12: Living by the Spirit – Discussion Starters

  1. Living by the Spirit. Did you notice the introduction’s account of how the words of the Christian hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Robert Robinson were changed? I was relieved to see that in the Adventist church hymnal the author’s words in the third stanza remain intact: “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love.” Think about it. Do you agree that the author’s words say something important about how you struggle in your Christian life?
  2. Walking in the Spirit. Is it refreshing for you to think of the Christian life as a walk down the path of life? What was the expression used in the Old Testament to describe a life obedient to God (Deut 13:4,5)? What was the relationship from Paul’s perspective of the law of God and a Christian’s walk? What was it about the law that disturbed Paul the most? What is most likely to get in our way to interfere with our walk with God?
  3. The Works of the Flesh. Explain a significant difference between the “works of the flesh” (plural) and the “fruit of the Spirit” (singular). Which expression expresses the air of “frenetic” self-indulgence? Do you agree that what a person believes about God is not as important as the sincerity of his (or her) belief? Which, if any, of the “works of the flesh” involve a violation of one of more of the Ten Commandments?
  4. The Fruit of the Spirit. Have you ever encountered a Christian who believes that our love for God makes the Ten Commandments irrelevant? What can we say to a person with that set of beliefs? What is the first fruit of the spirit in Paul’s list (Galatians 5:22, 23)? Your lesson states that, “love is the preeminent fruit of the spirit.” If you agree with that, have you found in your Christian life that love is also the easiest of the gifts to express? It not, why not?
  5. The Way to Victory.  Your lesson states that in Galatians 4:16-26, Paul chooses five “key verbs” to describe the way to victory. Since those five verb expressions are spelled out in Galatians 5:16-24, take a minute or two to explain the importance of each one. (1) to walk around or to follow; (2) to be led; (3) to live; (4) to walk; (5) to crucify. 


12: Living by the Spirit – Discussion Starters — 2 Comments

  1. I hope this helps me grow because my sins are overwhelming to the point of not caring I also don\'t see the point in all this talk online because it is so impersonal but if you want to justify your efforts when this world is going straight to hell in a hand basket then be my guest

  2. Hi Alfred,

    I understand the feeling of being overwhelmed. Sin does that too us, and makes us carry a burden of guilt that is difficult to shake off. And sometimes in our efforts to say nice Christian words of encouragement we trivialize the issue to further frustrate the person suffering from guilt.

    The problem is that in an online forum such as this, the only communication we have is 'words' and that can be woefully inadequate when you really need the presence of a friend to share with face-to-face.

    However, words can be useful in building relationships with God and one another, if we choose to let them. Here is a little illustration:

    Many years ago I fell in love with a young lady on a college campus. We saw one another every day and had a great romance. Finally we became engaged. Shortly after that decision was made, the young lady was sent to New Zealand to teach in a school while I remained in Australia to continue my studies. We were to be separated for 12 months. Those were the days when plane tickets cost a lot of money, and overseas telephone calls were something that you booked and cost more than a student could easily put together. The only practical means of communication was by writing letters. 12 months of separation led to us each accumulating a tightly packed shoe-box full of letters.

    It was hard keeping the relationship going by words alone. And when we got back together again, 7 days before we got married, there was a lot of catching up to do, but for us, committed to one another, we used 'words' to build our relationship during that period of separation, because that was the only way we could do it.

    I know that the discussion on this blog can sometimes appear frustratingly impersonal, and at times even divisive. That is the nature of blogs. However, if you listen carefully I hope you will find the encouragement that we all need in building our relationship with Jesus.


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