10 Weekly Spiritual Habits: A Guide to Cultivation

Week of September 24 2023

Galatians 2:11-21

"But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned. For he regularly ate with the Gentiles before certain men came from James. However, when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, because he feared those from the circumcision party. Then the rest of the Jews joined his hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were deviating from the truth of the gospel, I told Cephas in front of everyone, “If you, who are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel Gentiles to live like Jews?”

We are Jews by birth and not “Gentile sinners,” and yet because we know that a person is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we ourselves have believed in Christ Jesus. This was so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no human being will be justified. But if we ourselves are also found to be “sinners” while seeking to be justified by Christ, is Christ then a promoter of sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild those things that I tore down, I show myself to be a lawbreaker. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing."

Discussion Questions:

1) How were Cephas' (or Peter's) actions not in line with the Gospel? What effect might his hypocrisy have on others around him?

2) How did Paul define justification? In what ways are we tempted to trust in things we can do rather than in Christ alone?

3) What are old areas of our life that have a tendency to "rebuild" themselves? What does is say about our relationship with Christ?

4) What step of faith is this passage calling you to?

Prayer: Spend some time asking God to reveal to you any way that you are out of step with the gospel.

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