NT Fire Starters – Day 258: Galatians 2:1-21
READ: Galatians 2:1-21
THINK: Can you recall a time when you knew what was right, but gave in to pressure and did otherwise? Or have you ever tried to do the “right” thing, but with wrong motives? God wants you to do the right things for the right reasons. Most of all, He wants you to serve Him out of love and gratitude. And He doesn’t ask you to do it in your own capability. Instead, He enables you to fulfill His purposes as you trust Him. Knowing God isn’t a matter of following rules and routines; it’s about a personal relationship with the One who gave everything for you. If you could gain that relationship by your own efforts, Jesus wouldn’t have had to pay the price to make a way to God.
RESPOND: How can false teaching enslave people spiritually (v. 4)? (See 2:4 note.) What does “legalism” mean in regard to spiritual salvation? What legitimate and necessary role does God’s law serve regarding salvation and a relationship with God? (See 2:4 note.) What should your motivation be for following God’s standards? In what ways do God’s judgments differ from our impressions of people, and how should this affect our responses to others? (See 2:6 note.) Why is it important “to remember the poor”? (See 2:10 note)? Why did Peter begin to “draw back” (v. 12) from Gentiles (non-Jews)? Why was he “clearly in the wrong” (v. 11) and “not in line with the truth of the gospel” (v. 14)? (See 2:12 note.) What was the key issue in Paul’s letter to the Galatians? (See 2:16 note.) What does it mean to be justified by faith and not by observing the law” (v. 16)? Does this make God’s laws obsolete for Christians today? Why or why not? (See Matthew 5:17 note.) What does it mean to be “crucified with Christ” (v. 20), and how does that enable Christ to live in and through a person? (See 2:20 note.) How would you define God’s grace and how it relates to His mercy and justice? (See 2:21 note.) How does true “righteousness” develop in Jesus’ followers?
PRAY: Pray that you won’t be swayed by people’s opinions and behaviors, particularly in how you treat others. Give God thanks for His saving grace and for enabling you to entrust your life to Him.
ACT: Are you compromising your Christian influence or setting a bad example for anyone by how you treat them or what you expect of them? Take notice if your attitudes and actions stem from worrying about what others think of you. Don’t be a hypocrite. Adjust your behavior so that it honors Jesus and encourages others.