Sunday, February 28, 2010

 

Don't Shoot the Wounded: Our Role in Accountability, Galatians 6:1-10

I teach an Adult Bible Community at Thomas Road Baptist Church called the G.A.P. (for Graduates and Professionals), and each week I post the outlines and discussion questions from my lessons on the G.A.P. page on Facebook. A while back I started posting these notes on the blog too. So, here is the outline and questions for our meeting on February 28, 2010. The lesson is on Galatians 6:1-10. If you have any questions or would like to add a comment or two, that would be great!

Don’t Shoot the Wounded
Our Role in Accountability

Galatians 6:1-10

Introduction
False accusations and a wounding
Loss of fellowship and misunderstanding

The Story of Chuck Girard
a. Conversion
b. Contemporary Christian musician
c. Late 70s
d. Leaving the music business
e. A bout with alcoholism
The Song: "Don’t Shoot the Wounded"

Galatians 6:1-5, 9-10
Our role in accountability
1. Passionate involvement
2. Radical hospitality
3. Extravagant Generosity
4. Intentional Discipleship
5. Risk-Taking Service

Galatians 6:1
1. Accountability is being Passionately Involved in each other’s lives

Caught in a Trap (James 5:19-20)
a. Note that this is a “brother”—accountability works best where relationship exists
b. We are family
c. Note that this sibling is “caught”
This is not a perceived sin
There are no “gotchas” in the body of Christ
This is apparent trespass, something already made known, something already “out there”

2. Accountability requires us to practice a Radical Hospitality

Spirit of Gentleness (Ephesians 4:25-32)
a. Accountability works best where love exists
b. This restoration should not be done with a harsh attitude
c. Accountability requires a level of trust and grace

Watch Out! (2 Cor. 2:7-8; 2 Thess. 3:14-15)
a. Accountability works best when we are paying as much attention to our own failures as to those of others, we must have an intentional discipleship for ourselves
b. Remember that you are most likely to see problems where you struggle the most

Don’t Shoot the Wounded
They need healing and help: Accountability should lead to restoration
Someday you may be one

Galatians 6:2
3. Accountability requires an Extravagant Generosity

Bearing Burdens and the Law of Christ (Romans 15:1-2; John 13:34-35; 15:12-14)
a. Accountability works best when we build up instead of tear down (Hebrews 12:12-16): We must be ready to strengthen others and to help them in their weakness instead of looking for opportunities to make ourselves look better in light of the failures of others
b. Bearing burdens requires effort on our part. We may actually have to lift and carry. It is not passive.

What is the Law of Christ?
a. The Law of Christ is Life (Romans 8:2)
b. The Law of Christ is Love (John 13:34-35; 15:12-14)
c. Accountability works best when love is present (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Love is patient, transparent, does not try to belittle another
Love is willing to be wronged rather than to do harm

Don’t Shoot the Wounded
Love Requires that we deal with the problem and not ignore it
Accountability should lead to restoration, not death

Galatians 6:3-5
4. Accountability requires an Intentional Discipleship in our own lives

Humility or Pride? (James 1:25; Phil. 2:3-4)
a. Accountability works best when we operate with a realization of our own sinfulness instead of a perception of our own superiority
b. We must learn to put the sincere needs of others ahead of our own needs
c. We must not presume sin, but neither should we ignore it
d. If sin is clear in our hearts, we must confess
e. If sin is clear in others, we must confront BUT with love

Bearing Burdens, Part 2
a. Accountability works best when we are brutally honest about ourselves and to ourselves
b. Before Christ we are responsible primarily for our own actions, not the actions of others
c. I am responsible to God for what I do, not for what others do (Speck and log)

Don’t Shoot the Wounded
Seek to offer the help you want when you are injured

Galatians 6:9-10
5. Accountability involves a Risk-Taking Attitude of Service

Don’t Lose Heart, Don’t Grow Weary, Don’t Give in
a. Perseverance counts in helping others
b. The end result is worth the effort (Hebrews 12:12-16): Sanctification
c. Satan doesn’t give up, neither should we!

Do Good, Not harm

Take advantage of opportunities
a. Do not go looking for “bad situations,” but look for a chance to do good
b. Keep an eye out for things you can do to bless others

Don’t shoot the wounded
Do no harm
Do as God has done for you

Now What?
What does accountability look like?
First, choose partners wisely
Pray and wait
Don’t rush into this relationship
Keep the group small, no more than 3 or 4

Second, meet regularly
Set a date and keep it

Third, practice transparency
Tell the truth about your own struggles
Be honest

Fourth, keep confidences

Fifth, practice hospitality and acceptance

Don’t shoot the wounded, love them back to health


Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

 

Love Bound: Do We Give Love a Bad Name? 2 Corinthians 5:14-17

I teach an Adult Bible Community at Thomas Road Baptist Church called the G.A.P. (for Graduates and Professionals), and each week I post the outlines and discussion questions from my lessons on the G.A.P. page on Facebook. A while back I started posting these notes on the blog too. So, here is the outline and questions for our meeting on February 14, 2010. The lesson is on 2 Corinthians 5:14-17. If you have any questions or would like to add a comment or two, that would be great!

