Free in Christ: Study of Galatians
God’s Grace Leads to a Stronger Freedom
January 6, 2018
Freedom! We all long for it. It might freedom or independence from school, debt, relationships and/or working. The apostle Paul, a former persecutor of Jesus and His people, found that real freedom was not independence, but interdependence. Real freedom came when he served God and others in love. Today, we will consider how God’s grace leads us to a stronger obedience to Him.
Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
Memory verse: Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Big Idea: True freedom is interdependence not independence.
I. Jesus came to set us __________.
Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
“Christ has set us free: don’t you realize that is freedom (not slavery) that being free leads to?” Douglas Moo
Stand firm – Hold fast to the privileges and blessings your salvation has brought to you.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (John 10:10)
A. Freedom is _______________ and must be _______________.
Galatians 5:1b Stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Questions 2 & 3)
Galatians 5:2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. (Gal. 5:7-9)
“Some would agree with Paul that circumcision entails obedience to the whole law, but they were hoping to bring the Galatians along by a policy of gradualism, only after the fact making clear just what circumcision really means.” Doug Moo
B. Real freedom means being liberated from past ____________ and from being _____________________ driven.
Galatians 5:3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.(Acts 15:1,5)
“Either find justification in Christ or find justification through doing.” Moo
“You can’t add to Christ without subtracting from Christ. He is either all their value or He is without value. We cannot hold onto grace if we are living by works.” Timothy Keller
How can grace be a greater motivator than guilt in your life?
Living by dependence on my own self effort brings bondage.
C. If you have the _______________________, you have real freedom!
Galatians 5:5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
2 Corinthians 5:5 who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Trusting Jesus is the beginning of real freedom. Don’t lose your freedom. Don’t abuse your freedom.
How do you keep growing in stronger freedom in Christ?
II. Use your freedom to ___________ others.
Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Question 7)
A. Consider a new way of _______________.
Matthew 23:11 The greatest among you shall be your servant.
Philippians 2:5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
“For Paul, freedom was interdependence, while for moderns it is independence. Put differently, we cannot apply freedom in Paul to our society until we see that the two are at odds with one another. This forces us to decide: “We have only to choose between bondage to the Father, which makes us free, and bondage to the powers of this world, which enslaves us.” Scot McKnight
B. Consider a new way of ______________.
John 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Galatians 5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
“Christians are freed from the law as a way to win merit from God, but we are not free from the law as a way to please God.” Keller
True freedom is interdependence, not independence! God show me who you want me to serve this week!
Spiritual Growth Group Questions for January 6, 2018
1. Read Galatians 5:1-15. Describe in your own words what is happening here. Why is this important?
2. Read Galatians 5:1, Philippians 1:27, 4:1. In what is Paul telling the Galatians and Philippian Christians to stand firm? What does he tell them they need to beware of? What do you need to stand firm in?
3. Read Galatians 5:2-4, Acts 15:1,5,10. The Galatians are facing an either/or decision in these verses. What was the decision they had to make? Based on their decision, why could Christ have no value to them? (v.2) Why would they be severed from Christ and grace? (v.4)
4. Read Galatians 5:4 again. Is Paul teaching that they can lose their salvation? If so why? If not why not? (See Rom. 8:38-39, John 10:28-29) Why is their decision such a deal breaker spiritually? “We are as loved and honored by God now as we will be when we are perfectly radiant in heaven.” Keller p. 136
5. Read Gal 5:5-6. Hope means a powerful assurance and certainty of something. (Hb. 11:1) How much difference does a future hope make to your life now? How can you think about it more?
6. Do you react to your successes and failures in a gospel way or in a works righteousness way? Why or Why not? How does the race image (5:7) highlight the problem? What slowed them down and hinders you?
7. Galatians 5:1-12 teach us not to lose gospel freedom, verses 5:13-15 warn us to not abuse gospel freedom. Based on these verses: What is Paul telling us to do with our freedom? Where are you inclined to indulge yourself in the name of your freedom in Christ? Who can I serve in love this week?
8. How does the gospel devour the very motivation you have for sin? How could it help you in your battle with sin? How can God’s grace actually lead you to a greater obedience in your Christian walk? How can grace be a greater motivator than guilt in your life?