Sunday, October 4th

Sunday, October 4th

Deep Six Study and Daily Devotional

Every preacher's dream is to see the truth he preaches lived out in the lives of those he preaches to and certainly this is as it should be. This dream is rooted in our Heavenly Father's desire that there would never be unlived truth in the lives of His people. Our church is dedicated to the purpose of helping people Live Fully, and one way we do that is to encourage a deeper study of the truth they hear on Sundays throughout the other six days of the week.  Accordingly, each week we provide (1) the Deep Six Study and (2) the Daily Devotional.

(1) Deep Six Study - accessed via "Discussion Notes" button located under the video message on the "Watch" page of the website. Printed copies also available at the Connect Desk in the church lobby. Note: the Deep Six Study is being done by Tom Main and is posted below.

(2) Daily Devotional - The Devotionals are done by Ken Hart and are available online Monday through Saturday on a daily basis at or the "Daily Devotional" button at the bottom of the "Home" page. The devotions build on and expand from the Sunday message. It is our desire, our hope, and our prayer for this devotional section to be a useful Spiritual Life tool that our church family can benefit from throughout the year. Each day's devotional will typically consist of Scripture connected with the message, a commentary, and a prayer response. We trust the Daily Devotional will assist you as you seek to live out the truth of God's word on a daily basis.

October 4th, 2015

Elements – “Love Goes First”


Opening – Elements (Galatians 5:22-23)

 “The List” Paul gives us is a bit like the Periodic Table we (almost) learned in high school – it
describes the essential (defining) elements of what the Christian life looks like.

 The List describes the “fruit” produced by the Holy Spirit after He enters our lives when we
accept the gift of grace.

 If we allow the fruit of the Spirit to grow in our lives, we don’t need to worry about “dos and
don’ts” – if we get the fruit right, we get “The Law” right.

Understanding the Elements

1. Saved by Faith (Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 2:8-9)

 Although The List takes care of The Law, we can’t let The List become The Law. “Doing The
List” isn’t what saves us; we are saved by grace (the gift of God), not by fruit.

 Having the fruit of the Spirit present in our lives doesn’t make us a Christian any more than
having a bag of apples in our hand makes us an apple tree!

2. The Evidence of Faith (Galatians 5:17-18; James 2:17-18)

 Living an authentic Christian life isn’t easy; it is a constant battle between our old (sinful, me focused)
nature and our new (fruit-filled, others-focused) nature.

 James tells us that our faith naturally produces fruit (good deeds) that grows and flows out of
us. While fruit doesn’t produce faith, real faith always produces fruit.

Love Goes First…

1. Love Starts on Empty (Romans 5:6-8)

 It’s no coincidence that love is listed first among the fruit of the Spirit; the rest of The List
naturally follows love.

 In our emptiness is when we discover just how much God loves us; unless we’re empty (of our
self-love) there’s no room to be filled with His love.

 Our understanding of grace rests on two words from Romans 5:6 – “utterly helpless.”

2. Love Overflows (1 John 4:19-20)

 Once we accept the unlimited love of God it automatically overflows out to others. Loving
others is what it looks like to live out the Christian faith – to be like Jesus.

 True love – loving like Jesus – includes loving those who won’t, don’t, or can’t love you back.
That even means choosing to love even those whom you know you can’t trust.


Opening – Ephesians 5:8-9; Romans 8:3-4
Elements #1 – Romans 3:27-28; Titus 3:3-7
Elements #2 – Romans 7:21-25; Luke 6:43-45
Love #1 – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3; Romans 5:5; Ephesians 2:1-5
Love #2 – John 13:34-35; Ephesians 5:2; Matthew 5:43-46


1. As “doers” we are naturally drawn to making and following lists. What are some of the benefits
of having a list (like Gal 5:22-23) to guide us? What are the drawbacks/dangers of living by lists?

2. What do you think Paul means when he says (Gal 5:23b) that “There is no law against these
things!”? How does “The List” free us from “The Law?” Or does it?

3. There are many non-Christians in the world who consistently display the traits listed in Gal 5:22-
23. How would you respond if one of them asked you “Why should I become a Christian if I’m
already doing what Christians are supposed to do?”

4. James tells us that Christian faith always produces fruit (“good deeds”). If that’s true, how do you
explain why many believers often struggle to display some – or all – of the characteristics of “The
List?” Do you think it’s as simple as “their faith isn’t big enough?”

5. Why do we need to recognize that we’re “utterly helpless” to appreciate grace? Do we need to
hit rock-bottom – be totally empty of self-love – before we can accept grace? Why or why not?

6. Read Ephesians 5:2. What does it mean to love “following the example of Christ?”

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