Sermon Notes

Previous Sermon Notes

Freedom – Cross Centered Life (6/30/24)
Freedom – Work of Freedom in Community 6/23/24
Freedom - The Flesh and the Spirit (6/23/24)
Freedom - Christ Has Set Us Free (6/9/24)
Freedom – Children of Promise (6/2/24)
Freedom – Frustration and Freedom (5/26/24)

Galatians 4:1-20

“We pursue being a disciple making family: surrendered to Jesus, transformed by the gospel, and saturated in His word.”

Paul begins to speak to the churches in Galatia in a very personal manner. He asks the overarching question of why do you want to go back to the old way of life? The gospel brings freedom and yet you are trying to go back to performance which leads to frustration. He reminds them about their new adoption into the family of God. He shares with them the intimacy they have with the Father and the Spirit that dwells within them. Paul expresses his heart towards the way he came to them in the first place. He shows strong genuine concern for them and truly wants them to not be tricked by these false teachers.

1. Paul reminds the Galatians that they had been adopted into the family of God. What are the implications for this in the lives of believers? What encouragement and strength comes from this amazing doctrine of adoption? What are the ramifications to not recognize this?

2. The Galatians are reminded that in Christ they are “known by God.” God is omniscient and knows all things. However, this is pointing out the relational intimacy we have with God through the gospel. Jesus points out that there will be people on the day of judgment that will say, “we prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name and Jesus says depart from me for I never knew you.” Being known by God is more than having intellectual knowledge of God, even doing things for God, and it is about relationship through Christ. What comes into your mind and heart when you think about this intimacy of being known by God? How does that impact your daily life? What role does the Holy Spirit play in that?

3. Paul came to the area in Galatia due to some sort of physical ailment. We are not exactly sure what the ailment was, but we do know that it was a difficulty for the Galatians. They still treated Paul like royalty like he was an angel or if he were Christ himself. Some believe this illness to have been an infection like typhoid, malaria, or maybe even a type of epilepsy we just don’t know. There was a belief it was disfiguring or showed physical marring due to the illness or from the effects of his physical persecutions. Regardless, Paul did not allow his illness to miss the opportunity to share the gospel with the Galatians. How might we see our “unplanned” illnesses and difficulties as a way to make the gospel known? What difficulty in your life right now may be an opportunity to share the good news with someone?

4. There was a deep affection Paul had towards the people of Galatia staying true to the gospel. The Judaizers had tried to deceive them. How might we be susceptible to this today? How are people deceived today? What can we do to protect ourselves from becoming sidetracked and missing the true gospel?

5. Paul felt a sense of betrayal from the Galatians. He saw himself as like a spiritual parent to them. He was perplexed. How have you experienced and dealt with betrayal in ministry like this? (i.e. someone gets angry when you share something hard with them, someone returns to their addiction, etc.) Ministry is hard and Paul points out it can be like the “pains of childbirth.” How do we not take it personal and continue to point people to the freedom of the gospel? We have been rescued, adopted, intimacy with God, and the Holy Spirit dwells in us. What encouragement comes from that in these hard moments?

Freedom – The Law and the Promise (5/19/24)

Galatians 3:15-29

“We pursue being a disciple making family: surrendered to Jesus, transformed by the gospel, and saturated in His word.”

In Galatians 3:15-29 we see Paul give the Galatian Christians a logical human example as to why our justification comes from grace and not the law. It begins by encouraging the Gentiles to put on the “promise filtered” glasses to understand the purpose for the law. The Judaizers were advocating for putting on the “law filtered” glasses to understand the promise. It must have been a super confusing time for the Christians in Galatia. If salvation comes by grace through faith, then the question arises as to the purpose of the law. Paul explains that in great detail in these verses.

1. The law is not, and was never intended to be, the way believers were to be saved or rescued and to receive the inheritance of God. What are some ways we look to the law to produce the obedience that we can only get from the gospel?

2. God’s promise to Abraham highlighted the need for faith in order to be declared righteous. Abraham really did nothing in terms of receiving the covenant promise God made to him. The “offspring” or the “seed” was to be found in Christ. How does the promise made to Abraham in the covenant to bless all the nations relate to Jesus? How does that impact the nations today? How does that impact us?

