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Friday, August 30, 2013

Finding a Place to Stand, Part 2 Outline

If you are paying close attention this looks similar to last week's outline. That's because I ended up spending much more time on the intro to the series than I had thought I would do when I published the outline last week. So what you see here is what was points 2 and 3 of last week's outline. 

The discussion questions are completely different. 

Finding a Place to Stand, Part 2
Galatians 1:6-24
The Danger of Fitting In. A study of Galatians

1.    Get clear about how people are made right with God
Galatians 1:6–10 (ESV) I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

2.    Locate your source of truth
Galatians 1:11–24 (ESV) 11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. 20 (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.

Questions for discussion
What stories in literature or movies can you list that speak of a hero suffering for the good of others?
How might it help us to be more diligent to get clear on the core of the gospel if we understood that getting it wrong was the same as deserting Jesus himself?
What do you say to a person who says that they can’t forgive themselves? Isn’t it so that they are really saying that Jesus’ death on the cross was inadequate for them? How would you discuss this?
To what extent are you able to experience direct spiritual benefit from scripture without hearing it from someone else?
Is there a way to become secure in God’s love and grace so that we can love people, work with them, and be friends with them, but not have to have their approval? If so, how do we do this?


  1. Your introduction to this sermon hit a cord in me. I can feel the anger and animosity toward Christians. Sometimes I feel hopeless, and lost as to how to be an effective "Ambassador for Christ" in this culture. There is a burning desire in me that longs to walk with God and see others "taste and see the Lord is good". Your introduction also reminded me of 2 Timothy 2 which gives good insight as to what is needed to live the Christian life and also what is going on in the world. There is a need to be taught, verse 2, to be controlled by a desire to please Jesus Christ, verse 4, to endure, verse 10, to be clean in heart, verse 21 and to be kind toward those outside the faith, verse 24. Verses 25-26 tell how after we gently instruct our only hope is "that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will." Lord give me life according to Your Word, renew my mind to be an instrument for Your noble purposes, teach me to gently share your good news and Father work in the hearts of those without You to do what only You can to bring them to salvation in Jesus Christ.

  2. I believe God has got some real encouragement for us tomorrow, especially regarding the hopelessness we sometimes feel about the rising opposition to faith in our midst.

  3. I heard the air conditioners rejoicing and praising God as they did their part to prepare His house for worship tomorrow and my heart rejoiced at God's mercy. It will indeed be a great day in His house.