Advent 3 – Legalist Jesus
Theme: Legalist Jesus –“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.”
Warm-Up Questions: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how much of a “rule-follower” are you? Examples?”
Observation and Interpretation Questions:
Legalist Jesus is a Jesus who baptizes my traditions and preferences as orthodoxy. Like the Pharisees, Legalist Jesus mixes prohibitions on grey matters with orthodoxy. This Jesus, scorned by some, is attractive to others because he offers a simple list of rules to live by, allowing his followers to ignore the daily practice of repentance and forgiveness and the Spirit’s sanctifying work and instead offers a checklist Christianity.
Read Romans 4: 1-8, 13-16
- How does Paul say justification was imputed to Abraham (verses 1-4)?
- How does Paul say that this righteousness is imputed to us who believe (verses 5-8)?
- What is true about the effect that keeping the law has on grace (verses 13-16)?
Read Mark 7:5-8
- What was the issue that the Pharisees had with Jesus and His disciples (verse 5)?
- How did Jesus reply to them using the words of Isaiah the prophet (verses 6-7)?
- What did Jesus mean by what He said about their traditions (verse 8)?
Read Galatians 2: 11-20
- What does Paul say was the reason for him to confront Peter and the others (verses 11-14)?
- How does Paul say one is justified before God (verses 15-16)?
- What is true about my old self that lived according to the law (verses 17-20)?
- What of all you learned about not following a legalistic Jesus encourages you most?
- When might you share this exciting aspect of your faith with someone this week?
Almighty God, we praise You that Jesus came to show us that the way to You is not paved by our good deeds done in an attempt to earn Your grace, but by faith in Your redeeming love.
Talk and Pray
Talk with one another about how you can Join Jesus on His mission in your own lives this week, using the questions on the back.
Pray for one another about any personal concerns or praises you have.