Posts in the "Series" Category

Galatians: A Defense of the Gospel of Salvation by Faith in Jesus: Church Life: Shared Life

Sunday Sermon Series Galatians

Galatians 6:1-6

We’ve learned that salvation is an individual thing. The salvation of one does not necessitate the salvation of another. However, that doesn’t mean we are meant to go through life alone. We should live in concert with the church. There are ways we can all serve the church and each other. Serving is one way share life with other believers.

Three ways we are to share our lives with other believers in the church:

  1. Gently restore those who fall into sin (Galatians 6:1). … None of us are perfect and we will each make mistakes and sin. When one of us does mess up, we are to take a redemptive approach and try to keep in the smallest circle possible (unless there are legal matters). Love, forgiveness, and fellowship are powerful tools at our disposal for restoring those who have fallen into sin. However, in attempting to restore one of us, we should be careful not to fall in the same trap ourselves.

  2. Carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2-5). … One way we show our love for another is to help each other. We share our struggles and needs with each other so we can help one another. This is one of the reasons connection groups (Sunday school) is important. It puts us in a group of people similar to us so we can relate to and help each other in life. But there’s also a need to go beyond that connection group and help people in other groups. For example, the elders may need help from some of the younger members with physical tasks and the younger members may need advice from those who have greater life experience. … Paul also issues warnings here. We are to not look down on others because of their burdens. We are also to take responsibility for the burdens we bring on ourselves.

  3. Share financially with those who instruct you in the Word (Galatians 6:6). … We pay those who teach us in school (be it through taxes or private schooling), so why shouldn’t we pay those who also teach us from the Bible?

A Defense of the Gospel of Salvation by Faith in Jesus: There’s a War Going on Inside You

Sunday Sermon Series Galatians

Galatians 5:17-25

You were born with a flesh nature. When you are born again, you receive a spirit nature and the gift of the Holy Spirit. They are in conflict. You choose which is stronger. … When we become born again Christians, we gain a new nature that brings with it new desires. These desires are for things that please God. However, the old nature doesn’t just go away. The two natures live in conflict and the one you feed the most grows stronger. Even those who have continuously fed the Spirit nature will always have temptation from the flesh nature.

Flesh

Galatians 5:17

Spirit

Sinful Desires

1 Peter 2:11

Soul

Old Self

Ephesians 4:22-24

New Self


How do you know whether the flesh or the Spirit is dominant in your life? The acts of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) and the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) are obvious. … If the acts of the flesh are evident in your life, then the flesh nature is dominant. Likewise if the fruit of the Spirit is evident in your life then the Spirit nature is dominant. Paul also tells us that if the flesh nature is dominant, it might be a sign that you were never saved. But the presence of fruit of the Spirit is an indication that you are being led by the Spirit and saved.

How do you defeat the old nature and produce the fruit of the Spirit?

  1. Crucify the flesh: make a decisive break with the passions of the sinful nature (Galatians 5:24). … What we often want to do is manage our sinful nature and not let it get out of control, but we need to take a step more and kill it off. There is no overkill in this situation.

  2. Keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). … After the drastic action taken to destroy sinful nature, keep in step with the Spirit. Be aware of His presence. It can be difficult to know His presence because we can’t see Him physically, but we must learn to see the invisible and be aware of His presence.

A Defense of the Gospel of Salvation by Faith in Jesus: The Christian Life of Freedom

Sunday Sermon Series Galatians

Galatians 5:1-16

In most of Paul’s letters, the first part is about how we should believe and who we are, but the second half is more about how we should live and what we ought to do because of the truths in the first half.

The Christian life is freedom, not bondage. This freedom must be guarded so that we do not slide back into bondage (Galatians 5:1). … Some people think becoming a Christian is restricting. They think there’s no more partying and no more fun, but the Bible tells us differently. The Christian life is one free from the slavery of sin. There are two ditches that Christians might veer into on their walk with Christ:

There are two threats to Christian freedom:

  1. Legalism: The danger of returning to the bondage to the law (Galatians 5:2-12). … This ditch is a danger to long-term Christians and those with conservative beliefs. Here’s four signs that  you might be a legalist.

    1. If your Christian life is based more on rituals than a relationship with Christ, you might be a legalist. … That’s not to say rituals are bad--baptism and Lord’s Supper, among others are important--but if you’re Christian life is mainly focused on rituals, that is a dangerous path.

