The Apostle Paul established the Galatian church in the grace of God through Christ Jesus. In his absence a group of Judaizers began throwing the church into confusion claiming grace was great but it needed to be coupled with human efforts to be complete. Paul was not having it and he was very bold in his address to expose this confusion.
Mercy is the alleviation of what we deserve. Grace is the application of what Jesus deserves. The Kingdom of God is built on something much stronger than your religious devotion to God. The Kingdom of God is built on the God’s love for you! This is the source of our strength.
In God’s Kingdom strength is born from weakness. 2 Cor 12:9 tells us it is in our weakness that we are made strong with the perfect strength of Christ. Paul clearly communicates it is our death that produces life.
Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me… NIV
The beatitudes begin with blessed are the poor in spirit. Why start there? Because in God’s Kingdom strength is born from weakness. Moses did great things after dying a thousand deaths of regret in the wilderness. Why start there? He’d been living in the palace but God chose to awaken his purpose after he spent 40 years in wilderness. Because in God’s Kingdom strength is born from weakness. The Bible tells us we are to confess our faults to each other, pray for each other and then we will be healed. Why must we talk about our faults? Because in God’s Kingdom strength is born from weakness.
Christianity is not about religious devotion to God’s agenda. Christianity is about dying to self so Jesus can live through our surrendered available lives.
John 12:24 "..Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. NIV
The question is not does the seed have life. The question is will the seed die? It’s only when the seed dies that the life can escape. A seed has a powerful shell on the outside and unless that hard shell breaks open the life inside can never grow.
This speaks of outer man and our inner man that fight against each other constantly
Gal 5:16-17 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. NIV
The question is not if you have life in your inner man. The question is will your outer man be broken? The Holy Spirit is confined when we remain unbroken before God. The way we are broken is to surrender to God’s desires.
Come to church and serve.
Turn the page and get in God’s Word.
Fast and pray pressing in.
Get up early to seek God!
Tithe every time you increase.
Do these things not to gain favor with God. These are the things we do to remain broken before Him and that’s why it is vitally important that we understand these are not issues of convenience.
GP2RL: Read through the Book of Galatians this week. Listening to what the Holy Spirit wants to say as you read.
Gal 3:14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. NIV
Reading God’s Word is such a joy when we do so listening to what the Holy Spirit has to say. His Words are new every morning and fresh every day.
DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR COMMUNITY GROUP LEADERS
LEADER’S NOTES: In this season we are addressing how shame and guilt drive us to vain efforts of trying to please God by impressing him with our behavior. In God’s mercy he brought us out. In his grace he sees us through. In his strength he uses us to strengthen others forward in their divine purpose.
THE POINT: Through God’s mercy, grace and strength we can conquer every obstacle that fights against our purpose.
1. What is something that stood out from Sunday’s message to you?
2. Has there been anything that has stood out to you as you’ve been reading Galatians over these three weeks?
Gal 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. NIV
Jesus didn’t make you free so you could merely try to stay free. He made you free so you could become a freedom fighter helping others be free!
3. Share a time when you made some kind of a difference in somebody’s day and how that made you feel.
All of us form our identity by the forces we allow to feed our identity. What matters to us and who matters to us actually have the ability to tell us who we are. This is why Paul is reiterating love in the form of God’s grace and mercy to us expressed into the lives of others.
Gal 5:14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” NIV
Gal 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. NAS
Faith works through love. What you love you long for and this awakens pursuit and expectation and this produces faith in the direction of God’s mission.
4. Think about how easy or difficult it is for you to receive God’s love?
What is it about receiving God’s love that is easy or difficult for you?
5. How well are you at sharing God’s love with others?
What can you do specifically this next week to share God’s love more effectively.
We Bring GP2RL Action Point:
Read through the Book of Galatians as often as you can this week.