Series: Galatians – Freedom in the Gospel
Title: 
Children of the Promise
Text: Galatians 4:21-31

In Christ, we are children born through God’s promise and born by the power of the Spirit. How does understanding who we are in Christ affect our resolve to resist the way of law and persist in the way of grace? 

Perspective Questions:

  1. In verse 21, Paul accuses the Galatians of wanting to be under the law. What are some reasons why believers would want to put themselves under some kind of law? What are the pitfalls of doing so?

  2. Many people see the Christian faith as a set of rules and regulations.  We know this is not true, why then do we give that impression? What then is the true heart of Christianity and how is it practised in our lives?

Application Questions:

  1. Over the whole series, we have been tracing Paul’s argument that we can be right with God only by faith in Christ. Paul uses several approaches to make his case – he appealed to the Galatians’ experiences with God (Gal 3:1-6), scriptural arguments (Gal 3:7-14), relatable illustrations from daily life (Gal 3:15-4:7), his pastoral heart for them (Gal 4:8-20), and creative analogies from Scripture (Gal 4:21-31). 

    Which of these approaches are you most familiar with? How can you use some of these approaches to help believers in your community live more by faith?

  2. How can we resolve to live as children of the promise i.e. to resist the way of law and persist in the way of grace? 

Series: Galatians – Freedom in the Gospel
Title: 
Struggle of Love
Text: Galatians 4:8-20

Often, love is a struggle because it is a challenge to love when things go wrong, especially in ministry. What can we learn about the struggle of love from Paul’s passionate appeal to the Galatians in their spiritual crisis?

Perspective Questions:

  1. Paul was deeply troubled when he saw the Galatians becoming law-centred instead of Christ-centred. He tried hard to correct their doctrinal error so that they would hold onto their freedom in Christ. 

    How concerned are we that we and other believers have the right understanding of the Gospel?  

Application Questions:

  1. Paul argued that following Jewish customs to make ourselves right before God is akin to worshipping false gods – we are depending on “weak and miserable forces” (v9) besides Christ for salvation. This does not mean that all religious practices are bad or evil. In fact, some can benefit our spiritual life. How then, can we ensure that when we participate in religious practices, we are not becoming legalistic?

  2. Paul is willing to engage in tough conversations out of love and concern.  How can the LG be a safe space to correct and strengthen one another?  How can we positively influence others through our speech and actions?

  3. Having zeal in itself is not enough – it is important to have zeal for the right purposes (v18).  How can we discern which purposes are right or wrong? How can we guard against selfish motives that cause us to pursue our own interests instead of God’s?

  4. Sometimes, love is a struggle. We need to invite the Holy Spirit to partner with us to expand our hearts and help one another to enter His Kingdom. Will you ask the Spirit to reveal a couple of names whom He wants you to love, even when it is difficult?

Series: Galatians – Freedom in the Gospel
Title: 
New Realities
Text: Galatians 3:26-4:7

Paul’s opponents saw the importance of the sacrifice of Christ in providing atonement, but they did not believe the Cross was important enough to discontinue the Law. On the contrary, Paul saw the Cross as changing everything. What is the new reality that believers have in Christ?

Perspective Questions:

  1. In Christ, we have a new status as children of God (3:26-27). What was our previous status (Read Eph 2:1-3; Rom 5:10)? What does this drastic change in status show about God’s character and attitude towards us? 

  2. In Christ, we have a new liberty (4:1-7). Yet some may still think that subjecting themselves to policies or rules can make them better Christians. Can you think of such examples? What do you think is the consequence of living by rules instead of living by grace? 

Application Questions:

  1. How can we maintain the unity that we have in Christ? 

  2. How can our LG be more welcoming to people who are different from us?

Series: Galatians – Freedom in the Gospel
Title: 
Purpose of the Law
Text: Galatians 3:15-25

How does knowing the purpose of the Law of Moses affect how we treat it?

General Questions:

  1. Our society is governed by rules and laws. What do you think are the benefits and drawbacks of having laws in general? Do you consider yourself to be someone law-abiding? If so, why do you obey laws?

  2. Why do you think God gave His people the Mosaic Law, knowing that imperfect human beings will never be able to obey Him perfectly? What role does God’s Law play in your life personally?

Perspective Questions:

  1. From the Scriptures, we learn that the promise is superior to the  Law.  What do you think are reasons why some people prefer to live by the Law instead of the promise of God? 

  2. We may swing to two extremes when it comes to God’s Law – to adhere to it legalistically, or to ignore it and live a lawless life. What do you think will be the outcome of our life and faith if we swing to either extreme? What is the proper way to treat the Law? 

Application Questions:

  1. One reason the Law was given was to make sins obvious. Are there areas or situations in your life that you know you have fallen short of God’s standards? How do you think God want us to respond when our sins are revealed?

  2. What are some “laws” that govern your life today? How can you stop living by these “laws” and start living for the holy ideal that God calls us to in Christ?

Series: Galatians – Freedom in the Gospel
Title: 
Only Way to Be Right with God
Text: Galatians 3:7-14

Many of us grew up thinking that if we want something, we must work for it. But being right with God is not something we can work for because no one, except Christ, can perfectly live up to God’s standards. How then, can a person be right with God? 

Perspective Questions:

  1. What is the key difference between believing and doing when it comes to being right with God? How would a person who relies on faith differ from a person who relies on works to obtain a right standing before God?

  2. We may have been conditioned by the world to think that we would only be accepted only if we are strong and capable. But are these qualities that matter most to God? What does God really look for from His people?

