We also don’t want to forget the important message we considered last week – about our goal to be an unshakable church in this world. We still want to consider the questions posed then: Is my attendance and participation in a weekly church service the main way that I live out my Christianity? If meeting in a building was no longer an option, what would I be doing instead to show the world around me my hope as a Christian? Does our idea of a church meeting need to be restructured to better match God’s calling for us as Christians? My hope is that we will continue praying about these and seeking God’s guidance concerning our function as a church. We are currently working on a list of the micromissions that are already happening with Eastgate, and others are beginning to develop, which really gets me stoked! If you didn’t hear the conversation last week, you can find it here: An Unshakable Church, starting at the 28 minute mark. I really encourage everyone to listen to it.
This Sunday we will be continuing our study in Galatians, reading 2:11-21.
In this section of the letter, Paul recounts a confrontation he had with the Apostle Peter…one of the very big names of the early church. Paul had been in Antioch promoting the Good News, which is the message of a new world through God’s grace. Peter’s actions in v12 were undermining that message, and Paul called Peter out on it. In the last part of v12, what is the reason Paul gives for Peter’s behavior? If we want to promote God’s grace like Paul did, what do we have to overcome in order to do that?
Underlying this controversy is Peter’s removal of himself from people who were deemed by others as “less-than”. This is key to Paul’s reaction. What does it tell us about the mission of grace in this world? Who are the “less-thans” we tend to withdraw from? How can an appreciation for God’s grace correct that tendency?
Paul, in V19-20, gets to the heart of his position. Keeping religious laws is not sustainable in order to be right with God. What is his focus then? How can we promote God’s grace by sharing that same focus?
I think this will be a provocative study, and I believe we’ll find useful clues as to how we can go about our mission as the church in this world. Hope you can join us, Sunday at 9AM.