Passage: Galatians 2:11-16
Community Group Discussion:
Opening question: What encouraged you in following Jesus the past few weeks?
- From Galatians 2 share something that surprises, encourages, or confuses you.
- In verse 16 Paul used the word “justified.” How would you explain justification to someone who doesn’t know anything about Christianity? Why is it a universal human longing to feel justified?
- What are you most tempted to look to for justification apart from Jesus? Physical appearance, vocation, comfort, religious activity, etc.? What do you make of the quotation below?
Thomas Nagel, NYU Professor of Philosophy
Even if you produce a great work of literature which continues to be read thousands of years from now, eventually the solar system will cool or the universe will wind down and collapse and all trace of your effort will vanish…The problem is that although there are justifications for most things big and small that we do within life, none of these explanations explain the point of your life as a whole.
- Read 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 8:1-2, and Colossians 2:6-8 What is one thing you can take away from these readings to remind you of your justification in Jesus?
- T.S. Elliot once wrote that the “greatest proof of Christianity for others is not how far a man can logically analyze his reasons for believing, but how far in practice he will stake his life on his belief.” Jesus died not just to set us free from the power of sin, but to unleash in us the power of the Spirit. How did Peter miss the mark in verses 11-14 in practicing the Jesus way?
- We are all being formed continuously in unintentional and intentional ways. What are some of the ways you are intentionally being formed?
- James K.A. Smith in You are What you Love, invites us to: “look at your daily, weekly, monthly, and annual routines. What are the things you do that do something to you? What are the secular liturgies in your life? What vision of the good life is carried in those liturgies? What Story is embedded in those cultural practices? What kind of person do they want you to become? To What kingdom are these rituals aimed?” Spend some time reflecting on your answers to these questions. Can you recognize some of the unintentional ways you are being formed?
Fruit of the Spirit
“To what degree are these fruits realities in my life today? Think about yourself at home, work, school, church. Allow God to love you where you are now. Ask him to do his work in you, that you might become the kind of person described here.” Peter Scazzaro, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
1) Where do you see the fruit of the spirit?
2) Where do you wish you had the fruit?
NIV/Message List of the Fruit of the Spirit
Take a few moments reflecting on each fruit of the Spirit below. Praise God where you see a particular fruit alive in your life. Ask God for help where you are weak or struggling in these characteristics.
- Love/Affection for others
- Joy/Exuberance about life
- Patience/a willingness to stick with things
- Kindness/a sense of compassion in the heart
- Goodness/a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people
- Faithfulness/involved in loyal commitments
- Gentleness/not needing to force our way in life
- Self-control/able to marshal and direct our energies wisely
“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.” Galatians 2:20