    2. If you known for what you are against instead of what you are for, you might be a legalist … Legalism focuses on what we are against and tends to forget to tell the world what we are for, for grace, love, forgiveness, and salvation of all mankind.

    3. If you focus on minor issues instead of faith and love, you might be a legalist. … Faith and love are the big things we should focus on.

    4. If you are quarrelsome and divisive, you might be a legalist. … Sometimes we get caught up on small things and start arguments over things that are of no consequence to salvation. Paul uses some hyperbole to express how

  2. License: The danger of returning to the bondage of indulgence (Galatians 5:13). … This ditch is where the more liberal crowd has a greater chance of falling into. Some take the boundless grace that God offers and abuse it. Grace is no excuse to live in sin.

How do we stay on the road of Christian freedom and avoid these two dangers?

  1. Follow the law of love (Galatians 5:14-15). … We are to serve one another in love. … Loving someone doesn’t mean always agreeing with them or letting them get away with everything. Sometimes love is tough. Sometimes love is confronting someone in their sin.

  2. Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). … When we veer into either ditch, it grieves the Spirit. One way to avoid grieving the Spirit is to be aware of Him. Have an awareness that the Spirit is with you and wants to keep you on the path.

A Defense of the Gospel by Faith in Jesus: Questions for Christians Who Are Turning Back

Sunday Sermon Series Galatians

Galatians 4:8-20

Once we are saved we become disciples. As disciples, we embark on a journey of discipleship. This journey is part of being saved. Sometimes people turn back to their old ways instead of continuing the journey. Paul wrote this passage for those who have turned back, which is likely all of us at some point.

Are you faithfully following Christ with Perseverance? The Galatians were on the verge of turning back, and it broke Paul’s heart. In this passage he shares a passionate plea with these churches. He asks them a series of questions:

  • Why would you turn back? Do you wish to be enslaved to sin and wors-religion all over again? (Galatians 4:8-11) … Salvation brings freedom from sin. Why go back? Salvation brings freedom from the old law, which some had added as a requirement from salvation. Why go back to having to keep all the laws and ceremonies? Paul seems to fear that some of them aren’t actually saved. They had likely professed their faith, but not everyone who makes a declaration of faith does it in sincerity, and those who didn’t do it with an honest intention, are not saved.

  • Where is your joy? Where is your blessing of me now? Have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? (Galatians 4:12-18). … When Paul went to Galatia, it sounds like he may have had some type of illness that made him not a pleasant sight to behold. As a result he stayed there longer and had more time to spend with them. They treated him well and took care of him. However, as he writes this letter, there is some emotional and spiritual distance between Paul and the Galatians. Pulling away from people and sermons that are speaking truth about your situation is a sign that you are turning back.

  • Paul expresses his wish for the Galatians. This is the longing of every pastor for his church members. This is God’s desire for you: O that Christ may be formed in you (Galatians 4:19-20). … Paul, and our pastors today, desire for Christ to be formed in us. This is the goal of discipleship, that Christ shines through us, that we may become like Christ.

A Defense of the Gospel of Salvation by Faith in Jesus: We Have Been Adopted by God!

Sunday Sermon Series Galatians

Galatians 3:26--4:7

The way to be adopted by God is through faith in Jesus (Galatians 3:26). … Paul makes it clear, once again, that faith alone is what is required for salvation.

The outward sign of adoption is baptism (Galatians 3:27). … What happens in the heart needs to come to the surface and be made public.

Three benefits of being adopted by God:

  1. Adoption means we have equal standing in the family of God (Galatians 3:28). … There are no divisions between us. Race, gender, culture, etc. no longer stand in the way of us getting along. We are all one family and we all have equal standing in this family.

  2. Adoption means we inherit all God’s kingdom (Galatians 3:29--4:5, 7). … By being part of the family, we are now heirs to the promises received by Abraham and his descendants. An not only to Abraham, but we are also heirs to Jesus, the one true king of all. Before we were saved, we were slaves to sin, but as we grew and became saved, we received our standing as part of the family and no longer are slaves to sin.

  3. Adoption means we have a new relationship with God (Galatians 4:6). The Spirit of Jesus allows us to call God “abba, father”. … Jesus called God “abba” in His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Abba” is the Hebrew equivalent of “da-da” in English. It is the intimate first name a baby calls their father. We get to be in a relationship so close to God that we can call him “abba”.

God wants to adopt you today. If you aren’t already part of His family, would you consider His invitation to join it?

A Defense of the Gospel of Salvation by Faith in Jesus:: What Is the Purpose of the Old Testament?

