Failure to Stand 18 Mar

(Message 2) Failure can result from wrong decisions or wrong beliefs. In fact, just because we believe something, that doesn’t make it right. Paul found this out the hard way. Jesus repurposed Paul’s life, making him a bold fighter who was willing to stand for the Gospel when others failed to do so. #gcepicfail

Paul Timeline

 

“Judaism was the cradle of Christianity and very nearly became its grave.”

Judaizer Theology:
Jesus + Jewish practices = Salvation

The Gospel:
Jesus + nothing = Salvation

 

Don’t be like Peter:

  • Don’t let fear of what others think of you take your freedom in Christ
  • Don’t fall into the hypocrisy of legalism

 

3 Flavors of Legalism:

  1. Performing rituals or “dos and don’ts” to earn salvation
  2. Following the rules to be “more holy” after receiving Christ by faith
  3. Teaching man made rules or preferences as God’s commands

 

You might be a legalist if…

  1. God’s love for me depends on what I do.
  2. I want my children to avoid sinful people.
  3. My main goal in life is to try to gain God’s favor by doing things that will impress him.
  4. When I sin, I feel guilty even after I ask God to forgive me.
  5. My sense of spiritual well-being is linked to a Christian leader or membership in church rather than a personal relationship with Jesus.
  6. I’ve trusted in Jesus, but doubt my salvation.
  7. God is most glorified in my preferred style of music.
  8. Clothing, hairstyle, piercings, tattoos, etc. is a clear indication of a person’s character.
  9. When I write a check to my church, I tithe to the penny.
  10. I will likely get into heaven because I have tried to be a basically good person.
    see more here…

 

The End of Legalism:

  1. See the law for what it is
  2. Live by faith in Christ
  3. Don’t “cheat” on Jesus

 

Scripture used: Acts 26:4-5, Acts 26:9-11, Acts 26:13-16, Galatians 1:11-12, Galatians 2:1-3, Galatians 2:11-14, Galatians 3:24-25, Galatians 2:20-21

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  1. What manmade religious standards (legalism) did you grow up with (clothing, speech, actions, religious rituals, traditions, rules, cultural preferences, etc.)?  Share with your group.
  2. Read Acts 26:9-16. Paul had an “eye-opening”  experience at his conversion. He went from being a legalistic persecutor of Christians, a “Hebrew of Hebrews” (Philippians 3:5), to being a follower of Christ. If you’ve begun your relationship with Jesus, what were some of the immediate changes in your religious practices and beliefs? Share with the group.
  3. Read these definitions:
    • Grace is defined as “unmerited favor”. It’s a gift we don’t deserve. It is unearned by us, but comes at great cost to Christ as it was His grace that prompted His crucifixion to grant us forgiveness of sin and salvation.
    • Legalism is the attempt to earn forgiveness or salvation through adherence to laws and regulations.
  4. In Galatians 2, Paul is taking a stand against people (Judaizers) who thought that they were super-moral or had something extra that gave them an edge on salvation. Why did the legalism of the Judaizers lead them to consider themselves better than others?
  5. Take a couple minutes, only a couple, and circle Yes or No to the following statements. Don’t think too hard, answer fast.
    1. I believe that God loves me more when I behave. Yes or No.
    2. After being around Christians for a while I feel drained —weary of putting up a false front.  Yes or No.
    3. When I encounter another professing Christian, I find myself judging their appearance. Yes or No.
    4. I’ve trusted in Jesus, but I still doubt my salvation.  Yes or No.
    5. God is predisposed to be angry with me because I am a sinner. My main goal in life is to try to gain God’s favor by doing things that will impress him.  Yes or No.
    6. When I sin, I feel guilty even after I ask God to forgive me.  Yes or No.
    7. I want my children to avoid contact with sinful people.  Yes or No.
    8. I believe that God is most glorified in my preferred style of music.  Yes or No
    9. I feel guilty when I exceed the speed limit by even a few miles per hour.  Yes or No
    10. I feel unloved by God or cursed if I skip Bible reading, prayer, or church.  Yes or No.
    11. I sometimes worry that people might take advantage of grace if it’s preached too much —people might think they can do anything they want.  Yes or No.
    12. When I happen to miss a service or activity of my church I feel guilty.  Yes or No
    13. I try hard to obey God and it irritates me that others think they can get away with avoiding the same level of dedication.  Yes or No.
    14. I fall short because I don’t have enough faith, or because I haven’t prayed enough, or because I just need to be a better person.  Yes or No.
  6. Did you find yourself having a hard time answering quickly? Or did you have lots of yeses?  Discuss your findings with your group and read the following quotation: “Some of these are more crucial than others, but if you circled “yes” to a fair number, it’s likely that you struggle with a distorted view of God and his Word. It’s likely that you are legalistic.”   (https://libertyforcaptives.com/2015/03/11/30-signs-of-legalism-a-checklist/)
  7. Read Galatians 2:11-14. Paul confronted Peter publicly about his Judaizing teachings. If you have a disagreement with someone, what do you normally do? What should you do? (Matthew 18:15-17) Why do you think that this time Paul spoke in front of “them all” instead of privately?
  8. Wyatt brought up the distinction between disbelievers and misbelievers. Discuss the distinction.
    1. Under what circumstances have you been like Peter by compromising what you know to be true, so that you could meet the expectations of others?
    2. Do you have any “Jesus + teachings” that might be trending toward misbelief? Are you imposing them on others?
  9. Read Galatians 2:19-21. In verse 20, what is the significance of having been crucified (or died) with Christ? What does it mean to God? What does it mean to you? What effect should this have on your daily life? (Galatians 5:24; Romans 6:8-10, 7:6)
If you have begun your relationship with Jesus, have you taken your next step of believer’s baptism?  God calls us to stand against legalism and the fear of others, and to be baptized to proclaim that Jesus Christ is your Savior according to the grace and forgiveness offered in Him alone. If you have not been baptized since calling on Jesus Christ for eternal life as your risen Lord, it’s not too late to take the challenge of publicly proclaiming your stand for Him through baptism.
Let us know: baptism@generationschurch.com, call 910-520-5909.

Daily Scripture Readings:

Day 1:  Galatians 3:1-9
Day 2: Galatians 3:10-18
Day 3:  Galatians 3:19-29
Day 4:  Galatians 4:1-7
Day 5:  Galatians 4:8-16
Day 6:  Galatians 4:17-23
Day 7:  Galatians 4:24-31

DIGGING DEEPER VERSES:

Romans 6:11-14 (NLT)

v.11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

v.12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.

v.13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.

v.14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

ABC’s

Author: Romans 1:1 identifies the author of the Book of Romans as the apostle Paul. Romans 16:22 indicates that Paul used a man named Tertius to transcribe his words.

Background:  Paul’s purpose in writing was to encourage and edify the believers who would receive this letter. He did this by proclaiming the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was particularly concerned with those to whom this letter was written. This letter was written to those in Rome who were “loved by God and called to be saints” (Romans 1:7). Being that he himself was a Roman citizen, he had a great and unique passion for believers in Rome. This letter was his introduction to the church in Rome since he has never visited up to this point.

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Context: The Book of Romans makes it clear that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. Every “good” deed we have ever done is as a filthy rag (Isaiah 64:6) before God. So dead in our trespasses and sins are we that only the grace and mercy of God can save us.

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1, 2, 3’s

Step 1 – Observation:  What does the passage say?  

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Step Two – Interpretation:  What does it mean?  

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Step Three- Application:  How does it apply to my life?

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Speaker

Wyatt Klein

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