Read Galatians 5:1- 6 – Christian Liberty

1. We are thankful for the liberty we have in Christ! If we live in bondage to a legal relationship with God, it isn’t because God desires that kind of relationship with us. Compare our liberty to the yoke of bondage spoken of in verse 1. (Note: At the time of this writing, the Jerusalem Council which
would settle these issues, had most likely not yet taken place. See Acts 15 for more details.)

2. What does it mean to “stand fast”? What might this indicate about our ability to walk in the freedom we have been granted?

3. (vs 2-3) The Gentiles were being told by false teachers that in order to gain God’s acceptance they would need to be circumcised. What does Paul explain to them in these verses?

4. (vs 4) What does it mean to have “fallen from grace”?

5. (vs 5) Wuest on eagerly wait: “The word speaks of an attitude of intense yearning and an eager waiting for something. Here it refers to the believer’s intense desire for and eager expectation of a practical righteousness which will be constantly produced in his life by the Holy Spirit as he yields himself to Him.” Comment on this and its implications for you.

6. According to verse 6, in Christ, what avails much? What does this mean?

Read Galatians 5:7-15 – Love Fulfills the Law

1. (vs 7) Paul remembered the Galatians good start in the faith, but it isn’t enough to just start strong. What might cause us to start strong in the faith, but not continue strong?

a. What does verse 8 tell us?

b.(vs 9) Apply the phrase, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump,” to the situation in the Galatian churches. Now apply this phrase to your life and/or your church.

2. What does Matt. 18:6-7 add to our understanding of Gal. 5:10?

3. (vs 11) How is the cross offensive? What is Paul saying in verse 11?

4. (vs 12) With such a dramatic conclusion to this point, Paul has made one thing clear: legalism is no little thing. It takes away our liberty and puts us into bondage. It makes Jesus and His work of no profit to us. It puts us under obligation to the whole law. It violates the work of the Spirit of God. It makes us focus on things that are irrelevant. It keeps us from running the race Jesus set before us. It isn’t from Jesus. A little bit will infect an entire church. Those who promote it will face certain judgment, no matter who they are. Legalism tries to take away some of the glory of the cross. In light of how serious all this is, it is no wonder that Paul says he wishes they would even cut themselves off! (Guzik) Why is this such an important issue for Paul?

5. Describe what Christian liberty looks like from verses 13-15?

Read Galatians 5:16-26 – Walk in the Spirit

1. (vs 16-18) There is a battle going on! It is a battle between the Spirit and the flesh. Though it is a battle we fight daily, it is a battle that is won or lost  through the choices we make. Describe these two sides of the battle:

a. Spirit: (Walk in the Spirit, Be led by the Spirit)

b. Flesh: (Fulfill the lust of the flesh)

2. (vs 19-21) The works of the flesh are evident. They can be seen! And “those who practice (habitually choose) such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Consider this list of sins. What stands out to you?

3. (vs 22-23) The fruit of the Spirit describes Jesus, as well as the Christ-like characteristics that the Christian is being molded into through sanctification. Summarize these characteristics.

4. What is the difference between “works” and “fruit”? Why not say ”fruit of the flesh” or “works of the Spirit”?

5. Compare the “fruit of the Spirit” to the “gifts of the Spirit.”

6. (vs 24-26) The desires and passions of our flesh have been crucified! “If” in verse 25 can be translated “Since”. How do we “walk in the Spirit”? What does it look like?