RIVERSIDE BLOG

Post Author: Tim Chilvers

Tim Chilvers is the Senior Pastor at Riverside Church.
February 13, 2022
And, Breath | S4: A Beautiful Kind of Ordinary

Teaching Series Introduction:

“If God was small enough to be comprehended, he would not be big enough to be worshipped.” (Imad Shehadeh)

This is a series all about the Holy Spirit. Who, or what, is the Holy Spirit?

The bible is mainly written in Hebrew (Old Testament) and in Greek (New Testament). Each of these languages has one word (Hebrew – ruach; Greek – pneuma) that is used for three different English words – Spirit, breath and wind. And so, the way the bible describes the Holy Spirit can be both confusing and illuminated by these ideas…the wind that powers the sails, and the breath that gives life. So, what role does the Holy Spirit play in the life of Christians? This series takes a deep dive in who the Holy Spirit is and the difference he makes in our lives. It’s time to breathe again.

“The Lord of hosts is with us. He’s not watching us move through this stream of history, he’s actually navigating it with us through his Holy Spirit.” (Karen A Ellis)

Session 4: A Beautiful Kind of Ordinary

TEACHING SERIES: And, Breathe
TITLE: Session 4: A Beautiful Kind of Ordinary
BY: Tim Chilvers
DATE: 13 February 2022
PASSAGE: Galatians (Chaper 5, verses 13 to 26) Read online

Listen Online: Podcast
Watch Online: Church At Home

Listen Online

Watch Online

Children’s & Youth Resources:

These resources will be used within the various groups in-person on a Sunday morning. This means that if you are unable to attend one of our Sunday Gatherings, you can still study and follow along with the same material at a time that is best for you. However you study, we encourage you to engage with your group as much as possible. If you would like to know about how you can get connected with our children’s or youth groups please contact us, we would love to hear from you.

Youth Resources

This Weeks Youth Video:

Children’s Resources

This weeks Children’s Video:

Bible Study Questions:

There are three different sets of questions for you to use, whether you are exploring God’s word within your Life Group, in other group settings, or simply using them on your own.

A. DISCUSSION STARTERS

These are simple questions to provoke discussion together out of the talk (ideal if you are watching our Sunday Service online with others in your group):

 

1) What particularly struck you, or impacted you in the talk?

 

2) Was there anything that you disagreed with, or found difficult, in the talk?

 

3) Out of the talk, are there any things that you would like to do differently, or put into place?

B. QUESTIONS TO EXPLORE

These are questions that are based on the talk and the surrounding themes:

    1) If you could have a ‘superpower’, what would it be?! Why do we tend to think of superpowers being spectacular, rather than ‘ordinary’?

     

    2) Read Galatians 5:13-26. In this passage the author, Paul, compares being ‘free’ and being a ‘slave’. He describes two types of slavery – being a slave to the ‘law’ (v13-15), and to our ‘sinful nature’ (v16-21). What, according to this definition, does true freedom look like in practice? What about in your life?

     

    3) When you look through the list of ‘sinful’ behaviours that are mentioned in v19-21, some of them can seem pretty extreme (eg. witchcraft, orgies) whereas others seem fairly mundane (eg. selfish ambition, jealousy). What do make of the list? Why do you think Paul includes the phrase “…and the like” (v21)? What do you think it might mean to ‘crucify the flesh with its passion and desires’? (v24)

     

    4) Compare the list in v19-21 to the fruit of the Spirit in v22-23. What do you notice?

     

    5) It is noticeable that the fruit of the Spirit, in v21-23, is singular…these are not a variety of different ‘fruits’ that people might have one or two different ones. No, these are all the fruit of the Spirit. When the Spirit is at work in your life, we can expect to see evidence of all of these. These are not achieved by human effort, but they are what the Spirit does. Think of a view different aspects that are described – can you give examples of what these look like in practice? Have you got any stories of these being lived out?

     

    6) In her talk on Sunday, Jenny highlighted several things about the fruit of the Spirit: a. they are not related to our circumstances

    1. they can seem underwhelming or unspectacular
    2. they come from being led by the Spirit

    What does it therefore mean to ‘keep in step with the Spirit’? (v25)

     

    7) Take some time to pray, asking that God would help you to keep in strep with the Spirit in your life.

     

    C. GOING DEEPER

    These are questions to help you go a little deeper, by exploring the wider biblical context.

     

    1) If you could have a ‘superpower’, what would it be?! Why do you think we tend only to think of superpowers as spectacular, rather than the sort of things mentioned in v22-23?

     

    2) Read Galatians 5:13-26. Paul is emphasising the freedom that Christians have – freedom from the ‘law’ (v13-15), and freedom from living for the ‘flesh’ (v16 onwards). Paul talks of ‘freedom’ a lot in Galatians – along with 5:13, also read Galatians 2:4 and 5:1. What do these tell you about how Paul sees freedom?

     

    3) Alongside this passage, also read Matthew 22:34-40. Why do you think Paul emphasises ‘loving one another’ (v14) as a key component of freedom? Why do we so often emphasise our personal freedoms, rather than freedom in relation to genuinely loving others?

     

    4) Read also Romans 8:1-11. What do you think it means to ‘live by the Spirit’ (v16)? What does it not mean?

     

    5) Notice the list that Paul gives in v19-21. Compare with Ephesians 5:1-5. What do you notice? What do you think Paul means by the phrase ‘…and the like’ ?(Gal 5:21)

     

    6) The fruit of the Spirit that Paul describes in v22-23 are remarkable in their ordinariness. And yet, a life like that truly changes the world! Read Romans 7:4-6. Can you give examples of what the fruit of the Spirit looks like in practice, here in the 21st Century?

     

    7) Notice that Paul doesn’t give this as a list of you ‘should’ live like this. Rather, he states that this is what the Holy Spirit does! The list of fruit is evidence of the Spirits work in our lives. Why is this so freeing? What do you think Paul means when he says that ‘against such things there is no law’? (v23)

    8) Take some time to pray, asking that God would enable to you live in the freedom that Christ has given to you – freedom to live for him and others, bearing the fruit of the Spirit

      Bible Study Resources:

      Sorry, no resources this week. 

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