3. Paul points out the purpose of the law. “It was added because of transgression.” What are some of the purposes of the law according to Paul in this text? Which ones do you resonate the most with in your own life and why? How does the law help us to see our sin? How does the law prepare us for God’s grace and His promise?

4. Warren Weirsbe wrote “The law shows the sinner his guilt and grace shows him the forgiveness he can have in Christ.” The law is, holy, just and good (Rom. 7:12) but we are unholy, unjust, and bad. The law does not make us sinners it just reveals that we already are sinners. The law is a mirror that helps us to see how “dirty” we are, but we don’t wash our faces with the mirror. It is grace that provides the cleansing through Christ (1 John 1:7). Take some time and explain how the law operates as a mirror. How have you seen this in your own life?

5. The law tends to divide us based on our ability to perform or maintain. The text shows us that the promise is able to unite us. All people, tribes, and tongues are part of a unifying relationship now. There is a relationship with God the Father, with Christ and with other believers. Paul points out things that once divided us like our ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status now means nothing in regard to the promise. Those distinctions may still exist, but we are no longer divided by them, we are united in promise. How might this truth impact our church, our families, our work, and our relationships? What would this practically look like in a faith family? Jesus prayed in John 17 that “they would all be one just as we are one, so the world might know the Father has sent me.” More than a sermon, a miracle, or outreach event Jesus prays for unity. How does unity through the promise impact the gospel message?

Freedom – How Foolish (5/12/24)

Galatians 3:1-14
“We pursue being a disciple making family: surrendered to Jesus, transformed by the gospel, and saturated in His word.”

In Galatians 3:1-14, we see once again the Apostle Paul making the case for the Galatian Christians being saved by faith and not the works of the law. He comes with several lines of reasoning or arguments. One being the personal argument. Paul is asking the Galatians to examine their hearts and remember how they came to Christ. He then points out the Scriptural argument with the account of Abraham. He is wanting the Galatians to see how salvation has always been by faith and never by the law.

1. The Galatians initially accepted the gospel of grace but were easily lured away to believing that salvation required additional work on their part. If one really thinks about it the idea of grace almost seems like something that is “too good to be true.” “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Do you feel the desire or need to live as though you need to earn God’s favor? If so, why? Are you able to live in light of God’s unmerited favor and acceptance of you because of the work of Christ? How does this impact your life?

2. Paul confronts and challenges the Galatians who initially accepted God’s grace as a gift and not something they earned. They were now trying to earn that favor by their performance and actions. How did you originally understand God’s grace and how has that changed throughout your journey? Did you initially understand it as a response of faith or more about rules? What about now? How has your perspective changed and how have you grown in your understanding of grace?

3. The Judaizers along with some of the Jews had come to believe that the way they received a right relationship with God was through observing the law handed down by Moses. Paul knocks out this belief by pointing out that Abraham had a relationship with God through faith and that this relationship was secured by Christ. Those in the Old Testament were saved by faith as well. They looked forward to Christ in faith as we look back to Christ in faith. It was all dependent upon the work of God on the cross. What must it have been like for the Jews to discover that everything they had worked for did not bring them into right relationship with God? How would you have responded?

4. Discuss some of the ways that we look to the law to produce obedience that can only be produced by the grace of the gospel.

Freedom – Did Christ Die for Nothing? (5/5/24)

Galatians 2:15-21
“We pursue being a disciple making family: surrendered to Jesus, transformed by the gospel, and saturated in His word.”

The amazing gift of grace that God gave us through being justified, “declared righteous,” by the work of Jesus on the cross should impact every part of your life. It can be difficult to accept that you cannot earn your salvation, but it was truly by the gift of God that you may be saved. The churches in Galatia were being influenced by the Judaizers to keep the law.

1. We see in this text Paul’s explanation that we are not justified by the law but by faith in Jesus Christ. How would you explain the doctrine of justification by faith to an unbeliever that may have little to no biblical knowledge of this doctrine?

2. What are some ways today that people attempt to justify themselves? How are these attempts offensive to God and stealing His glory? (i.e. says the cross was not enough, inadequate; pride filled to place our self as god, etc.)

3. God is not ignoring one’s sin or sweeping it under the rug through justification. How is justification of a sinner accomplished without ignoring sin?

