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THE MARK OF A CHRISTIAN

Francis Schaeffer was unique, a Reformed theologian,

who, along with his wife, Edith,

formed L’abri (meaning shelter) in Switzerland:

a place where individuals could come and discuss truth, God, and the meaning of life.

This ministry has multiplied all over the world.

Schaeffer was considered a prophet in his time.

Though he lived before Roe vs Wade was a reality,

he looked ahead and predicted what most living then

could not even imagine: the coming holocaust for the unborn.

(60 million lives taken in the U. S. since Roe vs Wade:

10 times the number of lives lost in Hitler’s holocaust.) 

A little book of his that impacted me profoundly was his:

It is based on Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17,

Schaeffer said that unless true believers

show unity, love, and grace to one another,

the world has a right to judge that they are not Christians.

For Jesus prayed: 

I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,

that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.

May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

John 17:20-21

This is also the message of Galatians 2.

Paul rebukes Peter for not eating with the believing but uncircumcised  Gentiles,

telling him: “You are not walking in line with the truth of the gospel.”

What does that mean?

Peter is not walking in the grace he has been given

he is not walking in love toward other believers.

Peter, wanting the approval of the false teachers, is adding to the gospel,

telling the Gentiles they must be circumcised according to the law.

Furthermore, he won’t eat with them while they refuse to be circumcised.

This may sound strange to us, but the principle should be clear:

We are saved by faith alone — not faith plus…

Therefore we are one with those,

who though they may be different from us in many ways:

in race, culture, socioeconomic class, or preferences in peripheral issues,

are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

And we are to love them, give them grace,

as we have been loved and given grace.

If we don’t, the world has a right to judge us as not being Christian,

for we are not walking in line with the gospel.

Schaeffer clarified that it is possible to be a Christian and not walk in grace and love, but the world will then not be drawn to Christianity, will not believe that God sent Jesus. (John 17:21)

Schaeffer is one of those saints that has gone before that you should know.

Below, is a picture of the first L’abri, and then, Schaffer speaking from the alps

on how Christianity differs from manmade religions. (See Galatians 1:11-12)

 

 

 Sunday:

1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?

2. Do you have any familiarity with the teaching of Francis Schaeffer or his wife Edith? If so, how has have they impacted you? Be specific.

Monday: Clarifying the Gospel

    3. Read Galatians 2 slowly and:

  • Note anything that stands out to you and why.

 

  • Describe the incident that Paul describes happening in Antioch.

 

Tuesday: Grace means we accept anyone in Christ, regardless of other differences.

Read again Galatians 2:1-5.

4. What was Paul’s mission according to Galatians 2:2 and 2:7?

5. Who brought up the matter of circumcision and why? (verses 3-4) 

6. What stand did Paul take and why? (verse 5)

People have different views on the many Christian denominations — some feel that having so many is not a good testimony. I actually think the diversity can be beautiful, like the beauty of different races, if we can give grace to those who have different preferences. I like, for example, a worship service that is sedate and orderly, but I think I do, in part, because that was my Scottish heritage and my family. A liturgical song like Is He Worthy? moves me to the core.

So though I may feel like a fish out of water in a rambunctious charismatic black church, I realize they are moved to the core by their kind of music — and that is so good. I love them and am so thankful for styles of worship that move each of us. I am speaking at just such a retreat in Pennsylvania next October, and I pray they will accept this sedate and orderly sister. And though I am not charismatic in my theology, I will often go to a charismatic sister or brother when I’m in need of prayer, for they are passionate in prayer.

And when we disagree on peripheral differences, can we just do as Romans 14 urges and let every man stand before God on his own and not judge one another? This doesn’t mean we don’t stand up for the core gospel, for we must, but on peripheral issues, let us give grace.

7. What is your view on our our many diverse denominations? How good are you at accepting those who have different preferences?

 

8. What is the danger of raising preferences or traditions to non-negotiables? (Such as preferences in music, dress, or Bible translations?)

9. How could speaking against another church over a negotiable cause listeners to dismiss Christianity? Have you done this?

 

10. Indeed, though we may have differences with other believers in the area of preference, Tim Keller makes the point that we have so much more in common with a Christian brother in Mongolia than we do with an unbeliever on our street who may live in a similar house, drive a similar car, and whose children go to the same school as ours. Can you share a story of experiencing deep fellowship with a brother or sister in Christ who was quite different from you in many ways?

11. How might you better give grace to true believers who have different preferences than you in worship and lifestyle?

Wednesday: Within One Body, We Have Different Callings 

12. Read Galatians 2:6-9

                A. How was God’s calling to Paul and to Peter different?

         B. How did God confirm that within the body?

         C. Why is it important that we take hold of what Christ has taken hold for us,

and not take hold of what Christ has taken hold for another?

Have you experienced the freedom of realizing the need is not the call? I have. For our Christmas Tea this year a group of women, gifted at crafts, made little prayer journals and lanterns for every one of the one hundred guests. (See the cute lanterns below on the middle of plates.) I had a fleeting thought, “I should be helping,” but then a wiser thought that “the need is not the call.” I really am all thumbs at crafts and do not enjoy it — so I could let it go! And quite honestly, I am thankful when a believer realizes that teaching or mercy or whatever is not her gift, for I would rather have someone who has the gift teach my grandchildren or be my nurse when I’m hospitalized! Part of love is realizing where you are not gifted in an area, and humbly decline. Yet we all have gifts we must use for the body to be efficient.

 


13. How can you lovingly encourage someone right now who has a gift you appreciate with an e-mail or text?

14. What did both of them agree they should both do, according to verse 10? (For private reflection so I don’t make you lose your reward: How do you do this in your life?)

Thursday: Not Walking In Line with The Gospel

Tim Keller’s emphasis on the phrase “not walking in line with the gospel” has been profoundly impacting to me. Keller said that Paul could have said to Peter, “Don’t be a racist,” and that would be correct, but it digs into the root idol to say “You are not walking in line with the gospel.” We have been forgiven so much, so when we cannot give grace to another, as Peter was not, we are forgetting the love of Christ, and therefore prone to sin — to want the approval of others (as Peter wanted the approval of these false teachers.) Let’s see if we can truly grasp this for our hearts, for if we do, we will better bear the mark of a Christian.

15. Read Galatians 2:11-14

A. What motivated Peter to withdraw from his fellow Gentile believers? (v. 12)

B. How did Peter’s lack of grace spread? (v. 13)

C. How do you think this might have impacted the Gentiles who did not yet believe? And why?

    16. Let’s see if we can flesh this out for our own lives.

A. There is a believer in your life who irritates you or has hurt you. How could you walk in line with the gospel with him/her? How could preaching the gospel to yourself help you?

B. You really don’t like praise choruses, preferring hymns, but a large portion of your church does. How could walk in line with the gospel concerning their preferences? How could you use the gospel to speak to your soul?

C. You, through the help of God, have overcome a bad habit of (over-spending, over-eating…) and you find, in your thoughts, you are judging those who are still stumbling over this sin. How could you preach the gospel to yourself and therefore show more grace?

Keller, in his study, “Galatians For You,” makes the point that there are non-negotiables, and we do need to stand firm concerning the gospel, which indeed, Paul is doing here. We do not need to show grace to those churches that have lost their grip on the gospel, but indeed, we need to pray for their blinders to be removed, and, if His Spirit leads, to confront them concerning their error. But if we confront out of anger and not love, it is for naught.

