Someone pray, asking God to help everyone understand the passage, apply it to our lives, and to love Jesus and love others. Read Acts 25:13-26:32 and discuss the following.
2. What is the difference between Religion and the Gospel? How do we see a life governed by Religion in Paul’s life before his conversion (26:4-5)? How do we see a life governed by the Gospel in Paul’s life after he meets Jesus (26:24-29)?
Religion inevitably leads to inner fury—if things go well we’re prideful and if things go badly we’re destroyed. It also leads to outer fury—if people disagree with our way, they’re evil; if people get in our way, we seek to run over them in one way or another. Lastly, and to our greatest destruction, Religion inevitably leads to cosmic fury—if we’re trying to be justified before God by our works, by our deeds, by our successes, we’re trying to have a positive relationship with our Creator in a way that He has not ordained us to have one. In short, we’re kicking against the goads (Acts 26:14).
3. Which most stands out to you and why? Which of these have you most seen in your own life? Try and be specific.
The gospel not only says that you can’t get what you’re looking for from Religion, it also says, “you don’t have to; it is finished.” Why? Because on the cross, Jesus received the fury of God that we deserve for our detestable Religion. On the cross, Jesus received the ultimate goad. He wasn’t just prodded, He was run through. Jesus was pierced by the Father for our iniquities that we might receive God’s loving embrace.
4. In what ways does Jesus truly give what Religion falsely promises?
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