Christ has set us free. This freedom neither gives license to sin nor can be earned through good works. It spurs us toward obedience from a heart filled with love toward God and other people.
Bibles, paper, pencils/pens
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Have you ever gotten your hands or feet tied up in a tangled mess? Perhaps you tripped when a garden hose caught your foot. Describe an experience of getting physically tangled up in something.
- Draw a line down the center of a sheet of paper. On one side write “Freedom in Christ.” On the other side, write “Bondage to Sin.” Now list four or five ways to help people find freedom and four or five ways people stay in bondage.
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- If we’ve truly been free in Christ for the past 2,000 years, why is it that humanity is still seduced by sin?
- Thought Questions
Read Galatians 5:1. What is the liberty which Christ has made us free in?
- Freedom to worship according to the dictates of each person’s own conscience
- Freedom to sin if you want to
- Freedom from from the devil’s grip over your life
- Freedom from being stuck in a pattern of sin
- Freedom to set aside having to perform the law in order to be saved
Read Galatians 5:2-6. What is the big deal about circumcision in this section? What is Paul trying to say?
- If you are a Jew, it is good to be circumcised. But don’t push it on the Gentiles.
- Circumcision used to represent a covenant with God, but it doesn’t matter anymore.
- Your heart should be cut, not your body. We are circumcised when we are totally dedicated to the Lord.
- If you’re a Gentile, don’t worry about circumcision.
- You can actually show a lack of faith by being circumcised.
Read Galatians 5:7-15. According to these verses, what is the essence of the gospel?
- Obedience to the truth
- Being willing to suffer persecution
- Serving others in love
- Not using your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh
- Salvation which results in loving obedience
Read the following Bible texts and ask, “What do these verses tell me about liberty in Christ?”
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: At a picnic, your cousin says, “I am free in Christ” while taking a long drink from a bottle of beer. “No rules to keep me in bondage. I am saved. Nothing I do can take away my salvation.” He then looks at you and says, “You seem to be stuck on following rules.” How would you respond?
- Option 2: What is the essence of the gospel? What does the good news mean to you in practical terms? Using the word GOSPEL as an acronym, think of six words or phrases that describe the gospel (for example, “G” could represent “Good news”).
- Option 3: Are you free in Christ? When a person is not free in Jesus, what is going on? Is it willful sin? Is it ignorance? Have two volunteers dialogue in front of the group. One person listens and responds to another person who begins by saying, “I just don’t feel free and happy in Christ. Something is wrong…”
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- What one step could you take to be free in Christ this week? Has something been holding you back or causing you to stumble? What one thing would help change all of that?
- In groups of two or three, pray for each other that Jesus will truly set you free this week.