17. How would it look to engage in loving confrontation with someone who has lost his grip on the gospel? How do you think Paul shows love here?

Friday: I Am Crucified With Christ

 

18. Read Galatians 2:15-16. How would you explain justification to someone who thinks Christianity is behaving morally?

Galatians 2:20 can help us live the gospel throughout the day. Meditate on this from Francis Schaeffer:

The reality of living by Faith, as though we were already dead, of living by Faith in open communion with God, and then stepping back into the external world as though we already were raised from the dead, this is not once and for all, it is a matter of moment-by-moment faith, and living moment-by-moment. This morning’s Faith will never do for this noon. The Faith of this noon will never do for supper time…To believe Him, not just when I accepted Christ as Savior, but every moment, one moment at a time: this is the Christian life, and this is true spirituality.

     19. After meditating on the above:

           A. How would you summarize what Schaeffer is saying?

           B. How would you tell your soul to apply Galatians 2:20 throughout the day?

     20. Embrace living Galatians 2:20 this morning, this afternoon, and this evening — and report

           back.

Saturday: 

21. What is your take-a-way this week and why?

 

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180 comments

  1. 7. What is your view on our many diverse denominations? How good are you at accepting those who have different preferences? This is an interesting question because my family and I just went to our first Catholic Mass last weekend with some friends. It was a unique (and helpful/good) experience. As we readied ourselves to go I noticed some of my childrn’s comments (not mean or disrespectful but definitely categorizing an “us” and “them”) and was very glad we were going. I think even given rather large doctrine differences we must still view each individual as such; an individual and I ought to care enough to understand their perspective.

    In general, I think denominations are rather silly.  Although if I ponder it I do see some use in them as well. We have been to so many churches in our marriage that it seems each has their own flavor independent somewhat from denomination declared. I see danger and benefit in putting yourself in a box/label as well as putting others in those boxes. (Refer to above in individuality.) Denomination can be helpful … kind of like gluten-free label can be helpful…you have a general idea of what you’re biting into… Last year we “had” to leave a church…one of the reasons being perceived arrogance and condescending attitudes towards other denominations and churches. It grieved me so.

    There was a time in my life, ashamedly so, where I thought I KNEW what church “should look like” which, in my naïveté, I applied to everyone everywhere and assumed it ‘right.’ Through some divine intervention I have come to appreciate all sorts of preferences (while still having my own😉) and indeed, my husband and I enjoy attending other churches just for another perspective and approach to observe and participate in. (Though we do not neglect our home church as we believe loyalty and commitment are important.)

    8. What is the danger of raising preferences or traditions to non-negotiable? The obvious reason is creating religion rather than faith. Salvation is by passive grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ. Another huge danger is alienating, rejecting, and belittle those who truly need the message of the Gospel. Preferences can also prevent opportunities for growth and worship in myself. If I am so concerned with how I wish something “was” I will miss the beauty in what IS!

    9. How could speaking against another church over a negotiable cause listeners to dismiss Christianity? Have you done this? If zi speak against another church, it not only shows where my priorities lie(in the religion of preference and ‘getting it right’) but it also fosters arrogance in me which does not manifest as loving kindness towards others, a part of that church or not. Regrettably I have done this and I confess there was some evil  satisfaction in knowing I was right and they were wrong. What ugliness! I pray for compassion and understanding for all and ALSO good question-asking skills so that I may encourage any to seek Christ in deeper understanding.

    1. Jill, I also appreciate your very thoughtful post. You make an excellent point in #8, that when we raise preferences or traditions to non-negotiables, we are creating religion rather than faith.  And, that preferences can prevent our own growth and worship. And yes, I can relate to that “evil satisfaction” of just knowing that I was “right” and they were wrong. That’s what I find so hard about all the different denominations – they can foster pride in ourselves for being right.

  2. Wednesday: Within One Body, We Have Different Callings 
    12. Read Galatians 2:6-9
                    A. How was God’s calling to Paul and to Peter different?  Paul was called to the Gentiles and Peter was called to the jews.  It was clear to all the God was authoring Peter’s apostleship and he was at work in Paul’s calling as an apostle.  John, Peter and James recognized the grace upon Paul and agreed he should go to the Gentiles.
             B. How did God confirm that within the body? John, Peter and James recognized the grace upon Paul and agreed he should go to the Gentiles.
             C. Why is it important that we take hold of what Christ has taken hold for us,
    and not take hold of what Christ has taken hold for another?  We need to avoid comparisons and run the race that God has put before us.
    13. How can you lovingly encourage someone right now who has a gift you appreciate with an e-mail or text? Letting someone know what you see in them and that they are admired from afar is beautiful way to letting them know they are valued.
    14. What did both of them agree they should both do, according to verse 10?  They should remember the poor.  

  3. Can you share a story of experiencing deep fellowship with a brother or sister in Christ who was quite different from you in many ways?

    I have lived in different cultures, both as a child in India and as an adult in Africa. I don’t think I even knew what a Baptist was until I was about 10, though my parents were. My older brother and I went to an international, interdenominational boarding school where all the denominations blended together – went to school, church and played together. Then as an adult my husband taught at a Bible School led by the Africa Brotherhood Church. It was Anglican (based on England) in hierarchy but Baptistic in worship style and beliefs. They had a Bishop and male pastors, but, interestingly, also uniformed Bible School-trained “sisters” who did much of the church work and were wonderful Christian women – some married, some single. I loved my sisters in the faith.

     

  4. C. You, through the help of God, have overcome a bad habit of (over-spending, over-eating…) and you find, in your thoughts, you are judging those who are still stumbling over this sin. How could you preach the gospel to yourself and therefore show more grace?

    I need to give grace to my family and friends who have not embraced my healthy eating style, though I can clearly see the detrimental effects of their poor eating habits. Also, nutrition advice varies greatly and is somewhat controversial. It is hard to know when to give grace and stay silent, and when to speak a gentle word. Often my advice sounds like criticism.  I need to watch my attitude very carefully. I need to realize that, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

  5. 12. Read Galatians 2:6-9
                    A. How was God’s calling to Paul and to Peter different?
    Paul preached to the Gentiles and Peter to the Jews.
             B. How did God confirm that within the body?
    Peter and those with him confirmed that with the right hand of fellowship for they saw it too.
             C. Why is it important that we take hold of what Christ has taken hold for us, and not take hold of what Christ has taken hold for another?
    Because God wants to attract those to Himself in the sphere He has given and will give to each of us and we must be trusting Him to do that. When we take hold of what Christ has for another we aren’t trusting Him with the gifts He has given us in those places He has us in and we will be hindered. In a sense we are saying to Him that He doesn’t know what He is doing, but we do.

