Community Bible Chapel Podcast
6/30/19 Gospel of Grace – Same Gospel – Different Call – Gal. 2:1-10
There are so many churches and religions.
-Our culture has a millions different ideas about who God is or even if there is a God.
-If we are going to be successful in proclaiming the Gospel to the culture we live in we have to have a good grasp on the Gospel itself and we also have to understand the culture of the people we are bringing that Gospel to.
I invite you to join me in Galatians 2. Page 823, youversion.
-We have been following Paul’s defense of the Gospel that he was preaching to the gentiles.
-He had met resistance from the Jewish legalists who were trusting in Jesus plus their own efforts to earn God’s salvation.
-Today we will see how Paul defends the Gospel – but that he has a different call to deliver that message.
Defense of the Gospel v. 1-2
-Paul continues writing in defense of the Gospel he was preaching.
-He had been preaching that salvation comes to us by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
-We don’t need to add anything to earn God’s grace – for if we added anything to it, grace would no longer be grace.
-This is the Gospel that Paul had received from Jesus and had been preaching for the past 14 years on his first missionary journey.
-Paul takes a break from his missionary journey and goes up to Jerusalem to “set before” the Apostles the Gospel he had received from Jesus.
-He wasn’t summoned by the Jerusalem Apostles, but was summoned in a revelation from God to go.
-The text doesn’t tell us what that “revelation” was.
-V. 2 gives us a clue as Paul began to develop a fear that his Gospel might be off and would have caused him to “run in vain.”
-Maybe it was a direct call of God or more of an inner conviction of the Holy Spirit.
-But either way, he heads up to Jerusalem.
-It’s also significant that he brought Barnabas and Titus along.
–Barnabas was a faithful minister of the Gospel who accompanied Paul.
-He was known for his obedience, reconciling manner, and was known as the “son of encouragement”.
-All great gifts that are very helpful in ministry.
–Titus was known as a gentile who trusted in Christ.
-It’s highly possible that Paul brought Titus along to prove that God was as much at work in Titus as any Jewish believer who was circumcised and observed the Law.
-That has been the issue that Paul refers to in v. 4.
-Paul’s message in bringing Titus couldn’t have been clearer.
-If God had chosen and used Titus, an uncircumcised Gentile, then circumcision was not required to join the people of God.
-His point was that the Gospel did not include all the Jewish law and tradition.
-I am so thankful for Paul’s persistence to defend the Gospel of grace or the church might have become a small sect of Jewish believers and had no effect on the Gentile nations.
-On the other side of the coin, we might ask if circumcision or living according to God’s Law is sinful?
-I want to make sure that we understand that circumcision or living morally can be sinful if we do them in order to earn our salvation.
-Moral living is Godly and right if it comes as a result of our salvation and our motive is to bring glory to our God.
-We have to have the order right.
-That was true in Paul’s Gospel and is still true today.
-I love the heart of Paul.
-He received direct revelation from Jesus, yet was willing to submit to the leaders in Jerusalem.
-He sought their approval and recommendation.
-That is so different from many today who claim to have the truth, but don’t care what anybody thinks – “I’m right and I’m doing it!”
-Paul was taught directly by Jesus, yet wanted to make sure that the others confirmed the message of the Gospel he preached.
-I get asked all the time, PJ
“why are there so many denominations and churches that can’t get along?”
-And that’s a great question that is answered right here..
–There are as many churches as there are people who won’t submit themselves to the Gospel of Jesus, Paul, and the Apostles.
-We would all do well to pay attention here.
-Paul, who received the Gospel right from Jesus and wrote most of the NT, places his Gospel before the leaders.
-How much more should we make sure that the Gospel we are preaching is the same as the one that He preached.
-I have an open door policy to you all.
-If I preach something other than the One true Gospel – please come and talk to me.
-I would not want to find myself in the group that Paul spoke of in 1:8.
-And hopefully, you love me enough to make sure that I don’t go there.
-It’s a humble heart that submits to the true Gospel.
-Paul brings Titus along to prove that God was at work in someone who is not following the Jewish Law.
-The legalists were trying to force Gentiles to follow the Jewish law, but God was working His Gospel in those who were not keeping the Jewish law.
-Although it’s not Jewish Law, we have that legalism in our churches today.
-That’s the ditch on the one side of the road.
-Many have adopted a gospel that teaches that you need Jesus plus having to follow all the teachings and traditions of the church in order to be saved.
-That is the group that Paul spoke of in v. 4 that were seeking to enslave the Gentiles in legalism.
-Let’s not forget that it was this Book of Galatians that moved Martin Luther to post his 95 thesis on the Wittenburg door to begin the reformation.
-We are all eternally grateful that Martin Luther and his contemporaries were willing to endure great persecution for the defense of the One true Gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ.
-As Paul says – the gospel of legalistic righteousness is no Gospel at all, and he fiercely defended the Gospel and did “not give in to them.”
License – Cheap grace
-Others have adopted a gospel that states that since God is love everyone will be saved whether they believe in Jesus or not.
-So do whatever you want, it will be forgiven, whether you want to be or not.
-Again, a gospel that strays from the very teachings of Jesus and what Paul and the Apostles taught, is no Gospel at all.
-It’s a humble heart that yields a “Godly repentance that leads to salvation” as II Cor. 6 states.
-In Chapter 1, Paul defended his Gospel as being received from Jesus and independent from the Jerusalem Jewish believers Gospel.
-In this passage, he flips the argument to further defend the Gospel.