Sunday Sermon Series Galatians

Galatians 3:19-25

Paul has said that no one was ever saved by keeping the Old Testament law. Abraham was saved by his faith (see last week’s sermon). What then is the purpose of the Old Testament law? Why didn’t God skip the Old Covenant and go straight to the New Covenant?

  1. The law establishes us as transgressors. It exposes our sinful nature (Galatians 3:19). … The law does make us transgressors or sinners, but it does reveal us as sinners. It’s impossible to understand that we need salvation without understanding why we need salvation. The law shows us why we need salvation.

  2. The law imprisons us in our sin. It cuts off any avenue of escape (Galatians 3: 21-23). … After the law reveals us as sinners, the natural reaction is to try to do better at following the law, However, we are incapable of following the law perfectly and will always fall short. There is no way to get out from under the law on our own.

  3. The law leads us to Christ. It points us to our only hope of salvation (Galatians 3:24-25). … The law, after revealing us to be sinners and imprisoning us in sin, shows us that we need salvation and that salvation can only come through Christ.

Jesus follows this process in His conversation with the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-22). … Jesus starts with the Old Testament law when discussing salvation with this man, possibly with the intent to make the man realize his own transgressions. However the young ruler is convinced he has kept the law to an adequate level since he was a child. Then Jesus ups the ante and tells him to sell everything and give that money to the poor. The young ruler refuses, revealing at least one sin issue that he has, that of greed. Even when we think we’ve done everything right, there’s something in our lives that makes us sinners. The law reveals that to us. Then we realize we are imprisoned by the law and it points us to Jesus.

Galatians: A Defense of the Gospel of Salvation by Faith in Jesus: Faith in Jesus Is Sufficient to Save

Sunday Sermon Series Galatians

Galatians 3:1-14

  1. Faith in Jesus was sufficient to save you (Galatians 3:1-5). … Paul reminds the people of Galatia that they were saved by faith in Jesus. Paul was there; he was the one who planted the church there and led many of them to become followers of Christ. Last week we saw one extreme in licentiousness, that grace is a ticket to do anything we want. That’s not what grace is for. This week we see the ditch on the opposite side: legalism. Those who are legalistic believe that works are more important than faith in salvation, that keeping the law is required for salvation.

  2. Faith in Jesus was sufficient to save people in the Old Testament (Galatians 3:6-9). … Paul, writing to people who have started to think the law is what saves them, points out that even Old Testament characters, the fathers of the Jewish faith, were saved by faith. Abraham was saved because he had faith in God (Genesis 15), which occurred before circumcision (Genesis 17).

  3. Works are not sufficient to save because you would have to continually do everything written in the law (Galatians 3:10-14). … If you’re going to make up for everything you’ve done wrong, then you need to do everything in the law all the time. If you slip up just once, you have failed. We are all cursed because none of us are capable of keeping the entire law for our whole lives.
    Christ redeemed us from the law by becoming a sacrifice for us! He took our curse and gave us His righteousness and the Holy Spirit. All we have to do is accept this trade, this offer, this gift by faith.

Galatians A Defense of the Gospel of Salvation by Faith in Jesus: Faith in Jesus is the Only Way to Be Right with God

Sunday Sermon Series Galatians

Galatians 2:16-21

We are all guilty of sin. We are all under the condemnation of a just God. How does a person move from condemnation to justification? How does a person become right with God?

“A person is not justified by works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 2:16). … This is the verse that best sums up the book of Galatians. Paul tells us three times that we are saved by faith in Jesus and not by works or by the law.

Condemnation

Guilty

==>

_____

==>

Justification

Not Guilty


What goes in the blank?

  • Works? All other major religions tell us we have to do something to achieve righteousness/Nirvana/Paradise/Heaven, but Christianity is the only one that has God doing the work. In all other religions its humankind reaching up to God, but Christianity is God reaching down to humankind.

  • Faith? Only Christianity tells us that all we need is faith to be right with God.

  • Works + Faith? Cults tend to add works as a requirement alongside faith, but that taints the Gospel and the news that was good is no longer good when works are also required. Rather, as Christianity teaches, works are the result of faith.

If salvation is a free gift received by faith alone, does this encourage sin? (Galatians 2:17-18) … Paul either anticipated this question or had already been asked it and addressed it. Keep reading.

No, because when we believe Jesus, we are reborn. We die to our old life and now Jesus lives in us (Galatians 2:19-20). … When we receive the gift of salvation through faith, we are joined with Jesus and spiritually take part in the crucifixion. This experience of being reborn has the power to completely change a life.

