Welcome to the CPC Discussions blog.
This blog is a place to foster further discussion between individuals at CPC. As we encounter new information and ideas, we all take time to process through what our response is. Often, when we have the opportunity to engage with each other during this processing, we find our ideas enriched and expanded.
Have you ever felt anxious or concerned that you hear too much an emphasis on grace? Or heard others express this? What is the underlying concern—what is it assumed that “too much” grace would lead to?
How have the Galatians been understanding the relationship between Law and Grace?
How does Paul explain this relationship chronologically?
How does he explain it relationally? (Think of the difference between a vocabulary of promise and a vocabulary of law.)
What is the law unable to do/never intended to do? What can it do?
How do we often misuse the law to drive us to…self righteousness? …despair? Why are these misuses of the law?
Reflect on “your story,” as you typically tell it—does it begin with yourself? What are the benefits and drawbacks of this as a beginning?
Where did Paul and the Judaizers agree that the Galatian Christians’ story began? How do they differ on that point?
How is our faith the same as Abraham’s? Revisit his account in Genesis to review together. How would you describe “the gospel according to Abraham”? What makes the gospel hard to believe in the modern world? Abraham’s world?
Why do our children sing “Father Abraham had many sons/and many sons had father Abraham”?
How did the Judaizers believe the Gentiles were to be included in God’s covenant people? What was Paul’s critique of their anwer?
Fill in the blank: According to Luther, when Christ took on the curse of the law, it was as if Christ had said, “Judge me as if I am _________.”
Extra credit, on the sermon that Ryan didn’t preach: Why do I need to be connected to Abraham? (Hint: It would be better to ask, Why do we need to be connected to Abraham?)
How have the Galatians been “bewitched”? What has been the effect on them? How should they live instead?
What was the effect of Christ being proclaimed vividly? How should this impact the Galatians added toward the gospel?
How by our own attitudes do we demonstrate that we think we can add to the gospel?
When you sin, what do your thoughts afterward focus on—yourself, your sin itself, your determination not to do it again? What does this say about your heart’s deepest desire? What should your focus instead be and why?
How do we tend to understand the basis of our continued success? What about us as Christians helps us to counter this assumption?
Which Christians are Spirit-filled?
Using our passage, at what points in the Christian life is the Spirit involved?
What did Ryan mean by the term “functional deism”? How are we guilty of it? How can a robust theology of the Holy Spirit correct this? What does the Spirit do that makes him so significant a person in the Godhead?
How do we move further away from, and back toward, the cross?
Reflect: Can there be such a thing as too much grace? We may automatically answer no, but how have you yourself, or how have you seen others, treat this question? What assumptions do Christians tend to make about what too much grace might lead to?
How does Paul describe the new life in Christ? What do the “before” and “after” snapshots look like? What is the “theological shorthand” phrase that Ryan used to describe it? Can you use our passage to explain Calvin’s phrase “animated by the secret power of Christ?
Fill in the blank: “The Son of God loved ____ and gave himself for _____.” How does understanding grace in this way particularly shape our response to it? Why is license not an adequate response to this very personal understanding of grace?
What, then, is the appropriate response to grace? How are we equipped to respond to it appropriately? How would you describe the new attitude of life in Christ?
If you care to share, what area(s) of your life that brings you despair can you bring the gospel to? How?