  6. 15. Read Galatians 2:11-14
    A. What motivated Peter to withdraw from his fellow Gentile believers? (v. 12) 
    Fear
    B. How did Peter’s lack of grace spread? (v. 13) 
    The rest followed Peter’s example…even Barnabas, the encourager!
    C. How do you think this might have impacted the Gentiles who did not yet believe?
    This could have made them resistant to any “conversion attempts” as they already knew many hypocrites. Hypocrites rub against our deeply embedded since of justice.
        16. Let’s see if we can flesh this out for our own lives. 
    A. There is a believer in your life who irritates you or has hurt you. How could you walk in line with the gospel with him/her? Forgiveness is the key and choosing to forgive as we learned earlier is to stop nursing the grudges we hold but to hold these people up in prayer.
    How could preaching the gospel to yourself help you?
    Lord, make me ever sensitive to my own sin so that I will not only be quick to ask forgiveness but quick to extend it as well.
    B. You really don’t like praise choruses, preferring hymns, but a large portion of your church does. How could walk in line with the gospel concerning their preferences?
    Sing as unto the Lord making worship the focus instead of the style of worship.
    How could you use the gospel to speak to your soul?
    Lord, You have created each of us in such a unique way as to allow us corporately to better express the fullness of Your glory and worship You in holiness. Please accept my worship as a fragrant offering. 
    C. You, through the help of God, have overcome a bad habit of (over-spending, over-eating…) and you find, in your thoughts, you are judging those who are still stumbling over this sin. How could you preach the gospel to yourself and therefore show more grace? Oh merciful God, if anyone knows the struggle with a critical tongue, it is I. Thank you for this reminder of how I sound when I approach You with my litany of complaints. Help me be a living testimony of Your love and mercy as You refused to leave me in my sinful state. May others see such a profound change in me that they want what I have. May I daily walk in line with the good news of Your great grace!
    17.How would it look to engage in loving confrontation?
    We need to learn how to “exhort”one another or incite others toward that which is commendable! 1Thessalonians 2:11 “For you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each of you just as a father does with his own children, guiding you to live lives of honor, moral courage, and personal integrity, worthy of the God who saves you and calls you into His kingdom and glory.” (Amplified) All to often I come across as worshipping my own accomplishments (see my success) instead of worshipping the One who rescued me from my own sinful self (I too was stuck in that same issue as you but I have now been rescued from that awful place). 
    How do you think Paul shows love here?
    He is showing love by refusing to silently let those he loved slip away from the gospel of grace back into the life of the law. He, of all those present, knew the results of such a life! Paul is exhorting his fellow believers with the reminder that Jews had the richest tradition of “laws” to guide them and if that had been enough to produce a living relationship with God then Christ died needlessly. Paul had been the ultimate people pleaser and rule keeper and yet never had a real relationship with God and he wasn’t about to let his peers drive him and others back into that miserable life!
     

     

    1. Lucy, I love your answers to #17….Paul is showing love by refusing to silently let those he loved slip away from the gospel of grace back into the life of the law.

    2. Lucy, I appreciate your answer to 16B and your prayer really touched my heart…thank you!

  7. 12. Read Galatians 2:6-9

    A. How was God’s calling to Paul and to Peter different?

    Paul said that he had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been entrusted to preaching it to the Jews.

    B. How did God confirm that within the body?

    God was at work in both Paul’s and Peter’s ministry; when James, Peter, and John recognized the grace given to Paul, they extended their fellowship to Paul and Barnabas. I think that means they accepted the legitimacy of Paul and his God-calling.

    C. Why is it important that we take hold of what Christ has taken hold of for us, and not take hold of what Christ has taken hold for another?

    Paul could have tried to be a part of the other apostles’ ministry, but those slots were already filled, and God had a different calling for Paul. I understand that Paul was a very intelligent man and he likely had unique abilities and gifts that allowed him to move into other lands and cultures and to communicate easily with other peoples. We can try to do things that we’re really not gifted at, but we are likely to become frustrated and fail. For example, I am not good with money/finances, so you wouldn’t want to put me in charge of that kind of committee! Then, as a nurse, I’ve had people tell me that they could never be a nurse because they hate the sight of blood and being in a hospital. Those things don’t bother me and I like taking care of sick people.

    13. How can you lovingly encourage someone right now who has a gift you appreciate with an email or text?

    This is a great reminder, Dee, to not just do this on ‘special occasions’, but to find ways to do this frequently! I’m thinking of who I can do this to today….

    I also think it’s great to write it in a letter. I occasionally write letters to my boys since they live far away. I remember once telling one of my sons in a letter how proud I was of him, that my ‘trophies on the shelf’ were things like how he would take his time to be with his grandma, my mom – taking her to her favorite hamburger stand, making her laugh and feel special. They had a very special bond and he always took time for her when he was home from college. My son who is a doctor – I recall to him how he used to volunteer at a nursing home and how good he was with the residents there, and I encourage him to listen to his patients and I can imagine the kind expression in his eyes.

    14. What did both of them agree they should both do, according to verse 10?

    God’s assignment to Peter, James, and John: preach to the Jews. God’s assignment to Paul: preach to the Gentiles. A shared responsibility: remember the poor.

  8. 15. Read Galatians 2:11-14

    A. What motivated Peter to withdraw from his fellow Gentile believers? (v. 12)

    Fear of man: When certain men who were sent by James arrived in Antioch, those of the “circumcision group”, Peter was afraid of what they might think of him as he ate and fellowshipped with the Gentiles, and so he withdrew from the Gentiles.

    B. How did Peter’s lack of grace spread? (v. 13)

    Some other Jews joined Peter in what he was doing, even Barnabas.

    C. How do you think this might have impacted the Gentiles who did not yet believe? And why?

    So one minute, Peter was their friend, eating with them and telling them how much God loved them, so much that He sent His Son to die for their sins. The next day, Peter won’t eat with them….hey Peter, can you sit down with me and tell me more about this Jesus? Peter…..ummm, well…. not today, at least not during the meal. OH, so it’s still “the Jews” and “us”, and you think you’re better than us. It must have confused and even angered the Gentiles.

    1. Susan,

      I love your letter writing and the things you have mentioned. I have written letters to my sons at certain milestones.  I need to begin writing to my 12 year old daughter. You have inspired me!

  9. Thursday

    15.  Read Galatians 2:11-14

    A.  What motivated Peter to withdraw from his fellow Gentile believers? (v.12)

    Fear.  Fear of criticism from those who insisted on the necessity of circumcision.

    B.  How did Peters’s lack of grace spread? (v.13)

    “Unfortunately, the rest of the Jews in the Antioch church joined in that hypocrisy so that even Barnabas was swept along in the charade.”  (The Message)

    C. How do you think this might have impacted the Gentiles who did not yet believe?  And why?

    I think it could of impacted them in two ways…

    1.  They too could of gotten caught up in the hypocrisy, not really understanding and wanting to be accepted, be a part, would get circumcised.

    2.  They saw the hypocrisy and lack of grace and therefore wanted no part of it.

    16.  Let’s see if we can flesh this out for our own lives.

    A.  There is a believer in your life who irritates you or has hurt you.  How could you walk in line with the gospel with him/her?  How could preaching the gospel to yourself help you?

    I could walk in line by remembering we’re all saved by grace and to love and accept this person just as Christ did for all of us.  I do have a person that irritates me and I have found that by praying for this person (not for them to change) but just praying for their needs, their growth in the Lord etc. that in the long run, it changes my heart and God does give me grace towards that person.  What I have found that doesn’t work, is sharing my irritation with someone else.  It makes me think my irritation is justified and grace goes out the window.

    B. You really don’t like praise choruses, preferring hymns, but a large portion of your church does.  How could you walk in line with the gospel concerning their preferences?  How could you use the gospel to speak to your soul?

