1: Followers of Christ are to be living sacrifices. Putting away our selfish desires and honoring God with our lives. We do this not because we are forced to, but in response to the grace that God has shown us.
2: Believers lives should not look like those of the world, but should be transformed by Christ. This happens when we focus our mind on Jesus and how he called us to live.
Question: What are or were bad habits or lifestyle choices you have seen changed in your walk with Jesus? What are some things you currently struggle with and need to seek the Lord on to help you through?
3: If someone could think highly of themselves, it would be the apostle Paul. Yet he shows us that we are to be humble and to be faithful where God has placed us.
4-8: Everyone has different gifts and abilities. Working together, we can build each other up. The Christian life is not an individual pursuit. To view it as such is to arrogantly think we can follow Jesus all on our own without community, accountability, encouragement, etc.
Question: It is by God’s grace that he saved us and that he gave us our gifts and strengths. Be honest; what some of your gifts? How can you use them for God’s Kingdom?
This whole section shows the attitude and actions of the Christian life.
9-13: Let love be genuine. Genuine love for others is what makes the things on this list possible. Our actions show what we truly value and doing these things show that our love for others is genuine.
14-16: It takes true humility and love to bless those who persecute you. Anyone can retaliate but it takes a heart and mind focused on Christ to bless our enemies, live in harmony with others, associate with those in need, etc.
17-18: Again, this is a mark of a follower of Christ. Being able to love and forgive those who have wronged you (just as Christ has done for us!).
19:21: Vengeance is the Lord’s, not ours. It is also good to remember that we have also wronged others and God, yet he has forgiven those that trust in him. Overcome evil with good.
Question: This section does not mean that there are not times when appropriate measures need to be taken for people to commit wrong or evil acts. However, in our day-to-day lives, we are to love and forgive others. Anyone can love people that love and treat them with respect, but believers are called to love even those that do not, this is a mark the Christian life! Of the things Paul listed in this section, which ones do you do well in? Which ones do you need to work in?