[Podcast] Religious Liberty

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It is easy to think that our religious liberty can be curtailed in the schools, in the public square, but that it doesn’t really affect my individual ability to worship.  But is that really the case?  Has my personal religious liberty already been restricted more than I am aware, and am I really able to experience the power of God as much as I could?

Life group discussion questions after the jump!

If you’re the group discussion leader, have each member of your group open this page on their mobile device, and take turns reading and asking questions.

In talking about religious liberty, I described three cultural approaches to truth on Sunday.  Do you remember what these are?  What did you think?  Did any of these surprise you?

Heteronomy,   Theonomy,   Autonomy

I made the assertion that “theonomy” is the most liberating approach.  Why is that?  Do you agree or disagree?

Which of the three is the most restrictive, and why?

The presence and the power of the Holy Spirit should never bring restriction.  In fact, the opposite should be true…

2 Corinthians 3:17
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Romans 6:6-7
We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.

So why do so many christians seem to base their actions on fear-based restrictions, rather than freedom?  Who so many churches preach what “not to do”, rather than who you can become in Christ?

We love to talk about the freedom that the Holy Spirit brings, yet the Apostle Paul described himself as a “slave,” and a “bondservant” over and over.  So which is it?  Are we free, or are we slaves?

Romans 6:15-18
Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. 

Romans 7:5-6
When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death. But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit. 

The freedom comes in living life the way were intended to… The way that is truly fulfilling… Living our lives connected to our purpose here in this world.  How should we do that?

There are some behaviors (such as gossip) that hold you captive. Yet, activities (like corporate worship) set you free.  Each person in the group think of a behavior or activity that either holds us captive, or that sets us free.  Take turns stating them and explaining how they do one or the other.

What can we, as a group do about this?

Hebrews 10:24-25
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

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