    Have you been to our church Dee?  We’ve been told that we are a K-love (Christian music radio) church and that’s the music we will be singing.   I enjoy the music on K-love but I long for hymns too.  You’ve gotten down to the nitty gritty with this question and to be honest, it’s something I need to work on in letting the gospel speak to my soul.  Jim and I both have come to the conclusion that maybe too much emphasis is put on music within the church but it’s an area where satan has a hay day in splitting churches!

    C.  You, through the help of God, have overcome a bad habit and you find, in  your thoughts, you are judging those who are stumbling over this sin.  How could you preach the gospel to yourself and therefore show more grace?

    I’m not any better.  I’m only where I am by the grace of God.  I too was stumbling and still do. 

    1. Sharon,

      I agree with “What I have found that doesn’t work, is sharing my irritation with someone else.  It makes me think my irritation is justified and grace goes out the window.”. I think sometimes I’ve gotten trapped by thinking I need to talk this over with a trusted source. On occasion this is true but generally it is just complaining and ineffective. Prayer works!

  10. Thursday

    17.   How would it look to engage in loving confrontation with someone who has lost his grip on the Gospel?  How do you think Paul shows love here?

    I think that first of we all have lost our grip on the gospel in one form or another.  To remember this should give us cause to have compassion on someone and confront them in love and kindness.  I think using this passage in Galatians as an example would be beneficial in confronting them.

    In Hebrews 12:6a, it says “The Lord disciplines those he loves…”.  Paul showed love by disciplining Peter and setting him straight in showing him he wasn’t following the truth of the gospel message.  I think so often we’re afraid to confront someone (in love of course) because of fear of coming across as judgmental or holier than thou.  I can’t imagine what would of happened if Paul hadn’t confronted Peter and just swept it under the rug.

  11. The law is our prideful, insecure and feeble attempt to convince God we should be approved. Christ tells us to put down the “card” of the law because He’s picked up the cross and carved out a way for us to be made right. He conquered death so we could experience a full life. Through His sacrifice, we are already approved.”  

    This is a quote from my devotional yesterday by Michael Ashcroft.  I thought it fit right in with this study. 

    1. Beautifully stated!

    2. Very fitting for our topic this week. Amazing how you can be studying and the issue at hand comes up all over the place.

  12. 15.c.  For unbelievers it would be a slap to see how Gentile believers were treated. They would see the hypocrisy, and not want anything to do with the gospel. As I write this, I remember how my mother used to be. She claimed to be a believer, but she managed to cause rifts between people and to alienate people from herself. When she died, I was the only relative still willing to care for her. My sisters saw her actions and didn’t want anything to do with faith. I’ve struggled since my mid twenties with feeling that I haven’t been able to reach them, and that it proves that my life is not good enough to keep people from rejecting the gospel because of me.

     

    16.a.  The best is to talk to God first. He may lead you to forgive and move on. He may lead you to confront in love. Historically, it has been my problem rather than the other person’s. So I need to remind myself that they also have been saved by Jesus. I don’t stand on higher ground. The fault that irritates me is likely one of my own. It can be a good opportunity for ‘iron to sharpen iron’. I need to repent and learn through it what God wants me to.

    B.  I resonate with this one. It isn’t that I dislike choruses, but that those of us who still like hymns are being told to get over it. I feel like they say pie is pie; go with what the young people like. You can like a pie you don’t like if you just keep telling yourself you’re getting dessert. It saddens me that in the tolerance we are being asked to display, it helps others to be intolerant.

    so what do I do? I tell myself the truth. I’m not at church for myself, for what I can get out of it. I am there out of obedience to God, as an encouragement to others, and because it pleases the Father to have His children gathered together to worship Him.

    C.  When I start to feel snide inside toward another, God gently whispers to me that they’re someone Jesus died for. We don’t all get to point B from the same starting place. And, as a servant, it isn’t up to me to direct another servant.

     

    17.  I am ashamed to say that I don’t know how to talk to someone who’s lost their grip on the gospel. I’ve never tried.

  13. 15. Read Galatians 2:11-14
     
    A. What motivated Peter to withdraw from his fellow Gentile believers? (v. 12) – He feared the circumcision party seeing him.
     
    B. How did Peter’s lack of grace spread? (v. 13) – They were all being hypocritical and not thinking of others that were around them and saw how they were acting.
     
    C. How do you think this might have impacted the Gentiles who did not yet believe? And why? – I think actions like this could make someone not want to be a believer as they hear one thing coming from their mouths but see completely different actions depending on who is around. They are seeing more man pleasing instead of God pleasing.
    16. Let’s see if we can flesh this out for our own lives.
     
    A. There is a believer in your life who irritates you or has hurt you. How could you walk in line with the gospel with him/her? How could preaching the gospel to yourself help you? – WOW this would/will be tough. I can seek forgiveness for anything I may have done to them to act that way. I can forgive them and show grace to them for what they may have done to me. Preaching the Gospel to myself of how much Jesus has forgiven me and shown me grace SHOULD help me get to this point with this person.
     
    B. You really don’t like praise choruses, preferring hymns, but a large portion of your church does. How could walk in line with the gospel concerning their preferences? How could you use the gospel to speak to your soul? – I can sing with them and really hear what the song is saying and find the meaning of God in them. I could ask the worship leader if there are times they could play hymns once in a while. I can pray and ask the Lord to help me adapt to the norm of the church I’m attending and ask myself if I’m being fed by the Word and if yes, than accept the type of songs they are singing. The Gospel could help me overcome this if I remember that God created EVERYTHING including all types of music so to reject what I may not like would be in a sense rejecting his creation.
     
    C. You, through the help of God, have overcome a bad habit of (over-spending, over-eating…) and you find, in your thoughts, you are judging those who are still stumbling over this sin. How could you preach the gospel to yourself and therefore show more grace? – I can remember that a 3 stranded cord is not easily broken and maybe instead of judging them I can reach out a hand to help them and lift them up from their burden. I can pray that God will help me not judge and instead be a light in their darken world.
     

     

  14. 17. How would it look to engage in loving confrontation with someone who has lost his grip on the gospel? How do you think Paul shows love here? – I would be afraid to do this, I do not like confrontation and feel that I would not know how to rebuttal if it came to that, but maybe if God was really leading me to do this, I would first ask him to give me the words he wanted me to speak so my confrontation is not of my own, but of His. I may ask them to show me what version of the bible they are using and where and how they are deciding that what they are teaching or hearing is right and in accord with God’s Word. I think Paul spoke in love when he reminded them of how they were acting and posing the question to them made them think about what they were doing. It came across more lovingly then just pointing a finder and accusing them of acting wrong.

  15. 15. Read Galatians 2:11-14
    A. What motivated Peter to withdraw from his fellow Gentile believers? (v. 12) 
     

    James and others (believers in circumcision) showed up and he was maybe embarrassed?

     
    B. How did Peter’s lack of grace spread? (v. 13) 
    (Why do you call this a “lack of grace?” I thought he would be giving grace to the Gentiles since he was eating with them though they weren’t circumcised?)

    The others (Jewish) acted in the same manner…

     
    C. How do you think this might have impacted the Gentiles who did not yet believe? And why?
     

    They probably would have felt shunned; they would have thought the group were hypocrites. They wouldn’t want to be part of a group like that.

