Free in Christ: Study of Galatians
The Exchanged Life
October 28, 2018
It is an exciting truth in the Bible that God gives new life to those who put their trust in Jesus. God does a heart transplant in the hearts of his followers. This new life flows from the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul knew that this new life would change not only our souls but also how we live. There will always be pressure to live in our former ways but the real treasure is letting Jesus live through us.
The Passage: Galatians 2:11-21.
Memory Verses: Galatians 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.
Big Idea: Accept new life in Christ. Express new life through Christ!
I. Peer pressure is the enemy of His life being expressed.
Galatians 2:11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. (John 7:13)
Fearing- “fear made Peter act against his own better convictions. Fear causes us to think largely of only ourselves.” Lenski (see Acts 11:2-3 for past experiences with this group).
I Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (Proverbs 29:25, 2 Timothy 1:7)
Galatians 2:13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
“Peter was allowing cultural differences to become more important than gospel unity. Fundamentally, he sees that something deeper is going on. Peter is “not acting in line with the truth of the gospel.” Timothy Keller
We are to think out its implications in every area of our lives, and seek to bring our thinking, feeling, and behavior “in line”. Keller
Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
Realign me Lord if my thoughts or actions are out of line with your heart!
II. Remember how God brings His life to all who call on Him.
Galatians 2:15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
Acts 15:9 and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Galatians 2:17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. (Rom.3:20)
Acts 13:39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. (Acts 15:19)
Christ’s very life comes to those who trust in Him for salvation!
III. Live the exchanged life: Let the life of Christ be expressed.
Galatians 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.
“Paul says more than that Christ was crucified for him, and that Christ’s crucifixion is regarded as Paul himself has been crucified, or even as if all the benefits of Christ’s crucifixion were personally made Paul’s own. Only by being crucified with Christ does one die to law. It is the one avenue of escape. Paul’s whole present life is ‘in faith’ in this blessed sphere of trust. He did not want to do anything that would nullify this great truth.” Lenski
Colossians 2:20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—
Romans 6:14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
I Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
I Peter 4:2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.
“You are like a corpse at which the law can thunder with all its might and get in response not even a stirring of a finger or a flicker of an eyelash. Why? You have found the righteousness by faith in Christ.” Lenski
A. Surrender your past to God (both the good and the bad). (Philippians 3:4-7, I Timothy 1:15-16)
B. Recognize your life is not your own. (2 Corinthians 5:15)
C. Trust the Son of God for all things concerning your earthly life (Matthew 6:25-27)
D. Keep focusing on this Jesus great love and sacrifice for you!
(John 15:13, Romans 5:8)
“The inner dynamic for living the Christian life is right here! Only when I see myself as completely loved and holy in Christ will I have the power to repent with joy, conquer my fears, and obey the One who did all this for me.” Timothy Keller
Accept new life in Christ. Express new life through Christ!
Growth Group Questions for October 28th
Icebreaker: When you first started attending church, what was one of your favorite memories?
1. Read Galatians 2:11-20. Describe in your own words what is happening here. Why is this important?
2. Read Galatians 2:11-15. What was Peter doing that wasn’t in line with the gospel? Do you see areas in your life where you have been walking in line with the gospel? What does it look like for you?
3. Are there people in your church you have not been “eating with” because they are not “like you”? What self-righteousness lies beneath this attitude?
4. Read Galatians 2:16-18, Acts 15:7-11. What principles do you see Paul and Peter using to motivate the Galatian and Jerusalem churches to apply the gospel to all of their relationships? How could you motivate yourself and other Christians less with guilt, and more with the gospel? Give specific examples.
5. Read Romans 6:14, I Peter 2:24, 2 Cor. 5:15 and I Peter 4:2. What do these verses teach us we should die to and live for? What from your old life keeps you from expressing new life?
6. Read Galatians 2:20. What does the apostle Paul mean by this phrase “to be crucified with Christ?” What difference should the death of Christ make in your love for Him and actions in life? What exchanges do you see happening in this verse?
7. How would explain “justification by faith” to someone who has never been to church before?
8. Read Galatians 2:21. How would you explain the difference between being moral and being a Christian to someone who thinks being good makes them acceptable to God?
Spend time praying for each other!Pray for those who need to hear the incredible truths of this passage!Pray for opportunities to share.