minds are attuned to transaction relationships: where we have to do something, or we owe someone something – this is where guilt and shame come in, which have no place in love.

10. In the final analysis, are we interested in doing what’s right – loving people – or are we interested in pleasing people?

11. Paul constantly had to defend his apostleship as well as the origin of the gospel because he, unlike the other apostles, had never met Jesus and was not of the original group – Paul’s conversion was later and by way of “revelation.”

12. Unlike when he sat at the "feet of Gamaliel" (Acts 22:3) and was "taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers," Paul asserts he was not taught the gospel but received it by revelation.

13. The Galatians were familiar with Paul's past life - as were his detractors. The most notable example of his cruelty is described in Acts 7:58 - 8:3; 9:1-2. Though Paul saw this conversion as an avenue for giving God “praising” (see verse 24).

14. Paul was a part of the strict sect of the Pharisee’s which upheld the Law as the most important thing.

15. Paul was "set apart" which probably refers to his natural birth the timing of which he attributes to God – which means he was probably younger than most of the apostles and didn’t come onto the scene until after them, as God “has planned.” Then Paul speaks of his "calling" which is similar to his statement in Rom. 1:1 where he indicates he was "called" as an apostle. To understand the nature of Paul's and any believer's "calling," see Paul's explanation in 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15.

16. God revealed His divine plan and Paul's part in the plan. Paul had no contact with anyone about what to preach. See 2 Cor. 12:1-7.

17. Paul did not confer with the other apostles but instead went into Arabia. That he preached the same message without consultation lends credibility to the message and to Paul's claim to apostleship.

18-19. Paul goes at length to lay out his credentials as coming from God to lend legitimacy to his call to go to the Gentiles instead of to the Jews, which was a point of contention.

Scripture

1 From Paul, an apostle. I was not chosen to be an apostle by human beings, nor was I sent from human beings. I was made an apostle through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Jesus from the dead. 2 This letter is also from all those of God’s family who are with me.

To the churches in Galatia:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 Jesus gave himself for our sins to free us from this evil world we live in, as God the Father planned. 5 The glory belongs to God forever and ever. Amen.

6 God, by his grace through Christ, called you to become his people. So I am amazed that you are turning away so quickly and believing something different than the Good News. 7 Really, there is no other Good News. But some people are confusing you; they want to change the Good News of Christ. 8 We preached to you the Good News. So if we ourselves, or even an angel from heaven, should preach to you something different, we should be judged guilty! 9 I said this before, and now I say it again: You have already accepted the Good News. If anyone is preaching something different to you, let that person be judged guilty!

10 Do you think I am trying to make people accept me? No, God is the One I am trying to please. Am I trying to please people? If I still wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

11 Brothers and sisters, I want you to know that the Good News I preached to you was not made up by human beings. 12 I did not get it from humans, nor did anyone teach it to me, but Jesus Christ showed it to me.

13 You have heard about my past life in the Jewish religion. I attacked the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was becoming a leader in the Jewish religion, doing better than most other Jews of my age. I tried harder than anyone else to follow the teachings handed down by our ancestors.

15 But God had special plans for me and set me apart for his work even before I was born. He called me through his grace 16 and showed his son to me so that I might tell the Good News about him to those who are not Jewish. When God called me, I did not get advice or help from any person. 17 I did not go to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was. But, without waiting, I went away to Arabia and later went back to Damascus.

18 After three years I went to Jerusalem to meet Peter and stayed with him for fifteen days. 19 I met no other apostles, except James, the brother of the Lord. 20 God knows that these things I write are not lies. 21 Later, I went to the areas of Syria and Cilicia.

22 In Judea the churches in Christ had never met me. 23 They had only heard it said, “This man who was attacking us is now preaching the same faith that he once tried to destroy.” 24 And these believers praised God because of me.

Word Study

Apostle (apostolos) “one who is sent,” a delegate; an ambassador of the Gospel; a commissioner of Christ with miraculous powers.

Family (adelphos) a brother (lit. or fig.) near or remote.

Churches (ekklesia) called out ones, i.e. a popular meeting, a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both).

Grace (charis) goodwill, graciousness, of manner or act, the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude.

Peace (eirene) peace (lit. or fig.); by implication prosperity, fullness of life.

Amazed (thaumazo) astonished, shocked, taken aback.

Sin (hamartia) error; self-destructive choices; guilt.

Free us (exaireo) to tear out; to select; to release.

Evil World (aion) an age; by extension perpetuity (also past).

Planned (thelema) a determination (prop. the thing), i.e. (act.) choice (spec. purpose, decree).

Turning Away (metatithemi) to transfer, (lit.) transport, (by impl.) exchange, (reflex.) change sides, or (fig.) pervert.

Good News (euaggelion) a good message; Gospel.

Confusing (metastrepho) to turn across, i.e. transmute or corrupt or pervert.

Guilty (anathema) a (religious) ban or excommunicated (thing or person).

Servant (doulos) a slave, in a qualified sense of subjection or subservience).

Made up (gnorizo) to make known; subj. to know.

Showed (apokalupsis) disclosure of the truth, revelation (revealed), laying bare or making plain.

Doing Better (huperbole) a throwing beyond others, i.e. (fig.) super-eminence; adv. preeminently.

Tried Harder (zelotes) one burning with zeal, a sect within Judaism known for radical action and defense of the law (Torah); a "zealot."

Teachings (parádosis) transmission, i.e. (concretely) a precept; specially, the Jewish traditionary law:—ordinance, tradition.

Set me apart (aphorizo) to set off by boundary, i.e. (fig.) limit, exclude, appoint, etc.

Called (kaleo) to "call" (prop. aloud, but used in a variety of applications, dir. or otherwise); to invite; to be called i.e. to bear a name or title (among people).

Not Jewish (ethnos) a race (as of the same habit), i.e. a tribe; spec. a foreign (non-Jewish) person (usually by implication pagan), Gentile.

