How Believers Grow: Part 4
(I will link to the video here when it becomes available, usually on Sunday afternoon.)
To maintain spiritual progress you have to discern when you are being manipulated and when you are being encouraged. It’s not always easy to tell the difference.
1. Note that genuine ministry ______________ people from _____________
Galatians 4:8–11 (ESV) 8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.
2. Understand that real ministry involves ____________ and ______________
Galatians 4:12–14 (ESV) 12 Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. 13 You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus.
3. Look for ______ for Jesus rather than the ________
Galatians 4:15–20 (ESV) 15 What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. 18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, 19 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! 20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
Questions for discussion or further reflection:
What “idols” are you most in danger of serving?
In what sense do you think that Paul had become like the Galatians?
What evidence do you see that authentic ministry involves suffering?
How do we publicize events while making much of Jesus rather than ourselves?
To what extent are you tempted to want people to be impressed with you?
What are the implications of the image of childbirth to the process of making disciples?
What adjustments do you need to make in your ministry based on the picture of ministry in this passage? What about the whole church