Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Listen to the song referenced in the Closure section
- Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media).
Begin by asking questions like:
- In just a few days, many people in the U.S. will celebrate Independence Day. Why is freedom such an important American value?
- What are the disadvantages or dangers inherent in freedom?
- IN what ways does religious freedom differ from other freedoms?
Read Galatians 5:1, 13-25, then watch the Bible Background Video.
Then ask questions like these:
- Explain what you think Paul means in verse 1: “For freedom Christ has set us free.” What else might we think freedom is for?
- Why does Paul say the Galatian Christians should not use their freedom to return to following The Law?
- What do you think Paul means by “faith working through love?”
- In what ways could we use our freedom in Christ to go back to sinful things?
- Rather than go back to those old ways of life, Paul urges us to “walk in the Spirit.” What do you think this phrase means?
- In what sense has Christ freed us from the urges of our human nature?
- Compare Paul’s lists in verses 19-21 and 22-23. What is the difference, not only in the actions, but in the outcome and the orientation of these things?
- Why would Paul use the image of “fruit” here?
- Summarize Paul’s argument – what is the best way to use this freedom we’ve been given?
Listen together to Derek Webb’s “A New Law”, then ask:
- It is often said that freedom has two meanings – to be“free from” something, and to be “free to” do something. In what ways do we enjoy these freedoms as Christians?
- When is complete freedom more harmful than good?
- In the context of this passage, how do you interpret the idea that organized religions seem insistent upon making laws that they expect people to follow?
- What religions “rules” or expectations placed upon you are the most difficult to understand or keep and why?
- Why do you think Derek ends his song by singing “do not be afraid?”
- How might we reach people who have turned their back on faith, and people of faith, because they either refuse to be governed by religious rules or they feel that religious people try to stress such rules for others while not keeping them for themselves?
Close with prayer.
Writer: Jon Parks