Get advice (prosanatithemi) to impart or (by impl.) to consult.

Syria and Cilicia: areas to the East and South of Galatia – Tarsus, Antioch

 

 

Week Three


Approval Junkie

Week Three


Approval Junkie

As we continue through this series on Galatians, we are going to continue to offer elements to help you and your groups dive deeper into the Scriptures. If you're group enjoys our current format of discussion around the Sunday message, don't fear because that element will remain. However, if you're group is interested in doing a more traditional "Bible Study" format, we have added that option at the bottom of the page. Please enjoy whichever (or both) option(s) your group is comfortable with.

And as always, please remember that this outline is just a tool for your group. Use the things that are useful and skip the rest.

Never feel like you have to "get through" all the material!

 

***There is no video for this week's lesson as we had some technical difficulties***


READ: Galatians 1:10, 5:11

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant... Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended.

  • Do you find yourself to be an "approval junkie"?
    • Whether you are or you aren't, what has been the consequences in your life?

Caring too much about what other people think can confine you to a life of mediocrity


READ: Galatians 2:11-16

But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile believers, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.

When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions?

“You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.

  • Paul confronts Peter, a "pillar" of the church, about Peter's actions and how they are confusing people and aren't portraying the love of God (the Gospel) that Christ had called them to. 
    • Have you ever had a time in your life when you had to go against the grain, maybe even with someone "above you," to confront an issue that was detrimental?

 

  • Jeff said that for humans, actions come first and then we make judgements about them. But with God it is the other way around, God judges us before we act. And God's judgement is that we are loved.
    • Do you see your standing with God as dependent on your past actions

 

  • Paul says that the impossibility of following the entire law was supposed to show us that we can never do

Resist living for the approval of others and you will be finally be able to live free


In-Depth Look at Galatians Chapter 2

Key Ideas

1. Fourteen years elapses before Paul, Barnabas, and Titus return to Judea – once again Paul uses this timeline to legitimize God as his source of receiving the Gospel message. Some suggest that this meeting in Jerusalem is the one mentioned in Acts 15:2f. A careful reading, suggests the Gal. 2 meeting was private (vs. 2), which seems to fit with the privacy of the Acts 15 meeting. A reasonable conclusion is that the letter to the Galatians was written soon after the Jerusalem "council" of Acts 15.

2. Paul wants to ensure that the gospel he preaches (without circumcision) is in unity with the rest of the church. His fear is that he has "run in vain," if the Global church does not receiving his message also.

3. Titus is not required to be circumcised - hence Paul's preaching has not been in vain.

4. Once again false brethren have tried to reinstate aspects of the old law - namely circumcision. Any return to the law for justification is a return to bondage.

5. There was no compromise, no yielding of the truth for the lies of the false brethren.

6-7. Paul says that those whom everyone regards as “authoritative” within the church had nothing to change in Paul’s message – again legitimizing his message as God-given. Instead, they saw that Paul had been entrusted with preaching to the Gentiles (uncircumcision) in much the same way Peter had been entrusted with preaching to the Jews (circumcision).

8. Paul and Peter were each given similar responsibilities by God.

9. The leaders of the Jerusalem church acknowledge Paul’s mission and agree that God’s message has been opened to even non-Jews.

10. Those in the Jerusalem church reemphasized the mission of Jesus which was not only to preach, but act out God’s love in this world, specifically by taking care of those who were outcasts in society – which was an original part of the covenant God made with Israel, though the Israelites are often chastised by their prophets for neglecting this charge.

11. After Peter's part in the conversion of Cornelius and his household (Acts 10) and his directive that the gospel should go also to the Gentiles (Acts 11: 15-18), we see him giving into the prejudices of the Jews. Paul boldly confronted Peter for his "respect of persons" (Rom 2:11).

12. In the Mosaic law, Jews would be unclean if they ate with non-Jews. Peter’s flip-flop here is an act of open hypocrisy.

13. Other Jewish Christians followed Peter's lead and distanced themselves for the non-Jewish Christians. Even Barnabas was influenced by Peter to avoid the Gentiles. This caused a great division in the church – a place where unity is the foundation.

14. Paul points out with compelling logic that if Peter had given up Judiasm for Christianity, why then did he require Gentiles to live as Jews?

15. Now comes the compelling argument of the dangers of relapsing into Judiasm. Paul begins by differentiating between the Jews and Gentiles.

16. Of all people, the Jews generally–and Peter specifically–should know the folly of trying to be justified by the works of the old law. Only faith in Christ leads to justification. Returning to the old law is a dead-end spiritually.

17. Paul is saying that by following Christ, the shortcomings of each individual are exposed. This doesn’t mean that following Christ caused sin, but rather that through Christ our mistakes are made plain.

18. If one (or in this case, Paul, himself) restores or rebuilds Judiasm, then he sins. Christ is not the source of that or any sin.

19. Through the agency of the law itself, death resulted. By putting aside the law of death, one might live in Christ.

20. The old life of sin (guilty under the law) dies. How? It is put away through faith. The result? Life in Christ. Note here that "loved" and "gave" are linked. The true expression of love is in giving.

21. Paul says that to return to the old method he would void God's grace. Because righteousness is not found there. If it were, then Christ died for nothing.

 

Scripture

1 After fourteen years I went to Jerusalem again, this time with Barnabas. I also took Titus with me. 2 I went because God showed me I should go. I met with the believers there, and in private I told their leaders the Good News that I preach to the non-Jewish people. I did not want my past work and the work I am now doing to be wasted. 3 Titus was with me, but he was not forced to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 4 We talked about this problem because some false believers had come into our group secretly. They came in like spies to overturn the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. They wanted to make us slaves. 5 But we did not give in to those false believers for a minute. We wanted the truth of the Good News to continue for you.

