The Galatians Conversion (Gal. 3:1-5)

A small town police chief spoke at a public forum about preventing hate violence. Hours later, he discovered that his son is a suspect in a hate crime.

The area had been rocked by a recent spate of attacks on Sikhs, including the beating of a 71-year-old man named Singh Natt by two teen assailants in nearby Manteca. Union City Police Chief Darryl McAllister had been speaking to members of the local Sikh community, trying to engage them in strategies in violence avoidance.

The next day, chief McAllister left the following words as part of a note on the department’s official Facebook page: “It is not that often that I find myself sharing with the general public issues that pertain to my personal family life. I feel it is a MUST that this be one of those rare occasions.”

After recapping the details of the attack, he continued: “I am completely disgusted in sharing with you that, later yesterday evening, I received a call from the Manteca PD that the suspect in this horrific crime turns out to (be) my 18-year-old son.”

Tyrone McAllister, who was reportedly estranged from his police chief father, was taken into custody and charged with attempted robbery, elder abuse, and assault with a deadly weapon, in connection with the attack. Manteca police were able to locate him after his father provided relevant information.

In the statement, Chief McAllister also wrote that he and his family were “shaken to the core.”[1]

Sometimes we are shocked to the core about something. Sometimes we expect better of certain people, or groups and we are greatly disappointed when someone we respect, and love does something contrary to our expectations.

I think that is going on in this passage. Paul reveals his emotions. I believe he is disappointed in them. Let’s look at the passage.

My theme is:

We are saved by faith in the Gospel, we grow in our faith by the Holy Spirit’s work.

Let’s read Galatians 3:1-5:

You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

  1. Let’s put this passage in context.
    1. This is a new section in Galatians and a major section:
    1. For the broader section: The main points are that Paul talks about how Abraham had received righteousness, which means, right standing with God, not from the law because this was way before the law. Abraham had this righteousness by faith alone.
    1. Paul develops this by going back to Gen 15 and then adding on how God had said that Abraham’s seed (Christ) would bless the nations.
    1. Paul then goes into his next evidence which is that Jesus has become a curse for us.
    1. Paul talks about how the law requires obedience and we are cursed for not being absolutely obedient.
    1. Paul then talks of how Christ was the curse for us. Paul then moves into how we are free and not as slaves. We were slaves at one time when we were young and immature. However, with Christ came adoption and therefore, we are not slaves. Paul then moves to the allegorical story of Hagar. This was his close which showed that we are descendants of the free woman. This was Paul’s appeal to our lineage. This takes us through Galatians chapter 4.
    1. Each of these main points is significant as Paul had built in transitions from one to the other. He transitioned smoothly from Abraham to the law, to the curse to the fact that Christ is the curse. Paul went back to the law again and then back to Christ. Then Paul moved into slave versus free which transitioned to adoption and then lineage. They flow nicely. Paul assumes the reader had understanding of the Old Testament.
  2. Let’s look at these verses.
    1. Paul says that they have been foolish.
    1. Paul says they have been bewitched.
    1. John MacArthur points out when Paul talks about them being “bewitched” it has the idea of “Charmed or misled by flattery and false promises. The term suggests an appeal to the emotions by the Judaizers.”[2]
    1. One source shares: this Greek word means: To bewitch as with the eye, to cast an evil eye. A Greek commentator on the work of the poet Theocritus observes that the noun báskanos means one who with his eyes kills or destroys. Superstitious people believed that great harm might result from the “evil eye” or from being looked upon with envious and malicious stares. In the NT, it means to utter foolish babble, i.e., to mislead by pretenses as if by magic arts, to bewitch (Gal. 3:1).[3]
    1. When Paul calls them “foolish” he is not insulting their intelligence. They were not lacking IQ, but in spiritual discernment.
    1. Paul says that “Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified…” About this Ben Witherington writes: Scholars have long puzzled over the meaning of Gal 3.1b, which reads literally “before whose eyes Jesus Christ having been crucified was put on public display.” Did Paul put on some sort of early version of a passion play? These questions however tend to reflect how little some scholars know about Paul’s use of rhetoric, and in this case the rhetorical device known as ekphrasis… it is the use of vivid language that conjures up stark visual images in the listener’s mind. So, we need not imagine Paul putting on a passion play to impress the Galatians, we need only imagine that he gave a very vivid, with lots of visual imagery, description of the crucifixion of Jesus.[4]
    1. The rest of these verses are about how they were saved and how they grew in their faith.
    1. Paul uses rhetorical questions and uses 5 of them in these 5 verses..
    1. In verse 2, Paul says he only wants to know one thing, “did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?” This is summing up the next few verses.
    1. The obvious answer is “hearing with faith.” They received the Spirit, they were saved by hearing the Gospel and accepting the Gospel.
    1. Paul continues with questions in verses 3 and 4 and sums it up in verse 5.
    1. In verse 3, Paul goes to another level. He started verse 2 asking questions about how they were saved and now he asks questions referring to how they grow in the faith. He asks if they are perfected by the flesh. The flesh usually means the law. So, the idea is do they grow in Christ by the law or by the Spirit. The obvious answer is the Holy Spirit.
    1. In verse 4, Paul seems to refer to suffering which means that they have suffered persecution and if they suffered for the law it was in vain, it was worthless.
    1. Then, verse 5, this comes to the original idea: So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
    1. The obvious answer is by hearing with faith.
    1. In the next few verses, which we will get into next week, Paul substantiates this with two Old Testament passages.
  • Let’s apply:
    1. We need to not be arrogant, we must know that we are saved by faith and faith alone.
    1. Looking at verse 1, we must not allow anyone to divert our focus from Jesus and proper doctrine. We must not allow the devil to do this through false teachers.
      1. We must stay clear of the major heresies such as: Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.
      1. However, we must stay clear of smaller heresies as well. We must make sure we do not let anyone steer us the wrong way.
    1. We must recognize that we are not saved by our own works.
    1. Looking at verse 2, we must recognize we did not receive the Spirit by works of the law, but by hearing and faith.
    1. Looking at verse 3, we must recognize that we did not begin by grace and then be perfected by the law. We are still sanctified by the Spirit, not our works or by the law.

