Monday: Works of the Law
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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 … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: The Question of “Justification”
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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 … [Click to read more …]

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 … [Click to read more …]

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 … [Click to read more …]

Unity as Music
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“Live in harmony with one another…” Romans 12:16, NIV I enjoy concerts. I marvel at how many different instruments in an orchestra can blend together to produce something of great power and beauty. I also thrill at the many different voices that blend together to produce the majestic strains of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” Whether it … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: Unity in Diversity
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Read Galatians 2:1–10. Paul says that the false brothers “slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery”(Gal. 2:4, ESV). What are Christians free from? Read ; Rom. 6:6, 7; 8:2, 3; Gal. 3:23–25; 4:7, 8; Heb. 2:14, 15. How do we experience for ourselves the reality of this freedom?  Freedom, as a … [Click to read more …]

Monday: Circumcision and the False Brothers
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Why was circumcision such a focal point in the dispute between Paul and certain Jewish Christians? See Gen. 17:1–22; Gal. 2:3–5; 5:2, 6; Acts 15:1, 5. Why is it not that hard to understand how some could have believed that even the Gentiles needed to undergo it? Circumcision was the sign of the covenant relationship that God established with Abraham, the … [Click to read more …]