  3. How should we understand the relationship between faith and works? Read James 2:14-24. 

Application Questions:

  1. How can we base our security not in what we can do but in what Christ has done for us?

Title: Key To Finishing Well
Text: Galatians 3:1-6

Saying the sinner’s prayer with faith is a joyous event, but it is just the beginning. Not only do we want to start well, we also want to end well. How can believers progress toward spiritual maturity and finish the race well such that on the final day of judgment, they will receive the promised salvation?

General Questions:

  1. Do you remember how it felt when you first accepted Christ into your life as your Lord and Saviour? What did it mean to you that you have been saved? Share how you felt with the lifegroup.
  2. Do you still feel the same way about your salvation? How has it changed over the years?

Perspective Questions:

  1. What does it mean for a believer to finish their life well?
  2. What are some signs that you may have forgotten that you are saved by grace alone? What are some indications that you may be trusting yourself instead of God for salvation?
  3. What are some situations or ways of thinking that may lead us to rely on our strength instead of looking to God for His grace?

Application Questions:

  1. What are some ways we can keep our eyes on the Cross and our faith in God?

  2. What are some things you are believing in God to do in or through your life?

  3. What are some past experiences with God that have taught you to depend on Him? As you face current challenges in your life, how can you apply the lessons you have learnt from past experiences?

Apostle Paul defended the Gospel with all his might to persuade the Galatians to resist the bondage of the Law and remain in the freedom of the Gospel.

Would you do the same?

In this second instalment of our Galatians book study, learn how we can resist returning to the Law and resolve to live freely in Christ.

Title: Finding Freedom in the Truth
Series: Freedom In The Gospel – Part 1
Text: Galatians 2:15-21

Knowing the truth of the Gospel is not just an abstract, intellectual exercise. The freedom we find in the Gospel impacts our eternity and transforms our lives.

General Questions:

  1. In Galatians 2:20, what does Paul mean when he says he has been crucified with Christ? Why is this so important to Paul?

Perspective Questions:

  1. In what areas of life are we sometimes asked to justify ourselves to others? Why is the impulse to earn favour, or prove ourselves to others (and to God), so deeply ingrained in our hearts? What are the flawed perceptions and misunderstandings that may contribute to these inclinations?

  2. How does knowing that “God accepts you because of what Jesus has done through the cross” differ from and challenge the world’s idea of self-acceptance? In what ways does this truth influence and change how we relate with ourselves? How about in terms of relating with fellow Christians around us?

Application Questions:

  1. Think of an area in your life where you struggle to live in freedom, and instead are more inclined towards either legalism or licentiousness. How would this area of your life be different if you lived from a position of being loved by God and put right with Him? How can the LG support you to live in this freedom?

Title: Handling God’s Truth with Care
Series: Freedom In The Gospel – Part 1
Text: Galatians 1:11-2:14

God has revealed His truth to us through the Scriptures. We are being entrusted by God to reveal His manifest wisdom to the world. What an awesome privilege and great responsibility!

Perspective Questions:

  1. Paul was certain that the Gospel he preached was from God because of his encounter with Jesus. How certain are you that what you believe is from God, and why? 

  2. After Paul’s life-changing encounter with Jesus, he went to the desert and stayed there for years, probably to process how his new understanding of Jesus fit in with what he already knew from the Old Testament. What can we learn from Paul’s posture to make the most of our life-changing encounters with God?

  3. Don’t judge a book by its cover. We trust that what is inside the book is a more accurate depiction of the book than its cover. What does a true believer look like? What are some markers of disciples of Jesus? (Read Romans 12 as conclusion)

Application Questions:

  1. What are some things that you preach that you know you need to practise more? What is hindering you from practising it? How can you deal with the obstacles?

  2. How can the lifegroup cultivate a culture where believers care enough about one another to warn or correct those who are inconsistent? What are some good handles to hold on to when dealing with such matters?  

  3. Living in Singapore, we are taught to tolerate, and perhaps even accept, versions of “truth” that are different from what we believe. How can we preserve God’s truth before people with different beliefs?

Application Questions:

  1. What are areas in your life where you had believed or tolerated half-truths or lies because it is difficult to follow God’s truth? How can you stop conforming to the patterns of the world and allow your mind to be transformed by God’s Word?

  2. We usually fall easily for half-truths and lies that appeal to us. How can you overcome the tendency to listen only to what you want to hear?

Title: Determining The Truth
Series: Freedom In The Gospel – Part 1
Text: Galatians 1:8-10

In age where all kinds of ideologies, philosophies, and lifestyles compete for our attention and allegiance, how can we determine what truth is? How can we discern right from wrong, sound teachings from heresy? What should we look out for?

General Questions:

  1. Would you consider yourself as someone who can tell the real from the fake when it comes to your Christian faith? Why do you say so? 

Perspective Questions:

  1. We tend to associate the truth of a message with the accolades, achievements, or acquisitions of the messengers, instead of evaluating the message for what it is.  On the other hand, it is sometimes useful to know the background of the messenger to help us to evaluate the message. How do you think we can, based on the facts available, discern whether the message is true and can be trusted?  

  2. What do you think is the difference between a “growing teacher” versus a “false teacher”? What attitudes should we adopt towards teachers or preachers who are imbalanced or make mistakes in their teachings, versus those who persistently propagate wrong teachings?

  3. Do you see the Bible as the ultimate source of truth to guide all aspects of your life, or are there other sources of ‘truth’ or wisdom that you hold on to? For example, think about the usual things that you say when you encourage people around you – is it usually based on worldly wisdom or on God’s truth? What do you do when what you believe contradicts with God’s truth? 

Application Questions:

  1. What are areas in your life where you had believed or tolerated half-truths or lies because it is difficult to follow God’s truth? How can you stop conforming to the patterns of the world and allow your mind to be transformed by God’s Word?

  2. We usually fall easily for half-truths and lies that appeal to us. How can you overcome the tendency to listen only to what you want to hear?