I recently read the following:

Some time ago, I attended a conference in which a well-known speaker related the cultural and value differences between his current home in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and his childhood home in a small town in the Southwest United States. These cultural and value differences found their expression in a set of rules. As a young man, his church culture enforced a particularly prescribed set of rules: no dancing, no drinking, no card playing, no long hair. These were rules that could not be violated. To do so would not only invite censure from the community, but he was also warned that it would put his eternal standing with Almighty God in jeopardy.

As it sometimes happens with this kind of upbringing, the conference speaker moved as far away from his hometown rigidity as he could. He escaped to the Pacific Northwest—a part of the United States known for its laidback attitude and freethinking ways. The speaker believed that he had finally found a community that would be free from the constricting rules and legalisms of his childhood. He was in for quite a surprise. While he had indeed moved far away from the many rules of his childhood town, he discovered that the rules of his new neighborhood involved minute intricacies relating to garbage, the banning of plastic bags at the grocery store, and skateboarders or musicians in the common areas of his upscale townhome complex. The wrath of God may not have been invoked in the threats of punishment, but the speaker suffered the self-righteous censure of this community just as bound by legalism as the one in which he grew up. In both communities, oddly, he found that the rules seemed more beloved than the people they were meant to shape.

The writer continues to say, Regardless of the community rules involved, human beings seem to be lovers of legalities. She then continues to write, maybe we love rules because it is easier than loving people.[5]

Remember, we cannot keep the law. We are saved by Jesus’ blood on the cross and we grow in our faith by Jesus’ blood on the cross.

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with Him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means being with Jesus Forever (Rev 22:5)

[1] Jelani Greenidge, Editor, PreachingToday.com : source: Dakin Adone, “After brutal attack on a Sikh man, police chief is ‘disgusted’ to learn is son is one of the suspects,” CNN (8-10-18

[2] Excerpt From: Crossway. “The MacArthur Study Bible, ESV.” Apple Books. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-macarthur-study-bible-esv/id419199195?mt=11

NT (New Testament)

[3] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[4] https://www.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/2018/12/11/paul-and-ekphrasis-the-meaning-of-galatians-3-1b/

 

[5] https://www.rzim.org/read/a-slice-of-infinity/a-new-legalism

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Crucified with Christ, live by the Spirit (Gal. 2:20) Vision Sunday

Today, we celebrate the 2018 year and look forward to the 2019 year. God used Bethel for a lot of ministry last year. But, we must also believe that God is going to use us for a lot of ministry this year as well. This year, 2019, our vision is to fulfill the Great Commission by being contagious Christians. How can we do this? We can do this because we no longer live and Christ lives in us.