6 Those leaders who seemed to be important did not change the Good News that I preach. (It doesn’t matter to me if they were “important” or not. To God everyone is the same.) 7 But these leaders saw that I had been given the work of telling the Good News to those who are not Jewish, just as Peter had the work of telling the Jews. 8 God gave Peter the power to work as an apostle for the Jewish people. But he also gave me the power to work as an apostle for those who are not Jews.

9 James, Peter, and John, who seemed to be the leaders, understood that God had given me this special grace, so they accepted Barnabas and me. They agreed that they would go to the Jewish people and that we should go to those who are not Jewish. 10 The only thing they asked us was to remember to help the poor—something I really wanted to do.

11 When Peter came to Antioch, I challenged him to his face, because he was wrong. 12 Peter ate with the non-Jewish people until some Jewish people sent from James came to Antioch. When they arrived, Peter stopped eating with those who weren’t Jewish, and he separated himself from them. He was afraid of the Jews. 13 So Peter was a hypocrite, as were the other Jewish believers who joined with him. Even Barnabas was influenced by what these Jewish believers did. 14 When I saw they were not following the truth of the Good News, I spoke to Peter in front of them all. I said, “Peter, you are a Jew, but you are not living like a Jew. You are living like those who are not Jewish. So why do you now try to force those who are not Jewish to live like Jews?”

15 We were not born as non-Jewish “sinners,” but as Jews. 16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God not by following the law, but by trusting in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus, that we might be made right with God because we trusted in Christ. It is not because we followed the law, because no one can be made right with God by following the law.

17 We Jews came to Christ, trying to be made right with God, and it became clear that we are sinners, too. Does this mean that Christ encourages sin? No! 18 But I would really be wrong to begin teaching again those things that I gave up. 19 It was the law that put me to death, and I died to the law so that I can now live for God. 20 I was put to death on the cross with Christ, and I do not live anymore—it is Christ who lives in me. I still live in my body, but I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself to save me. 21 By saying these things I am not going against God’s grace. Just the opposite, if the law could make us right with God, then Christ’s death would be useless.

 

Word Study

Showed (apokálypsis), disclosure:—appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed, revelation.

Wasted (kenos) of endeavors, labors, acts, which result in nothing, vain, fruitless, without effect

Forced (anagkazo) to necessitate—compel, constrain.

False Believers (pseudadelphos) one who ostentatiously professes to be a Christian, but is destitute of Christian knowledge and piety

Secretly (pareiserchomai) to come in alongside, i.e. supervene additionally or stealthily.

Spies (kataskopeo) to be a sentinel, i.e. inspect insidiously.

Freedom (eleutheria) freedom (legitimate or licentious, chiefly moral or ceremonial):—liberty.

Slaves (katadouloo) to enslave utterly—bring into bondage..

Truth (aletheia) of a truth, in reality, in fact, certainly

Work (pisteúō) to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ):—believe(-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.

Power (energéō) to be active, efficient:—do, (be) effectual (fervent), be mighty in, shew forth self, work (effectually in).

Leaders (stulos) a column supporting the weight of a building, used metaphorically of those who bear responsibility in the churches.

Special Grace (cháris) the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude

Accepted (koinonia) communion, sharing in common.

Remember (mnemoneuo) to think of and feel for a person or thing

Poor (ptochos) reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms

Challenged (anthistemi) to stand against, i.e. oppose:—resist, withstand.

Wrong (kataginosko) to note against, i.e. find fault with:—blame, condemn.

Spearated (aphorizo) to set off by boundary, limit, exclude.

Hypocrite (synypokrínomai) to act hypocritically in concert with:—dissemble with.

Influenced (sunapago) seduce, yield.

Sinners (hamartōlós) devoted to sin, a sinner

Made right (dikaioo) to render, show or regard as just or innocent.

Works (ergon) toil (as an effort, or occupation); an act.

Trusting (pisteúō) to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing); by implication, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ):—believe(-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.

Faith (pistis) persuasion, moral conviction, assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

No (me ginomai) let it not become, let it not be.

Teaching (oikodoméō) to be a house-builder, construct or build, edify, embolden.

Loved (agapao). A love characterized by the exercise of the Divine will in deliberate choice. A love independent of the character of the person being loved.

Gave (paradidomi) to surrender, i.e yield up, entrust, transmit.

Useless (dorean) uselessly, for naught, needlessly.

 

Week Four


Keep Growing Forward

Week Four


Keep Growing Forward

As we continue through this series on Galatians, we are going to continue to offer elements to help you and your groups dive deeper into the Scriptures. If you're group enjoys our current format of discussion around the Sunday message, don't fear because that element will remain. However, if you're group is interested in doing a more traditional "Bible Study" format, we have added that option at the bottom of the page. Please enjoy whichever (or both) option(s) your group is comfortable with.

And as always, please remember that this outline is just a tool for your group. Use the things that are useful and skip the rest.

Never feel like you have to "get through" all the material!


READ: Galatians 1:6-7 NLT

I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.

  • Have you ever tried something new and found it to be better than what you were doing before? (Like maybe you tried an iPhone after being an Android user - or vice versa; or you got a new HD TV to replace you're old tube TV)
    • What was it?

 

  • After trying this new thing, have you had/decided to switch back to the old way?
    • Why did you switch?
    • How did it work out?

watch a clip from sunday's message

READ: Galatians 5:16-23

I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!


  • Ever "outgrown" a rule?
    • What was the rule and what was it's purpose?

 

you must learn the rules so that, when the times comes,

you will understand how to break them correctly

 

  • Do you follow ALL the rules of anything?
    • Do you ALWAYS go the speed limit?
      • Why or why not?

Once we truly recognize god's spirit in our life, only then can we realize that everything we have is a gift, not an accomplaishment we have earned.


In-Depth Look at Galatians Chapter 3

Key Ideas

1. Paul's frustration is evident as his tone becomes harsh. Who has charmed you by falsehood? “You've witnessed Christ and the power of His word, you've seen it with your own eyes so why are you now changing the method when the results are already prevalent!?”

