One major fear that gets posed whenever Christian freedom is discussed is the concern that it can lead to an antinomian lifestyle – a life with no constraint, living lawlessly. I’ve heard that fear expressed to me many times over the years. Martin Lloyd Jones, the old Welsh minister, famously said that if we aren’t accused of preaching lawlessness, we aren’t preaching grace the way Paul did. He’s right – Paul got accused of that a lot, and had to qualify his emphasis on grace many times in his letters.
This Sunday we’ll be reading Paul’s great rallying cry that boldly proclaims the main theme of his letter to the Galatians. We’ll be starting chapter 5, reading vs 1-12.
Paul states his main thesis in v1a – We are FREE! That’s a statement that carries a lot with it – first, it assumes that at one point, we were not free. Think back through the letter to the Galatians – what has Paul been emphasizing our freedom concerning? Read ch 1:4 to get one perspective of our rescue. Ch 3:10-13 gives another aspect of what we are freed from.
Freedom is sort of a loaded word. Loaded, I should say, with our pre-determined definitions of what it means. Our country, the United States has freedom as it’s centerpiece. How do we as Americans normally define freedom? How would you characterize freedom based on what Paul says we are free from? What differences, if any, can you identify? Which sort of freedom should take precedence in our lives as Christ Followers?
In v1b, Paul exhorts us in light of the thesis. What does he tell us we must do concerning our freedom?
In vs 2-12 of the chapter, Paul elaborates on how we can go about fulfilling that exhortation. As you read those verses, what jumps out to you as practical advice for living free in Christ? The last part of v6 is terribly important. It’s the way that antinomianism, lawlessness, is counteracted when it comes to our freedom.
What do you believe it means that our faith is expressed in love? Love for whom? What will that look like when lived out in real life situations?
I think this will be a really challenging study – I hope you can join us, either in person or online via Facebook or YouTube. We are no longer requiring pre-registrations – but we are asking that we continue wearing masks during the singing portion of our service.
The danger is still real, as we see in the recent development with our President. Please keep him in prayer for a full recovery.