I want to look at Galatians 2:19-20 and talk about living for Jesus. We must make Jesus number 1 and we can do so much for God’s glory when we partner with Jesus and let Him live through us. He must be number 1.

I read the following:

Toward the beginning of the second century, the Roman emperor decided that Christians had become so numerous that there was no use trying to stamp them out anymore, so he made peace. He even decided to put a statue of Jesus in the Pantheon, among the statues of the Greek gods. A symbol at the top of the Pantheon said, “Caesar, king of kings,” indicating his position as “first.”

The Christians could have been honored at how far they had come. Not long before, they were just a rag-tag group of fisherman in the backwoods of Israel, and now they’re in the Pantheon! But instead of being grateful, they sent a letter to the emperor telling him that if he didn’t take down the statue of Jesus, they certainly would. Jesus will never be among your gods, they said, because he is above all of them.[1]

The founder of the Salvation Army said to his fellow “soldiers”: “Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking. First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again—until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other.”

Please read with me Galatians 2:19-20:

For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

  1. All believers have been crucified with Christ.
    1. To be a Christian means that I believe that Jesus died and rose again for me. I trust in Him for salvation, I confess my sins to Him and I commit to Him.
    2. If you are a Christian you have been crucified, wow! That is a strong picture. I believe that Paul used this word picture for dramatic effect. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is entirely true, but there is a reason that Paul used a dramatic picture here. In a metaphorical way we have been crucified with Christ. We no longer live, but Jesus lives within us.
    3. Let’s review Galatians. Paul writes to the churches of Galatia to counter these false apostles who have bewitched them (Gal. 3:1). The churches in Galatia have come to an error of works salvation. They have started believing that they had to live by the law. Paul is extremely assertive in this short New Testament letter.
    4. So, Paul is writing about law versus grace and, you know what? I think we need the same message. We have similar issues. No, we don’t have issues with the Jewish Law. But as Christians we go two different ways.
      1. We believe we have to earn our salvation.
        1. We know this is not true. Grace is unmerited favor. If you look at Gal. 2:21 Paul writes that if righteousness could come by the law, then Jesus died in vain. He died needlessly.
        2. But, when we add legalistic standards for Christians, we become a cult, and we make Jesus’ death on the cross in vain.
        3. We do this if we practice Christianity religiously. Most in our churches are not guilty of this at all.
      2. Or, we throw away any moral law. In this case the Christian’s life does not match his faith. This is a problem.
        1. We do this when we do not preach what Jesus preached and what this verse is saying. Jesus said in Luke 9:23: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
        2. If Jesus taught that why don’t we preach this?
        3. How can we preach this message without teaching/or showing that we work out our salvation? We were created for good works (Eph. 2:10).
        4. As a Christian, the Holy Spirit changes us. Think about the following:

About six years ago I read a book which someone at my church recommended.  The book tells the life of Louis Zamperini. Zamperini was in the 1936 Olympics held in Germany. He was famous for setting records for how fast he could run the mile.

Later he was planning to enter the next Olympic competition, but it was canceled because of WWII. Zamperini entered the war and served on a B 24. He was shot down and spent 47 days at sea and then around three years as a Japanese prisoner of war. He was badly mistreated in the POW camps. 

Following the war, he dealt with post-traumatic stress disorder. This caused him to plunge into alcoholism which brought on a host of other problems. He was married and had one child, but his marriage was being threatened with divorce. Every time he closed his eyes at night he was plagued with memories of his time as a POW. He was filled with hate and wanted to kill one particular guard

(Mutsuhiro Watanabe (nicknamed “The Bird”), who was later included in General Douglas MacArthur’s list of the 40 most wanted war criminals in Japan. Finally, in 1949 as the 31-year-old Billy Graham was preaching an evangelical crusade in Los Angeles, Louis’ wife gave her life to Christ at the crusade. She eventually convinced Louis to also attend. Louis attended once and was convicted but left in anger during Graham’s invitation. Louis’ wife Cynthia convinced him to attend again. He did and started to leave again during the invitation. But he was convicted and went forward giving his life to Christ.

