- Christ has set us free. This is a billboard by Paul, your lesson guide states. What was Paul’s urgent message in Galatians 5:1? Energized as he was to warn early believers not to give up their freedom in Christ, why did Paul believe so earnestly that they needed such a warning? Who would even think about not being free when freedom has been offered so freely? Do born-again Christians ever face the temptation that they must do what it takes to save themselves?
- The nature of Christian freedom. Does the fact that Christ provided for our rescue from sin and our freedom in Jesus sometimes overwhelm us? Should it? Is it true that we must watch our behavior closely because our deeds tell the world what is important to us? Does it really matter to others what we do? What are the basic elements of the type of freedom Paul is proclaiming Galatians 5? In what way(s) is there less freedom when we go through life without living in Jesus?
- The dangerous consequences of legalism. Have you learned enough about legalism to be able to explain it even to a child? Can a youngster aged ten to twelve understand legalism? What are the four ways Paul declares that circumcision can cause problems in the Christian life? Because circumcision can be understood as a legalistic practice, what value, if any, does Paul say the ritual provides? Have you ever heard a man speak with anger about circumcision that was imposed on him as a baby without his knowledge or consent? How do you respond to such a protest?
- Liberty not licentiousness. “I have grace. I can do what I wish.” Does a statement like that ever make itself heard by your friends in the faith? Have you ever gone through a time in your life when you wanted to do something you had been taught was sinful? If so, did you give into self-indulgence and do the sinful act? Does “a little sin here and there” really matter?
- Fulfilling the whole law. You may be thinking…I have to be perfect, free from all sin. But what does that mean? Is there a difference between obeying the law of God and fulfilling it? Consider the following from this week’s lesson: “Without love, the law is empty and cold; without law, love has no direction.” How can we as Christians proclaim the law of God as an expression of God’s love? “Oh, how I love thy law,” David declared in psalm after psalm. Can we have that level of love today? How?