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Community Bible Chapel Podcast
6/23/19 Gospel of Grace – Gal. 1:1-11
Effects Of The Gospel
We all know that there is life in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
-We know that when we trust in Jesus’ death as the payment made for our sins, our sin is forgiven and we look forward to heaven.
-We tend to think of the Gospel in eternal terms – and we should.
-But what effect does the Gospel have on our day to day lives?
-Paul writes in Gal. 2:20
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
-That sounds like the Gospel brings a change to our day to day lives.
I invite you to join me in Galatians 1. Page 823, youversion.
Today, we will be starting a new series – Gospel of Grace – Galatians
-Paul writes to the church in Galatia about the importance of the Gospel and how it effects our lives eternally and in this world.
READ Gal. 1:1-11
A Clear Call v. 1-2
“Apostle, sent not from men, nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead.”
-Paul was an apostle, which means that he had direct contact and calling from the resurrected Jesus.
-The text tells us that he didn’t appoint himself to this office.
-He wasn’t sent from any human agency.
-His call and appointment was from the risen Savior, Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.
-That is the authority in which Paul writes to the church and to us down through the ages.
-Does that make Paul more valuable than any of us? NO
-It does however give him authority that you and I don’t have.
-At the same time, if God has moved in our hearts and we have trusted in Jesus, we have had an experience with God that is grounded in His acceptance of us that is exactly the same acceptance that Paul had.
-We might not be Apostles, but don’t degrade the power of your testimony of what God has done in your own life.
-That testimony carries power as we share the Gospel with others.
-That security had an effect on how Paul responded when persecution came, or people didn’t like him, or they questioned his credentials.
-He was anchored in Christ, which gave him unwavering purpose in life.
-Jesus had a single purpose of bringing glory to the Father, and Paul adopted that same purpose as part of being “crucified with Christ.”
-That unwavering purpose was anchored in his acceptance in Christ.
-Out of God’s acceptance of him, he continues with
A Clear Gospel v. 3-5
-Paul greets the church with the terms “grace and peace”.
-We might skip over those as a normal greeting, but he is setting up a clear Gospel defense.
-So important because grace is the source of our salvation and peace with God is the result of God’s grace given to us.
-The entire letter is a defense of this clear Gospel truth that peace with God comes to us by God’s grace.
-That would have been a strong contradiction to those who were teaching peace with God through legalistic righteousness.
-Just do all the right things and you will attain peace with God.
-The problem with that is obvious – we can’t do all the right things.
-If we could have rescued ourselves by our own righteousness, then Jesus wouldn’t have had to come and die for our sins to rescue us.
-Not only from this evil age (referring to the age between Adam’s sin and Christ’s return) but more importantly from our own sins that have separated us from God.
-The Gospel is simple – Jesus died for sinners.
-Our righteousness does nothing to bring forgiveness for our sins, only trusting in Jesus brings His forgiveness that we all desperately need and brings us peace with God.
-Now, Paul turns his attention to the church and the teaching that has lead many astray.
The False Gospel v. 6-9
-The false teaching that Paul was addressing was the ditch of legalism.
-Legalism pushed that you needed Jesus plus you had to adhere to a bunch of other things as well.
-Be circumcised, follow all the points of the Law, observe all the festivals, and if you didn’t, then you were out.
-The difficulty is that it is an all or nothing proposition.
-You can’t just pick and chose through the Law and if you can’t keep one part of it, you are guilty of breaking all of it because the punishment is the same – separation from God.
-This teaching is still around today in various forms.
-Certain denominations, independent churches, and individuals can fall into this ditch.
-It’s Jesus plus what I do that saves me.
-There is also a ditch on the other side of the Gospel road that is the ditch of license.
-This ditch gives license to our freedom in Christ and says that since you are saved, you can live anyway you want.
-Jude 4 speaks of that ditch.
“For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”
-There are many forms of that today.
-Now, I agree with the Apostle Paul in saying that since they all rely on something other than the grace of God, they are “no gospel at all.”
-And worse than that, they will lead us away from the One true Gospel.
-Now, Paul is not surprised by the false teaching – Jesus promised they would show up in our churches.
-What surprised Paul was how readily people were deserting the grace of Christ.
-Every child knows that trading a chocolate ice cream cone for a dry cracker is a bad trade.
-Every adult knows that trading a brand new Mustang for an old rusted out Pinto is a bad trade.
-But the trade many were making was infinitely and eternally worse.
-Trading the grace of God that brings salvation for a false idea that we can earn our own salvation is beyond foolish.
-We might ask, PJ so why do we go to church if it doesn’t help us get to heaven?
-Many people go to church like an insurance policy in case Jesus didn’t do enough.
-That’s just a bad idea that takes away from the grace of God.
-Do we go to church to earn what has been given or in celebration of what has been given?
-Obviously, you can’t earn what’s been given, or it’s no longer a gift.
-We go to church to worship God for who he is and to thank Him for what He has done for us in the work of Jesus.
-We go to church to help one another in the midst of this evil age we live in.
-We go to church to be strengthened to live differently in this world we are “in but not of”.
