IN A NUTSHELL –Our moments of bending toward doing good or doing evil can be a split second away (they don’t need to be, but can be). The question for us today is, “How can we recognize it before it controls us, fortify ourselves spiritually for it so we don’t fall prey to it, and ultimately recover from it if we do fall? Or in other words, what is the (are some) key(s) to BREAKING FREE from your slavery to sin? ICE BREAKER –”No doubt one of the most widely seen and popular illustrations of this “battle between natures” is portrayed by a scene of Gollum in the Twin Towers of the Lord of the Rings movie series. When is the last time you found yourself “talking to yourself”?
But this concept has been pondered for a long time and illustrated in many ways:
David Wilkerson – Two of Me
George Grey Barnard – The Struggle of the Two Natures in Man
CONNECTING TO THE TEXT
Read Galatians 5:16-17:
a. Notice that both the Spirit and the flesh have desires, and those desires oppose each other? This is reminiscent of Paul’s contrast in Romans 7:15 -23. What results from this battle? Gal. 5:17 & Rom. 7:19,20
c. Notice Paul in Romans 8:5-11 offers some great insight in the form of commands. What should we do that will help us in this battle?
Read Galatians 6:1-10:
a. Why does Paul say you should “watch yourself” in Gal. 6:1 when you are helping those around you that are struggling with sin?
b. What do those who sow to the “flesh” reap? What does that look like in real life 2011?
c. What do those who sow “to the Spirit” reap? What does that look like in real life 2011?
- How many of the following characteristics/attitudes can be detected in these Galatians and Romans texts? boasting/humility, jealousy/generosity, deception/honest evaluation
- How did Nathan approach David to confront him of his sin with Bathsheba? How did David react to the story? To the confrontation? 2 Sam. 12:1-10
- Psalm 51 was written by David after his sin with Bathsheba as he was confronted by Nathan. List all of the feelings/emotions you can sense in Psalm 51.
- Consider Peter’s quick change in spiritual directions – Matt. 16:13-23? What did Jesus tell Peter was the cause of his fast switch from being “blessed” into being called “Satan”? (Vs. 23)
REFLECTING UPON OUR LIVES
- What have you done this past week that was “sowing to the spirit”?
- What have you done this past week, that looking at it now, may have been “sowing to the flesh”?
- What helps you see in yourself boasting/humility, jealousy/generosity, deception/honest evaluation in yourself?
- What helps you promote boasting/humility, jealousy/generosity, deception/honest evaluation in yourself?
- What will you do this week that will help you “sow to the Spirit”?
CONNECTING WITH THE WAY WE DO CHURCH
- When has someone come along side you and tried to help you when you were “caught in a transgression”? What was your reaction?
- Does Nathan’s method of confronting David seem deceptive? Was it inappropriate?
- How should someone in your CARE group approach you if they see you “caught in a transgression”?
- What safety measures should you use to “watch yourself” when you set out to help someone else caught in sin?
NEXT WEEK – "Brighter!"
Hebrews - As Christmas lights go up this year, we want to begin to think about those things that are most important about the Christmas season. Jesus’ birth ushered in a whole new level of brightness to a very dark world. The book of Hebrews is about people who were struggling with “Jesus fatigue.” Honestly, faith in Jesus had made their lives more difficult. Persecution, abandonment, and loneliness had set in. They were beginning to recall the joy of festivals and traditions, that while spiritually empty, were at least familiar. The message of Hebrews is to keep your eye on Jesus. HE IS the brighter light! Try to read the book of Hebrews before your next CARE group sitting quietly in view of some Christmas lights.