4 Justification by Faith Alone – Discussion starters for July 22

  1. Strife in the church? Things are getting tense. What does Paul find in Peter’s experience in Antioch that trouble him? What would it have been like if you had been at that “potluck” as a friend of Peter’s? Imagine that you are an invisible guest in that church as you go through the issues and answers we consider this week.
  2. The question of justification. What is the time-honored speaking technique that Paul uses as he tries to persuade the Jewish Christians to believe as he does? Can we use that technique today whenever we talk about Bible teachings to a non-member of our church? Should we? What is the relationship between being justified and being righteous? As a devout Jewish Christian, how would you evaluate Paul’s statement about the role of our works in our witness to the world?
  3. Works of the Law. More than once Paul tells us that our works do not justify us, but what does he mean when he refers to the works of the law? Isn’t it the essence of Christianity to obey God’s law so perfectly that we are considered to be righteous? Which is more important in rendering our lives to be in harmony with Christ—our beliefs or our behavior? Are you a “good” keeper of God’s law?
  4. The basis of our justification. What, if anything, was wrong about the Jewish Christian teaching that obedience makes our faith complete? If we are not totally justified by our faith, what else do we require? What did Jesus do for us that no one else has ever done or could ever do? Which is greater–justification by the law or justification by faith in Christ? How can we obtain the faith of Jesus that we long to claim as our own?
  5. The obedience of faith. “Genuine Biblical faith,” your lesson states, “is always a response to God.” What must we realize and accept before we can have faith? Since in Greek the words “faith” and “belief” are two forms of the same word, what are some additional concepts that can help us understand what faith is and how we as Christians are more affected by what our faith leads us to do than by what we believe?
  6. Does faith promote sin? If grace is sufficient to save each of us, should we trouble ourselves by combatting the attractions of sin? Don’t we as Christians believe with all our hearts that all we need to do is to ask God for His love and grace to save us? What role does the resurrected Jesus have in our lives once we have decided to unite with Him? Do you fully accept the concept that salvation is by faith alone and not a result of our obedience to the law?
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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons