Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 5
July 10, 2011
Dayton, Texas
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<099> Thesis: The major "difference" between Jews and Gentiles in the divine program consisted of God's promises to Abraham to make of him a great nation (Genesis 12:2) and to make him the father of many nations (Genesis 17:4-5). Introduction: As we have looked into the problem that Paul saw with the unloving behavior of Cephas toward his gentile brothers in Christ, we have seen that it was a direct attack upon the truth of the Gospel as well as a major perversion of the primary methodology of the Gospel. As we saw last time, the undergirding truth of the Gospel is that God loves men even though they have pursued sin with their whole hearts and this love has produced a method of redemption that allows God to completely set aside all judicial consequences for sins committed by providing a Substitute Who bore the weight of all of those sins for all of mankind. The problem that the behavior of Cephas brought to the table in regard to these realities is that he divorced the love of God from its unconditional roots, turning it into a conditional response to man's loyalty, and he substituted a performance based methodology for obtaining that love for the grace/faith provision God made in Christ. By so doing, he re-established the antagonism of men toward God and destroyed any hope of reconciliation. How did he do this? What was his rationale? This evening we are going to look into the distinction that Paul allows between Jews and Gentiles in order to attempt to understand this.