-Even though his Gospel was gained independently of the Jerusalem church leaders, they endorsed his Gospel.
-There are three ways they endorsed unity in Paul’s Gospel.
1. “added nothing to his message.”
-The mother church added nothing because it matched the Gospel that they received and preached to the church in Jerusalem.
-They didn’t believe that Paul had watered down the Gospel in order to make the Gospel more attractive to non-believers.
-Jesus died for sinners.
-Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ translates to all people.
-The Gospel is the same no matter where we proclaim it and the Gospel meets the heart of every person no matter where they are.
2. “The right hand of fellowship.”
-The Jerusalem leaders recognized that Paul had a tremendous ministry among the Gentiles and that God had used him greatly.
-The right hand of fellowship is the pre-curser to what we might call an Ordination Counsel today.
-That counsel comes together to question the person on their view of the Gospel.
-That ends with a conformation of unity in the One true Gospel.
-That’s that “right hand of fellowship” in the same Gospel.
3. “remember the poor”
-Part of the unity in the Gospel is to remain connected back to the Jerusalem church.
-There would be many poor among the church in Jerusalem that resulted from their acceptance of Jesus.
-The Jewish believers would have been tossed out of the Temple, their families, and often their livelihood.
-There would have been many women who became spiritual widows.
-As they came to Christ, their husbands would have kicked them out and divorced them, leaving them destitute.
-One practical way the Gospel bring us together is the common bond of sharing in suffering and doing what we can to help those in the midst of it.
-The Gospel brings us into a new community that we are attached to that stretches across Denominational and National lines.
-We share in the Body of Christ as part of being part of the same Gospel.
-Where the Gospel was the same, the call was different.
-Unity is not the same as uniformity.
-Unity is that we are all created in God’s image.-But we are not uniform as in that we all look or act the same.
-We are unified in that we have the same Gospel, but we are not uniform in the context of how and where we minister the Gospel.
-Once the Jerusalem Apostles confirm the Gospel of Paul, they also recognize that he has a different call.
-Peter was preaching the Gospel to the Jews in Jerusalem and Paul was preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles in other places.
-They delivered the same gospel, but were called to proclaim it to different people.
-And that is where we come in . . .
-Sue and I have had the opportunity to travel to some faraway lands.
-It amazes me that God has dealt with the unity of our sin problem with the unity of the Gospel.
-There is one Gospel to proclaim to all people because all people sin.
-No matter where we go, the Gospel is the answer to our common sin problem.
-So, we know the message we will be proclaiming will be the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
-But we don’t all sin in the same place.
–Costa Rica – had some social differences that we had to deal with.
-We worked Sunday until noon.
-Church was in the late afternoon – that’s how they do it.
–Philippines also had some contextual differences that I didn’t understand.
-The church hosted two AWANA groups.
-One for their kids and one for the street kids that lived around the church.
-The one for their kids had what we might consider normal prizes and rewards.
-For the street kids, their prizes were food.
-Even though I didn’t understand all of it, I saw that they were ministering the same Gospel in the context of their city and people.
–Hungary was a much different experience.
-I had the opportunity to preach in church and had I known more of their history, I would have preached a different passage.
-The Gospel was the same, but I used Abraham and looked at the sowing and reaping principles of his life.
-Now, Hungary is one of the most invaded people of all time.
-Hungary is the bread basket of Europe and whenever someone went to war, they started there, took all the food and abused the people.
-That has left a proud people demoralized and defeated.
-I wish I had preached a message of the sure victory of King Jesus, who came to love and care for them.
-We head for Belize in October and I will be looking for the context that might weave with the Gospel.
-The Gospel translates no matter where it is proclaimed.
-And we do that locally as well.
-I am a member of the Susquehanna Valley Association of Evangelicals.-We come together to pray for the ministries of the other churches.
-We all have signed a statement to the same Gospel, but we minister in different contexts.
-Some have ministries to the college students in Oneonta.
-Some have older congregations.
-Some have large youth ministries.
-Some reach out to minorities.
-Some are in the city and others in the rural places.
-Some are denominational – some charismatic – some Bible churches.
-We all have the same Gospel but with a different call.
What about all of us here today?
-The Gospel translates to all the people we might touch.-All are sinners in need of the wonderful grace of Jesus.
-There are millions of different ministries that we could do.
-Out of all the possibilities we have chosen to minister to those who live here.
-We interact and share the Gospel to those who vacation here, but they are not our main focus.
-We focus on discipling the people with AWANA, Youth Group, DH, Life Groups, and ministering all the “one another” passages of God’s Word.
-We focus on reaching our community by coming alongside of hurting people through The Potter’s Wheel Biblical Counseling Ministry, Deacons Helping Fund, Encounter the Cross, a new ministry – BILT that will launch this summer (extension of C4).
-We could stand on the street corner and preach the Gospel or hand out tracks to all the visitors that come here, but we have decided to minister to the needs of those in our community.
How has God called you to minister the same Gospel to those in your context?
-Getting to know the people you live with, work with, or go to Stagecoach with – that is your context.
-It’s those people who have the opportunity to see and hear the Gospel lived out in your life.
-There are some common things that we all share as being part of the culture of the NE.
-We tend to be independent and autonomous and they all need the Gospel of God’s grace.
-That message resonates with all people because all are in sin.
-But there are things that are unique to each person that you will need to spend some time getting to know so you can help bring the Gospel right into their context.
-Are you ready to minister the Gospel of God’s grace within the context that God has strategically placed you?
-Then let’s get to it!!