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Community Bible Chapel Podcast
7/7/19 Gospel of Grace – House Rules – Gal. 2:11-21
Everyone has house rules – right?
-House rules are helpful in bringing a unified and harmonious family.
-But after I got married, I realized that the house rules I grew up with didn’t necessarily work in our new marriage and growing family.
-Sue and I had to come up with house rules that worked for us.
-We also realized that many of those rules applied when the kids were young and then were disposed of as the kids grew up.
-Other rules remained – like they had to put their clothes away.
-And as they grew up, we had to adopt new house rules to keep everyone aiming in the same direction in the house.
-As the kids started working and ended up not eating with us, it was required that they clean up their dishes when they did come home and eat.
-Now, house rules were kept because we are Klosheims, not in order to become a Klosheim.
-That happens by birth, not by earning it.
-As our kids got older, they would question the house rules and sometimes have trouble distinguishing between house rules and their identity as Klosheims.
-God also has house rules that keep us on track.
-Rules that are helpful to keep the church running smoothly.-Rules like considering others better than yourself, sharing with those in need, or staying clear of the sinful ways of the culture.
-Unfortunately, some people mistake the house rules for the Gospel.
-They believe that in order to be saved you have to follow all the house rules.
-The Jews developed a whole series of house rules that didn’t just keep things moving smoothly, but had to be kept to earn our salvation.
-In other words, keeping the house rules became something that was needed to be kept in order to become part of God’s family rather than keeping them because we are already part of God’s family.
Today, Paul is again defending the Gospel of grace and how Peter got confused about his identity in Christ and the house rules
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.
Paul’s defense of the Gospel of grace.
1. He learned the Gospel directly from Jesus and not from the Jerusalem Apostles.
2. The Jerusalem Apostles added nothing to and endorsed his Gospel.
3. In this passage, Paul is using the truth of the Gospel to stand in opposition to the doctrinal error of Peter.
READ Gal. 2:11-21
Peter Strays v. 11-13
-The first thing we see it that the scene has shifted from the counsel in Jerusalem to the church in Antioch,-Antioch was the first church that was established by Paul.
-It was built upon the Gospel of grace that Paul preached there.
-Grace through faith is not a house rule – it’s our identity in Christ.
-So, Peter shows up and eats with the Gentiles.
-He is loving the church and hanging out with the Gentiles who had come to Christ. . . eating with them and hanging out.
-But then some others came from Jerusalem, Peter stopped hanging out with the Gentiles because of the house rules of those from Jerusalem.
-He was afraid of what the legalists might say or think by not keeping their house rules of not eating with Gentiles.
-They were excluding the Gentiles from being part of God’s family.
-We have been talking about that for a few weeks now and so you know that is a huge problem.
-Not so much because he stopped hanging out with the Gentiles, but because of what that action said about the Gospel he believed.
-Peter might have agreed with the Gospel of grace, and preached it, but in this circumstance his actions said that the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone was being overshadowed by their house rules.
-There was judgment between the two groups in a way that caused division and was an affront to the Gospel of grace.
-We can do that as we judge the worship practice or other churches or people groups by a different measure than the Gospel of grace.
-As we do that, we separate ourselves in a way that dishonors God.
-God places us all in the human race with the only division being saved and unsaved.
-At a church level, I love the fact that we have people from all kinds of different religious backgrounds (differing house rules) who come together under the Gospel of grace to worship and serve the Lord.
-The hypocrisy of Peter was destructive to the very fabric of the church.
-The worst part was that others where following suit in his hypocrisy – even Barnabas.
-We might wonder how Peter could do that, but it becomes obvious when we look at our own heart.
-Peter had grown up following all the Jewish traditions and regulations.
-He was feeling the judgment of these fellow Jews who came to Antioch and probably didn’t even think about his actions – he just went into automatic mode.
-I remember going to visit my dad and old habits just seemed to fall into place.
-Patterns of communication and actions – things I hadn’t done in years.
-If I didn’t spend some time thinking about how the Gospel should change those automatic responses, they just happened.
-It’s difficult for all of us to consistently live out the ramifications of the Gospel in all the areas of our lives.
-That’s one reason that progressive sanctification is a lifetime pursuit.
Paul Corrects v. 14-16
-So Paul steps up to defend the truth of the Gospel of grace and help Peter right the ship in his life and in the church.
-His main argument focuses on grace.
-v. 15 says that both Peter and Paul were raised in Jewish teaching.
-They knew that no one is justified (made right) with God by observing the Law.
-The grace of God was always the way of salvation.
-The Jewish people looked for God to send a Savior to pay for their sin.
–Grace through faith in the Messiah was always the way of salvation.
–That is not a house rule – that is our identity as God’s children.
-The Law was given so they would see their sin and turn to the God in faith.
-The Law were the house rules.
