|Lesson 11||December 3 - 9|
Freedom in Christ
Memory Text: “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13, ESV).
“Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION”. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Used by Permission.
Galatians 2:4 (NKJV) 4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage),
Christ Has Set Us Free
Galatians 5:1 (NKJV) 1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Galatians 1:3-4 (NKJV) 3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
Galatians 2:16 (NKJV) 16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
Galatians 3:13 (NKJV) 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),
1 Corinthians 6:20 (NKJV) 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Corinthians 7:23 (NKJV) 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
The Nature of Christian Freedo
1 Corinthians 6:20 (NKJV) 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Corinthians 10:13-14 (NKJV) 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
Colossians 2:6 (NKJV) 6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
Romans 6:6 (NKJV) 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Romans 6:12 (NKJV) 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
Romans 6:14, 18 (NKJV)
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Romans 8:1 (NKJV) 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Galatians 4:3, 8 (NKJV)
3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.
8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods.
Galatians 5:1 (NKJV) 1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,[a] and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Hebrews 2:14-15 (NKJV) 14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
he Dangerous Consequences of Legalism
Galatians 5:2-12 (NKJV) 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. 11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
Liberty Not Licentiousness
Galatians 5:13 (NKJV) 13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Romans 3:8 (NKJV) 8 And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.
Romans 6:1-2 (NKJV) 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Romans 5:5 (NKJV) 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Fulfilling the Whole Law
Galatians 5:13-15 (NKJV) 13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”[a] 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
Galatians 5:3 (NKJV) 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
Romans 10:5 (NKJV) 5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”
Galatians 3:10, 12 (NKJV)
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”
12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
Romans 8:4 (NKJV) 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Romans 13:8 (NKJV) 8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Galatians 5:14 (NKJV) 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 5:17 (NKJV) 17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Leviticus 19:18 (NKJV) 18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
Mark 12:31, 33 NKJV)
31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[a] There is no other commandment greater than these.”
33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul,[a] and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Matthew 19:19 (NKJV) 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Romans 13:9 (NKJV) 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
James 2:8 (NKJV) 8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well;
Matthew 7:12 (NKJV) 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1111
(1 Corinthians 1:10-13). The Controversy Over Circumcision—Factions also were beginning to rise through the influence of Judaizing teachers, who urged that the converts to Christianity should observe the ceremonial law in the matter of circumcision. They still maintained that the original Israel were the exalted and privileged children of Abraham, and were entitled to all the promises made to him. They sincerely thought that in taking this medium ground between Jew and Christian, they would succeed in removing the odium which attached to Christianity, and would gather in large numbers of the Jews.
They vindicated their position, which was in opposition to that of Paul, by showing that the course of the apostle, in receiving the Gentiles into the church without circumcision, prevented more Jews from accepting the faith than there were accessions from the Gentiles. Thus they excusedtheir opposition to the results of the calm deliberations of God’s acknowledged servants. They refused to admit that the work of Christ embraced the whole world. They claimed that He was the Saviour of the Hebrews alone; therefore they maintained that the Gentiles should receive circumcision before being admitted to the privileges of the church of Christ.
After the decision of the council at Jerusalem concerning this question, many were still of this opinion, but did not then push their opposition any farther. The council had, on that occasion, decided that the converts from the Jewish church might observe the ordinances of the Mosaic law if they chose, while those ordinances should not be made obligatory upon converts from the Gentiles. The opposing class now took advantage of this, to urge a distinction between the observers of the ceremonial law and those who did not observe it, holding that the latter were farther from God than the former.
Paul’s indignation was stirred. His voice was raised in stern rebuke: “If ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.” The party maintaining that Christianity was valueless without circumcision arrayed themselves against the apostle, and he had to meet them in every church which he founded or visited: in Jerusalem, Antioch, Galatia, Corinth, Ephesus, and Rome. God urged him out to the great work of preaching Christ, and Him crucified; circumcision or uncircumcision was nothing. The Judaizing party looked upon Paul as an apostate, bent upon breaking down the partition wall which God had established between the Israelites and the world. They visited every church which he had organized, creating divisions. Holding that the end would justify the means, they circulated false charges against the apostle, and endeavored to bring him into disrepute. As Paul, in visiting the churches, followed after these zealous and unscrupulous opposers, he met many who viewed him with distrust, and some who even despised his labors.
These divisions in regard to the ceremonial law, and the relative merits of the different ministers teaching the doctrine of Christ, caused the apostle much anxiety and hard labor [1 Corinthians 1:10-13 quoted] (Sketches from the Life of Paul, 121, 122).
6 (Philippians 2:12; 1 Timothy 6:12; Titus 2:14; James 2:14-20; 1 Peter 1:22; Revelation 2:2; see EGW comment on Titus 1:9-11). Bible Religion Means Constant Work—Genuine faith always works by love. When you look to Calvary it is not to quiet your soul in the non-performance of duty, not to compose yourself to sleep, but to create faith in Jesus, faith that will work, purifying the soul from the slime of selfishness. When we lay hold of Christ by faith, our work has just begun. Every man has corrupt and sinful habits that must be overcome by vigorous warfare. Every soul is required to fight the fight of faith. If one is a follower of Christ, he cannot be sharp in deal, he cannot be hardhearted, devoid of sympathy. He cannot be coarse in his speech. He cannot be full of pomposity and self-esteem. He cannot be overbearing, nor can he use harsh words, and censure and condemn.
The labor of love springs from the work of faith. Bible religion means constant work. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” We are to be zealous of good works; be careful to maintain good works. And the true Witness says, “I know thy works.”
While it is true that our busy activities will not in themselves ensure salvation, it is also true that faith which unites us to Christ will stir the soul to activity (Manuscript 16, 1890).
17 (Ephesians 6:12). Stern Conflicts in the Christian Life—The life of the Christian is not all smooth. He has stern conflicts to meet. Severe temptations assail him. “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.” The nearer we come to the close of this earth’s history, the more delusive and ensnaring will be the attacks of the enemy. His attacks will grow fiercer and more frequent. Those who resist light and truth will become more hardened and unimpressible, and more bitter against those who love God and keep His commandments (Manuscript 33, 1911).
1 John 3:8 (NKJV) 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.