Although we may feel like slaves to sin on this earth, Paul assures us that we are, in fact, free. We are free because Jesus paid the price, and we are now God’s children.
The Message Bible, paper, pencils, crayons, hymnal, a rope, access to list of phobias found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_phobias
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
A. Read the list of phobias. Some of these phobias seem almost funny, don’t they? Yet isn’t that like people fearing God’s condemnation when they don’t need to?
B. Using your old Pathfinder or Boy/Girl Scout knot-tying skills, bind the hands of a volunteer. Ask him or her to untie the ropes. When it’s obvious that this is impossible, step in and help with your free hands. Discuss the parallels between this metaphor and our being slaves to sin, needing Jesus to free us.
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
A. If we are all slaves to sin, how can we ever be free? How can we know for sure that we will “make it” to heaven?
B. Thought Questions
Read Romans 8:3, 4 in The Message Bible. What did Jesus’ coming to earth do for us that the law couldn’t do?
- The law was actually powerless to save us because no human can keep the law.
- Jesus came “in the flesh”—as one of us—to fully keep the law.
- It was a miraculous gift of Christ’s life and perfect obedience to the law standing in our place.
- Where sin would have condemned us, Jesus bore the condemnation for us.
- As a result of what Jesus did for us, we choose to live under the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
Read Romans 8:7, 8. If these texts are true, then are we all doomed?
- Yes, unless God shows us mercy in spite of our sinfulness.
- Yes, if we hold onto a sinful mind that is hostile toward God.
- The key is verse 8: those who are controlled by a sinful nature are doomed.
- No, we don’t have to be doomed. We have a choice. We have a Savior.
- Apart from Jesus, we have no control over sin, but with Jesus we can overcome together.
Read Romans 8:9-14. What does Paul promise here if we allow Jesus to control our lives?
- Amazingly, God’s Spirit will live in us.
- We will belong to Christ.
- We will be dead to sin; sin will lose its power in our lives.
- We will be spiritually alive, living powerful and victorious lives.
- Our mortal bodies will become immortal at the Second Coming.
Read Romans 8:15. How does this text transform us from sinful slaves to sinless royalty? What meaning does that hold for our lives?
- We are no longer fearful of God’s harsh judgments.
- We are not only freed as slaves but transformed into sons and daughters of God.
- This means that no matter how much we sin, we’re guaranteed heaven.
- This means that when we sin, our Father—our Daddy—forgives us.
- Since we are part of God’s family, the inheritance is ours.
Applying the Message of the Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. After several minutes, report back to the larger group with your findings.
Option 1: Draw and color a picture of what it means to you to be “free” in Christ.
Option 2: As a group, search for a hymn, praise song, or contemporary Christian song that best describes freedom in Christ. Look online for the lyrics and read them together.
Option 3: Have some people in your group found freedom from bad habits? Would they be willing to share their success stories with your youth group? Make plans to talk with your youth leader about this idea.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
A. Read Romans 8:9. Are there areas in your life that are not controlled by the Spirit of God? According to this text, you aren’t fully Christ’s until you give yourself over to the Savior. Seek help if needed. It’s not worth it to lose heaven over a simple sin!
B. Write a prayer to your “Abba.” Talk to God like a child would talk to a kind, forgiving, and loving parent. Give up the things that bind you and accept the offer to be an heir to eternal life.
Next Week’s Scripture Focus: