The New Life: Selfless & Sacrificial Living

What’s it all about? The new life is characterized by a desire to bear the burdens of others. This new love is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s regenerative and sanctifying work in the believer. Christians should be known as those who are selflessly and loving support one another, and not as those who are always in conflict or competition with each other.   

So what? In a culture that promotes and celebrates individualism, Christians have been called to live selfless lives that are characterized by a willingness to bear one another’s burdens. Living in step with the Spirit, therefore, requires Christians to look beyond their own wants and desires to the needs of others. We have been called to display the gospel we proclaim through selfless and sacrificial living. 

Synopsis: The gospel you preach should match the gospel you live! Reversed: The gospel you live should match the gospel you preach! Either way, speak and live the gospel!

Questions from the Text (Galatians 5:25-6:5):

1. List some of the attitudes and actions that are contrary to the new life in Christ (5:25-26).

2. How should Christians (individually and collectively) respond to others who have fallen into sin (6:1)?

3. Why is Paul’s warning “to keep watch on yourself” when restoring fellow Christians so important (6:1)?

4. How are Christians to fulfill the law of Christ (6:2)?

5. What is the relationship between Christian works and the final judgment (6:5)? 

new life selfless living[5:25] If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. [26] Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. [6:1] Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. [2] Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. [3] For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. [4] But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. [5] For each will have to bear his own load. (Galatians 5:25-6:5 ESV)

Now what? The new life is characterized by selfless acts of love.  Therefore, instead of caring only for ourselves and our immediate family, we must willingly and lovingly respond to those in our community who are in need.

As those who have received the grace of God in Christ, we’ve been called to intentionally seek out ways to (1) restore Christians who have fallen into sin and (2) financially assist those who have tangible needs.

Finally, we must take responsibility for our own lives, striving in humility to provide for ourselves and our families. In doing so, we will position ourselves to be a blessing and not a burden to others.

Small Group Questions – Scripture: Ephesians 5:1-2

1. How is it possible for flawed and fallible humans to imitate a perfect and holy God?

2. In what do children imitate their parents? List both the good and the bad ways.

3. How are Christians as God’s children to imitate their Heavenly Father?

4. How does Jesus provide the perfect example of selfless and sacrificial love?

5. How is demonstrating selfless and sacrificial love an act of worship directed towards God?

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