Use The Map

Posted by Melissa

Try to find your house on a globe. Or maybe you could find Camp and the Lake. (I’m pretty sure you can’t do it.) Sure, you could find your city, if your city is big enough. A globe is the wrong kind of map if you want to find your way around a city. In the same way, if you were planning an international journey, a city map wouldn’t be much help. It might help you find the airport or the main highway out of town, but that’s it. To get where you want to go, you need the right map.

Read Galatians 3:23-29. Check out verses 24-26.

How is the Old Testament law like a road map?

What happens if you only use the law as your guide? Where would you end up?

How is faith like a map?

According to these verses, what purpose did the law serve?

How have you seen Jesus bring freedom in your life? In the lives of others?

God gave the Old Testament law to show us who He is and who we are (and are not). God is holy; we are not. God’s laws are perfect, and we are far from perfect. The map of the law only gets us part of the way there. The law provided boundaries and accountability, but it didn’t do anything about setting people free from their sinfulness. The law reveals our limitations; it shows us that we are sinners who need a Savior.

Jesus is the completion of the map. He is the way, the truth and the life. It’s Jesus who leads us to the Father and finishes the job that the law started. Together, they make the perfect guide to lead us to eternity.

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Everyone Needs A Savior

Posted by Melissa

Have you ever played Ridgecrest dodgeball and been knocked out of the game? You sit on the sidelines and wait for someone to catch a ball. Your ability to get back in the game requires the actions of another person. Your destiny is out of your hands. Someone needs to rescue you.

In life, like in dodgeball, there are many times that we need someone to save or rescue us. The trick is knowing the right person to rescue you.

Read Galatians 3:19-22 and make sure you notice verse 22.

What are some things you think imprison you today?

What does it mean that Scripture has imprisoned everything under sin’s power?

How is sin like a prison?

If sin is the thing that is imprisoning you, who can rescue you?

Have you asked Jesus to set you free from your sin? Why or why not?

How does it feel to know that Jesus has set believers free from sin?

Each of us has areas of sin with which we struggle. We all need rescuing. Left on our own, we are unable to set ourselves free from sin. There is no way we can be perfect, and so we become slaves to the sin in our lives. Sin is like quicksand, and we need someone to pull us out. We need to be rescued; we need a Savior.

Jesus is the only way out of the prison of sin. It’s not good works or being nice or following all the rules of being a so-called “good Christian.” If we believe in Jesus Christ and accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior, we become free from sin. He is the key that opens the gates that keep us trapped. Let Him set you free today!

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He Promised

Posted by Melissa

How important are promises in your life? Promises are binding. That’s why people make contracts and written agreements. Once those documents are signed, the people involved are required to do what was described in the documents they signed. The truth is, a promise is important. When we agree to do something, we should do it. Once trust is gone, it’s hard to get back.

Read Galatians 3:15-18, giving careful attention to verse 15.

Do you trust others to keep their promises? Why or why not?

If your best friend made a promise, do you trust him or her to keep it? Explain.

When you make a promise, how hard is it to break it?

What do these verses teach you about God and His promises?

Why is it important that God keeps His promises?

How has God kept His promises to you?

When God makes a promise, He always keeps it. The wonderful and incredible thing about today’s verses is that they’re full of God’s promises to us. In today’s key verse, Paul pointed out that even on human terms, once a promise or covenant had been made, it couldn’t be changed. If that was true for humans, then it was all the more true for God.

The infinite Creator of the universe promises us that Jesus will save us if we trust Him. God planned it and promised it long ago, and that promise is good forever. Trust it!

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Jesus Paid The Price

Posted by Melissa

No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t get it right; he just kept messing up. Each day he told himself that he wouldn’t let it happen again, but it always did. No matter how hard he tried, he just kept falling into the same trap. It was like he was snared by it. He tried each day not to let it get him, but he felt like it was crouching at the door for him, just waiting. He felt like he was . . . cursed. Was there any way out?

Read Galatians 3:10-14. Take an extra look at verse 13.

What does it mean to be cursed?

Who do you think of when you think of someone who is cursed?

When this passage talks about a curse, to what is it referring?

What is the effect of this curse?

The curse refers to our sinfulness and inability to be perfect. How have you seen that play out in your real life?

How can you get rid of your sinfulness? Can you do it on your own? Explain.

What does this passage teach you about the price Jesus paid to free you from the bondage of sin? How will that change how you live your life today?

Aren’t you thankful that we are saved by grace? The other option is to keep every part of the law our entire lives. That means living life and never messing up, being perfect. Jesus did that for us. He was perfect. Only Jesus, the perfect, sinless Savior, can save us from our sins by offering us forgiveness and grace. We get out of the curse because He became the curse for us. He took everything we have ever done that was against God’s law, took the blame for it, and set us free. Without Jesus, sin would control our lives, but we have freedom from that curse. We can’t even manage sin, much less eradicate it from our own lives. If you’re a believer, sin no longer has a hold on you. Live like it!

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Salvation Is A Gift

Posted by Melissa

Ever tried to use an expired coupon? How about play money when shopping at a store? If you have, it probably didn’t work so well. Most stores will only take the real deal—money that has value assigned to it.

In the same way, just being good doesn’t work with God. So how do we pay the debt we owe? How can we make things right with God when we don’t have anything of value to offer Him?

Read Galatians 3:4-9, and pay close attention to verses 8 and 9.

What does it mean that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness?

What was the value of Abraham’s faith?

What is the value of your faith?

According to these verses, is it good works or faith that makes you right with God? Explain.

Are you depending on your good works or your faith in Jesus for salvation? Explain.

Working hard and doing the right things is great, but these don’t restore a relationship with God that’s been destroyed by sin. Good works are important, but without faith, they are empty and worthless. We begin a relationship with God by trusting Jesus through faith. When we believe God’s Word and trust Jesus to bring us into a right relationship with the Father, we are restored and declared righteous, just like Abraham in today’s passage. The truth is, only Jesus can pay the debt of sin that we owe. Our sin has already been paid for. When we accept Jesus’ gift of grace, we are free to do good works for God and enjoy being in right relationship with Him.

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It Sounds Good.

Posted by Sharon

Read Galatians 3:1-3.

Commercials do it all the time. The description sounds so good, so plausible, yet when you dig a little deeper (and buy the product), you discover there’s little truth to the claims. They sounded good, but the claims were far from the truth.

That’s the idea behind today’s key verse. Paul wrote those words to the members of the church in Galatia. He had preached the gospel to them, and they had accepted Jesus as their Savior. But now it seemed they had been lured away by a message that sounded good and had elements of truth, but flew in the face of the gospel. They knew that salvation wasn’t anything they could earn through good works or behavior, yet they’d fallen back into that idea. They were making the new believers try to live according to all the Jewish rules and regulations. They were trying to earn grace by doing good things.

The problem with earning salvation is that we have already blown it. By the time we decide to be perfect, we have already sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. That’s why Paul reminded the Galatians where their salvation came from. They had received grace through faith, not because of the good things they had done.

In today’s world, there are many voices sounding off about God, faith, religion, and salvation. Some of those messages sound good, but have little depth or truth to them. Don’t fall victim to them! As we walk together through Galatians 3 this week, cling to the solid truth of the gospel and don’t let go!

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