The Real Gospel (discussion questions)

This past weekend at Eastbrook Church, we continued our series, “Free: A Study on Galatians,” by looking at the real gospel from Galatians 2:1-21. Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “The Real Gospel,” which is the second part of our series.

Discussion Questions:

  1. As we continue our series, “Free,” this weekend, we are looking at Galatians, chapter 2. Whether on your own or with a small group, take a moment to begin with prayer, asking God to speak through your study of the Scripture. Next, read that Bible passage out loud.
  2. Background: The first two chapters of Galatians include a lot of biographical background on Paul’s life and ministry. This is important because it helps to show that Paul’s message and calling were derived from God and not human authority. It also helps us understand some of the challenges Paul is facing in the Galatians churches.
  3. How would you characterize Paul’s reasons for going to Jerusalem in Galatians 2:1-10? What role did the leaders in Jerusalem – James, Cephas (Peter), and John – play in his ministry and the unity of the early church’s work with Jews and Gentiles?
  4. In Galatians 2:11-14, Paul relates an incident with Peter while they were in Antioch that he sees as a challenge to the gospel. What is the challenge and how does Paul address it?
  5. It is a fascinating moment to see tension arise between two heroes of the faith, Peter and Paul. Why do you think Paul viewed this issue as significant enough to make such a big deal about it with Peter, instead of simply letting it go?
  6. How important is the core gospel message to you? Do you think it is it worth getting excited or riled up about? Why or why not?
  7. It is likely that Paul is using these stories to address the tensions in the Galatian churches. In verses 15 and 16, Paul outlines the fundamental issues at stake in the Galatian churches. What are these fundamental issues and why are they important?
  8. Galatians 2:19-21 have been described as “the central affirmation of the letter.” What is being affirmed here and what is its significance for Paul and his message, the Galatian churches, and us today?
  9. Name one thing you will take away from this study on the real gospel? If you are with a small group, take some time to discuss these things with one another. If you are alone, share that with someone this week. Close in prayer.

Action step: Pastor Matt encouraged us to memorize Galatians 2:20 during this series as a way to let the gospel message sink deeper into our lives. One way you could do this would be to write Galatians 2:20 on a notecard and keep it in your pocket, pulling it out to memorize it. Another way you could do this would be to print it out and place the verse in several prominent places where you will see it often.

[Next week: We continue the “Free” series by looking at Galatians, chapter 3. Prepare by reading this passage ahead of time.]

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