Summary: small group series
Tools for a great Group, Galatians 2:12-21
#5 of Core Values of Christian Community series
Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ
November 3, 2002
A man’s grandfather leaves him $10 million, and the next week his longtime girlfriend agrees to marry him.
After three months of married life, the fellow notices that his beautiful new wife is ignoring him more and more. Whenever they are out in public, she flirts with other men. Finally he decides to confront her.
"You know," he says, "I think the only reason you married me was that my grandfather left me $10 million when he died."
"Don’t be ridiculous," she replies. "I don’t care how you got the money
Upon arriving home, a husband was met at the door by his sobbing wife. Tearfully she explained, "It’s the druggist. He insulted me terribly this morning on the phone." Immediately the husband drove downtown to confront the druggist and demand an apology. Before he could say more than a word or two, the druggist told him, "Now, just a minute, listen to my side of it.
This morning the alarm failed to go off, so I was late getting up. I went without breakfast and hurried out to the car, just to realize that I locked the house with both house and car keys inside. I had to break a window to get my keys. Then, driving a little too fast, I got a speeding ticket. Later, when I was about three blocks from the store, I had a flat tire.
When I finally got to the store there was a bunch of people waiting for me to open up. I got the store opened and started waiting on these people, and all the time the darn phone was ringing off the hook." He continued, "Then I had to break a roll of nickels against the cash register drawer to make change, and they spilled all over the floor. I got down on my hands and knees to pick up the nickels; the phone was still ringing. When I came up I cracked my head on the open cash drawer, which made me stagger back against a showcase with a bunch of perfume bottles on it...half of them hit the floor and broke.
Meanwhile, the phone is still ringing with no let up, and I finally got back to answer it. It was your wife. She wanted to know how to use a rectal thermometer...and believe me mister, all I did was tell her!"
Confrontations are never easy are they. We don’t necessarily like to confront others and we don’t necessarily like being confronted ourselves. Our story today is about a confrontation that happened in the Bible.
Things were going well. The church was growing, But they were facing some new issues as a church and in this text the actions of a prominent church leader is hypocritical. So Paul has to confront him on it.
We’ve been talking for the last 4 weeks about small groups and why everyone should be part of one. We have talked about real community and a sense of belonging, we have learned about caring for one another and building each other up but today as we conclude the series I want to map out the TOOLS that that each group has that helps it to become a great group.
In this text today there is a confrontation taking place but it is only able to take place because Peter and Paul were willing participants in a great group. Their group had all the tools necessary to be the life changing dynamic group that God wanted them to be.
Our text today is Galatians chapter 2:11 When Peter came to Antioch, I (Paul)opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12 Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? 15 "We who are Jews by birth and not ’Gentile sinners’ 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.
As I read this text I think Wow. There is some pretty harsh language here. Paul says “Peter was wrong”, he basically calls him a hypocrite. You may be thinking this is not the best verse for us to use when promoting small groups. You may be wondering what this verse has to do with small groups. I have to tell you I read this verse and my first thought is not “man I want to go join a small group” But I think there are some important points in this verse that are also elements in a small group.