04: Justification by Faith Alone – Teaching Plan
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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 [...]

Whom Does Jesus Call?
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GoodSalt.com-lwjas0293

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 [...]

Wednesday: The Obedience of Faith
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10-19

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 [...]

Tuesday: The Basis of Our Justification
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10-18

“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, [...]

Living by Faith
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“…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 [...]

Monday: Works of the Law
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10-17

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 [...]

Sunday: The Question of “Justification”
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10-16

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 [...]

Sabbath: Justification by Faith Alone
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10-15

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 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 [...]

Further Study: The Unity of the Gospel
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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 [...]

Inside Story: The Stranger
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IS - 10-15

Geraldo Makinano

I slumped onto a fallen tree in the thick forest to wait for my partner and fellow student missionary to catch up to me. We still had 20 miles to hike, and we were tired and thirsty.

Suddenly I realized that we were in rebel territory where soldiers roam searching for “the enemy.” They might shoot us before we could explain who we are. “Lord,” I whispered, “please protect us.” A few minutes later we started up the trail again. [...]

03: Unity in the Gospel – Teaching Plan
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10-8

The Unity of the Gospel October 15, 2011
Key Thought: The church was in danger of losing its understanding of the gospel because of dependence on Jewish traditions that opposed faith in Christ’s work.
1. Have a volunteer read Galatians 2:3-5

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.

B. Why were the Jews so concerned about the Gentiles being circumcised?

C. Personal Application: What challenge does the SDA [...]

Thursday: Paul’s Concern
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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 eat with the visitors from Jerusalem. Ancient traditions about hospitality certainly would have required as much.

The issue was “the truth of the gospel.” That is, it wasn’t [...]