Weekend Bible Study
Theme of the Week: Sin: What We Can't and Can Do About It
Saturday, February 1, 2014
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During the early years of the church, some Jewish Christians were blending old-school Judaism with their Christian beliefs. In their efforts to spread their particular brand of legalism, they traveled to Galatia and demanded that the Gentile Christians there obey the law of Moses (3:2)—and this included the Jewish rite of circumcision. Paul confronted this false thinking directly and forcefully in today's study passage. The gist of his message: You are not saved by keeping religious rules but by faith in Christ alone, and your good deeds and changed behavior result from God's Spirit at work in you.
Why are rules helpful? What can be the downside of rules?
Read all three chapters twice. Write down a few observations or truths about the law. Write down a few truths or observations about faith.
Based on what you wrote about faith, what do you think it means to have faith or live by faith?
According to 3:19-22, what is the purpose of the law? (See also Rom. 3:19-20.)
According to 5:13-26, what does a Spirit-led life look like?
For the next week, begin each day by asking God to fill you with his Spirit (Eph. 5:18). Look for signs of that filling throughout each day.
Key Study Passage:
Spend Time in Prayer: Name three to five reasons you are grateful for salvation that comes through faith in Christ; thank God for each reason.
The Law and Faith in Christ
3 Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ's death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. 2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. 3 How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? 4 Have you experienced[a] so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?
5 I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.
6 In the same way, "Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith."[b] 7 The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.
8 What's more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, "All nations will be blessed through you."[c] 9 So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.
Prayer for the Week
Heavenly Father, may I remember that I can't rid myself of sin by my own effort and that Christ died and rose again to free me from the power of sin and death.
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