2. Here is the crux of the whole matter. Did the Galatians receive the Spirit by keeping the old law, or was its source faith in Jesus? To Paul, the answer is self-evident based on their own experience.

3. Paul says why look for the same results through a different pathway?

4. Their past stand for the truth has apparently come at a great price in terms of suffering, all that will be for nothing if they abandon the faith.

 5. The manifestation of God’s Spirit in them is not the result of obeying rules (the law), but of faith - further evidence that a return to the law is foolish, and that the law itself does not achieve life.

 6. Proof of the power of faith is found in Abraham. He believed and his belief was accounted as “righteousness” – which simply means “right-ness, or being right with God”. The formula looks like this:  Works≠Righteousness : Faith=Righteousness

7. The Israelites put great emphasis on their lineage from Abraham, but Paul says that it isn’t genealogical descent that is important, but rather exercising the same faith – a “Spiritual heritage”.

8. God’s plan has been the same since the beginning, that all people should be blessed – come to know God – through Abraham and his people.

9. Conclusion: If we have faith, we are children of Abraham; If children of Abraham, we are called to be a blessing.

10. The attempt to earn our salvation via works is deadly because:

  • none can keep the law perfectly
  • we are cursed if we violate the law

11. Justification comes by faith, not by the law.

12. Faith and law are unconnected. One cannot live by both at the same time.

13. Jesus took the full weight of the law’s curse when he died – that is, he experienced that natural conclusion of trying to be righteous by the law: dying, cursed. Christ rescued us by being cursed through the hanging on the cross (Deut 21:23).

14. Christ's crucifixion and faith brings the blessings and promise of Abraham to Jew and Gentile – the blessing Abraham was called to be for all people.

15. Analogous to man's law, a legal contract once confirmed can neither be set aside or amended.

 16. Similarly, the contract between God and Abraham (and his seed, Christ) was confirmed and cannot be set aside or amended.

17. The law came 430 years after the promise to Abraham and cannot 1) set aside or 2) amend the promise that preceded it.

18. If the promise of heirship had been conditional on law keeping, then it would no longer be a promise. Law and promise are fundamentally different.

19. If the promise preceded the law, then why was the law given? What purpose does it serve? Some suggest it was added to check the growing number of transgressions, others that it was given to expose sin and make man aware of his sin and guilt (see Rom 7:7). In either case, the law was temporary until such time as the seed (Christ) should come and fulfill the promise.

20. The presence of a mediator (Moses) at the giving of the law, implies two other parties - God and humans. But in the story of Abraham’s blessing, there is only one party making the agreement (God), thus it is not an agreement, but a promise. And since it is a promise from God only, it will not be broken

21. Again a rhetorical question. The answer is a resounding "no." If righteousness had been possible by law keeping, then the law would have been adequate.

22. The "scripture" (law) reveals that all are imperfect. It is faith that leads to the promise in Christ.

23-24. The purpose of the law was to show us how inept we are being “good enough.” The law was a tutor to show us our need for Christ that via faith we might be justified. The law was to illuminate the promise, “if we are descendants of Abraham, then we are called to be a blessing to all people. However, in order to be a blessing, we need to understand and accept God’s love that only comes by way of promise. When we try to do it ourselves, on our own terms and by our own knowledge or strength, things tend to get mucky.”

25. And now that Jesus has come toreveal the purpose of the law and the blessing, the law is “fulfilled” by following Jesus through faith.

26. It is faith in Christ that makes us the children of God by adoption (see Gal. 4:5; Rom 8:15; Eph 1:5).

27. Like putting on new clothes, baptism is what brings us into Christ. If we have not been baptized, we are outside of Christ (see Job 29:14; Isa. 59:17; 61:10). Paul may be alluding to a Roman boyhood to manhood ceremony of laying aside childhood clothing (toga praetexta) and putting on adult clothing (toga virilis).

28. All worldly designations, titles or Distinctions, affiliations, preferences and judgements are meaningless in Christ. We are all called to the same mission and same love (blessing) to all people (see matt 28:18-19).

29. This is the conclusion: In Christ = Abraham's seed = heir = blessing.

Scripture

1 Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. 2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. 3 How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? 4 Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?

5 I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.

6 In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” 7 The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.

8 What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would make the Gentiles right in his sight because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.

10 But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” 11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” 12 This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.”

13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.

15 Dear brothers and sisters, here’s an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or amend an irrevocable agreement, so it is in this case. 16 God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn’t say “to his children,” as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says “to his child”—and that, of course, means Christ.

17 This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise. 18 For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise.

19 Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. 20 Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham.

21 Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. 22 But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.

23 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. 24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. 25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.

26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.

28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.

word study

Cast an evil spell (baskaino) to charm, to fascinate by false representations.

Made as clear (prographō); to depict or portray openly, paint, before the eyes; to write before the eyes of all who can read;

Receive (lambanō); to receive (what is given), to gain, get, obtain, to get back.

Believed (pistis); belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence).

Perfect (epiteleo) complete, to fulfill further (or completely).

Human effort (ergon) toil, effort, an act.

Experienced (pascho) to experience a sensation or impression (usually painful).

Heard (akoe) hearing, the receiving of a message - more than the mere sense of hearing.

Righteousness (dikaiosune) equity, justification; quality of being right.

Children (huios) a "son"; used very widely of immediate, remote or figurative kinship.

Looked Forward (proeidon) seeing before the event; foreseeing.

Right (dikaioo) to render, to regard as just or innocent.

Proclaimed (proeuaggelizomai) to announce glad news in advance.

Blessed (eneulogeo) to confer a benefit on.

Through (dia); a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; the ground or reason by which something is or is not done.

Depend (ek); a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds.

Observe (emmeno) to stay in the same place, to persevere.

Clear (delos) clear to the mind, certain, evident.

Right (dikaios) innocent, holy.

Rescued (exagorazo) to buy up, ransom; to rescue from loss.

Took upon himself (ginomai); to be made, finished; to become.

