Jesus came to give us better. A better life, a better hope, and a better covenant. He established a new agreement with the world that revolutionized our relationship with God and with one another. It was an agreement, a covenant, founded upon one word: Grace. Grace doesn’t lower the standards. Jesus established the New Covenant and its one law: “Love one another as I have loved you.” This law is far more demanding than any contained in the Old Testament. But grace didn’t stop there; it also provided the power to follow this new law.
1. Jesus gave His followers one command to obey, “Love your neighbor.” Do you agree that this command is more demanding than the laws contained in the Old Testament? Explain.
2. Grace often makes things messier instead of clearer. Have you experienced this? How does grace's inherent messiness make it better than the law?
3. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul said, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” What does it mean to “walk by the Spirit?” Conversely, what does it mean to “walk by the flesh?”
4. In Galatians 5:19-23, Paul gives two lists that highlight what it looks like when we walk by Spirit or by the flesh. Those lists highlight two different paths we could take, two different spirits warring within each of us. When we choose the wrong path and fail to surrender to God’s way, Paul says we get out of step with the Spirit. Does that way of approaching your sin feel different than when you call it sin? Explain.
5. Pastor Trevor said, “The grace of God isn’t that He gave His life for us, but that He gave His life to us.” How does that idea change or impact the way you think about Jesus and what He did for you?
This week focus on walking by the Spirit. When you fail or falter, tell yourself you’re out of step, but not out of grace.