Dear RCF Sisters and Brothers,
Jesus told a number of parables using the characters of a father and his son(s). In some of those stories He either assumes that His hearers know, or He describes the differences between a son (or daughter) and a servant/slave. Sons (or daughters) are in an advantaged position with the head of the household compared to his servants. A servant calls him “Master” and receives his approval based upon obedience. The servant’s position in the household is revocable to the point that he or she may be permanently cast out. A son or daughter calls the leader of the home “Father” and that relationship cannot be revoked. He or she remains the Father’s child even if his or her obedience is imperfect.
Throughout history the Jews called Abraham their “father”, but did not do so with God. They saw themselves as God’s servants who would maintain His favor and place in His household through obedience to His rules and commands. It was inconceivable to them that God would call them His “sons” and “daughters”.
Therefore, when conservative Pharisaic Jews became believers in Jesus it was extremely difficult for them to see themselves as God’s children. They held onto the perspective that their obedience to His rules and commands maintained His favor. It was even harder for them to believe that the same God of their Jewish heritage would accept Gentiles through faith in Jesus apart from their ongoing adherence to His laws. Certainly, they thought, God could not welcome these previously pagan Gentiles into His household unless they added the requirements of the Old Testament to their faith in Jesus. If they had their way you and I may have trusted in Jesus for redemption, but we would also be following the Mosaic law today.
Join us this Sunday morning as we continue in the theme To the Remotest Part of the Earth, and our Discussion Bible Study in the History of the Early Church. Please prepare by reading the entirety of Galatians. This week we will examine and discuss it with the title “The Gentile Question Must Be Answered”.
Attached is an outline (in two sizes) of the text we will be focusing upon this Sunday morning. Please print it ahead of time, as it will help you take part in the discussion. We will also have copies when we gather on Sunday morning.
Here are the Table Discussion Questions for Sunday:
- If you were one of the leaders of the early church, how would you propose to resolve “the Gentile Question”? What should the process be? Who should be involved? Who should make the decision?
In this series we have already discussed the following texts and topics:
The New Era Begins: Acts 1:12-2:21
Who is to Blame for Good Friday?: Acts 2:22-23
The New Community Begins: Acts 2:24-47
The First Official Pushback Is Pushed Back: Acts 3
The First Official Pushback Is Pushed Back – Part 2: Acts 4
God Elevates His Purity and His Principals: Acts 5:1-11
God Elevates His Purity and His Principals – Part 2: Acts 5:12 – 6:7
The Spark That Ignited The Flames of Persecution – Part 1: Acts 6:8 – 7:43
The Spark That Ignited The Flames of Persecution – Part 2: Acts 7:44 – 8:3
The New Community’s Pearl Harbor: Acts 8:1-25
Going Global: Taking The New Community International: Acts 8:26-40
Going Global: Taking The New Community International: Acts 9:1-25
Not “E Pluribus Unum”, But “Nos, Et Nos Nos”: Acts 9:26-31
The Border Crisis: God’s Path For Foreigners To Become Citizens: Acts 9:32-10:33
The Border Crisis: God’s Path For Foreigners To Become Citizens – Part 2: Acts 10:34-11:30
Uncivil Rest – Part 1: Acts 12:1-17
Uncivil Rest – Part 2: Acts 12:18-25
How The West Was Won…To Christ: Acts 13
How The West Was Won…To Christ – Part 2: Acts 13
How The Gospel Was Almost Lost…From Grace – Part 1: Galatians
How The Gospel Was Almost Lost…From Grace – Part 2: Galatians
A Letter From Antioch Defines The Relationship Of The Law And The Gospel: Galatians
We hope that you will join us in person or online this Sunday morning at Bay Lodge at 9:00 am!
We love you all!
Jim and Jenny