This week, we tackled a difficult and delicate issue of racial reconciliation. We know that Jesus and his gospel tears down every wall between us. This gives us to courage and freedom to address this important topic even though it is a hard topic.
Questions for Small Groups:
To start your group, have everyone share one way they have seen God at work in their life this week.
Read Galatians 2:11-16.
I. Learning Gospel Freedom
Peter had to learn a foundational truth of the gospel that all people are equal in God’s eyes and that all can receive the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus.
If you need to go back and read Acts 10 to read about Peter’s dramatic vision, do that. It was a watershed for Peter’s understanding of the gospel.
Peter had experienced freedom to eat and share his life with those who were ethnically and culturally different than him.
Do you share meals with people of other ethnicities?
Do you share your life with people of other ethnicities?
II. Walking in Line with the Gospel
We all have areas of our lives that are not in line with the truth of the gospel. The sanctification process is the gradual conformity of our lives into the image of Christ.
What area of your life is not in line with the gospel?
Peter acted in hypocrisy and fear when he stopped eating with Gentiles.
Why do you think we struggle with the fear of people more than the fear of God?
Are there any fears or suspicions that you struggle with in relations to people of other ethnicities?
Read Acts 17:36. Do you truly see every person as bearing the image of God? How does this play out in how you treat people who are culturally different?
III. Applying the Gospel to Race
Pastor Mark said, “Every one of us has struggled or struggles in some way with judging people of other races. It may be explicit or implicit. This is because sin has marred how we view others.”
Do you agree with this statement? Why or Why not?
Do you need to confess any struggle with racial prejudice or pride with your small group?
Is there someone in your life of another ethnicity that you could ask to share how their ethnicity has shaped their life and experiences?
How do you think our church is doing in regards to racial harmony and racial reconciliation?
Why do you think our church demographic is not the same as the demographic make-up of Bowie and the surrounding area? (There are many complex and historical reasons for this, but it’s still helpful to hear each other’s perspective)
Pastor Mark mentioned three areas of prayer:
1. Pray that our church family grows in ethnic diversity so we can model racial harmony and reconciliation to our community for the glory of God.
2. Pray that God would heal and restore the relationship between law enforcement and minorities.
3. Pray for those who have been affected and displaced by the global refugee crisis.