Under Grace: We Are Adopted
Writer: Patrick McDonald
Big Idea: In the Old Testament, God gave His law to Moses as a covenant with the people of Israel. In Galatians, Paul shows that Jesus fulfills the requirements of the law and adopts us into the family of God. As God’s children we no longer live under the laws of the OT, but we serve God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Key Passage(s): Galatians 3-4
We all experience moments in life when the future changes forever. Some transitions or transformations are so radical that the old “you” fades into a memory. When a teenager receives his driver’s license, it opens his world to a whole new set of freedoms. When a student graduates from college and starts her first career job, it brings on limitless potential along with new responsibilities. When two people get married, they agree to set aside their personal desires in order to serve one another. And when a husband and wife have a baby the focus of their family now shifts in order to care for and raise a child.
In the same way, Paul tells us that when we put our faith in Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit, our lives are changed forever. We no longer live according to the old ways. We no longer rely on works, or deeds, or efforts to earn God’s favor. We don’t have to wonder if we are good enough or if we have done enough for God to love us.
Rather, by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has adopted us into His family and calls us His sons and daughters. As His children, God declares us righteous and holy, and gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit. Now we are set free to love and serve God through the power of the Holy Spirit. In this new life, we have the motivation and the ability to genuinely love God and love others.
Read: Galatians 3-4
Throughout this series we want to create the space to hear each other’s story and testimony. Pick someone who would be willing to share tonight – if you need some help, consider these questions:
- When/how did you become aware of God’s love?
- Who were the people who played a key role in your spiritual journey? How?
- What are 2/3 key moments in your relationship with God?
- Take a moment to ask questions.
- What is Paul’s point in Galatians 3:1-6?
- What does Galatians 3:15-22 say about the relationship between God’s promises to Abraham and the law?
- What does Paul say about our identity as God’s sons in Galatians 3:23-4:7?
- According to Galatians 3-4, as Christians, how are we supposed to view the laws and commands that we read about in Scripture?
- How have you seen the Holy Spirit work in someone else’s life? How have you seen the Holy Spirit work in your own life?
- How do these passages change the way you view God, religion, and following Jesus?
Prayer: take a moment to share prayer requests and pray for each other.
Weekly Prayer Focus: Praise God that we can approach Him as “Abba, Father” and that we are considered His children and heirs of the promise.