**Please note, this study guide is only applicable to the 11:00 a.m. service. Unfortunately, we did not anticipate that Neil would give three different sermons for each service! Though very generous on his part, it was a surprise to us!** This message challenged us to be content as children of God, walking freely in the Spirit, and it warned us of the two things that might prevent us from experiencing the freedom we have: legalism and license.
We were blessed to have Neil Anderson preach the Gospel to us this weekend!
This message challenged us to be content as children of God, walking freely in the Spirit. Two things might prevent us from experiencing the freedom we have: legalism and license.
Consider this statement: “The Christian life is well summed up by trying to do what God commands.” If you asked most churches if they agreed with it, an overwhelming number are likely to affirm that they do. Neil’s challenge to us is that this implicit legalism is heretical (Gal. 3:1-5; 5:1-5)! The Christian life is walking in the Spirit! It’s freedom in Christ! God is interested in our character.
This introduced the problem of how we as Christians relate to “the law.” We have all heard preaching against drugs, alcohol, immoral sex and so forth, but we all know that this preaching doesn’t result in these problems simply going away. Why not? Knowing about these things doesn’t give us the power to change. Only God can give us that sort of power. Walking with God, in the Spirit, imitating Christ, this relationship is what leads us out of damaging patterns in our lives.
On the other side of the road is license. Gal. 5:1 clearly asserts that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free! This is good news! And as Neil pointed out, yes, we can do what we want, but there are consequences. Neil mentioned lying. If you choose to lie, then you put yourself in bondage to that lie. You have to remember who you lied to and what you said! You can’t simply be honest and truthful anymore because you’ll have to maintain that lie or suffer the consequences (of course there are consequences either way, and repentance is the only way out of this bondage). We would be wise not to use our freedom for our own self-indulgence (Gal. 3:13-15). So we do have freedom, but taking wrong advantage of this puts us in bondage and it was for freedom Christ set us free, not bondage to new sin.
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