Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Walk the Line," September 25, 2011

Read Galatans 2:11-16.

Explain in your own words Peter’s story in this passage. What had he been doing in Antioch? Who came visiting? Why and how did they change Peter’s public demeanor toward the Gentiles? How does Peter cave in to them? Hint: He ends up hypocritically teaching you must first become a _______ before you become a _______________.

Ryan said that in this passage, Peter gets caught doing something right! To what does that refer? Why does he feel “caught” doing this, i.e., what makes him think that what he’s doing right is wrong?

What measurement is Peter mistakenly assuming/falling back on? Are you prey to this tendency as well? How?

The stakes of this issue for Peter are whether his righteousness is based on ____________ or _________________. Explain. How would this issue affect other believers, whether Gentile or Jewish?

Ryan stated that the truth of the gospel is imputed righteousness. What does this mean? How do Peter’s actions say otherwise? How do ours say otherwise? What would it look like for our lives to affirm this truth?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

September 22-29

Readings can be accessed in full by clicking on the links below:   
Sep 22: Zech 8-14
Sep 23: Est 1-5
Sep 24: Est 6-10
Sep 25: Ezra 7-10
Sep 26: Neh 1-5
Sep 27: Neh 6-7
Sep 28: Neh 8-10
Sep 29: Neh 11-13; Ps 126

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sermon: Gospel Confidence, Galatians 2:1-10

Reflect: When was the last time you were challenged and felt yourself undermined? Did you ask yourself some version of, “Am I strong enough? Am I smart enough?” What did the experience do to your self-confidence? How do these questions reveal our underlying heart attitudes about what we value and what we really rely upon?
Read Galatians 2:1-10. To get your bearings, it may help to reconstruct the story Paul is telling here into a timeline. (Leaders: You may also want to review Acts 15 for another telling of the events.)
What was the situation regarding circumcision for Timothy or Titus? Why was Titus’s situation unique enough to make it what Ryan called a “test case”? Was Paul a hypocrite for treating these two men differently? What was it a test case of?
What were the “spies” in verses 3 and 4 after? What did they despise about Paul’s teaching? How have you seen Christian freedom attacked by fellow Christians? What standards have you been tempted to add to the formula, “Christ + _____________”?
Paul says “God does not show favoritism”; who was? How? In light of this, explain why the Titus situation is so important to Paul?
What does the phrase “living below your privileges” mean? How can you apply it this week?
What different callings do the people in today’s text have? Did these callings have a unifying, or a divisive effect? Why?
Why does Paul find it significant to record that he and Barnabas received the right hand of fellowship? How does that add to our understanding of whether the gospel holds water?
Ryan said the test of the gospel is whether it holds the weight of your needs, hopes, fears, etc.: Does it? How so? And how does today’s text reinforce that?
Finally, reassess your initial reflection in light of this discussion.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September 15 - 22

Readings can be accessed in full by clicking on the links below:   
Sep 15: Dan 4-6
Sep 16: Dan 7-9
Sep 17: Dan 10-12
Sep 18: Ezra 1-3
Sep 19: Ezra 4-6; Ps 137
Sep 20: Haggai
Sep 21: Zech 1-7
Sep 22: Zech 8-14

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Enslaved by the Free Gospel

Sunday, September 11, 2011
Sermon: Enslaved by the Free Gospel
Text: Galatians 1:10-24
Pastor: Ryan Laughlin
Please read the passage above. Bear in mind it tells a before-and-after story. As you read, watch how the effect of Paul’s conversion shapes how he behaves, particularly as it changes whose approval he is seeking.
Reflect: As you imagine freedom for your life, whose interests take center stage? Whose approval is most important to you now? In your current state, whose interests and whose approval are at the center?
From what you know of Paul, whose approval would you say he was seeking before his conversion? At the time of the writing of Galatians, why do Paul’s critics say he is seeking the approval of men? Whose approval have you made a priority in your life? How does Christianity relieve this need to seek approval?
Ryan also said that the gospel frees us from seeking superiority, a position that puts us in comparison mode at all times. How does this differ from the pursuit of excellence instead?  How was Paul seeking superiority? With Christ at the center of your life, how does seeking excellence differ from seeking superiority? Think in terms of motivation and reward.
Outline what Paul does after his conversion. What do the details here suggest regarding whose glory Paul is working for?
One of the concluding remarks was that it is tyranny to make much of yourself instead of God. In your own words, what does this mean? How do you see this reflected in the text?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 8-15

Readings can be accessed in full by clicking on the links below:   
Sep 8: Ezek 38-39
Sep 9: Ezek 40-41
Sep 10: Ezek 42-43
Sep 11: Ezek 44-45
Sep 12: Ezek 46-48
Sep 13: Joel
Sep 14: Dan 1-3
Sep 15: Dan 4-6

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 1 - 8

Readings can be accessed in full by clicking on the links below:   
Sep 1: Ezek 18-19
Sep 2: Ezek 20-21
Sep 3: Ezek 22-23
Sep 4: Ezek 24-27
Sep 5: Ezek 28-31
Sep 6: Ezek 32-34
Sep 7: Ezek 35-37
Sep 8: Ezek 38-39