Following the conversion his life changed dramatically. He went home that night, and at the time when he would usually drink alcohol to excess, he dumped his alcohol down the drain. His hate was changed to forgiveness. His marriage lasted until his wife’s death. He never had nightmares of his time as a POW again. He later went back to Japan and spoke to the guards who were accused and convicted of war crimes. He forgave them. But the one guard who was the worst to Louis, Mutsuhiro Watanabe (nicknamed “The Bird”), was thought dead and Louis never was able to talk to him. Later they found out he was alive and Louis was scheduled to meet with him. But he was not able to meet with him as Watanabe declined the invitation.

I believe, when we really know Jesus, we really know Him, when we are saved we commit to Him, and in time, our life will show it. This is because we are dead to the old self and Christ lives in us.

  1. Paul says in this verse that he has died to the law. How? He died with Christ to the law.
  2. He has been crucified with Christ. I have to believe that people would have cringed when they heard him use the verb “crucified.” They would have known what crucifixion meant. Historians cannot tell us apart from the Bible much about crucifixion. People were afraid to write about it. Many times, we can find extra Biblical evidence for many things, but not crucifixion. Scholars get much of what we know about crucifixion from the Bible. We are told a few things though. The Romans would crucify people publicly and they would crucify people at set times of the year in order to make a statement. They wanted their enemies to see crucifixion and think, “Don’t mess with us.” The Romans did not invent crucifixion. They copied it from the Greeks and maybe even another country.
  3. People would have this image of crucifixion in their mind when Paul used that term.
  4. But the point is that we died with Christ when we became a Christian. We died to our old self. We died to sin.

What does it mean to be crucified with Christ? It means that when we became a Christian we died to our old self. We died to our sin nature. So, how do we live?

  1. All believers are to live by the faith in the indwelling Christ (2:20b–21).
    1. Paul says that he no longer lives, but Christ lives within him.
    2. Does Christ live in you?
    3. If you are a Christian the answer is yes. Yes, Yes, Amen.
    4. The Holy Spirit indwells us.
    5. How did Jesus do His miracles on earth? He laid aside His glory to become man. He had the Holy Spirit with Him. He was fully human and He is fully human, but the Holy Spirit was with Him. You know the Holy Spirit is with you as well. The Holy Spirit is in you. In 1 Corinthians 3:16 Paul wrote that we are the Temple of God. He used the same word which would describe the part of the Temple where God resides. God resides in us. We have the Holy of Holies in Us. Amen!!!
    6. So, as believers we do good works because Jesus dwells in us and He does those good works.
    7. How did Louis Zamperini change his life? He didn’t. Jesus changed him. When he became a Christian Jesus said, “I am not having any of that.” Jesus said, “I am taking over this house and I have some cleaning up to do.”

Now, I believe that as Christians we can sometimes push Jesus aside. He lives within us, but… We don’t want Him here. We do not make Him welcome. We just let our old self reign in us. So, my challenge for you today is that you let Jesus live within you. Make Him feel at home. Let your worldly self die and by faith let Jesus live. Jesus lives within you. The Holy of Holies is in you!

If I came to my wife and said, “Sweetheart, you’re first on my list of women,” my wife wouldn’t have it. She would tell me—in no uncertain terms—that she’s either going to be the only one on the list or she’s not going to be there at all.

If that’s true in my relationship with my wife, then how much more so with Jesus! He is why we exist. We were created by him and for him. That means he can never be merely an important commitment in our lives.[2]

Now, as we look at our 2019 vision, to fulfill the Great Commission by being contagious Christians, how can we fulfill it? We can fulfill it by being in Christ.

Our 2019 vision has specific goals:

There are 9 listed but some are more general, only 3 are specific to church ministry and resources (numbers 4, 5 and 6) and number 4 is already started.

This is how we will be contagious Christians.

