:) Finally had some time! Next week should be fun... we're heading into some messianic prophecies... :)

Happy studying!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Galatians Chapter 2

vs. 1-2

- Paul went back to Jerusalem. Why? Because God told him to.
- The main purpose of this visit was to meet with all the church leaders to touch base. Paul has been preaching to the Gentiles for 14 years. He wanted to make sure that the other leaders were in agreement with him and they were all preaching the same gospel.
- consistency is always important.
- footnote- “Even though God had specifically sent him to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15-16), Paul needed to discuss his message with the leaders of the Jerusalem church (Acts 15). This meeting prevented a major split in the church and it formally acknowledged the apostle's approval of Paul's preaching. Sometimes we avoid conferring with others because we fear that problems or arguments may develop. Instead, we should openly discuss our plans and actions with friends, counselors, and advisers. Good communication helps everyone understand the situation better, it reduces gossip, and it builds unity in the church.”
- As long as we stay focused on the Word and prayerfully consider the issues that arise, church splits and massive arguments can be avoided or quickly resolved. Granted, it still takes patience and understanding of one another, but staying founded and consistent also helps immensely. (And keeping in mind that we are to love and support one another... well... that's a command from God... so get over your petty differences and move on to do the work at hand.)

- Acts 15:1-31
- Romans 10:9-17

vs. 3-10

- Titus was a Gentile. The Judaizers had been trying to make the Gentiles go through all the Jewish rites before allowing them to become a Christian. In effect, they were making them Jewish and THEN Christian. (Except... it doesn't really work like that...)

- Philippians 3:1-11
- Titus 1:10-16
- Matthew 3:9-10
- Romans 4:9-25

- So at this council, is Titus. Some of the Judaizers wanted to circumcise him. Paul says they (Judaizers) were there to spy and to try and take away our freedom as Christians. Freedom from the law. The freedom that Grace gives.
- In the end, the church leaders decide not to give in to the peer pressure and to preserve the truth of freedom in the gospel.
- footnote- “We normally think of taking a stand against those who might lead us into immoral behavior, but Paul had to take a hard line against the most moral of people. We must not give in to those who make the keeping of man-made standards a condition for salvation, even when such people are morally upright or in respected positions.”
- The church leaders didn’t phase Paul. Regardless of their reputation and/or standing, He was going to speak truth regardless. And you know what? They agreed. They saw God in Paul’s heart and message for the Gentiles. Mirroring Peter’s assignment to the Jews. Same God. Same heart. Same mission.
- footnote- “It’s easy to rate people on the basis of their official status and to be intimidated by powerful people. But Paul was not intimidated by these “great leaders” because all believers are equal in Christ. We should show respect for our spiritual leaders, but our ultimate allegiance must be to Christ. We are to serve Him with our whole being. God doesn’t rate us according to our status, He looks at the attitude of our hearts. We should encourage leaders who show humility and a heartfelt desire to please God.”

- Is God evident in your life and in your message?
- Are you outspoken when needful?
- Are you willing to share your faith, teach the truth, and live a godly life for all to see?
- Do you/will you stand up for truth regardless of who it’s against or what the consequences might be?
- Will you stand up to your family? Friends? Spouse? People you work with? Your boss?
- How important/central is truth in your life?
- To what are you devoted? What is your purpose in life?

- James, Peter, and John. Pillars of the church. Disciples of Christ. They too accepted Paul as a co-worker. They would continue to work with the Jews and Paul, the Gentiles. Two mission fields. One mission.

- Keep helping the poor. (Matthew 25:31-46)
- footnote- “The need for believers to care for the poor is a constant theme in Scripture. But often we do nothing, caught up in meeting our own needs and desires. Perhaps we don't see enough poverty to remember the needs of the poor. The world is filled with poor people, here and in other countries. What can you do to help?”