In Galatians 2:21 Paul states that if there were other ways to obtain righteousness and salvation than Jesus died for nothing. There is no other way. Rituals don’t please God. Works don’t please God. Self-suffering doesn’t please God.

Throughout the history of the church, we have had to keep coming back to the truths in Galatians, that salvation is by faith alone. In fact, this is how the Reformation started. A young monk named Martin Luther tried to do whatever he could think of to be right with God, but he sensed none of it working. Eventually he was assigned to be a Bible teacher and as he studied and taught more he began to realize some truths that the church had strayed from, including salvation is by faith in Christ alone. He posted his findings hoping to start productive conversations and it led to the reformation, producing the protestant churches many of us worship at today. If you don’t know much about the reformation, I encourage to look it up because it is a major part of church history.

Galatians: A Defense of the Gospel of Salvation by Faith in Jesus: How Do We Know the Gospel Is True? Paul Defends His Apostleship

Sunday Sermon Series Galatians

Galatians 1:11-2:14

This letter is about defending the Gospel, but before Paul can defend the Gospel, he must first defend himself and his apostleship. What does this have to do with us and why is Paul’s credibility important even today? Paul wrote much of the New Testament and his teaching have been important to Christians ever since he wrote them down. If Paul’s credibility is no good, then neither are his teachings. He understood this and defended himself as an apostle.

  1. Paul’s apostleship came by revelation from Jesus (Galatians 1:11-24). … Paul, who was originally Saul, persecuted Christians before his conversion. Then Jesus appeared to him on the road and called Paul to serve Him. Paul’s apostleship wasn’t simply granTed by some man or woman. He had a miraculous meeting with Jesus.

  2. Paul’s apostleship was affirmed by the leaders of the twelve apostles (Galatians 2:1-10). … The apostles recognized that Paul was an apostle like them and was called by Christ like they were.

  3. Paul’s apostleship was asserted in a confrontation with Peter (Galatians 2:11-14). … Peter, also called Cephus, feared some of the Jewish believers who thought every believer should be circumcised and started to draw away from the uncircumcised gentiles. Peter already knew God didn’t show favoritism between circumcised and uncircumcised, but still withdrew fellowship from the gentiles and comprised his faith because of peer pressure. Others noticed Peter doing this and followed suit. Paul also noticed and rebuked the leader, Peter.

Questions to consider:

  • Do you accept the whole Bible as God’s revelation to you through the apostles?

  • Will you listen to God’s call in your life? Is He calling you to salvation? To a ministry Assignment?

  • Is there an area of compromise in your life due to the pressure of other people?

Galatians: A Defense of the Gospel of Salvation by Faith in Jesus: Don’t Desert the One True Gospel

Sunday Sermon Series Galatians


Galatians 1:1-10

This week we start a series of sermon going through the book of Galatians. It’s going to take a while to get through it, but the goal is to know what Galatians is about by the end of this series. That way we know where to look when we struggle with something that relates to it. Galatians is primarily “a defense of the Gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus” as the title suggests. The background for Galatians comes from Acts 13-15 and is in modern day Turkey. Certain teachers were instricting believers among the gentiles that they must also be circumcised to be saved. Paul didn’t like this because it added a required work to the free gift of salvation, which is obtained by faith alone.

Paul opens the letter defending his own apostleship, which gives him more authority on the subject in the letter. Then he states who the letter is for and greets them with a summarisation of the Gospel. The next part is typically where the thanksgiving goes, but Paul foregoes that here because he is apparently ticked off. He jumps straight into the issue.

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the Gospel” (Galatians 1:6-7).

Paul expresses his astonishment at how quickly the people have turned from what he had taught them. Scholars believe that this letter was written just a year after Paul was at the church he’s writing to. It took only a short time for them to be led astray by false teachers, and Paul has to write to them in an attempt to turn them back.

Paul really finds the perversion of the Gospel to be a truly horrible thing. He says that they shouldn’t listen to anyone who preaches a different gospel, even if it is him or an angel, going so as far as saying to let them be damned to Hell. Sometimes people change the gospel to please people; however, we aren’t here to please people; we’re here to please God. Changing the Gospel does not please God.

Questions to consider:

  • Have you embraced the Gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus?

  • In what direction is your life trending?

  • Are you allowing anyone to lead you astray?

  • Do you have friends or relatives who are trending away from the Gospel for whom you need to pray? (James 5:19-20)