We often try to control our behavior through the means of the law. We impose rules and restrictions or set goals for ourselves in order to spur us on toward growing in the Christian life (think Bible study plans, commitments to giving, etc.). But often, if we succeed we feel prideful; if we fail we feel condemned. Have you ever tried to control a bad habit or sinful pattern by imposing restrictions or rules? How did it go?
Paul says in Galatians, "Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? ...Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" (3:2-3) What might the Spirit have to do with changing our behavior? What about faith?
In the sermon, we talked about how we often fail to curb our bad habits and sinful patterns. Part of the problem is that we are focused on the law rather than on grace. How might focusing on God's grace sanctify us?
Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things (i.e. the needs of life) will be provided to you." How does seeking the kingdom of God first impact our life of sanctification (being formed into the image of Christ)?
Have there been any times in your life where you were so focused on God and his kingdom that your bad habits or sinful patterns seemed to disappear (for a time)?
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