  1. Asking God in prayer for 15 new believers to be added to our fellowship in 2019;
  2. Contagiously touching 1000 people in the next year with the love of Jesus;
  3. Through intentionally communicating the gospel with 150 people through acts of service, loving relationships and words;
  4. We will continue the dance ministry;
  5. We will research the effectiveness of certain sports ministries beginning a sports ministry by the end of the year OR deciding against it for specific reasons. Reasons could be: not the right time, not enough money, no volunteers, theological differences, etc; UPWARD SPORTS SHOULD BE LOOKED INTO.
  6. We will research Celebrate Recovery with a plan to begin this in 2020 or to decide against this or postpone this.
  7. We will pray about this vision in the worship service;
  8. We will train the congregation to respond to this vision by sharing it in worship every few weeks. Pastor shares: “We will be what?” and the congregation shares, “Contagious Christians.”

Let’s practice the last one:

We will be what?” and the congregation shares, “Contagious Christians.”

Lastly, The church has 5 major purposes: evangelism, discipleship, worship, ministry and fellowship. These are all important and they all fall under “disciples” in our mission. However, in 2019 Bethel needs to focus on outreach. We must focus on “’making disciples.” This is why the 2019 vision is focused on being contagious. People could comment that worship is left out and the Holy Spirit is left out and discipleship is left out and fellowship is left out. However, those are all implied by the noun “Christians” and they are all in the Mission. They are all in the core values.

We will be what?” and the congregation shares, “Contagious Christians.”

Do you know Jesus?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with Him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means being with Jesus Forever (Rev 22:5)

 

[1] https://jdgreear.com/blog/jesus-not-just-important-must-first/?utm_source=JD+Greear+Newsletter&utm_campaign=5d612a0d75-BLOG_DIGEST_DAILY&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_009733a9e6-5d612a0d75-8711878

[2] https://jdgreear.com/blog/jesus-not-just-important-must-first/?utm_source=JD+Greear+Newsletter&utm_campaign=5d612a0d75-BLOG_DIGEST_DAILY&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_009733a9e6-5d612a0d75-87118783

Paul confronts Peter (Gal. 2:11-19)

Paul and Peter (Galatians 2:11-19)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church on Sunday, January 6, 2019

The difference between righteousness by works and righteousness by grace is illustrated by a ride on a commuter train.

A train rumbles into the station with warning bell clanging. The doors open, the uniformed conductor steps out, and you climb on board and find your way to a seat. When you look around the car, you see tickets clipped on the top of occupied seats, paid for with hard-earned money. Those tickets displayed at each seat are the special concern of the conductor, who walks through the car to punch tickets and confirm that you paid for the right to take this ride. If the conductor finds you without a ticket, you will either pay on the spot or be escorted off the train at the next stop. To ride this train, what matters is the paid ticket. This is righteousness by works.

Righteousness by grace, on the other hand, works in a very different way. God’s train pulls into the station, warning bell clanging. The doors open and the conductor steps out. Masses of people crowd on board and find their seats, for most everyone wants to ride this train to the city where people never die. Eventually the conductor walks through the train to see if everyone belongs on board. But on this train the conductor is not looking for tickets clipped to the top of seats. In fact, anyone who tries to pay for the right to be on the train will be escorted promptly from the train at the very next stop. That’s right; no one can earn the right to be on this train. What the conductor looks for as he walks seat by seat through the car is the penniless people he knows by name, the people who are his friends and who completely lack the means to pay. These poverty stricken people climb on board with only one hope: they believe in the generosity of their conductor friend.

This is righteousness by grace. A ride on God’s train is a gift. By our standards, it’s unfair. It’s scandalous. But like it or not, it’s heaven’s way.[1]

That is a key point in Galatians. Paul is correcting them to a remembrance of righteousness from Jesus.

My theme today is:

Paul confronts Peter about hypocrisy to re-affirm salvation by grace

Let’s read Galatians 2:11-19:

But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?

15 “We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles;16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. 17 But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! 18 For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.