Through (en) position; in place, time or state; instrumentality.

Promised (epaggelia) an announcement, a divine assurance of good.

Holy Spirit (pneuma) a current of air,

breath (blast) or a breeze; vital principle, mental disposition

Set Aside (atheteo) to disesteem, neutralize or violate

Irrevocable agreement (diatheked) a disposition, a contract; a will.

Gave (kuroo) to make authoritative, to ratify.

Promises (epaggelia) pledge; divine assurance of good.

Child (sperma) something sown, offspring; a remnant.

Made (prokuroo) to ratify previously.

Inheritance (kleronomia) heirship; a patrimony; a possession.

Graciously gave (charizomai); to give graciously, give freely, bestow; to forgive; graciously to restore one to another

Alongside (charin); in favor of, for the pleasure of; for the sake of; on this account, for this cause.

Sins (parabasis) violation; going aside.

Designed (diatassō); to arrange thoroughly, i.e. (specially) institute, prescribe, etc.:—appoint, command, give, (set in) order, ordain.

Mediator (mesites) a go between; a reconciler; intercessor.

Conflict (kata); a preposition denoting motion or diffusion or direction from higher to lower; as in class.

New life (zoopoieo) to revitalize.

Declare (sugkleio) to shut together; include or embrace in a common subjection to.

Placed under guard (sygkleiō); to shut up together, enclose (as a group of fish in a net); embrace in a common subjection

Kept (phroureo) to be a watcher in advance, i.e. to mount guard as a sentinel; to hem in, protect.

Guardian (paidagogos) a boy-leader; instructor; tutor.

Faith (pistis) persuasion, credence; conviction of religious truth.

United (eis) to or into, indicating the point reached or entered, of place, time, or result.

Baptism (baptizo) to overwhelm; make fully wet; to dip; immerse.

Put on (enduo) to clothe; to enter into; get into.

Slave (doulos) a slave; subjection or subservience.

Free (eleutheros) not a slave.

Heirs (kleronomos) a sharer by lot; an inheritor; a possessor

Week Five


The Responsibility of Our Freedom

Week Five


The Responsibility of Our Freedom

READ: Galatians 5:1

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

  • What does it mean to be "set free"?
    • Set free from what?
    • Set free for what reason?
    • Set free at what cost?

watch a clip from sunday's message



Key Ideas

1-2. In ancient Israel a child is the property of the father, just like a servant. Both are under his authority, neither is free. When the father dies, the child-heir is still like a servant of the household until he comes of age or the time set by the father.

 3. Paul says that before Jesus came, the law was the “guardian” that held place until the children had come of age and received their full inheritance.

 4. When the time was right, Jesus came, and was subject also to the law.

 5. The purpose of Jesus’ coming was the free us from the slavery and subjection of these insufficient and incomplete rules and to make us heirs – people above the rules.

 6. One of the benefits of that divine adoption is the Spirit, which, as John’s Gospel says, will “guide us into truth.” See (John 14:17;16:13.)

 7. Now our relationship has changed from servant (with no hope of inheritance) to children. As children, we become heirs.

 8. Before coming to the knowledge of Christ, the non-Jewish people were “slaves” to their own cultural and societal living.

 9. But once we know God, once we’ve experienced true freedom and life, how can we possibly turn back to serve anyone or anything but God?

 10. Evidence of their turning back is in their strict observance of Jewish religious days, months and years.

 11. Paul is alarmed not only that they are reverting to portions of Judaism, but that all his work is coming undone.

 12. The Galatians are tempted to re-embrace the legal system they once renounced. Paul urges them to be free as he is free.

 13. Paul alludes to some bodily ailment (see 2 Cor. 12:7) that however difficult did not keep him from preaching the gospel.

 14. The ailment was of such a nature as to be repellent to others, but, the Galatians did not despise Paul even for his infirmity.

 15. Essentially Paul asks, "What happened to your enthusiastic reception of me and the gospel? At one time you would have done anything for me - even given me your eyes,” but not it seems that they have turned against him and his message.

 16. Freedom has always been a difficult concept; the idea of rules is comforting because it gives us a measuring stick on how we’re living, but the truth of the Gospel is that the measuring stick is an illusion and separates us from truth and love.

 17. "They" refers to Judaizers who have ulterior motives. They want to turn the affections of the Galatians to themselves.

 18. Whether present or not, Paul says zeal for good is always good. Zeal for evil is always evil.

 19. Paul's care and concern for the Galatians is so great that he likens it to birth pangs on their behalf. His wish is that they will fully embrace their faith in Christ without the law.

 20. Paul expresses his wish that if he were there things could be worked out with the reprimand. As it is, he is puzzled by their behavior.

 21. Paul warns that they might not even know what they are getting themselves into.

 22. See Gen 16-18. The slave wife = Hagar. The free wife = Sarah.

 23. Ishmael was born after the flesh. Isaac was a child of promise.

 24-26. Paul is doing some theology here to demonstrate how Christ’s coming and the new covenant have been written into the history of Israel from the beginning. The law, given to Moses, was a “guardian” that would lead them to the previous promise given to Abraham, freedom. However, the Jews missed the handoff to Christ and so have kept themselves in slavery by holding to the law of Moses. Those who have accepted Christ have become children of the promise to Abraham.

 27. This poem from the prophet Isaiah epitomizes the difference between holding to the promise by faith (childless woman), and attempting to make oneself righteous by following laws (woman who lives with her husband).

 28. Here begins the threefold application of the allegory: First, those who by faith accept Christ are the children of promise (like Isaac).

 29. Second, those who cannot accept by faith that Jesus is fulfillment of the law will always try to enforce the law on those who follow Christ in faith.

 30. Third, followers of the old Law will be unable to experience the freeing nature of God’s love through Jesus and so will inevitably separate themselves from that gif, by their inability to accept.

 31. Here is the conclusion: those who accept Christ will discover the freedom of love and the promise of God to Abraham of blessing and being a blessing to others.

Scripture

1 Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. 2 They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. 3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.

4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

8 Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. 9 So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? 10 You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years. 11 I fear for you. Perhaps all my hard work with you was for nothing. 12 Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things, for I have become like you Gentiles—free from those laws.

You did not mistreat me when I first preached to you. 13 Surely you remember that I was sick when I first brought you the Good News. 14 But even though my condition tempted you to reject me, you did not despise me or turn me away. No, you took me in and cared for me as though I were an angel from God or even Christ Jesus himself. 15 Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you felt then? I am sure you would have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible. 16 Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?

17 Those false teachers are so eager to win your favor, but their intentions are not good. They are trying to shut you off from me so that you will pay attention only to them. 18 If someone is eager to do good things for you, that’s all right; but let them do it all the time, not just when I’m with you.

19 Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives. 20 I wish I were with you right now so I could change my tone. But at this distance I don’t know how else to help you.

21 Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law actually says? 22 The Scriptures say that Abraham had two sons, one from his slave wife and one from his freeborn wife. 23 The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise.

24 These two women serve as an illustration of God’s two covenants. The first woman, Hagar, represents Mount Sinai where people received the law that enslaved them. 25 And now Jerusalem is just like Mount Sinai in Arabia, because she and her children live in slavery to the law. 26 But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother.

27 As Isaiah said,

“Rejoice, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into a joyful shout, you who have never been in labor! For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband!”

28 And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just like Isaac. 29 But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit.

30 But what do the Scriptures say about that? “Get rid of the slave and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” 31 So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.

word study

Not much better off (diapherō) not better, or different from, be of equal value.

 Slaves (doulos) a slave; subjugatio or subservience

 Obey (hypo) under, beneath, below

 Guardians (epitropos) and (oikonomos) a commissioner; domestic manager; guardian; a house manager; overseer; agent.

 Set (prothesmios) fixed beforehand; a designated day.

 Basic spiritual principles (stoicheion) orderly in arrangement; basal; fundamental.

 World (kosmos) orderly arrangement; the world.

 Right time (pleroma) completion; end of a period.

 Buy freedom (exagorazo) to buy up; ransom; to rescue from loss.

 Spirit (pneuma) a current of air; breath; blast; breeze; a spirit; vital principle; Holy Spirit.

 Heir (klēronomos) one who receives by lot, an heir

 Knew (oida) to know, i.e. get knowledge of, understand, perceive; the force and meaning of something which has definite meaning

 Gods (theos) a deity; Divinity.

 Certain days (hēmera ) "the day" is regarded as the time for abstaining from indulgence, vice, crime, because acts of the sort are perpetrated at night and in darkness; Months (mēn) the time of the new moon, new moon (the first day of each month, when the new moon appeared was a festival among the Hebrews)

 Fear (phobeo) frightened; to be alarmed; in awe of; revere.

 Mistreat (adikeō) to act unjustly or wickedly, to sin, to be a criminal, to have violated the laws in some way

 Tempted (peirasmos) adversity; trial with a beneficial purpose.

 Cared (dechomai)  to receive favorably, give ear to, embrace, make one's own, approve, not to reject; to receive. to take upon one's self, sustain, bear, endure

 Telling (alētheuō) to teach the truth; to profess the truth

 Truth (aletheuo) what is factual; verifiable; true.

 Eager (zēloō) to be the object of the zeal of others, to be zealously sought after

Shut you off (ekkleio) to shut out, to turn out of doors; to prevent the approach of one

 Good (kalos) proper; beautiful; virtuous.

 Fully developed (morphoo) to fashion; to make. Literally, until a mind and life in complete harmony with the mind and life of Christ is formed in you.

 Law (nomos) a law or rule producing a state approved of God; by the observance of which is approved of God; of the Mosaic law, and referring, acc. to the context. either to the volume of the law or to its contents

 Says (akouō) to attend to, consider what is or has been said; to understand, perceive the sense of what is said

 Slave wife (paidiske) a girl; a female slave or servant.

 Freeborn wife (eleutheros) unrestrained; not a slave; exempt.

 Human attempt (sarx) denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God

 Promise (epaggelia) divine assurance of good.

 Illustration (allegoreo) allegory; literal and figurative comparison.

 Covenants (diatheked) a contract; a divisory will.

 Received (eis) denoting entrance into, or direction and limit

 Never given birth (steiros) sterile.

 Promise (epaggelia) a divine assurance of good.

 Persecuted (dioko) to pursue; to drive away; put to flight.

 Share (klēronomeō) to receive the portion assigned to one, receive an allotted portion, receive as one's own or as a possession to become partaker of, to obtain

Week Six


Been There, Done That

Week Six


Been There, Done That

watch a clip from sunday's message


Our hearts need to change, not your heads


  • Have you ever been in a situation where you were so nervous, so uptight, that you ended up doing/performing/acting much more poorly than you were capable?
    • How did your nervousness and over-focus trip you up?

 

  • Have you ever done something unplanned, unscripted, impromptu and have a wonderful experience?
  • What is the difference between rules and relationship?
    • How can this translate into your perspective on God?
    • What are some ways you are trying to do it "By the Book"
      • How are you trying to "please" God?

Some research has discovered that the best way to survive a car crash with minimal injury is to relax your entire body - which seems counterintuitive. However, by relaxing your body you allow it to move freely with the force of impact instead of resisting it - since you aren't strong enough to resist it anyway.

when we give up our control, we find out that we never really had it anyway


key ideas

1. The admonishment is to remain firm in the freedom of Christ and not return to the burden of the old Law.

 2. Paul is saying that the difference between Grace and Law are so stark and so antithetical of one another that they cannot coexist in our lives. We cannot claim grace while attempting to justify ourselves by another means. Similarly, we cannot attempt to make ourselves righteous through our own actions and still claim Grace.