     
        16. Let’s see if we can flesh this out for our own lives. 
    A. There is a believer in your life who irritates you or has hurt you. How could you walk in line with the gospel with him/her? How could preaching the gospel to yourself help you?
     

    Wow, this is hard. I don’t like to criticize…I guess I do have a close friend who has irritated me and has hurt me though. I suppose I should accept her as is, and make sure I act respectful (not make sideways comments). I should tell myself to remember that the gospel is about love, not about how others behave, but to always show it to promote Christ. Our pastors sermon was about this very thing last weekend! We are studying Philippians and I tried to share it on on fb page but I guess there were privacy settings. I am sharing our church website page where it is posted:

    http://www.centerpointsalem.org/weekly-message.html

     

    I don’t know if it was because he had to do a fb live sermon during the snow storm, or what but he nailed it! You can skip the first 5 minutes or so; it’s just welcoming the church and birthdays.

     

    Basically it is this….whatever happens to you is nothing compared to getting the message of Christ to everyone. He uses a “prop” to remember too 😉.

     

    So, no matter what my friend does or says to annoy me…”whatever,” I will proclaim the gospel.

  16. 10. Can you share a story of experiencing deep fellowship with a brother or sister in Christ who was quite different from you in many ways? The experience that comes to mind is when I traveled up the Amazon river in Brazil for a medical mission trip. We made a stop at a small town and the church there crowded in to welcome and bless us. They were so happy to have us come in Jesus’ name to minister to the people. One woman was so intent in her welcome. None of us spoke the language but by the end we knew the word for “thank you.”

    11. How might you better give grace to true believers who have different preferences than you in worship and lifestyle. Gaining understanding and perspective gives way to grace for doings different. Understanding the “why” behind their preferences is not only kept to giving grace but it is also excellent relationship-building conversation. I learn something new every time.

  17. 12. Read Galatians 2:6-9

    A. How was God’s calling to Paul and to Peter different? It seems different only in the recipient of their efforts.

    Bl How did God confirm that within the body? It seems implied that James, Peter, and John ‘approved’ and agreed with their ministry.
    C. Why is it important that we take hold what Christ has taken hold of for us, and not take hold of what Christ has taken hold for another? I would think the biggest reason is that if we truly aren’t called to it then we are doing it for the wrong reason…. and we are preventing an opportunity for growth and obedience for those it is meant for.

  18. 12. Read Galatians 2:6-9
      A. How was God’s calling to Paul and to Peter different?
    Paul to the Gentiles and Peter to the Jews
             B. How did God confirm that within the body?
    The right hand of fellowship extended to Paul by the leaders, John, James and Peter.
             C. Why is it important that we take hold of what Christ has taken hold for us,
    and not take hold of what Christ has taken hold for another?
    Firstly, I would be sinning because I will be coveting somebody else’s gift.
    Secondly, I will be depriving them of the gift that God has given to them if I always get in their way.
    Thirdly, we will not have God’s joy and will not experience His enabling.
    Practicing and using our gifts is for the edification of the body of Christ.
    13. How can you lovingly encourage someone right now who has a gift you appreciate with an e-mail or text?
    I love to write letters and send cards especially when the Lord brings somebody to mind. I found this cute set of 2”x3” little letter of thanks shaped like a regular mailing envelope at half price at Barnes and Noble and have written just short notes of encouragement to friends or colleagues.
    This year, I have committed myself to either Email or send a card to my daughter on a weekly basis.
    I know if I just look around every day, there is at least one person I can encourage. It really helps when I pray about it first, though.
    14. What did both of them agree they should both do, according to verse 10? (For private reflection so I don’t make you lose your reward: How do you do this in your life?) To remember the poor.
     

  19. 18.  These verses are a great spot to start telling someone what justification is.

     

    19.a.  Schaeffer is saying that the only way to live by faith is to remain in God’s presence every moment.

    b.  Remember, self, you’ve been bought by a high price. You are not your own. Christ owns my life in this moment and in every situation in every day throughout my life. He surely gives us plenty of opportunities to practice this! And the devil is quick to try and make us forget it.

  20.  
    16. B. You really don’t like praise choruses, preferring hymns, but a large portion of your church does. How could walk in line with the gospel concerning their preferences? How could you use the gospel to speak to your soul?
     

    I guess I could appeal to the choir director to sprinkle some hymns in with the others? I could offer to help choose some hymns to be of assistance, or even offer to sing (if I am a singer) a hymn each week at a certain point in the service. I could use the gospel by saying to myself that the church is really the people, not the order of the service or the components of the service. How I treat those member is very important to both myself and God.

     
    C. You, through the help of God, have overcome a bad habit of (over-spending, over-eating…) and you find, in your thoughts, you are judging those who are still stumbling over this sin. How could you preach the gospel to yourself and therefore show more grace?
     

    I can remember how hard it has been to kick the habit and be understanding that they might have they same struggle as I have/had. I might say to myself that they could be working on the problem as I had been and it just takes a very long time to see results from the changed behavior (losing weight is a long process if done correctly). I could offer to help them through the process somehow (encouragement along the way).

     

     

    17. How would it look to engage in loving confrontation with someone who has lost his grip on the gospel? How do you think Paul shows love here?

     

    I suppose it wouldn’t even have to be only someone who was a believer, right? Yesterday I was barraged with emails of parents of students who need to get work turned in so they can improve their grades. It’s so disappointing that they are first to blame me instead of their children. It’s also disappointing that the children are either lying to their parents about the situation, or they are not willing to accept the responsibility of their actions. It can make me so angry inside and I have to be careful as to how I respond so I can diffuse the moment. I get defensive because it’s not all my fault. I use the “sandwich method of response in emails to parents…I have to make sure I complement the student, discuss the offense and then end with an encouragement about the student. Hopefully I didn’t incite more anger, but I gave the information necessary for the parents to understand better what is going on. This year it seems like I have WAY more parents who can’t seem to allow their kids the opportunity to be mature and take care of business themselves. Trust me I pray a lot during the writing and even after I push the “send” button. I also try to keep in mind that the parent loves this child and just wants to protect them.

     

    So, if it was a believer with whom I was in confrontation, I would try the same tactics. I would make sure I wasn’t angry (breathe Laura, breathe), I would remember we are both really the same with respect to our beliefs and love from God. I would state my case with as much evidence as I could (from the Word itself), and try really hard to keep emotion/feelings out of it.

     

    Paul asks a question and tried to reason with logic with Peter. He doesn’t argue, just states then facts. This is how he shows Peter what he has done is wrong.

