the restoration project. Joshua James. 15 October 2017
Small Group Study Questions:
(1) Nerd question: Paul reads the Old Testament very strangely (well, he reads it as a first century, Jewish-Christian, former Pharisee). Do you find the way he has handled it alarming? Or just confusing? (Re-read 3.15-16 for one example.)
(2) Paul began the letter (and chapter three) speaking derogatorily to the Galatians (“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you…”; “You foolish Galatians”). In 3.15, he calls them “brothers and sisters.” Can you empathize with Paul’s anger and also his familial concern for these churches? have you had situations where you have had to manage anger and familial love for people? (obviously) Share a story.
(3) After three chapters of argument, Paul begins to turn a corner by attempting to reinforce the *identity of the Galatian Christians. “So in Christ you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (v. 26) “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (v. 29)
Discuss your identity in Christ. Do you accept that you belong to Christ, that you are children of God, that you are heirs? How does your wrestling with these concepts help/hurt?
(4) In 3.28, Paul describes the barriers (of ethnicity/race, class, and gender) that are decimated by our union with Christ. Discuss the *practical effects of this in our lives. (Or perhaps better, discuss what the *practical effects MIGHT BE if we lived in light of this radical truth.)