Introduction: As a teenager, do you remember longing to move out so you wouldn't have to follow your parents' rules? In retrospect, how were your desires naïve?
Read Galatians 5:1-15
- In the book of Galatians, from what bondage has Christ set us free?
- In Galatians 5:1, what do you think Paul means by a “yoke of slavery?” What were the “rules” the Galatians believed were necessary for them to remain in right standing with God? What might be some 21st-century equivalents to “keeping the law?”
- In Galatians 5:2-4, Paul lists three ramifications for those who were adding circumcision as a requirement of being a child of God. What are they? Why is this such big deal?
- What does life look like for someone who has decided to not live by God’s grace? Do you know people like this? (Note: The phrase “fallen away” does not mean they have lost their salvation.)
- Paul takes a very forceful stance in Galatians 5:4-12. Why is the external pursuit of righteousness so dangerous?
- How is the freedom we have in Christ different from the freedom to do whatever we want? Read Romans 13:8. What does it mean that we are in debt to each other?
- Many small groups are going through the book “Organic Outreach for Ordinary People” by Kevin Harney. Harney uses the following four terms to define what loving others looks like: having a reckless love, being forgiving, sacrificially sharing, and accepting of those who are different from you. Which of these is the most difficult for you?
- People can focus on what Christ has done or focus on what they are doing. What are some of the ramifications of each?
Love/Bless/Abide: If the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:5), how might your attitude toward others need to change?