  21. 16.
    A. There is a believer in your life who irritates you or has hurt you. How could you walk in line with the gospel with him/her? How could preaching the gospel to yourself help you? Yes, I am helping a church member part-time that I didn’t know very well that is declining from ALS.  She is very particular about her appearance, very intelligent, and doesn’t have great church relationships or immediate family relationships.  She has even spent a great deal of time estranged from her own children but has recently restored them due to her illness.  Although they are back in relationship, they are still in need of healing.  This woman has not hurt me but she is really starting to irritate me.   I will be half way done with making the bed while she is watching and she will ask me a question about her cushion and will want it fixed a different way.  I have to start all over again. This is a common occurrence.  I believe because she doesn’t have control in her life and  she is naturally a controlling person, she is getting satisfaction attempting to control me.  It is really getting on my nerves.  A few times, I have had to set a few boundaries with her and she responds.  I also have had to lovingly speak truth to her.  I am finding myself daily praying for her to help myself.  Wow, that sounds selfish!  I also pray for God to give me words of encouragement, real nuggets from him to speak life to her and he has done it!  I believe God opened the door for me to help this woman and I think God is using this situation to shape me right now.  I am not trained as a caregiver but the way this thing unfolded rather supernaturally, I believe the Lord wants me here. Her son told me her last caregiving left because she was berated so badly.  She doesn’t do that to me.  Here is what I say to myself, rise up, practice your faith.  Here is a woman that is withering and you a momentarily inconvenienced by her weakness.  Be peace, exude love, let gentleness pour from you and stand firm in that faith that God has you, has her and this is only a moment in time!  Some days, I walk out the door and take a big cleansing breath and move on to my day.
    B. You really don’t like praise choruses, preferring hymns, but a large portion of your church does. How could walk in line with the gospel concerning their preferences? How could you use the gospel to speak to your soul?  This is not all about you, Tami.  Many people here are receiving so much from this style of worship, you can listen to hymns anytime.  Press in and listen to the words and imagine the writer experiencing God as the words flow out of them.  You can experience God too and catch the wave of inspiration.
    C. You, through the help of God, have overcome a bad habit of (over-spending, over-eating…) and you find, in your thoughts, you are judging those who are still stumbling over this sin. How could you preach the gospel to yourself and therefore show more grace?  We are all a work in progress.  Stop thinking like that.  You can be judged in so many ways.  If it were not for the grace of God, you would be doing the same thing.  God, thank you for delivering me from shopping to feel good about myself.  Forgive me for my condescending judgement and holding myself at a different standard.  I purpose in my heart not to accuse my brothers in Christ with words or thoughts.  I don’t want to have anything in common with Satan.  He is the accuser me, believers in Jesus and the world.  Your word says to owe man nothing but love.  Work this love in my heart.  I ask you to continue forming this person into Christ’s image and continue that work in me.

    17. How would it look to engage in loving confrontation with someone who has lost his grip on the gospel? How do you think Paul shows love here?  We recently left a church with years of relationships and it was the hardest thing for my husband and myself.  First, we had a lot of communication around this issue to make sure we understood what and why they were making the changes.  These were key issues…not presenting the gospel and teaching around the Holy Spirit that is a departure from our church and the movement of churches we belong to. Initially, we were angry because we knew if they continued on this path these were non-negotiables and we would have to leave.  We expressed our concerns on multiple occasions and continued to pray for months.  We felt the Lord say to “be kind and be loyal to the relationships”.  We also felt a moment where the Lord released us to go somewhere else.  He did a work in our heart where we could be gracious and express love, faith and confidence in the leaders but also draw a line in the sand and speak truth.  God has completely met our families needs in transition to a new church that is answer to our prayers.  I believe because we were not reactionary to the changes in our former church but loving, prayerful and truthful God blessed us going out and coming into a new church.  Our transition was seamless.  We are continuing to pray for our former church.  Paul confronted the error and stood firm in the truth to maintain the freedom Christ paid dearly to give us.

    1. Tami-thank you for sharing your testimony here of how the Lord is helping you through your different situations. I ,too am founding that God sufficiently provides for us when we come to Him. He can do anything if we ask. I have seen Him provide this week in terms of patience, the right words to say and a prayerful spirit rather than a reactionary one.

      About 10 years ago we felt led to move to another church of same denomination as we have attended. It was a painful experience particularly for our daughter. She saw hypocrisy, unforgiveness and pride among the people of God. I pray for her to return to Jesus and to be forgiving of the past. When I look back at times, I have been tempted to revisit the pain but God continues to remind me of  the grace He has extended to me and I let go.

    2. Wow Tami, I love your very personal, specific examples to each of these situations. Oh, the lady with ALS….it must be so difficult for you to remain patient with her when she is so demanding, yet you are being so sensitive to see behind this, that she is losing control of her life, even her very body, and so attempting to maintain some control. It is such a sad and horrible disease. Who knows, her controlling ways might have been the reason behind her strained relationships in the past. I also think you say something very significant in #17, and that is the difference between being reactionary and loving and prayerful. So often, I just react! When emotions are running high, it is so easy to do that.

  22. 15. Read Galatians 2:11-14
    A. What motivated Peter to withdraw from his fellow Gentile believers? (v. 12)
    He was un-accepting of their preferences and afraid of his fellow Jews reaction.
    B. How did Peter’s lack of grace spread? (v. 13)
    Barnabas was led astray along with others.
    C. How do you think this might have impacted the Gentiles who did not yet believe? And why?
    They must have seen it as hypocrisy on the part of Peter. Because he came across as double minded?
        16. Let’s see if we can flesh this out for our own lives.
    A.  There is a believer in your life who irritates you or has hurt you. How could you walk in line with the gospel with him/her? How could preaching the gospel to yourself help you?
    I have been accepted in Christ-I do have my own quirks and yet God loves me so much to send His son to die for me. Just as I am without one plea so is giving grace to others.
    B.  You really don’t like praise choruses, preferring hymns, but a large portion of your church does. How could walk in line with the gospel concerning their preferences? How could you use the gospel to speak to your soul?
    As long as the non-negotiables in the song are intact, I will submit to the choices of songs. I know for some of our elderly, some praise songs are just too long for them to stay singing while standing. My husband-pastor would often say “as you are able, please stand for…”
    Our church service is a combination of hymns and praise songs.
    Case in point: I was trying to decide between a more sedate song vs. a rap one to help teach the books of the Bible to our children who comes on our monthly Wednesday’s parents night out. I settled on the latter and my husband agreed with me. It was fun to listen to the kids pronounce the books of the Bible in rap format. I am hoping they will get to memorize the books in time and would know where to look for them faster and easier as we get further into the year.
    C.  You, through the help of God, have overcome a bad habit of (over-spending, over-eating…) and you find, in your thoughts, you are judging those who are still stumbling over this sin. How could you preach the gospel to yourself and therefore show more grace?
    We are journeying to the same destination (Heaven) but at different speed. He works in us from glory to glory. The Gospel includes all who does not have it all together.

  23.  

    Friday

    18.  Read Galatians 2:15-16.  How would you explain justification to someone who thinks Christianity is behaving morally?  

    I think defining the word justification is a good place to start.  Justification is the declaring of a person to be just or righteous, acquitted or found not guilty.  According to Galatians 2:16, a person is made right or justified with God by faith, not by obeying the law or behaving morally.  It goes on to say that we believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right or just with God because of our faith in Christ.  No one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law or behaving morally.

    19.  After meditating in the above:

    A.   How would you summarize what Schaeffer is saying? 

    A living faith is a continual process (moment by moment), being in constant communion with God…”pray without ceasing.”  1 Thessalonians 5:17

    B.   How would you tell your soul to apply Galatians 2:20 throughout the day? 

    I must remember that I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  I’m still living in the flesh but I live by faith, a faith that goes beyond what saved me, a faith that is active, continual, totally relies in the Son of God and constantly communes with Him.  Thank You Lord, for loving me enough to send Your Son as a sacrifice for my sins.

