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Galatians and JamesKerygma materials

Paul’s letter to the Galatians Chapter 2

1. Paul says in Galatians 2 “15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law. 17 But if, in our effort to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have been found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 But if I build up again the very things that I once tore down, then I demonstrate that I am a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; 20 and it is no longer I who live, but it is 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. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.”

2. Kerygma points out that often Jesus does not use the terms Paul uses to describe concepts.
a. RIGHTEOUS. Read the following texts. In one or two sentences, state what Jesus says about being righteous. How closely do you think Paul agrees with Jesus?
i. Galatians 2:21. “I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.”
ii. Matthew 23:27–31, where Jesus denounced the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees
iii. Luke 15:25–32. In the prodigal son story, the the older son in verse 29a is declaring himself to be righteous]
b. JUSTIFIED. (Note that the same Greek word has been translated both as “righteousness” and as “justification” in English Bibles.) Where does Jesus sound closest to Paul? What differences do you hear? In one or two sentences, sum up Jesus’ thoughts on justification.
i. Galatians 2:16. “yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing theworks of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law.”
ii. Luke 7:36–50. in which a female sinner washed Jesus’ feet while the Pharisees do not
iii. Luke 17:7–10. Jesus discusses the role of slave/servants is to serve, not to ask for equality with the master.
iv. Luke 15:17–23. The prodigal son, having nothing to eat, resolves to return to his father but to ask to be treated as a hired hand.
c. FAITH. Define faith as Paul sees it, as the disciples see it, as the centurion sees it, and as Thomas sees it.
i. Galatians 2:20, “ and it is no longer I who live, but it is 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.”
ii. Matthew 4:18–22. Jesus calls two sets of fisherman brothers, both of whom leave their nets and follow.
iii. Luke 7:1–10 The centurion (a Roman soldier) sent some elders asking to heal his servant., saying he was not worthy to have Jesus come under his roof.
iv. John 20:24–29. Thomas will not believe that Jesus has resurrected unless he sees and touches his wounds. d. GRACE. Read the following texts. How do you think Paul defines grace? How does Jesus define grace without using the word?
i. Galatians 2:9, 2:21 “James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. . . . I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.”
ii. Luke 12:29–32. Jesus tells his disciples not to worry about what they will eat and drink, but to seek the kingdom of God and all the rest will be given as well.
iii. Luke 15:17–23. The father welcomes the prodigal son home with a feast.
iv. John 15:4–5. Jesus is the vine and the disciples are the branches. Without Jesus the disciples can do nothing.

3. What do these four terms, righteous, justification, faith and grace, mean to you?
4. In another letter, Romans, 8, Paul says “28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, either the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

5. Paul says in verse 2, 19 ““For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” What does this mean to you?
6. Paul says in verse 2, 21 “if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.” Why would this be true? Do you agree?