 3. Paul affirms that everyone who follows Judaism is required (or indebted) to keep the whole Law.

 4. Any full or partial return to Judaism severs one from the Grace of God. It would be like saying you’re a vegan while eating a steak!

 5. Those whom follow and accept Christ on do so on the ground of faith, not law – like Abraham before them.

 6. This is the theme of Paul's epistle. Accepting God’s love through faith frees us from the slavery of rules and regulations (the Law) and allows us to finally “love God and love others.”

 7. The Galatians had a good start. But they allowed someone to distract them from their mission.

 8. It wasn’t God who tripped them, God was not testing them or punishing them (see James 1:13) – he is the one who called them to freedom.

 9. When used figuratively, leaven often denotes evil. A small amount of evil in that which is good quickly ruins it all (see Matt 16:5-12; 1 Cor. 5:6).

 10. Paul expresses his confidence that the majority of his readers will not succumb to the minority of Judaizers, and they God will sort it all out.

 11. This suggests that the false teachers were accusing Paul of inconsistency in his own teaching on circumcision. Paul's response? If he were preaching circumcision, why are its advocates persecuting him?

 12. Paul wishes that those who are preaching circumcision would show how “holy” they are by taking care of themselves – the exact meaning is more along the lines of cutting off their own “manhood.”

 13. In the previous verses Paul warns about perverting the Gospel through legalism. Now he warns about perverting the Gospel through the abuse of freedom.

 14. The purpose of freedom, according to Paul, is to show love to others – to be bound to each other in love and service.

 15. Jesus said, “a house divided against itself cannot stand (Matt 12:25). The believers of Christ are called to be united – to be one body; not splinter-cells of varying beliefs at odds with one another.

 16-17. When we are acting in love (following the Spirit) we will not be following our own desires – which are so often selfish and harmful to others.

 18. See Rom 8:2-17.

 19. Paul begins to explain what life looks like when we follow our own self-centered path.

 19-21. Sexual “perversions,” in Paul’s day, we’re synonymous with pagan worship (“wild parties,” in v. 21, is another word for “orgies”) as were witchcraft sorcery, etc…. It’s not that Paul thinks that life a part from God will naturally devolve into idol worship, it’s that all the things that were part of the pagan culture (wild parties, jealousy, infidelity, drunkenness) were simply things which people wanted to indulge in anyway and were able to under the guise of “religious devotion.”

 22. In stark contrast to the deeds of “the flesh,” are the fruits of the Spirit. Note that "deeds of the flesh" are actions leading to death, whereas “fruit of the Spirit" suggests life – to both the person living this way and those who are affected by their life.

 23. Where the fruits of the Spirit are present there is no need for the restraints of law.

 24. To be Christ's requires the “crucifixion” of the old self (Paul also calls this “dying to self.”) What this means is that following Christ is counter-intuitive and results in a complete transformation in the way we live.

 25. To live by the Spirit means to be aware of how we live in every aspect of our lives, not just our “religious/spiritual” life.

 26. However, we are not to become conceited of how well we are doing at this, but rather we are to support and encourage and serve each other along the journey.

 

Scripture

1 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. 4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.

5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. 6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.

7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? 8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. 9 This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! 10 I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.

11 Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended. 12 I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.

13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

word study

Stay free (steko) to be stationary; to persevere.

Benefit (opheleo) to be useful; benefit.

Right (dikaioō) to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered

Cut off  (katargeo) render entirely idle; useless; To be severed from, separated from, discharged from, loosed from any one

Fallen (ekpipto) to drop away; be driven off one's course; to lose.

Grace (charis) graciousness; the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life; gratitude.

Righteousness (dikaiosune) equity; justification.

Expressing (energeo) to be active; efficient.

Love (agape) benevolence; expresses a deep and constant love toward those unworthy of such love

Running (trechō) to spend one's strength in performing or attaining something

Held you back (egkoptō) to cut into, to impede one's course by cutting off his way.

Called (kaleo) to "summons," to invite.

Yeast (zume) fermenting agent.

False Teachings (allos phroneō) to be divided in mission, not representing harmonious views

Confusing (tarassō) to agitate, trouble; to cause one inward commotion, take away his calmness of mind, disturb his equanimity

Persecuted (dioko) put to flight; driven away.

Offended (skandalon) a trapstick; bent sapling; snare.

Mutilate (apokopto) to amputate; to mutilate.

Freedom (eleutheria) license, the liberty to do as one pleases.

Satisfy (aphormē) the incentive; the resources we avail ourselves of in attempting or performing anything.

Sinful nature (sarx) the flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence.

Serve (douleuo) be a slave to.

Biting and devouring (dakno katesthio) nip; thwart; to eat down.

Destroying (analisko) to use up; destroy.

Guide (peripateo) to live; to regulate one's life; to conduct one's self; to pass one's life

Craves (epithumeo) to set the heart upon; long for.

Obligation (hypo) by, under

Results (ergon) an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasized in opp. to that which is less than work

Sexual immorality (porneia) illicit sexual intercourse; the worship of idols; of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols.

Idolatry (eidololatreia) image-worship.

Sorcery (pharmakeia) magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it

Divisions (dichostasia) disunion; dissension.

Produces (eimi) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.

Love (agape) affection or benevolence.

Patience (makrothumia) forbearance; fortitude.

Gentleness (praotes) humility.

Self-control (egkrateia) self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites).

Belong (ho) are of.

Crucified (stauroo) to impale on the cross; extinguish; subdue.

Provoke (prokaleō) to call forth to oneself (challenge), i.e. (by implication) to irritate:—provoke.

Week Seven


Throw In The Rope

Week Seven


Throw In The Rope

READ: Galatians 4:21

Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law actually says?

  • Have you ever "stood" for something, or defended something that you didn't completely understand?
    • Was there ever a time when you finally "read the fine print" and realized you needed to make a change?

 


You cannot make people good by law:

and without good people you cannot have a good society.

That is why we must go on to think of the second thing:

of morality inside the individual.

