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Pastor's Sunday School Blog

Sunday School Lesson

“Toward Faithfulness in the Gospel”

March 4, 2018

Galatians 2:11-21

Pastor’s Notes (Some additional thoughts on your Sunday school lesson):

The Gospel is the STANDARD by which we live, and by which we will be judged.

The Gospel is God’s directive for a relationship with Him and a relationship with others.

The Gospel is an eternal document, not eroded by time, or changed by the culture.

The decisions we make and the doctrines we follow are to flow from the pages of the Gospel.

The Gospel is not difficult to follow, for it is applied by the grace of God.

Challenge one another to walk in line with the Gospel (Galatians 2:11-14).

Cephas – Peter

Antioch – One of the earliest churches filled with both Jew and Gentile believers; its membership would have been from multiple religious backgrounds. They were a diverse church learning to live together in unity. The Gospel brings everyone together under one tent, the body of Christ.

Paul’s rebuke of Peter was not from the position of arrogance, but a heart for the Gospel.

Peter was guilty of hypocrisy which would have cast a shadow on the Gospel inclusion and created a divided congregation.

Peter, afraid of what the “Jewish believers” would think of him, separated himself, ceased to fellowship, with Gentile believers. He caved to peer pressure.

Peter’s failure influenced others … “Follow the Leader” is not always a good game to play.

Confronting a brother, rebuking sin, must be motivated by love for God, and love for one another.

Discussion – When is confrontation appropriate? Private confrontation? Public confrontation?

Discussion – How can diversity create unity in the church?

Remember we are justified by faith, not by works (Galatians 2:15-18).

“Jews by birth” referenced those who received the Law of Moses and live by those laws; “Gentile sinners,” references those who lived outside the Law. The “Law” served to divide.

Paul sets forth the unifying principle … salvation is not by the works of the Law, but by faith in Jesus Christ removing the wall of separation between Jew and Gentile. They are “one” in Christ.

The problem in the Galatia church was one of inclusion; the mixture of grace and works (Law). SEE: 1:6-9.

While Peter believed “in Christ alone,” his actions, his hypocrisy, gave credence to a gospel of grace and works.

Paul’s rebuke of Peter was not over protocol, but the perversion of the Gospel truth.

Look at the “Core Doctrines, Convictions, and Preferences” in the leader’s guide and discuss how we should approach each in the life of the church.

Recognize that holiness is possible only when we are in Christ (Galatians 2:19-21).

Recognizing my inability to keep the Law, I turn to God’s grace for life. The Law condemns me, God’s grace pardons my sin and brings me into a relationship with Him, through Jesus Christ. The Law produces death, faith in Christ produces life.

When we die to sin and self-effort we find life in Christ; Christ in me and through me.

It is not what I produce, but what is produced in me.

My goal should not be to do that which I can’t, keep the Law, but to live for Christ, in Christ, by Christ.

So long as I seek a relationship with God by my works, I am dead … however, when I abandon works as a way of salvation, and turn to Christ alone, I find life.

If our relationship with God is the result of personal virtue, religious activity or adherence to the Law, then the death of Christ is without merit.


Theological Theme: Confrontation/Rebuke is mandated by Scripture when the truth of the Gospel is threatened.

Christological/Christ Connection: The witness of Christ is on display through our actions, and when there is a distortion of biblical truth believers must be willing to confront one another with the truth especially as it relates to our relationship with God. Salvation is by Christ alone.

Missional Application: The truths of the Gospel are lived out through our actions.

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