Test Your Own Work: How Holy Love Attests to Heirs of Saving Grace

Brian Mahon - 3/10/2024


Call to worship: Isaiah 48:12-21

Text: Galatians 6:1-5


The grace of the Gospel creates a different community than man-centered law-keeping. The law, inciting the flesh, leads to sin, rivalry, hypocrisy, and conceit. The Gospel, fixated on Christ, supplying the Spirit, and stirring up faith, creates and cultivates a culture where love and holiness are a constant passion and care. Paul thus calls the Galatians to exhibit this. A sincere and gentle care for corporate holiness, with a cross-centered humility that bears the burdens of the body squares with, both, the truth of the Gospel and the reality of grace in the soul. Though we have been justified by faith, a judgment of final validation remains for the people of God. For this reason, it remains vital that we test ourselves by the law of Christ. Coattail Christianity won't work. Each will have to bear their own load. All you do to maintain an abiding zeal for growth in truth and grace will not be in vain.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Heirs of grace will live to support congregational holiness. (6:1)
  2. Heirs of grace will love to lighten congregational burdens. (6:2-3)
  3. Heirs of grace will look to their own work for attestation. (6:4-5)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Galatians 6:1-5.
  2. What responsibility does a church bear for the holiness of her members? Is anyone above the accountability of the church? How do the qualifications for needed soul care exhort us all to spiritual maturity? What's our perpetual aim in corrective discipline? How should it be carried out? Why is personal holiness critical to congregational holiness? See Matthew 7:1-5.
  3. How does bearing one another's burdens relate to the law of Christ? What is the law of Christ? If we're no longer under the law, does it follow that we are lawless? Why might we grow slack in bearing burdens (6:3)? What is the truth about ourselves over against the deception we may tend at times to believe? How does the cross of Christ establish our humility?
  4. The Christian has been justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Is there still a judgment for us? We are not justified by works, but does it follow that works will not attest to the fact of our salvation? What does that mean in terms of testing our lives and doing what's necessary to test well? Against 'coattail Christianity,' what does Paul assert?
  5. How does the Gospel create and cultivate a different congregation than the law? Is the character of that congregation against the law (5:23, 6:2)? If we must test our own work, how important is it that we a) covenant with a biblical church that will help us and b) do life in the context of said church (6:1-3)? How is the sufficiency of Jesus implied in this text?
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