    1. Praying🙏

    2. Prayers for you Dee that all runs smoothly.

  24. 17. How would it look to engage in loving confrontation with someone who has lost his grip on the gospel? How do you think Paul shows love here?
    I sensed a quick change of tone from v.14 to v. 15. In verse 14, Paul was clear in his rebuke with Peter but in verse 15, he readily identified himself with Peter as a Jew. He then had a rhetorical question in vs. 17 and emphatically responded in a negative. He brought in the futility of works (which his listeners knew he had many of) in vs 19 and instead pointed to having received grace from God.
    Prayer request: I sense Aslan on the move with my daughter and my brother’s family in the Philippines. Would you pray that I would be sensitive to the Spirit for those opportune times to lovingly confront their wrong thinking about the gospel as it relates to a victorious Christian life?

    1. Yes, Bing, praying now!

      1. Susan, thank you. My life is so busy lately and I get easily distracted with doing things to ease my tiredness e.g. playing scrabble on line lol. I so need discipline. Galatians 2:20 is a strong reminder for me to live by faith moment by moment.

    2. Bing, praying for your daughter and your brother’s family in Philippines and for you as you fight for the truth of the gospel.

      1. Thank you, Diane. Our study here on Galatians is so applicable. I have to battle consistently for the lives of my loved ones. I cannot rely on my past prayers. I would like to be the persistent widow.

  25. 18. Read Galatians 2:15-16. How would you explain justification to someone who thinks Christianity is behaving morally? – Behaving morally is part of it, but you have to believe in something, someone in order to know that what you think is morally right is truly right. You can find that in the Word of God. We can all think we are living a morally acceptable life, but are we really. Whose to say what you are doing, or what I’m doing is the right thing. The bible gives us the instruction we need to know for a fact that how we live is morally right. We need to follow those instructions and believe that Jesus is Lord to really know we are justified.

  26. 19. After meditating on the above:
     
               A. How would you summarize what Schaeffer is saying? – That we need to have our faith in Jesus renewed every second of the day. As each second passes and each new circumstance comes up our faith in Jesus changes to fit that specific circumstance so each moment in every day needs to be focused on God.
     
               B. How would you tell your soul to apply Galatians 2:20 throughout the day? – Soul, every time we have a circumstance come up, we need to step back and wait and make sure how we respond shows that Jesus is now living in us. We cannot rush into a decision or response, but we need to wait upon the Lord to guide us.
     

    1. “we need to wait upon the Lord… “Ugh, Julie. Waiting is so hard but we must.

  27. 15. Read Galatians 2:11-14

    A. What motivated Peter to withdraw from his fellow Gentile believers? The arrival of the ‘circumcision party.’

    B. How did Peter’s lack of grace spread? The others follow d his example and “ acted hypocraticaly’ with him.

    C. How do you think this might have impacted the Gentiles who did not yet believe? And why? At the very least it would have confused them. Probably was hurtful seeing Peter’s attitude toward them. There are people even in our current society who loose faith off of similar situations. Sadly…

  28. 20. Embrace living Galatians 2:20 this morning, this afternoon, and this evening — and report back.

    I can’t go into details but a family member has dumped a load of work on me after initially promising to shoulder the lion share of the preparation. It is not the first time. I protested but it was shrugged off as if it was no big deal. I feel used. I need to give grace, but I don’t understand why this keeps happening. I need to die to the sin that wells up in resentment when this happens, but I also need to deal with the bigger issue happening here. This article talks about how being crucified with Christ means fighting the battle to die to sin, knowing that Christ is with us to help us win. It is a comfort to me, much more than platitudes of the self-worth mantra.

    https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/your-identity-in-christ-means-war?fbclid=IwAR38mTZttPjT9MZpi1w27yjEtdiTh8VIkq-bsFzGYSyUF3KxQlVRMLTkV48

     

    1. Diane, am sorry to hear about the extra load that has been dumped on you.  I  appreciate what you said based on the article, ” being crucified with Christ means fighting the battle to die to sin, knowing that Christ is with us to help us win.” Dying to sin is difficult, my natural self wants to do it my way.

    2. Diane…loved the article! This paragraph hit me between the eyes today…

      “Jesus loves you, which is why he would kill that part of you that loves sin.”

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      Our problems need the death of Christ, and they need our death in him (Galatians 2:20). We must believe in the love of God, absolutely. We must believe in Jesus, absolutely. But the first thing we do in that belief is repent. Repent and believe (Mark 1:15). Turn against our old self and believe in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). As John Owen says, “Be killing sin, or it will be killing you.”

  29. New to your site just finished the Idol Lies series. Touched me greatly. I am almost 9 months into my journey as a widow, my husband Allen to melanoma. This series helped me. Thank you.

    1. Sherrie, welcome to the blog. I am sorry to hear about your husband passing. The Lord be your comfort and peace. This is a good place to learn more about God and His Word while enjoying sweet fellowship with one another.

  30. 15. Read Galatians 2:11-14
    A. What motivated Peter to withdraw from his fellow Gentile believers? (v. 12)
    He wanted the approval of the circumcised, so his approval idol.
    B. How did Peter’s lack of grace spread? (v. 13)
    Barnabas was led astray by him.
    C. How do you think this might have impacted the Gentiles who did not yet believe? And why?
    He was living like someone without Christ, like the pharisee, so there was no Grace. The Gentiles wouldn’t see the love and Grace of Jesus, so they didn’t see the Gospel.

  31. 16. Let’s see if we can flesh this out for our own lives.

    A. There is a believer in your life who irritates you or has hurt you. How could you walk in line with the gospel with him/her? How could preaching the gospel to yourself help you?

    I remember that in one of our studies here, we talked about caricaturing a person, and that has stuck with me. When someone annoys or irritates me, I can begin to caricature them in my mind. I find that when someone is irritating to me, I have to decide to stop focusing on those irritating qualities and focus on their good qualities. One thing I tell myself: she is your sister in Christ, we are both members of the same family, and God loves her as much as He loves you.

    B. You really don’t like praise choruses, preferring hymns, but a large portion of your church does. How could walk in line with the gospel concerning their preferences? How could you use the gospel to speak to your soul?

    This is me….I really used to like the praise choruses, but now that I’m older, I’m finding that I prefer quiet, even more formal liturgy, which doesn’t exist in most evangelical churches! But, style of worship isn’t something to get mad about, and certainly not to resent other believers for it. I can enjoy and appreciate different preferences and styles of worship, and realize God made us all different and so we’re going to like different things.

    C. You, through the help of God, have overcome a bad habit of (over-spending, over-eating…) and you find, in your thoughts, you are judging those who are still stumbling over this sin. How could you preach the gospel to yourself and therefore show more grace?

    First, I have to remember not to give myself the credit for overcoming any sin….in myself I am powerless to change. So, pride has no place for me to look down on another who is struggling too. I can pray for them and encourage them to find the freedom that I have found; I think it’s wise not to always offer unsolicited advice, though….give time for the Lord to work on them.

