It was time for evening worship. Jim opened his Bible to read a key verse and almost choked laughing.
“What’s so funny?” Gracie asked.
“Paul is calling the Galatians nincompoops!”
“No, he’s not. He just says they’re foolish.”
“But the meaning is the same—stupid, ignorant, idiotic—and it’s in the Bible!”
“Exactly where it should be.”
“Because the Bible is loaded with descriptions of people who went bad.”
“They were good at first?”
“Maybe, but not that good. But they turned bad.”
“So bad that they missed the point of Christ’s ministry. Today we can learn from the Bible how to get out of that dead end sort of reasoning.”
“We can but we don’t.”
“We don’t but we should.”
“Then let’s get going.”
And they opened their Bibles and studied Galatians 3.
Discussion Questions for Old Testament Faith, October 29, 2011
- Key point. What was so foolish about the Galatians?
Weren’t they Christians born into the faith of Jesus? How can a person know if he or she is a Christian? Think of the time when you gave your heart to Jesus. Was your salvation assured at that time no matter what you might do or think? Has anything happened since then to make you wonder why God would want to save you? Do you identify your lack of spiritual knowledge with the “foolishness” of the Gentiles described by Paul in Galatians 3? Or do you feel pretty good about the life you live today?
- The role of Scripture in salvation. Can you find salvation in Scripture? Where? If salvation today is a walking, working relationship with Jesus, what was it before the cross? Did Abraham have a close, personal relationship with God during his life? Does God choose only the perfectly obedient to be His special people? Why do you think Paul seemed to be impressed to talk to the Galatians more about Jesus as their hope of salvation than about keeping the law?
- Abraham’s call. In what way or ways was Abraham’s call to service in Genesis equal to the gospel of Christ in the New Testament? How could that be? What were the blessings that Abraham was promised he would convey to those who obeyed God’s voice? Why is it easy to interpret the gospel as being “of the law” in the Old Testament and “of Christ” in the New Testament? Have you ever had the conviction that the gospel changed dramatically with the crucifixion of Jesus for our sins?
- Cursed by the law. Imagine growing up believing you are saved by your faithful obedience to the law. How would you feel sitting in a congregation and hearing your pastor say you are cursed by such a belief? Why is it so hard for some Christians to accept the unity of the gospel across the testaments? What methods have you seen that have worked to help bridge the gap? Do you take comfort in the Bible position that God rules from eternity? That God does not change?
- Abraham’s character. What is your personal image of Abraham? Do you think about his willingness to offer his son Isaac on the altar as the primary example of his faithfulness? What about his untruth when he presented his wife as his sister—twice? What did God do about these misdeeds? Should the story of Abraham frighten us or give us hope? Can you and I have such a deep relationship with God that we recognize His voice and His impressions?
- Faith and trust. Which is easier for us to understand—obedience
or faith in God? What would a relationship with Jesus be like if it were based solely on our willingness to do what He says? Why didn’t God create us with an inability to sin? Couldn’t He have demonstrated His love to Adam and Eve so forcibly that they would never have thought of disobeying Him? Do you want to be redeemed from the curse of the law? Are you worthy? Does it matter? If not, what does matter?