August 17/Galatians 1

Pastor Jeremy and I are preaching through this book of Galatians. We are preaching a message on each chapter. Next Sunday will be chapter 5. If you missed any of the messages you can go back and follow along. Paul wrote this letter to the Galatian Christians because after he left some Jewish teachers of Jewish law came into the churches and taught a Gospel that was different from Paul’s. Paul states in the opening verse of this chapter that he got his message directly from the Lord. The Gospel Paul preached was that a person is only saved from the power and penalty of sin by faith in Jesus Christ. The Jewish teachers who refer to as Judaizers taught that salvation was faith in Jesus plus keeping the Old Testament Laws and that the males had to be circumcised. In other words they added performance to the performance of Jesus. They were saying that what Jesus did wasn’t good enough! This really got to Paul because the eternity of the Galatians depended on what they believed. There is no salvation in Jesus plus works. It is Jesus period.

John 14:6 (NLT) — 6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

The gospel of the Judaizers didn’t save. We are carrying this theme sentence through our preaching on this book > “When your salvation depends on your faith; what you believe matters”.

Verse 4 > Every now and then in the news you hear of people that need to be rescued because their lives are in danger. They may be in danger because of a flood, a mine that caved in, an airplane that crashed, and avalanche that broke loose or more recently a little kid that somehow happened to get into a pen with a gorilla!

Jesus Christ came to earth on a rescue mission. Everyone in the world was on the road to an eternity in hell. Man has tried to form rescue teams by creating many different religions but they all say that we must attain to some form of morality to have right standing with God whom ever that may be or to make it into a decent after life, a heaven if you will, whatever that may be. Of course no on can attain a decent standard of morality even standards set by man. Everyone at some time or other falls short even of man made standards. So we have to lower the bar but then we are really not sure if that will be good enough. One can only hope, right?

Humans have this concept of being judged after this life is over built into them. We see this in the Olympics that are going on right now in Rio. Particularly in gymnastics the bar is set pretty high. A score of 10 is the highest you can get and very rarely will all the judges give a 1o. So who ever scores the highest gets the gold medal.

Well the God of the Bible sets a standard also. His standard for righteous living is perfection! That seems a bit high but then who would want to serve a God that wasn’t perfect? Well us poor, Olympians, competing in the game of life will never attain perfection so God sends us Jesus. When Jesus competed in the game of life he was perfect! So God in his love for us passed on that perfect record to all of us Olympians who would believe in Jesus. We all get the 10 that Jesus earned and we all get the gold! There is no silver or bronze. Wow we don’t have to train or perform just believe in Jesus.

Verse 6 > Now you can see why Paul said that he was shocked that the people would turn away from this wonderful Gospel!

Do you find yourself from time to time trying to earn God’s favor and then wondering if you did well enough? Instead of working up a sweat why not just rest in Jesus’ performance. It was good enough!

When your salvation depends on your faith; what you believe matters!

Be Inspired Hilltop!

 

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    Paul starts the letter by confronting the problem of false teaching. Legalism was a problem in the church then as it is now. Paul wants to remind the Galatians that anything added to the gospel message us not from Jesus. The message is simple:
    1 we are sinners.
    2 God will not tolerate sin
    3 God sent Jesus to Earth to save all mankind by taking our punishment on the cross.
    4 Jesus rose from the dead and is alive.
    5 Salvation comes from believing in and accepting Jesus as our savior and accepting God’s grace.
    6 Good works will follow from accepting God’s love but are not required to be saved.
    This is the message Paul taught the church and adding other requirements weakens the power of grace and faith.
    Paul then gave his own background to illustrate that the message he now teaches was not the message he was taught as a young man. Our job is to proclaim the gospel without legalism.