I Am Crucified with Christ

 This school year in 4:TWELVE Student Ministries we are working our way through the books of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. We have titled this series, In Christ. All of these books will teach some deep lessons about the application of the Gospel in our lives.
      We want our parents to be able to track along with our lessons and be able to discuss the topics we are covering with your teens. We will include the follow-up discussion questions that were discussed in small groups so you can hear your teen discuss these questions. Please use this tool as we seek to assist parents in raising their teens in the way of the Lord.

This week we turned to Galatians 2 where we discussed what it means that we are crucified with Christ.

  1. The True Gospel Unites Believers (1-10)
    1. Paul took a trip to Jerusalem. (1-2)
      1. Paul was not concerned that his message was wrong, but needed the other Apostles and teachers in Jerusalem to verify his message.
        1. Remember his Gospel came from God (1:12)
        2. Paul returned after 14 years of preaching this same Gospel, so he is pretty confident in the authenticity of his message.
        3. Paul had already stated that if his preaching did not match Scripture they should get rid of him. (1:18)
      2. He needed to be able to silence his critics.
        1. There were people teaching that Paul was merely preaching easy believism.
        2. There were no works needed to prove your spirituality so it must be false.
        3. In other words, it wasn’t Jewish enough.
        4. “On the one side of this dispute, we have Paul, who is saying: The Gospel of faith in Christ is for people of all cultures. On the other hand, we have his opponents, claiming: Not all Jewish people are Christians, but all Christians must become Jewish.” – Tim Keller
      3. The Apostles in Jerusalem had not worked through the extent of the Gospel for Gentiles
        1. The other apostles had stayed in Jerusalem and had not taken the Gospel to the Gentiles.
        2. Paul needed to confront this teaching of Judaism is required for the Gospel.
          1. The freedom in Christ was under attack (4)
          2. The truth of the Gospel was being threatened (5)
        3. Paul’s argument
          1. He took Titus with him. (1)
            1. Titus was a Greek (3)
            2. Titus was uncircumcised
            3. There were false teachers who said circumcision was a requirement (4)
          2. The response from the apostles at Jerusalem (6-10)
            1. They added nothing to Paul’s message (6)
              1. They agreed that the Gospel hinges on faith in Christ, not on any other acts.
              2. The law
                1. It was given to show us that we cannot achieve the perfection required of God.
                2. The law was to point us to a need for Christ.
                3. The false teachers were trying to add the law to the Gospel.
                4. The false teachers missed the point entirely.
              3. The mistake of adding to the requirements of the Gospel is a common one.
                1. The New Testament refers to it a lot.
                2. “The acceptance of Titus by Jewish believers was a vivid illustration of this principle, that an individual becomes spiritually clean and acceptable through Christ, and not through deeds or rituals.” – Tim Keller
              4. Our works do not give us the Gospel, the Gospel gives the freedom to pursue the holiness of God.
                1. It isn’t do this to please God and earn salvation.
                2. It is be more like God because he has freed you.
  • Our motivation is to be more like the one who frees us from the bondage of sin.
    1. “If I hate sin because of the punishment, I have not repented of my sin, I merely regret that God is just.” – Charles Spurgeon
  1. Modern struggles that creep into the purity of the Gospel.
    1. Denominational symbolism
    2. Requiring things that complete the process of salvation.
      1. Baptism
      2. Works of the Holy Spirit
  • Remember Paul refused to share the church with those who added to the Gospel. You need to be wise and not allow those that teach another Gospel to have influence.
  1. Discussion:
    1. What are some ways we can start thinking our performance counts toward our salvation?
    2. What are some things from your upbringing that you could find yourself adding on to others as an expectation of salvation?
  • What are some of the problems that come from viewing your actions as being overly important in your salvation? (God will reject me if, no security, etc.)
  1. Paul confronts Peter for not living consistently with the Gospel (11-19)
    1. What Peter did wrong (11-14)
      1. He used to associate with all believers (especially the Gentiles), but when those who were claiming that circumcision was required came around he started withdrawing from fellowship with the Gentiles. (11-12)
      2. He was reacting out of fear.
    2. The result of Peter’s wrong (13-14)
      1. The rest of the Jewish believers followed this false teaching.
      2. Even Barnabas was trapped in this.
  • “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?” (14)
  1. Paul explains the Gospel versus works (15-19)
    1. We are justified through faith in Christ’s work because our works could never justify us. (15-16)
    2. Understanding verses 17-18 read this translation of these verses by Tim Keller.
      1. “If someone who knows they are justified by faith sins, is it because justification-by-faith-in-Christ promotes sin? Not at all! But if someone who professes faith in Christ keeps on with the same sinful lifestyle, rebuilding the sinfulness that Christ died to destroy the penalty for, making no effort to change, then it proves that this person never really grasped the gospel but was just looking for an excuse to live in disobedience to God!” – Tim Keller

      2. A follower of Christ will not want to live for themselves but will be free to live for God.
  • Before Christ, Paul lived in bondage in the law, but now he lives for Christ. (19)
    1. Keller’s paraphrase of verse 19 is super helpful.
      1. “The law itself showed me that I could never make myself acceptable through it. So I stopped ‘living to it’. I died to it as my savior. Through I obeyed God before, it was simply to get something from Him; it was for my own sake, Now I obey Him simply to please Him. I now live for Him.” – Tim Keller
  • I Am Crucified with Christ! (20-21)
    1. Our own righteousness is no longer needed because I am crucified with Christ. (20)
      1. This means I have been justified because of Christ’s sinlessness.
        1. Just as if I never sinned
        2. Just as if I have always been righteous.
        3. It doesn’t matter if I keep the law or not, because Christ did.
        4. It doesn’t matter if we are keeping a list of rules and regulations our position is secured in Christ.
        5. This frees us up to live in an effort to be holy like he is holy.
      2. I now live my life in the memory of what Christ did for me. (21)
        1. If my righteousness came through the obedience to the Law, then Christ did not need to die.
        2. Instead, my obedience comes from my appreciation for what Christ did.
          1. “If we could save ourselves, Christ’s death is pointless and means nothing. If we realize we cannot save ourselves, Christ’s death will mean everything to us.  And we will spend the life that He has given us in joyful service of Him, bringing our whole lives into line with the Gospel.” – Tim Keller

        3. Discussion
          1. How does Christ’s death change your affection for Him and service for Him?
          2. What is the difference between living a moral life and living a life of good works so God will accept you?
Johnny KjaerJohnny Kjaer
Johnny Kjaer oversees the Youth and Skatepark Ministries at Faith Church. He can often be found serving the community with the teenagers. His passion is to assist parents in training their teens to love the Lord. He and his wife, Tori, have three children; Leif, Tryggve, and Kjirsti.