NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passage: Galatians 5:16-26
— What are some ways that you feel honored and respected by others?
— Does the heart behind the action to honor or respect you matter? Why or why not?
Food for Thought:
Christians crucify the flesh and walk by the Spirit.
It’s a typical scene in countless households today. It’s a Saturday afternoon and a father walks into his son’s room and notices the floor is covered with clothes, books, sports equipment, and a host of other items. He sighs and finds his son watching television in the family room.
What begins as a simple request to clean a room turns into a frustrating encounter for both the father and the son. In the end, it isn’t really about a clean room or watching a television show; it’s about honor and respect. The father doesn’t just want his son to clean his room. He wants his son to do it willingly. He wants his son to do what was asked of him without the father needing to explain his reasons.
The heart behind the action matters!
In this week’s study, we’ll see that it’s possible to coerce or even force someone to do something, but for an action to be meaningful and fulfilling, it must be done because the person wanted to. That is the key difference between behavior modification and heart change, changing our actions versus changing our motivations underneath our actions.
Behavior modification versus heart transformation is exactly the kind of dynamic at play in Paul’s letter to the Galatians, especially concerning the fruit of the Spirit in chapter 5. In this session we’re going to interact with Paul’s teaching on grace, works, and personal transformation in the light of the gospel. We will see that what we do certainly matters, but why we do what we do matters even more.
The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students, and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/gospelproject .