Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “Jew and Gentile,” pp. 188-192, 194-197; “Apostasy in Galatia,” pp. 383-388, in The Acts of the Apostles; “The Law Given to Israel,” pp. 310-312; “The Law and the Covenants,” pp. 370-373, in Patriarchs and Prophets; “The Chosen People,” pages 27-30, in The Desire of Ages.
Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com
No doubt, our church faces times of controversy and dissension. But this is nothing new. Satan has always been at war with the church. Even in the earliest days of Christianity, dissension and controversy arose in the ranks of the believers. And there was one controversy that, if not resolved, could have destroyed the church in its infancy.
“Through the influence of false teachers who had arisen among the believers in Jerusalem, division, heresy, and sensualism were rapidly gaining ground among the believers in Galatia. These false teachers were mingling Jewish traditions with the truths of the gospel. Ignoring the decision of the general council at Jerusalem, they urged upon the Gentile converts the observance of the ceremonial law.” – Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 383.
- In class go over your answer to Wednesday’s final question. In what ways might your local church or you in your own home or maybe even you with yourself be laying burdens on others (or on yourself) that are not necessary? How can we recognize if we are really doing these things? Or might we be in danger of going too far the other way? That is, how can we recognize if we have become too lax in our lifestyles and standards to the point where our lives don’t reflect the high calling that we have in Christ?
- What are some of the arguments that folk use to claim that the Ten Commandments are no longer binding on Christians today? How do we answer those claims? Why, on the face of it, are those arguments so wrong, and why in many cases do those who make them not really live as if they believe the Ten Commandments are no longer binding?
- Read again Galatians 1:1-12. Notice how uncompromising, how dogmatic, and how fervent Paul was regarding his understanding of the gospel. What should that tell us about how we must stand absolutely unwaveringly in certain beliefs, especially in a day and age of pluralism and relativism? How does this show that certain teachings cannot be compromised in any way?
- In class talk about the issues that brought about the Protestant Reformation. What basic differences have not been resolved?