4. Paul makes it crystal clear what is needed for salvation. How do we tend to determine if someone is saved or a Christian? Does this line up with the truth that Paul was bringing. What would you say to someone who says they are saved but does not have faith in Jesus?

5. Justification is the view that it is a once-for-all declaration of righteousness and not a process. How does this declaration impact one’s life and what role does it play in one’s life after believing by faith in the finished work of Jesus?

Freedom – Legalism and Hypocrisy (4/28/24)

Galatians 2:1-14
“We pursue being a disciple making family: surrendered to Jesus, transformed by the gospel, and saturated in His word.”

In Galatians 2:1-14 we see the opportunity to find clarity in the gospel message. We see our commission to spread the gospel and also to live that gospel out. Paul shows
us he had the ability to compromise his message to gain the approval of others. He clearly doesn’t do that. What are some of the pressures we face that can distract us
from following through with what God desires for us?

1. Paul’s journey to Jerusalem provides clarity to the truth of the gospel and can guide our lives. How does this clear sense of direction from the gospel change your life and give you a clear sense of direction?

2. This passage points out the struggle with both legalism and hypocrisy. The Christ Centered Exposition Commentary on Galatians describes legalism as the “right behavior with the wrong belief” and hypocrisy as the “right belief with the wrong behavior.” How have you seen this played out in the lives of others? How do you see it played out in your own life? Why is this such a big struggle? Even though we all struggle with these, why does it bother us so much to see it played out in others?

3. Paul confronted Peter over his hypocrisy and segregating himself from the Gentiles. Peter had pulled away from eating with the Gentiles when the Jews
from Jerusalem came. The “fear of man” is common to us all, even as believers, even as leaders. Where do you find the “fear of man” most prevalent in your life? Peter’s hypocrisy led others astray. How have you seen this play out? Oftentimes, this can be very obvious in one’s social media accounts.

4. The wonderful thing about the gospel is that it has the power to transform our lives. Paul’s correction of Peter, though probably difficult, was a picture of the importance of presenting the gospel of truth. The gospel not only saves us for heaven but also impacts our lives now. It is by grace we have been saved, through faith. Peter’s life showed a major contradiction between what he believed and what he was doing. How would you have received this correction? Why is it so important that we allow the grace of the gospel to help us with our hypocrisy?

5. One of the great things about this passage is how missional it is. It is a clear picture of Paul and Peter committing to their “spheres of influence” with which
they have been “entrusted” for the gospel. What about your spheres of influence? What would you say are your spheres of influence where God has entrusted you to share the gospel?

Freedom - Our Story, His Glory (4/21/24)

“We pursue being a disciple making family: surrendered to Jesus, transformed by the gospel, and saturated in His word.”

The way we live our lives says a lot about us. The choices we make and the life directions we choose all speak loudly about our beliefs and motivations. The Apostle Paul defended his message to the false teachers in Galatia. He was transparent to the audience in Galatia. He proved himself to be willing to risk everything for the gospel
and carry the message of grace and freedom. Paul spends time sharing his story to show God’s story and the power of what the gospel can do.

1. Paul was completely changed by the encounter he had with Jesus. What must it have been like for him to go from being such a violent opposer of the things of Jesus to
spreading the message of the gospel? What did he lose? What did he gain? (Acts 8 and Acts 9).

2. How has the gospel of Jesus changed your life? How is the gospel of Jesus changing your life?

3. Paul’s life was so completely changed by grace that he could say that “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). What does your life say about you? Do your decisions and choices stay in line with God’s direction for your life? Can you say that in your marriage, your relationships, your work, your recreation, your money,
etc.?

4. What would be different about this week if you allowed Christ to live through you, direct you, and guide you in your thoughts and actions?

5. Paul was called by God to specifically take the message of the gospel to the Gentiles. Is there anyone specific God is calling you to? Is there something specific God is leading you to do?

6. Paul shows us in this text the power of the testimony. We see Paul sharing his life before Christ, how he came to Christ, and what Christ was currently doing in his life. Practice sharing your story. Share your testimony in 3 to 5 minutes. Who will you commit to share with this week? Pray and share with the group who you feel led to share with. Ask them to hold you accountable and ask them to pray for you as you share.