Galatians 2:11-21 11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justifiedby works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor.19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
If we are made acceptable to God by grace through faith in Jesus rather than through our works, what does that mean for how we are to live as Christians? In Galatians 2:11-21, Paul outlines at least five ways in which we should live. First, we should live as though we are justified through faith. To be justified is the highest standing we could have because we are declared “righteous” by God in his courtroom! Therefore no Christian is better or worse than another. Secondly, we should live as if the gospel is true. Every time we are tempted to sin, we are tempted to disbelieve the gospel. We are tempted to live as if we need something or someone else to give us the joy only Jesus can give. Third, we should live like we are dead to the Law and alive to God. Only when we die to the Law as the means of our justification are we truly living to God rather than ourselves. Fourth of all, we should live as though our old self is crucified with Christ and our new self is alive in Christ. When we are united to Jesus through faith, his past becomes our past and his life becomes our life. Finally, we should live as though Jesus loves us, because He actually does. He proved his love for us by standing in our place and being crucified so that wicked sinners like us could become justified children of God.
1. Was there anything from the sermon, the big idea, or Galatians 2:11-21 that stood out to you, challenged you, or confused you?
We should live as though we are justified through faith. To be justified is the highest standing we could have because we are declared “righteous” by God in his courtroom! Therefore no Christian is better or worse than another.
2. What was so wrong about Peter’s “conduct” when the brothers who “came from James” arrived at Antioch? What does it mean to be “justified through faith”? What does it look like for you to live as though you are justified through faith?
Every time we are tempted to sin, we are tempted to disbelieve the gospel. We are tempted to live as if we need something or someone else to give us the joy only Jesus can give.
3. Do you think this is true? Why or why not? Can you think of some of your own temptations, and how they are at their deepest level a temptation to disbelieve the gospel?
We should live as though our old self is crucified with Christ and our new self is alive in Christ. When we are united to Jesus through faith, his past becomes our past and his life becomes our life.
4. How is this different than the major religions and philosophies of the world? What would it look like for you to live every day remembering that you “have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”?
If we could save ourselves, Christ’s death is pointless, and means nothing. If we realize we cannot save ourselves, Christ’s death will mean everything to us. And we will spend the life he has given us in joyful service of him, bringing our whole lives in line with the gospel. — Tim Keller
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