What Is Freedom For? (Galatians 5:13-15)

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Everybody wants to be free – free from slavery, free from poverty, free from persecution, and free from the problems of life. However, should we be free to do whatever we want? What have we been set free for? In Galatians 5:13-15, the apostle Paul tells us that the reason why we have been set free is to be, first of all, servants of God, and secondly, servants of each other in love.

These questions can be used as ice-breakers in the beginning OR interwoven between the questions below to draw the group into the discussion.

1. When you were growing up, what were some of the freedoms you wanted for yourself but did not have? What would you have done with those freedoms? How would your life today be any different had you had them?
2. Have you ever gotten in trouble for doing something you were not free to do?
3. What are some of the freedoms you currently enjoy in your life? How are you using them to love God and love others?
4. Have you ever had to fight for freedom? Have you ever used your freedom to fight for someone else’s? What are some current issues in which you could advocate for freedom in your community?

1. Briefly give a synopsis of this week’s sermon. What insight, principle, or observation from this weekend’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling? Briefly explain.

2. Read Titus 2:1-15

1 You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. 3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. 6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. 9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. 11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

(If you are interested in reading more about Vineyard Columbus’ position on Women in Ministry, please CLICK HERE to read an article written by our senior pastor, Rich Nathan. Starting on page 10, Rich specifically deals with how we should read and understand Titus 2.)

• In verse 1, who is Paul talking to? Whose responsibility is it to teach sound doctrine? As followers of Jesus, how can we teach those around us? As a small group, how can we teach those around us?
• What does Paul mean when he says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men”? (v. 11) How did God’s grace first appear to you? In what areas of your life did you experience freedom because of his grace? Briefly share your experience.
• According to verses 2 – 10, what are some ways in which Paul asks us to act? Why should we act in such ways? (vv. 5, 8 and 10)
• Through God’s grace, we learn to say “no.” (v. 12) Are there areas in your life where you still struggle saying “no”? As a community, how can you support one another in this goal?
• How should we live our lives in this present age? (v. 12) What are the implications of living “self-controlled, upright and godly lives”?
• According to Paul, we should be people that are eager to do what is good. (v. 14) How is this the result of the freedom we received from God? With this in mind, is your life a testimony of freedom? How has the freedom you received through Christ brought freedom to other people? Briefly share your experience.

3. In his sermon, Rich showed us how the freedom we receive through Christ is not a freedom to do whatever we want.

• As you have grown in Christ, have you come to experience greater freedom? What does “greater freedom” look like in your life?
• Have you ever experienced freedom through obedience? Briefly share your experience.
• Martin Luther, in his treatise called “The Freedom of a Christian” said, “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.” What do you think he meant by that?
• Take time in your small group to share and pray for each other.