Galatians | Week 10
Paul’s argument in Galatians chapter 5, and I think the challenge for us is, now that we’ve been set free by Jesus’ death and resurrection, and invited into this new family of Christ followers, we need to STAY free. We stay free by avoiding placing our trust in things that aren’t useful or life-giving, like pagers, paper maps and Blockbuster video cards. These are all things that, at one time, we relied on. But now, they won’t do us any good at all. Paul’s not only talking about the rules and regulations that we are prone to fall back on, but also the way we treat each other, which can cause division and destruction within this new, multi-ethnic family that God is forming. Paul is saying in Galatians 5, that whether it’s arguing with each other about things that don’t matter, or trying to nullify what Christ did by working our way towards right relationship with God, these things will tie us down – holding us back from the life of freedom that God wants for us.
This week, think about areas in your life where you might not feel so free. And whether you’re not doing anything at all to break the chains of bondage, or relying on things that have outlived their usefulness, realize that it’s only through the Spirit of God that these chains can be broken – and the Spirit is alive and well, and powerful enough to break the chains of bondage in our lives.
Questions for Reflection
- When you think about “the law”, that is the commandments found in the bible, how do you respond? Do you follow the rules primarily to avoid feeling guilty? Do you ignore it because you feel it no longer applies to followers of Jesus? Do you use it to justify yourself before God? Or can you find a better way you respond to those commands?
- Paul says in Galatians 5:13 “But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” How do you feel your freedom enables you to better serve others?
Read Acts 20:28-32. Just as he was warning the Galatians Paul warned the elders of Ephesus about false teachers. Where did the threat of false teaching come from? Do you feel prepared to recognize teaching that is out of line with God’s word? What would you if someone in our congregation began to teach questionable practices?