Monday: Works of the Law

Obeying food laws

Paul says three times in Galatians 2:16 that a person is not justified by “works of the law.” What does he mean by the expression “works of the law”? How do these texts (Gal. 2:16-17; Gal. 3:2, Gal. 3:5; Gal. 3:10; Rom. 3:20; Rom. 3:28) help us to understand his meaning? Before we can understand the phrase “the works of the law,” we first need … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: The Question of “Justification”


In Galatians 2:15, Paul writes, “We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners” (ESV). What point do you think he was making? Paul’s words need to be understood in their context. In an attempt to win over his fellow Jewish Christians to his position, Paul starts with something they would agree with — the traditional distinction … [Click to read more …]

Sabbath: Justification by Faith Alone

Faith Alone

Read for This Week’s Study: Gal. 2:15-21; Eph. 2:12; Phil. 3:9; Rom. 3:10-20; Gen. 15:5-6; Rom. 3:8. Memory Text: “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 … [Click to read more …]

Friday: Further Thought – Unity of the Gospel

Spectacles on Bible

Further Thought: For further study on the issue of unity and diversity in the church, read Ellen G. White, “Investigation of New Light,” pp. 45, 47, in Counsels to Writers and Editors; “An Explanation of Early Statements”, p. 75, in Selected Messages, book 1;“Tactfulness,” pages. 117-119, in Gospel Workers; and “Manuscript Release 898,” pgs. 1092, 1093, in 1888 … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: Paul’s Concern

Paul's Concern

The situation in Antioch surely was tense: Paul and Peter, two leaders in the church, were in open conflict. And Paul holds nothing back as he calls Peter to account for his behavior. What reasons does Paul give for publicly confronting Peter? Gal. 2:11-14. As Paul saw it, the problem was not that Peter had decided to … [Click to read more …]

Why Circumcision?

Monday’s lesson, mentions circumcision, and if the Gentiles ever needed to be circumcised. Some have wondered why in the world God wanted the penis involved in a sign of loyalty. Some atheists have made fun of Christianity and the Bible over this topic.  What we need to understand is, the penis was the part of … [Click to read more …]

HopeSS: The Unity of the Gospel

You can view an in-depth discussion of “The Unity of the Gospel” in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: Confrontation in Antioch


Some time after Paul’s consultation in Jerusalem, Peter made a visit to Antioch in Syria, the location of the first Gentile church and the base of Paul’s missionary activities described in Acts. While there, Peter ate freely with the Gentile Christians, but when a group of Jewish Christians arrived from James, Peter — fearful of … [Click to read more …]

3: The Unity of the Gospel – Discussion Starters

1. Paul’s wish. Our lesson begins with this stunning question, after extolling the value of harmony in God’s church: Should unity be preserved at the cost of truth? Do we sometimes debate issues on the basis of who agrees with us (or them) rather than on the merits of a given position?   2. The importance … [Click to read more …]

Singing with Inspiration – 3: The Unity of the Gospel

Our Sabbath afternoon introduction to this weeks’ lesson has: Hymn 518, “Standing on the Promises”, and Hymn 610, “Stand Like the Brave” ringing in my ears. To these we may add: Hymn 618, “Stand Up! Stand Up for Jesus!”. Martin Luther stood firm and as Ellen White says “his unwavering firmness was the means of … [Click to read more …]