MAIN POINT OF PASSAGE (in one sentence): Whether Jew or Gentile no one is justified by works of the law, justification is through faith in Jesus Christ alone,
APPLICATION FROM THE PASSAGE: We are called to live in the liberty of freedom of Jesus Christ not in bondage to the law.—- need more of vs 19,20 here
GETTING STARTED (115 words)
What do you spend your time and energy doing, and how much of that are you taking credit for? What if life isn’t actually about you? What if, instead of striving and grasping for the approval of God and others, we should be letting go and relinquishing ourselves and all our pretenses? What if we, who claim to follow Christ, are actually creating our own suffering by placing our identities in the things we work for, in relationships, etc. We call these things, our works and efforts, “good,” but are they?
- What do you think determines whether our works and efforts are good and meaningful?
READ THE WORD: GALATIANS 2:15-21 (ESV)
15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified by 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.
- Who is Paul addressing in this text, and why is that important to know when reading/studying this passage (vs. 15)?
- Paul was correcting false teaching about the gospel in the churches of Galatia. According to verse 16, what was the false teaching and what was the truth?
- What did it mean to be dead to the law (vs. 19), and why is it significant that Paul, a Jew, said this?
- In what ways do you still “live to the law”? In other words, do you work and strive for righteousness in the things you do, instead of relying solely on Christ?
- Set before God your right to yourself, all the striving you do for “good,” and ask him, “What should I relinquish to you?” What would it look like, practically, to let Christ live in you instead?
RESPOND TO GOD (115 words)
It’s all bondage if we are working for our own righteousness. If all the things we strive for “in the name of Christ” are about creating a portfolio of sainthood to gain favor with God, there is no liberty there, no freedom there. By Jesus’ work on the cross, and him being crucified, we are given the opportunity to die to all the striving and grasping, and instead, live a fully crucified life by faith in the Son of God. It’s a tough thing relinquishing all of yourself, all systems of belief, all identity in work and relationships so that you live only to God, but it’s worth it. He’s worth it. Ask yourself, who is doing the living?
- Pray that God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, would burst through any illusions that you are in control, revealing to you the truth of what it is to be crucified with Christ—for you to no longer live, but instead for Christ to live in you.