C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity


watch a clip from sunday's message

READ: Galatians 3:23-25

Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.

  • Have you ever felt like you simply weren't doing enough good things; like God was disappointed in you?
    • Where do thoughts like this derive from?

 

  • Why is it so difficult to allow the Spirit to lead (throwing in the rope)?
    • Why do we hold on to rules and regulations?

 

  • What's one way you can let God's Spirit lead in your life?

freedom is found once we've thrown in the rope


key ideas

1. Paul is now showing how to apply the fruit of the Spirit. If someone finds themselves in a struggle, there are two things needed:

  • Gentleness to help them through
  • Humility to keep oneself from being self-righteous and opening the door for similar struggles.

 2. Walking with one another through our inevitable struggles is the means of carrying out the law of Christ (see Eccles. 4:9-12)

 3. Pride and self-absorption are deceptions that keep us from unity.

 4. The problem with comparing ourselves to others is that we can always find someone “worse” than us. But if we stop trying to be like and please everyone else, focusing instead on what we know is right, we’ll do well.

 5. This is not a contradiction of verse two. We are called to support and encourage each other, and as such we are fully responsible for others as well as ourselves.

 6. This verse speaks of the value of discipleship. In Greco-Roman society, teachers would be compensated individually by their pupils: sometimes monetarily, sometimes through food or shelter. The idea being that through this provision the teacher can give themselves fully to the task. Paul says it’s the same with the church.

 7-8. Matthew 7:15-20 talks about how to identify a person’s Spirit. Jesus says, “you can identify people by their fruit; how they act.” Paul alludes to the same thing here: actions have consequences, things bare out what is planted. There is no use doing evil and hoping that God will make good out of it.

 9. Endurance & persistence in doing good will bear fruit in time. The key is not to give up.

 10. Take every opportunity to do good.

 11. Paul seems to have dictated his letters (Rom 16:22; Col 4:18; 2 Thes 3:17) and then added his signature of authentication. In this case, he may have penned the entire epistle, or this closing for emphasis.

 12. The motive for those requiring circumcision was twofold:

  • to appear pious to others
  • to avoid persecution from Jews

 13. Hypocrisy characterizes those Judaizers who require circumcision, but do not keep the rest of the Law. They relish the requirement they impose on others.

 14. Unlike the Judiazers who are ashamed of the message of the cross and avoid the persecution caused by it, Paul, himself, glories in it. Paul has died to the world (and so the Law) through faith in the cross of Christ.

 15. Rules and rituals are meaningless if they do not produce new life (2 Cor 5:17; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:5-11).

 16. Peace and mercy are by- products of truth. One must first "walk according to this rule" (reliance on the cross), then comes peace & mercy on spiritual Israel.

 17. The Judiazers made circumcision a mark of their religious zeal, while Paul asserts that his scars caused by persecution are the only outward marks he needs to verify his allegiance to Christ.

 18. Paul asks that the favor of God (grace) be on his brothers. "Brethren" here denotes his ongoing affection for the Galatians

scripture

1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

4 Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

6 Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.

7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyoneespecially to those in the family of faith.

11 Notice what large letters I use as I write these closing words in my own handwriting.

12 Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised want to look good to others. They don’t want to be persecuted for teaching that the cross of Christ alone can save. 13 And even those who advocate circumcision don’t keep the whole law themselves. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast about it and claim you as their disciples.

14 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. 15 It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. 16 May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.

17 From now on, don’t let anyone trouble me with these things. For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus.

18 Dear brothers and sisters, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

word study

Overcome (prolambano) unanticipated; surprised.

 Sin (paraptoma) a slip; lapse; error; transgression.

 Godly (pneumatikos) of the spirit (of God), or (divinely) supernatural, regenerate.

 Help (katartizo) repair, or adjust.

 Burdens (baros) weight; figuratively, a load, abundance, authority.

 Fooling (phrenapataō) to deceive any one's mind; delusional

 Satisfaction (kauchēma) that of which one glories or can glory, matter or ground of glorying.

 Compare (eis) unto, towards, among.

 Conduct (phortion) figuratively: a task or service; burden.

 Taught (katecheo) indoctrinated; to teach orally, to instruct.

 Provide (koinōneō) to share with others; communicate, distribute, be partaker.

 Misled (planao) to roam from safety, truth, or virtue.

 Please (speirō) to sow, scatter, seed.

 Everlasting (aionios) perpetual.

 Life (zōē) the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate.

 Good (kalos) good (literally or morally), i.e. valuable or virtuous

 Opportunity (kairos) occasion; set or proper time.

 Good (agathos) useful, salutary, beneficial.

 Everyone (pas) each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything

 Especially (malista) most; in the greatest degree; particularly.

 Force (anagkazō) to necessitate, compel, drive to, constrain; by force, threats, etc.

 Look Good (euprosōpeō) to be of good countenance; to make a display

 Boast (kauchaomai) to vaunt.

 Claim (kauchaomai) to glory (whether with reason or without)

 World (kosmos) orderly arrangement; natural order.

 Crucified (stauroō) to impale on the cross; figuratively, to extinguish or subdue passion or selfishness

 New creation (kainos ktisis) fresh. original formation; the thing created.

 Amen (amen) surely; so be it

Week eight


The Bottom Line

Week eight


The Bottom Line

  • Have you ever been told that you were welcome/accepted but you could sense that there was a caveat - a "but"?
    • How did that you make you feel?

 


WATCH A CLIP FROM SUNDAY'S MESSAGE

READ: Galatians 5:19-24

It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.

But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.

  • Have you ever seen an apple tree? How did you know it was an apple tree?

 

  • Have you ever seen an apple tree growing oranges? What would a tree with oranges be called?

 

  • Why is a tree with oranges on it not an apple tree?

 

  • Based on your fruit (your life), what kind of tree are you?

what is your favorite thing to do? that thing you do naturally, willingly, with joy? maybe that's what god has created you for. maybe that's what your fruit is...