“Where’s This Going,” Galatians 5: 13-26

The Social Network – Movie “loosely” based on the creation of Facebook

  • One particular scene – Eduardo Saverin (first CFO, Zuckerburg’s best friend at Harvard) gets in trouble with his girlfriend because he hasn’t changed his Facebook relationship status
    • Admits finally that he doesn’t know how
  • If you weren’t dating in the mid 2000s when Facebook blew up you will never understand the pressure that came with your relationship status
    • When do you update it, what specifically do you say, who does it first – had to send the request to the other person
      • Same when you got engaged – when do you do it, who needs to know before its on the internet, on and on and on
      • One of the things I like most about being married: I don’t have to worry about that nonsense anymore

Here’s an understatement for you – Relationships are important – No Duh

  • One of the four main categories of Resolutions that we’ve talked about
    • Spend more time with family, call parents more
    • Reconnect with old friends, spend more time with people
    • Figure out romance – start dating, settle down, figure out where a relationship is going
  • Relationships are important because it is our relationships, it is who we’re around, who we interact with, that makes us who we are
    • One of my sister’s college roommates was from Rochester, New York and when Rebecca had been around her for a long stretch you could tell it in her voice
      • If the people around us are impacting our voices how much are they impacting our personalities, our values, the way we interact with the world

Galatians

  • Big issue: “Missionaries” coming behind Paul and saying that he did the Christians in Galatia a disservice by not calling on them to follow the law
    • Circumcision is the specific thing that comes up most, but the broad point is this – without the law they don’t have any guidance in how they should live
      • Basic human argument – we need rules and structure to prevent chaos and anarchy
        • Without rules in place we’re Lord of the Flies – fighting over a shell and murdering the kid with glasses (spoiler alert)
      • Without the Law they won’t know the line between right and wrong and they’ll fall into sin
    • Paul’s response – if I say “don’t think about purple elephants” that’s all you’ll think about – not his exact response but the gist of it
      • By telling you things not to do the Law puts things in your mind that you wouldn’t come up with yourself
        • How fast would we go without a speed limit – does telling us we can go a certain speed make us drive faster than we would
  • Chapter 5 and 6 – Paul’s counterargument – the Law is unnecessary if we live by the Spirit
    • How he frames that is important for our conversation
      • “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”
        • It’s a conversation about community, it’s a conversation about relationships
          • What he’s saying – if you treat each other right you won’t fall into the trap of sin. If your relationships are strong and good you won’t fall back into sin
    • Then he lists the acts of the flesh and the fruits of the spirit
      • We think of those as individual actions or merits, but they’re really based more in community than we might think
        • Acts of Flesh
          • Sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery – Who we choose to interact with is going to determine how much of that enters our lives
          • Idolatry and witchcraft – both of those are actions of people who want control, who want to be in charge of every situation
            • Witchcraft – about finding a way to control things for your benefit
            • Idolatry – gods you can see and can control
            • Both are signs pride, of wanting to be in control
          • hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions – the people we’re around bring those things out of us
            • If we’re around folks who are always making comparisons we’re going to start making them
            • If we’re around people who are always angry, we’re going to become more like them.
            • If we’re around people who are always trying to divide, we’re going to end up on one side of the other
        • Fruits of Spirit
          • love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
            • People bring those out of us as well
      • Just to make sure we get that these aren’t simply individual acts to take but things that come out of right community – verse 26
        •  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
          • Brings it back to a focus on our interactions with others

Danny West – two reasons hospitals poke you with a needle – put something in or take something out

  • People are the same way – they either add to who we are or take away from us. They either benefit us or drain us, they either make us better or worse
    • Examining our relationships is important. Recognizing how we’re being made better or worse by the people around us is important
      • There’s no zero sum game here. All our interactions are making up better or worse.

Beginning of the passage – you were called to be free

  • Christ sets us free from the trap of sin, from the constant draw of the world towards those acts of the flesh, towards those things that only leave empty.
  • The people we associate push us towards that freedom or draw us back towards that slavery, study your relationships and surround yourself with folks who make you more free, who push you to be more like Christ

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