DESTROYING THE ROCK CLIMBING WALL TO HEAVEN
- Key Verse
- I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. (Galatians 2:21)
- READ THE CHAPTER
We are justified by our faith in Jesus Christ. He died for a reason. Do not nullify the grace of God.
In rock climbing there is a rating system for the difficulty of routes that require a rope for protection, normally ranging from 5.2 to 5.15, with 5.2 being the easiest. I once believed that I could build a rock climbing wall of morality and climb it into heaven. I thought the difficulty of this climb would be an easy 5.4 route. However, I found myself struggling with this "simple" climb. Entangled in my sin, I was falling farther away from God.
In this chapter Peter is afraid of the criticism of a certain group of men who believed that circumcision and obeying the law were necessary for justification. Paul confronts him and clarifies "that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus . . . ." (Galatians 2:16).
Then Paul argues, "For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor" (Galatians 2:18). What had Paul once destroyed? In seeking to be justified through Christ, Paul tore down the legalistic misuse of the Law.
By God's grace, I now believe that I am justified through faith in Christ and have been transformed by His power. I have destroyed my wall to heaven, giving up on my own ability to climb "so that I might live to God" (Galatians 2:19).
I must confess that I still struggle with rebuilding this wall. I will turn the 5.4 route into a 5.14 route, and I am constantly falling off. I focus solely on doing good things and not doing bad things. I need to be constantly reminded of the truth Paul proclaims: "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me" (Galatians 2:20). When I remember that Christ gave Himself up for me, my proud self -- which loves to boast about my climbing ability -- dies. The new me looks away from myself and trusts in Christ, whose love was proven at the cross.
1. Are you walking down the sidewalk that is God's grace, or are you taking that concrete and building a rock climbing wall into heaven?
2. Have you ever boasted about your good works or your ability to avoid certain sins?
3. Does this boasting take you into a deeper relationship with Christ, or can you feel the distance forming between God and you?
4. Are you nullifying the grace of God?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
2 Corinthians 11 - Galatians 2 (July 23-27)
Read 2 Corinthians 11:16-33.
• Make a list of all the things that happened to Paul. Discuss which one you think would be the hardest.
• What does Paul say in verse 30?
• What do you think it means to boast in your weaknesses?
• Have each person make a list of your weaknesses and hardships that you have been through.
Now read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 and Romans 5:3-5.
• What are the blessings of hardships and weaknesses?
• What does it mean to trust the Lord in the hard times?
• What does it mean to trust Him in your weaknesses?
Activity: Go back over your lists. What is the weakness or hardship that you are struggling with most? Put everyone's name on a piece of paper and have each family member draw a name. This week, do different things to encourage that person in his or her toughest struggle right now. Find verses to encourage them and pray for them.