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Session 7

Stop doing, it’s done

Read: Galatians 4:8-20

“Don’t drink, smoke, chew or go with girls that do…”

For many who grew up in the South, this is familiar advice. The point is simple: Stay away from bad influences. Date those who follow the rules. It’s well-intentioned advice that misses the point. Instead of focusing on Who people follow, we focus on the rules they follow.

This is not a new problem in the church. From the beginning, people have struggled to understand the relationship between freedom in Christ and the call to live holy lives. Often, to solve this, churches obsess about either obedience or grace. Paul addresses this issue in Galatians 4. No doubt, teaching a set of rules is easier than teaching the radical grace described in the Bible. On the other side are churches that avoid addressing sin for fear of offending someone. Both groups miss the truth of Jesus’ message.

When we understand that our salvation is an undeserved gift, our natural response is obedience.

Grace and obedience are not independent of one another. We cannot obey our way into favor with God. That work was done on the cross by Jesus. When we understand that our salvation is an undeserved gift, our natural response is obedience.

As Christians, we have a personal understanding of how desperately we need forgiveness. Knowing Christ provides forgiveness creates a desire to obey rather than a requirement to do so.

Reflect:

  • Do you obey God’s commands out of obligation or out of love?
  • Why do you think your obedience matters to God?
  • What’s one thing in your life that needs to change based on what you read today?

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