Storyline, Living by Faith
Authors Note: I’ve decided to break apart what I’m doing each week with stories from scripture. Once a week I’ll try to give a storyline analysis using the below outline. I’ll also to try to give one retelling of the story through the eyes of one of the Characters in the story.
- Setting Where the story takes place. Sometimes this dramatically affects the story and sometimes it doesn’t.
- Characters Dynamic and static characters who shape the story.
- Conflict Most every story involves some sort of conflict or tension that gives life to the story.
- Resolution How the story resolves itself. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad.
- Application How the story of the week helps us center our lives in God’s story.
Setting The setting is the medium in this case. The medium is a letter written from Paul to the Galatians. This is Paul writing to a people he had formerly visited and had proclaimed the Good News to. They are now being told something different about the Gospel and he’s writing to not only correct them but also warn them.
- Paul — The man advancing Judaism more fiercely than any other only to find Christ in himself (1:16) and to learn that justification comes not by works of the law but by faith in Jesus (2:16).
- Cephas (the disciple Peter) — Cephas (Peter) the Rock, whom Jesus will build his church on, in fellowship with the Gentiles but out of fear separates himself away from them because of legalistic Judaizers. This causes others (even Barnabas) to be led away as a result. (2:11–13)
- Galatians — A group of Christians in Galatia being told they must keep the law of Moses in order to be saved.
Conflict This is a good passage for illustrating root conflict and symptoms of the root conflict. Cephas (Peter) has drawn himself away from Gentiles who need the Gospel because of his fear of legalistic Judaizers. This causes Barnabas to be led astray as well. These are symptoms of thinking that justification comes through keeping the law of Moses alongside having faith in Jesus.
Resolution Justification comes through faith in Jesus alone (2:16), not works of the law.
Application Everyone can be made right with God through Jesus and we don’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops to do so. It’s not about living by the law of Moses or generally being a good person. Our justification, being made right with God, relies solely on Jesus and his faithfulness. We just have to believe he is who he says he is and trust in that.