Rudy Micelli grew up in a musical Christian family in Brazil. He’s sung praises to God since he was a child. Often he would pretend to sing along with a favorite recording, and as he grew older, singing for God became his passion.
While studying some religion classes, Rudy took a class on cults. There Rudy’s teacher warned of many cults, including the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. “Adventists perform blood rituals in their worship,” the teacher said. “They are dangerous and should [...]
The river had been well past flood stage for days, and as darkness settled on the streets and rooftops of the city that night, the wind picked up and howled its fearful message that destruction had arrived. A board worked its way loose outside Sam’s apartment on second floor and crashed against the street light. A short display of fireworks and then darkness. Sam could feel the floor sinking and then rising again, his knees giving way [...]
One of the main accusations against Paul was that his gospel of justification by faith alone encouraged people to sin (see Rom. 3:8,6:1). No doubt the accusers reasoned that if people do not have to keep the law to be accepted by God, why should they be concerned with how they live?
How does Paul respond to the accusation that a doctrine of justification by faith alone encourages sinful behavior? Gal. 2:17, 18.
Paul responds to his opponents’ charges in the strongest terms possible: “God [...]
Key Thought: Sinners can be justified in God’s sight only by accepting what God has done for them in Christ. Through faith we may die to self and let Christ live His life in us.
Lesson for October 22, 2011
1. Have a volunteer read Galatians 2:15-17
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Why does Paul state that the Jews by nature and not sinners of the [...]
Sometimes we tend to think that Jesus only commissions certain kinds of people, but Matthew 28:19-20 sounds like a pretty inclusive mandate to me. No one is excluded from going into all the world to teach the gospel, no hand is to be held back that could be involved in service and outreach. Jesus commissions all of us! Without waiting for committee action or heated dialogue, Jesus ascended into heaven, expecting His adherents’ complete obedience to His command. 1
Ellen White [...]
Paul makes it clear that faith absolutely is foundational to the Christian life. It is the means by which we lay hold of the promises we have in Christ. But what is faith exactly? What does it involve?
What do the following texts teach us about the origin of faith? Gen. 15:5, 6; John 3:14–16; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15; Gal. 5:6.
Genuine biblical faith is always a response to God. Faith is not some kind of feeling or attitude that humans one day decide to have because [...]
“And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (Phil. 3:9, NKJV).
We should not assume Jewish Christians were suggesting that faith in Christ was not important; after all, they were all believers in Jesus. They all had faith in Him. Their behavior showed, however, that they felt faith was not sufficient by itself; it must be supplemented with obedience, [...]
“…just as it is written: `The righteous will live by faith.’” Romans 1:17, NIV
While I was attending Walla Walla College in the late 1970s, a professor asked his class an impromptu quiz. “How many believe,” he asked, “that we can work our way to heaven by our good deeds?”
Only one or two hands went up.
“How many believe that our salvation is totally a gift of grace without regard to our good deeds?”
This time a few more hands went up.
Finally, he [...]
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; 3:2, 5, 10; Rom. 3:20, 28) help us understand his meaning?
Before we can understand the phrase “the works of the law,” we first need to understand what Paul means by the word law. The word law (nomos in Greek) is found 121 times in Paul’s letters. It can refer to a number [...]
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 between Jews and Gentiles. Jews were the elect of God, entrusted with His law, and they enjoyed the benefits of the covenant relationship with Him. Gentiles, however, were [...]
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.
“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” (Galatians 2:20, ESV).
As we saw last week, Paul publicly confronted Peter in Antioch for the lack of consistency between the faith he advocated and [...]
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,” pp. 117–119, in Gospel Workers; and “Manuscript Release 898,” pp. 1092, 1093, in1888 Materials, vol. 3.
“Even the best of men, if left to themselves, will make grave blunders. The more responsibilities placed upon the human agent, the higher his position to dictate and control, the more mischief he [...]