Love Bound
Do We Give “Love” a Bad Name?
2 Corinthians 5:14-17

Introduction
Yes, Valentines Day and yet another lesson on “love”

We’ve been snow bound the past few weeks
a. What does that mean?
b. What was that like?
c. What did you do?

Being “love bound” is in some ways like being snow bound
a. Being “love bound” means to have limits placed on you
b. Being “love bound” means to be overwhelmed with a good thing
c. Being “love bound” means doing what love compels you to do

Love compels us to live new lives!
When we fail to do as we are compelled, we give love a bad name

2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Paul wants us to be bound by love
a. To be bound by love invigorates us
b. To be bound by love obligates us

Questions for Consideration
a. What do you think Paul means by “the love of Christ”?
b. What do you think Paul means by “the love of Christ compels” or “constrains” or “controls us”?
c. What is the nature of a person who is “compelled” or “constrained”?
d. How do old things become new? What does that look like?

"Love is not blind; that is the last thing it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind." G. K. Chesterton

Point 1. Love Bound: Are We Dead or Alive?
2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Love leaves us dead or alive in that we are either compelled by love to pursue the beloved, or we are repelled by love and reject him.
a. If we reject love, we remain dead
b. If we allow love to control us, we receive new life

In this passage Paul mentions the Love of Christ: Two possibilities to understand this phrase
a. Our love for Christ (1 John 4:19)
b. Christ’s love for us (1 John 4:10, 16-17)
c. Could Paul mean both? Christ’s love compels us to love him and be like him

Paul says that this love “Controls” or “Compels” or “Holds Together”
Sunecho—We are love bound if we are in Christ! We are bound to the love of Jesus and to love as he loves us

Paul concludes that as One died for all, so all died
Christ died for our sins (Romans 5:8; cf. 3:23; 6:23)

What does Paul mean by “all died” then?
a. Probably not a reference to the wages of sin, Christ’s death took care of that
b. Might be a spiritual reference (Ephesians 2:1-2)

Those who remain dead have not been made alive by the love of Christ, they have chosen to remain in their old way of life. For those of us who died with Christ (Romans 6), we have been raised to a new life.

What is the nature of dead things?
a. Don’t do much, stuck in their ways
b. Decay, it slowly falls apart
c. Stench

What is the nature of a “live” thing?
a. Moves about, sometimes tries new things
b. Growth
c. Has the ability to produce more life

Jesus died so that we could live for him who rose again for us
He died so that we could live on his behalf as he died and rose again on ours

"We cannot help conforming ourselves to what we love." Francis de Sales

Are you dead or alive?

To be bound by love invigorates us
To be bound by the love of Christ is to be truly alive
We ought to be alive in love, not dead in sin

Point 2: Are you living in the Old or the New?
2 Corinthians 5:16-17

“Therefore” or “For this reason” or even “Because”
Because we are invigorated by Christ’s binding love, Paul now reminds us that we are obligated to live a new way

The compelling love of Christ causes us to see things differently
a. We no longer see in a worldly or purely human way
b. No more focus on what is best for me
c. No more looking out for number one
d. No more making friends only for personal benefit

By the love of Christ we must trade the old way for a new way of life
a. We must care for those who can’t repay us
b. We must put ourselves at risk for others
c. We must care for those that have no one to defend them

1 John 4:7-12; Ephesians 2:8-10

"Our love to God is measured by our everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays." Andrew Murray

To be bound by love obligates us to live a new way
We are obligated to leave the old way of life behind

What do I do now? Points of Application
Many Christians live as though the love of Christ has no constraint on them. They act as though their “fire insurance” or “get out of hell free” card is the primary thing for which Jesus died and rose again. They give love a bad name by the way they live!

If we genuinely believe that the love of Christ is binding for us, that it compels us, that it is a constraining force in our life, what should we do in response?

This week
a. Spend some time in 1 John 4 and Ephesians 2. Focus on what we are called to do as well as the means by which we are saved
b. Ask the hard questions—Do the people in your life know you love Jesus or have been loved by Christ by the way you treat them? Does Christ’s love have an impact on how you treat others? Friends? Enemies? The weird people everyone tries to avoid?
c. Look for opportunities to love others: Give where no one expects it, do a random act of kindness, pray for your waiter or waitress while he or she is there, go out of you way to bless those who will not or cannot bless you back
d. Look for those who need to be loved back to life, or need the grace of God to produce new life in the place of the old death. Then, share that love and that grace with them
e. Share God’s message of life over death and new ways for old ways
f. Let God’s love bind you, compel you, constrain you to do the things you know you should

Be Love Bound

Some Things to Consider
a. What does Christ’s love mean for you? What does his death and resurrection mean for you?

b. What effect does Christ’s love have on your love for Christ? How about on your love for others?

c. What about Christ’s love invigorates you?

d. In what way does Christ’s love bind or compel you?

e. What old things passed away when the love of Christ became real in your life? What new things showed up as a result of this love?

f. How does Christ’s love obligate you?

g. Who in your circle of influence needs new life or love? What will you do to share it with them?

Live Love Bound This Week

Thanks for reading!

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