Readings for May 5 to 11

People are Justified by Grace Through Faith
May 5, 2013
Galatians 1:13-17; 2:11-21

Key Verses: “Yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ… I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:16, 19b-20

Time: 50-55 C.E.

Since Last Week: Paul had traveled his corner of the world spreading the news about the risen Christ Jesus. Galatia was a community of Jewish and Gentile (non-Jewish) believers. The community there had been misled to believe they had to conform to Jewish practices (including food restrictions and circumcision) in order to be a follower of Jesus.

Background: Paul was quite direct in his disdain for the community’s wrong teachings. He argued that people are justified (made right with God) not by works (like circumcision), but by faith (what Christ has done for us).

Community: Christians historically have been notorious for expecting believers and non-believers to live by the law (as though saved by our good deeds and our refraining from sin). How might your story sound if you shared the good news that people are saved by the work of Jesus Christ apart from their good works? How might non-believers respond to such a message?

At Home: How do you feel about the news that your salvation doesn’t depend upon what you do or fail to do? Does this sound like good news or bad to you? What might prevent you from claiming this gift of justification and salvation? How can you begin to let go of your reservations?

Read This Week:
Monday: Welcome to the Galatians, Galatians 1:1-12
Tuesday: Paul Defends His Apostleship, Galatians 1:18-24
Wednesday: Paul and the Other Apostles, Galatians 2:1-10
Thursday: God’s Promise to Abraham, Galatians 3:10-18
Friday: The Purpose of the Law, Galatians 3:19-22
Saturday: Paul Reprimands the Galatians, Galatians 4:8-20

Next Week: No Longer Jew or Greek, Male and Female, Galatians 3:1-9, 23-29



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