-We go to church because we recognize our desperate need to be “in” the Body of Christ.
-But to go to church to add to our salvation is an ugly “perversion” of the Gospel.
-And we can substitute baptism, communion, the celebration of Easter, whether it’s okay for Christians to watch movies, and a million other things into this discussion.
-It becomes legalistic if we are adding it to God’s grace in order to earn our Salvation rather than in response to our salvation.
-So, our motivation comes into focus as we evaluate why we do anything we do.
-If we are trying to earn anything from God, then we are living a false Gospel.
Verdict for Those Who Preach a “non” Gospel v. 8-9
-Paul says the same thing twice in these two verses.
-Literally repeats it in the strongest terms.
-They will be “eternally condemned” because they have lead others away from the truth of the Gospel of grace.
-That is a stiff penalty, but pretty consistent all through Scripture.
-Jesus also condemned these false teachers in Luke 17:1
“Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.”
-And it’s not credentials, but what is taught.-Even if an angel speaks lies, don’t be in awe of his credentials and follow him.
-Or if Dr. So and So or Mega church Pastor So and So on the radio, speaks a false gospel, don’t listen.
-That affects us in two ways
1. Communicate Truth.
-That means that we all should take that as a warning to be able to give a clear gospel presentation to those around us.
-And I wouldn’t get comfortable with the idea that I can just keep quiet in fear of getting it wrong.
-Not saying anything might be the “thing that causes someone to stumble.”
-I had that opportunity last week at the coffee shop.
-I got talking to a person sitting next to me.
-This person had a bad “church” experience growing up and has formulated their own “gospel” of living morally by their own standards.
-I asked if they have kept that moral standard perfectly?
-The answer was “no, I’m still working on it.”
-At least they were honest.
-Which lead me to explain that God has a moral standard that we can’t keep, but Jesus kept it perfectly.-Then, being perfectly moral, he willingly went to the cross to pay the price for our moral failure.
-Jesus came to die for sinners.
-We all need to be able to dispel the false ideas around us and turn the discussion to the One True Gospel.2. Listen to Truth.
-Sometimes it’s Christian radio, sometimes it’s a bad song or hymn that is Theologically in error, the secular media, movies and TV.
-I might get in trouble for this, but parents have to consider what teaching they place their kids under.
-And if they make a decision to place their kids under a secular worldview, they must also have a good plan to teach their kids how to discern truth from error.
-A skill we all need because we live in the midst of a secular worldview that has fully impregnated the culture.
Pleasing the One Who Called v. 10
-Paul puts up a contrast for us to consider.
“If I were pleasing people, I would not be pleasing Christ.”
-Paul could have build the world’s first mega-church by changing the gospel to give the people what their “itching ears want to hear”.-He would have been an instant success.
-People would have loved it and loved him.
-We have been given One true Gospel to share with people.
-And that challenges us in every decision we make.
-Someone once said that we need to stop listening to ourselves and speak truth to ourselves.-Preach the Gospel to ourselves every day.
-That means we have to get beyond our desire please ourselves
and do what is pleasing to God.
-Some of you might think, PJ, isn’t doing what is pleasing to God also what is best for me?-And yes it is – that’s great thinking!
-But it’s easy to mix that up in the practice of our lives.
-We can talk ourselves out of coming alongside a sinning brother or sister.
-We can talk ourselves out of doing the hard work of addressing our own sin.
-We can talk ourselves out of being kind to someone who wrongs me.
-We have those decisions every day to live out the Gospel and please Christ.
Which brings us to consider how the Gospel effects us in those decisions.
The Effects of the True Gospel
-Paul came from a history of persecuting the church to being its most zealous proponent.
-What caused the change?
-He met Jesus on the road to Damascus and was changed to the deepest level of his being.
-His call was fully resolved in his heart – there was no doubt or fluctuation.
-Meaning that Paul didn’t sit around pulling the pedals out of the daisy.
“He loves me . . . . He loves me not”
-That question was fully settled in Paul’s heart and it translated into solid conviction that affected his life and actions.
-It didn’t matter if he was persecuted or if people didn’t like him, he continued to serve the LORD with his life.
-Which forces us to consider our own lives this morning, I have to ask you . . .
Is God’s love for you and His call on your life fully resolved in your heart?
-If it’s not, ABC
-If it is, then we have to consider the connection between v. 1 and 10.
-The connection is God’s acceptance of you in Christ and who you please.
-People pleasing is one way we work to be accepted.
-We sacrifice what we believe or our convictions to gain the acceptance of others and we become acceptance junkies.
-Always doing what is right in the eyes of other people to gain their acceptance.
-Are the motivations of our hearts geared in the direction of gaining the approval of others?
–But it’s the acceptance of God that we desperately seek and need, and in Christ . . . we already have.
-Let that sink in a bit – you already have God’s acceptance.
-And because of who He is, the acceptance of others begins to fade into an irrelevant mist.
-Who cares what others think of me when God accepts me.
-And the effects of His acceptance are that we develop a singleness of purpose in life – to live to the glory of God – by the grace of God.
The Gospel of Grace changes us.