  32. 16. Let’s see if we can flesh this out for our own lives.
    A. There is a believer in your life who irritates you or has hurt you. How could you walk in line with the gospel with him/her? How could preaching the gospel to yourself help you?
    How many times per day do I hurt or irritate Jesus whether intentional or unintentional? Yet He showers me with Grace, with mercy, and with correction and training-daily. He could have abandoned me at the cross but he was abandoned for me so that He could embrace me close-as one-for eternity! So that truth I must remember first for it erases the natural anger or retribution that arises within me. Then I put myself in her shoes and pray about how, or if, to approach her and for timing.
    B. You really don’t like praise choruses, preferring hymns, but a large portion of your church does. How could walk in line with the gospel concerning their preferences? How could you use the gospel to speak to your soul?
    This is hard because I like both but I do have a distaste for bad doctrine in both hymns and praise choruses so it is hard to sing along..but that is different…Maybe for me I have a disdain for separating services because of taste of music..those who like hymns go to one service and those who like praise choruses to another. I think it is silly. This used to be a red mark on my list about a church, but since it is a non-essential and I have gotten older realizing it isn’t that big of a deal, I just let it go.  To walk in line with the Gospel would be to remember as many red marks I can have on my list about stuff like this, God could certainly have against me, but doesn’t. How many times have I judged how silly it is for either side to be so adamantly against the other’s type of music, yet when I am critical like that I too become silly! Oh God is SO long-suffering with us. :)
    C. You, through the help of God, have overcome a bad habit of (over-spending, over-eating…) and you find, in your thoughts, you are judging those who are still stumbling over this sin. How could you preach the gospel to yourself and therefore show more grace?
    Oh wow, what a great question. What helps me is that I have idols too..be careful Rebecca because you could easily go back to over eating it is ONLY by Grace, by His Spirit who empowers me can I maintain moderation in those! It is too much a temptation. HE gets the credit if I don’t over eat. That is all I have to say!! :)

  33. 18. How would you explain justification to someone who thinks Christianity is behaving morally?

     

    I would probably say that we (Christians) believe in being saved through faith, not saved through what we do. We base this on evidence in the scriptures and that those who believe that being a good person will get them then to heaven might want to read the scripture with more depth and they will see where we get our evidence. Tradition in churches shouldn’t be used over scripture.  The fact remains that the Word is the breath of God and some take it more literally than others and some even translate/interpret it differently. They probably won’t agree with me, but I’m guessing they would be curious as to the scripture of which I speak. I would need to be able to point them to the correct verses too.

     

    Incidently, my husband can be this way because he grew up Catholic. He struggles with the “just faith” idea. We have had these conversations before too.

     
    19. After meditating on the above: 
               A. How would you summarize what Schaeffer is saying? 
     

    I think he He means that our faith can be kidnapped easily by the devil at any time. We live in a broken, nasty world. We must remain VIGILENT in our belief!! All day, every moment. We are no longer ourselves, we live with Christ in us.

     

    It reminds me of dieting…it is a constant talking to myself to deny certain foods, or food at all….a long persistence in the same direction.

     
               B. How would you tell your soul to apply Galatians 2:20 throughout the day?
     

    I would say, “I am not alone, Christ is within me, He is helping me get through each and every step of the day, no matter what I face.”

     
         20. Embrace living Galatians 2:20 this morning, this afternoon, and this evening — report back.
     

    I actually did this yesterday (without knowing you assigned this). I had to field more parent emails and I talked my way through them all with God in mind! I had to or my snarky might have come out 😟. I am hoping I have diffused the concerns, but it is an evil place in which we live.

    1. Laura, I read your post above on how you replied to each of those emails, using the “sandwich method” and asking God for help all along the way!

  34. 19. After meditating on the above:

    A. How would you summarize what Shaeffer is saying?

    This is really hard to grasp. He seems to be saying that this reality of living by faith as though we were already dead (left our physical body and with Him in heaven, perfected) while it is invisible to the eye, it is a very real reality – it is our position in Christ. So then we “step back into the external world” as though already raised….it’s not a once and for all thing, but a daily, moment by moment exercise of faith that this is true, and should affect how we live. I need to remind myself, by faith, of this reality all throughout my day. Focusing on it this morning won’t get me through this afternoon, or tonight.

    B. How would you tell your soul to apply Galatians 2:20 throughout the day?

    Susan, you have been crucified with Christ; what happened to Him, in a way, happened to you. You are not the same person you were before you knew Him. You are not an orphan, living life on your own, though you often act as if you are an orphan. When you are anxious, troubled, or tempted to sin, who or what are you looking to for help?  Help isn’t around or about you, it is within you. And He is not a stern judge, waiting for you to mess up….your faith is in Jesus, the One who loved you and gave Himself for you.

  35. 18. Read Galatians 2:15-16. How would you explain justification to someone who thinks Christianity is behaving morally?
    We are not saved by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ. If we are saved by works, then we cannot be justified because nobody can follow the law perfectly!
         19. After meditating on the above:
               A. How would you summarize what Schaeffer is saying? True spirituality of the Christian life is a moment-by-moment faith. Such a revelation and so hard to live out on my own. This makes me realize that I cannot sit on any past laurels of works or spirituality but to keep on depending on God moment by moment.
    B. How would you tell your soul to apply Galatians 2:20 throughout the day?
    By memorizing it and keeping it my mind and saying it out loud throughout the day. “I am crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ 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.”
    Colossians 1:27 …to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
     
    Bing, you have Jesus living in you. Call on Him every time of need. He promised to be faithful. Do not live life on your own. The One who loves you has your back. 
     

  36. Saturday: 
    21. What is your take-a-way this week and why?
     
    a.  I love this, Dee-“…but it digs into the root idol to say “You are not walking in line with the gospel.” We have been forgiven so much, so when we cannot give grace to another, as Peter was not, we are forgetting the love of Christ, and therefore prone to sin — to want the approval of others.”
    This has helped me process some of my latest frustrations and irritations and to consider what idols are rearing their ugly heads particularly, the approval of others.
    b.    True spirituality is living the Christian life in dependence on God moment by moment.

  37. 18. Read Galatians 2:15-16. How would you explain justification to someone who thinks Christianity is behaving morally?
    If you have ever tried to live a moral life, you know how impossible it is! It becomes obvious that we cannot be set right with God by rule keeping…but only by fully embracing and believing that He sent His Son to die for all our moral failures because He loves us so much that He was willing to go to any lengths to restore a relationship with His beloved creation! 
    Galatians 2:20 can help us live the gospel throughout the day. Meditate on this from Francis Schaeffer:
    The reality of living by Faith, as though we were already dead, of living by Faith in open communion with God, and then stepping back into the external world as though we already were raised from the dead, this is not once and for all, it is a matter of moment-by-moment faith, and living moment-by-moment. This morning’s Faith will never do for this noon. The Faith of this noon will never do for supper time…To believe Him, not just when I accepted Christ as Savior, but every moment, one moment at a time: this is the Christian life, and this is true spirituality.
         19. After meditating on the above: 
               A. How would you summarize what Schaeffer is saying? He is saying that the living of the justified life involves believing every moment of every day, no matter what your circumstances look like, that you can live a Christ pleasing life…not in your own power…but by believing that His spirit lives in You and therefore His spirit will win the day!
               B. How would you tell your soul to apply Galatians 2:20 throughout the day? Bless the Lord oh my soul…you can rest in what He has done…you no longer have to live the driven life striving to please God! Your ego is no longer in the driver’s seat. Let God love you…trust in that love and live out of that loved place and He will ask nothing more of you. 
         20. Embrace living Galatians 2:20 this morning, this afternoon, and this evening — and report back. I was able to stay home from church this morning without feeling guilty…I so needed a day of rest. A day to live in His love without having to hurry!