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Friday, November 1, 2013

How Freedom Provokes Obedience

How Freedom Provokes Obedience (Video for this message is here)
Galatians 5:1-5
Guarding Freedom

1. Change what you ___________ for

Galatians 5:1–6 (ESV) For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

2. Focus on the _______________

Galatians 5:7–12 (ESV) You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

3. ___________________ rather than indulge

Galatians 5:13–15 (ESV) 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. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Questions for further reflection and discussion:
What are some popular ways of understanding freedom and how does that differ from the freedom of which this passage speaks?
What does it mean to eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness? What practical difference might this make in a person’s life?
How would you describe the offense of the cross?
What is the relationship between focusing on the cross and your experience of spiritual freedom?
Why might we need to be challenged not to use our freedom to indulge the sinful nature?

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