-My kids didn’t always keep the house rules.
– I didn’t either (don’t tell mom).
-But not keeping the house rules didn’t separate us from our identity.
“The righteous will live by faith” as Paul points out in chapter 3.
-That has never changed in God’s economy although the Jewish legalists turned that into “the righteous will live by the Law.”
-Thinking they could keep it.
-The house rules became more important than the identity.
-Paul corrected Peter publically for his misrepresentation of the Gospel of grace in his actions because Peter publically pulled away from the Gentiles.
-He continues in v. 16 to correct their thinking by stating again that observing the Law will not make anyone righteous before God.
-You can’t earn your identity into God’s family by keeping the rules.
-We all need friends like Paul – who are willing to step in our way and help us recognize the danger when our thinking and actions reveals something other than the Gospel of grace.
-Of course that doesn’t give us freedom to do that just because we have a difference of opinion, but when it’s the Gospel that is affected, I want those kinds of friends.
-I have some of those friends and I hope you do to.
-Although it takes a humble heart to accept that kind of friendship without being all offended.
-Three times in v. 16, Paul declares that salvation is only through faith in Jesus.
John MacArthur says of this verse.
“The first statement is general: a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus. The second is personal: even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law. The third is universal: by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”
-It’s faith in Jesus Christ that makes us right with God and brings us forgiveness of our sin and salvation.
-Withdrawing from eating with the Gentile believers may please the legalists, but it will displease God.
Paul Concludes v. 17-21
-Here is the logic of Paul’s argument.-His first point is that if they were justified in Christ (part of God’s family), but were breaking the Jewish house rules by eating with Gentiles, when we would be sinners and not part of God’s family.
-His second point is even stronger.
-If eating with Gentiles was sinful and caused us to not be part of God’s family, then Jesus was a sinner.
-Jesus said in Mark 7 that food doesn’t contaminate a person.
-Jesus has Peter eat with Cornelius to signify the oneness of Jew and Gentile believers.
-Jesus ate with sinners himself.
-Is Jesus a sinner then? NO!
-V. 18 is personalized but directed toward Peter and the legalists.
-If we “rebuild” the system of salvation by Law, then we are once again a sinner.
-If keeping the house rules made us part of the family, then we would all be out of God’s family.
-And worse, a hypocrite by trading God’s powerful grace for the Jewish house rules.
-Sin was completely paid for in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and our sin is forgiven through faith in Him – alone.
-There is nothing we can add to that Gospel of grace.
Conclusion: Our identity is found in Jesus, not in our keeping the house rules.
-We want to keep the house rules because we are in the family, but we can’t get adopted by keeping the house rules.
-The order is everything.
-Paul ends this passage with a powerful statement of his union with Christ.-Christ’s crucifixion is our crucifixion.
-He died and we died, but He lives in and through us.
-We live by faith because God lives in us.
-As Paul closes, if we could live perfect lives then Jesus “died for nothing.”
Living By the Gospel of Grace
1. We can all fall to legalism.
-If Peter, who was given grace time and time again by Jesus himself, can fall to legalism, so can you and I.
-We want to make sure that we don’t mix up our identity with the house rules.
-We can fall to legalism in a heartbeat.
-It can be fear of what other might think.
As a modern example . . .
-Maybe God is calling you to minister to drug addicts, but when you bring one of them into church next week – as a result of a couple unloving comments you distance yourself from the person you brought.
-We can also easily fall into the other ditch that we have been talking about – license.
-You are out to lunch with some co-workers and the discussion drifts toward how unloving Christians are because they believe so many things are sin.
-Would you take the opportunity to correct those wrong ideas or just not say anything because you fear you won’t be invited to lunch anymore?
-We need to stay connected to the church and continue to grow in Christ and the Gospel of grace.
2. How do we live by the Gospel of grace?
-One way that we might do that is by living with an accepting heart.
-And as our culture secularizes more and more, there will be plenty of opportunity to love those around us who live in very different ways than we do.
-We need to make sure that we are not mixing up the house rules with identity in Christ.
-We no longer live in a Christian nation – so the National house rules have changed.
-Those who are of the world should not be expected to live by the house rules of the church.
-Non-believers will not live like children of the King in their sexuality, family structure, how they do business, or their ethics for all of life
-It’s not our place to judge them, it’s our place to share the Gospel of grace with them.
-They cannot get their lives straightened out in an effort to join the family of God any more than we can, they need to become part of the family of God so they can get their lives right with Him.
-They are in desperate need of becoming a child of the King through faith in the Gospel of grace.
-Once they become part of the family of God, then we have opportunity to help them to grow into the house rules of the church. (Gal 6 – Matt 7)
-But we cannot expect them to live by the house rules until they are in the family.
-With Life groups starting up this week – you will be spending some time fleshing that out and growing together in your groups.