- Proverbs 24:11-12
- Ephesians 6:10-18
- Titus 1:1-3

Vs. 11-16

- Paul confronted Peter in Antioch because peter was so afraid of public conception of himself, that he was living a double standard.
- When the Jews weren’t around, Peter would eat with the Gentiles who weren’t circumcised… When the Jews came though, he wouldn’t associate with them anymore.
- How many times have you seen that one? You talk to someone at lunch, or in 3rd period, or at work or even at church, but then outside of that arena, you ignore them or pass them off? Because you’re with “better” or closer friends who would find them odd or find them not worthy of association?
- So because Peter was afraid that the “righteous” Jews would be upset with him, he compromised his standards.
- BECAUSE he compromised his standards, other Jewish Christians followed his footsteps of hypocrisy.
- There is no room for people-pleasing in God’s Kingdom. Ear-tickling might be great for a little while, but how many souls will be lost because YOU tell them what they want to hear, or do what they want you to do?
- As leaders and as Christians in general, is your life following God’s path? Or the general feeling of the congregation? Or the view of your best friend who’s a baby Christian and you’re scared to death of scaring them away from the faith/church?
- Truth is truth. If God is in it, (and God IS truth, therefore He must be in it…) Then why should we fear conflict? If God be for us, who can be against us? Yes persecution may come. Yes you may lose a few friends. But whose side are you on? Either for me or against me. There is no in between.

- Proverbs 23:19, 23
- II Corinthians 5:9-10, 13-17, 6:14-18, 7:1-4
- Malachi 3:1-10, 13-18, 4:1-3

- Revelation 3:15-16- My dad was working on a paper this week and he had a comment that I had never thought about with this verse... Something Hot, is healing. Something cold, is refreshing. If you are neither healing/restorative/comforting, nor refreshing/building up/encouraging, but lukewarm/stagnant/apathetic/passive, what good are you?
- Hypocrisy means to pretend to be what you aren't, or to pretend to believe what you don't.
- That can also mean saying one thing... and doing quite another...
- So are you Hot? Cold? Or somewhere in the middle?... What's your temperature gage reading?

- I Timothy 4:1-5
- Matthew 12:30-37, 23
- II Corinthians 6:3-10

- In this case, Peter was changing the freedom and the Grace of the gospel. We are made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Peter, through his actions (even if he didn't actually SAY something...) was teaching that faith in Christ wasn't enough for salvation.
- No one will ever be made right with God through the law... faith is the key.
- Be careful of your actions. It has been said that actions speak louder than words. What gospel are you preaching through your actions? Your lifestyle? Your reactions to situations you find yourself in?
- We don't have to exude this sense that life is perfect... cause it's not... But is God enough? Do you rely on His provision and care? Do you trust that your best interest is in His heart? When bad things happen, what's your response? Do you get depressed and worried and angry? Or do you pray and look for lessons to learn? Does your life preach that God is good all the time?

- John 8:31-59
- Matthew 10:29-42
- Psalm 145
- Romans 15:1-13

vs. 17-21

- If we were to follow Christ in faith and then were found guilty of abandoning the law, did Christ then lead us in the wrong direction? Did Christ cause us to sin? Never! (James 1:13-18)
- Paul says that we are sinning if we try and rebuild the old system of law that we already tore down! It's like tearing down an old building that is starting to rot, and then building it back with the same rotten boards... there are better boards out there! God bought you brand new boards! Don't use the old ones!
- Christ fulfilled the purpose of the law's instructions. To try and rebuild the law as it first was, would be to go backwards... in effect saying that Christ didn't fulfill the law. Then to what purpose did He come and suffer and die?
- The law itself condemns you because you can't be righteous no matter what you do... so in trying to follow the law, you fail and in failing condemn yourself.
- So... we die to the law. We died to the law when Christ died on the cross. We were crucified with Christ because He took our place.
- So we live and trust that God knew what He was doing.
- He loved us enough to lay down His life for us. Subjected Himself to the cruelest of torture and death. Why, WHY would He have done so for nothing? If we could be saved by the law, why did He not continue the system as it was? Why suffer and shed His blood for us, if there was an alternative way to save mankind?
- What is your response to undeserved Grace?
- Romans 6, 11:5-6
- II Peter 2:17-22
- Joshua 24:14-15
- Ephesians 1:7-14
- Colossians 1:15-29

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