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Book of Galatians Galatians Bible Study Series - Joel H. Linton

Week 7

Galatians 2:15-21

Note: This lesson takes some thinking, but it is all worth it.

Read: Galatians 2:15-21

1. What is Paul's summary of the Gospel in vs. 16?

(a: You are justified by faith in Jesus Christ.)

2. What does the word, "justify," mean?

(a: To be legally declared righteous...) If you were to die today and face the court of God's justice, do you think God will declare you guilty or justified? (a: some will answer non-guilty... because they are pretty good... others because of Christ.... others will say they are guilty... just be sensitive to this... if some feel convicted.... thank them for sharing... and tell them... continue to see what Paul is saying here... go on...)

Why does this concept (not guilty if you follow the law) not work when it comes to God dealing with men?

vs. 16 (a: no one will be justified... because we are all already declared guilty.)

4. The word, "Gospel," means "good news." Some of the Jews were saying to the Galatian churches, "Each man is justified by him obeying the law." Is this teaching good news?
(a: no)

Why or why not?
(a: Because no one can do it... we would have no hope! All are lawbreakers already.)

5. If you seek to be justified by faith in Christ, what are you admitting about yourself?

(a: you are a sinner... and cannot be legally declared righteous any other way... since you are already guilty.)

6. Is Christ encouraging sin by giving you an easy way out?

vs. 17 (a: NO!)

Why or why not?

(Note: this answer does not directly arise from the text... but is a good teaching opportunity to explain the Bible's Gospel message.)

Jesus becoming a man, living a life of suffereing and dying on the cross shows what about how God views sin....

(a: how terrible sin is before God... require a drastic action)

shows what about the condition we are in...

(a: how much trouble we are in... God's justice must be satisfied... and we are condemned)

Also, Jesus' death and resurrection brings us new life, a new creation.... so that we will actually be able to become more holy.

So actually, the only way to promote "law keeping" is faith in Jesus! It is the only way to bring holiness.

7. The circumcision group was concerned that justification by faith was too easy and so promotes sin. How is their view that you can only be justified by the works of the law actually promoting sin?

vs. 18

(a: rejects God's grace... and losing the one way to true holiness AND it does not really take seriously how sinful human beings really are. It actually ignores sin that is there.)

8. What does the law do to you?

vs. 19 (see also Romans 6:23)

(a: it kills you. You stand condemned. It has the opposite effect on you... than to justify you... instead it declares you guilty and gives you a death sentence. Romans 6:23)

9. What does faith in Christ do to you?

vs. 20 (a: it gives you life)

(a longer answer: it unites you to Christ. He takes your sinfulness. and you take his righteousness as your own to be declared righteous by. Jesus's crucifixion is counted as yours, the payment for your sins. Jesus' resurrection life is counted as yours. Since you are now justified, God accepts you and comes to be with you. And He brings you new life... so that you change and actually become more holy.)

10. Why is it foolish to seek to be justified by the words of the law?

vs. 21 a: you are setting aside the grace of God! You are rejecting a free gift... a "win, win" situation... and are instead holding on to a "lose, lose" situation.)

11. Why can we not compromise and do both... faith in Christ and circumcision as the Galatian church was trying to do? vs. 21 (a: Christ's death is meaningless if you can be justified on your own by following the law. The two teachings are opposite.)

12. Have there been (or are there now) times in your life from times you were trying to be justified by the law... or by Christ plus the law? How did/do you feel? Please share.

How does the Gospel of justification by faith in Jesus affect you?


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