Our Royal Lineage
May 17, 2015 - Rev Matt Tuggle
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Read Galatians 5:1 and 5:13 together. What does living in freedom from the law but rather slaves to one another look like in your everyday life? Describe an opportunity that you have today to place relationship over the law.
Can you think of a time when according to the “rules” (at school or work) something was deemed as ok or allowed, but doing this thing just didn’t set a good example for others? How did you decide whether it was ok or not to do? By the law? Or By the example you might be setting for someone else?
How might Matt’s story about the girl on the school bus, Mo, change how you make decisions between right and wrong? Parents, consider sharing a time when you made a mistake in this area. Maybe what you did was not wrong, but it may have caused someone to stumble.
It was great, as always, to see you all on Sunday morning! We love getting the opportunity to worship with you all as a community and body of believers. There is something so powerful about all of our voices being lifted up together in worship. We hope to hear all your voices again this coming Sunday!
Galatians: Responsible Freedom
On Sunday, Matt told us that people are frequently asking him “what to do.” People want to know what is the right way to live, how to live morally and ethically as Christians. Basically, people want to know the answer to questions like: Can I drink alcohol? Should I see 50 Shades of Grey? Is swearing wrong? If I took a vacation to Colorado, could I enjoy certain recreational activities?
The truth is that there may not be clear yes or no answers to questions like these, but there are a few things we can ask ourselves to help us answer these questions.
Part of the reason that we can’t answer these questions with a clear yes or no is that Christianity isn’t about rules. As Christians, we have actually been freed from certain laws that used to be necessary to follow. Galatians 5:1 says this-
For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
We have been set free and blessed with the freedom we find in Christ, which is a beautiful thing. But we can’t let ourselves only think about this freedom in terms of ourselves. Galatians 5:13 tells us this:
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence; but through love become slaves to one another.
In other words, Christians are no longer accountable to rules. Christians are accountable to relationships. We need to take our freedom one step further. We must have responsible freedom. We can’t just think about how a decision will affect us, we have to think about how it will affect the people around us.
Just because we are free to do all things, does not mean that it is good to do them. All things are lawful, but not all things are beneficial - 1 Corinthians 10:23.
We have to think about the people around us, particularly the weak among us. You might be able to drink a beer and be fine, but not everyone has that luxury. Drinking alcohol is not inherently bad, but it would be wrong to drink in a situation where you might tempt a recovering alcoholic to stumble.
Maybe you can watch movies with explicit sexual material and not have it compromise your marriage, but think about your friend whose marriage is not doing so well. What if he hears you saw that movie, goes and sees it, and it causes a rift in his marriage?
How would you feel if you were listening to music with suggestive lyrics and your niece heard it? You are free to listen to what you want, and you might be secure enough in yourself not to take the lyrics to heart. You understand that you don’t have to give your body away for love. But what if she hears those words and thinks that’s how the world works?
It isn’t so much about whether certain things we do are inherently good or bad, but it often comes down to who might be affected by our decisions.
So the questions we need to ask ourselves in the face of these situations are: 1. Who will be affected? and 2. Is it beneficial?
As Christian people, we are called to serve the people around us. May our actions bring glory to God, and may they build up rather than tear down our community.
Wednesday: Galatians 5:1-15
Thursday: Galatians 5:16-21
Friday: Galatians 5:22-26