  1. Paul confronts Peter, what happened?
    1. Consider this passage. In the previous section Paul had been affirmed by the pillars of the Jerusalem church. In the previous section the pillars of the Jerusalem church affirmed salvation by grace.
    2. Now, Peter, who had been one of the pillars is being a hypocrite.
    3. Peter is called Cephas in Galatians.
    4. Right here in this passage he is acting different with different people.
    5. To be a hypocrite means to act and he is acting contrary to his beliefs.
    6. We may see part of this event in Acts 11:1-3. In that passage the Jewish believers took issue with Peter for eating with gentiles.
    7. The situation, or conflict, in Antioch with the circumcision party is parallel to the situation, or conflict, in Galatians with the teachers.
    8. Antioch was a major sending church during that time. Actually, in Acts 11 we find out that when the church in Jerusalem was persecuted the people went to Antioch and someone started that church.
    9. It seems that Antioch was Paul’s home base.
    10. This account is a very important account in the history of Christianity
    11. The Ebionites were a Jewish Christian heretical sect which Islam very likely impart grew out of. They were Jewish Christians that wanted to maintain adherence to the law. They used this very passage as an attack upon Paul.
    12. In verse 11 Paul says that Peter was already condemned by his actions.
    13. In the early church they regularly ate together (common meals). They were celebrations of joyous fellowship. This was not only in the church but in the world. It involved joy, fellowship, and intimacy. It involved experiencing and expressing joy, intimacy, and fellowship through table fellowship. These meals included the Lord’s Supper. They culminated with the Eucharist. This means that when Peter separated from Gentiles, he was saying that he wouldn’t eat the Lord’s supper with them.
    14. In the Jerusalem church, Jewish food laws were observed. In Antioch, food laws weren’t maintained. They didn’t force Jews to become Gentile. That practice implied that food laws weren’t significant.
    15. The problem that Jews had with eating with gentiles is the assumption that Gentiles ate unclean food. Where in the law does it say “not to eat with gentiles.” It is not in the law; however, it was assumed. The Gentiles ate unclean food: for example, ham sandwiches, food sacrificed to idols, etc.
    16. Verse 12: men sent from James: this implies a special delegation, they were sent for a reason. They were concerned with a Theological concern. The relationship between the covenants.
    17. There may have been a practical concern: what would it mean if this got out? What would it mean that Christians and Jews are eating together?
    18. The circumcision party didn’t only maintain circumcision but were called this party because they intensely wanted to maintain the law. They started with the issue of circumcision. Here it is not a circumcision issue but eating with gentiles. But, in this case Paul says that they are trying to ask for circumcision through the back door. Paul goes on to say that circumcision, dietary regulation, etc went hand in hand.
    19. Three things that make you a Jew
      1. Food laws
      2. Dietary laws
      3. Circumcision
    20. Peter drew back because he feared the circumcision party
    21. Special emphasis, why did Paul confront him publicly?
      1. If we look into the way to confront sin we can see in Matthew 18:15-17 that it starts publicly.
      2. Paul may have confronted Peter publicly, though it is not recorded.
      3. However, in 1 Tim. 5:20 we see that public sins must be confronted publicly and that is why at this point it is a public confrontation.
    22. As we look through this passage we see verse 16.

nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. 

  1. Verse 16 is they key verse in Galatians.
  2. A man is not justified by works of the law.
  3. This is a verse of repetition: I also see a chaism in this verse. A Chaism is a literary device in which there is repetition. Notice this:
    1. A) A man is not justified by works of the law
    2. B) But through faith in Christ Jesus
  • B’) We believed in Christ Jesus and are justified by faith in Him.
  1. A’) Not by works of the law because no one is justified by the works of the law
  1. The chaism is drawing emphasis on the middle section which is” “we believed in Christ Jesus and are justified by faith in Him.”
  2. I talked about the train and the Gospel, watch this from Polar Express.
  3. Show the video clip of them taking tickets on polar express.
  • Fortunately, we do not earn our way to Heaven:

Theologian Alister McGrath outlines the following three stages of receiving what Christ did for us on the cross:

[First], I may believe that God is promising me forgiveness of sins; [second], I may trust that promise; but [third] unless I respond to that promise, I shall not obtain forgiveness. The first two stages of faith prepare the way for the third, without it they are incomplete.

Then he illustrates these three stages with the following true story:

Consider a bottle of penicillin, the famous antibiotic identified by Alexander Fleming, and first produced for clinical use in [Great Britain]. The drug was responsible for saving the lives of countless individuals who would otherwise have died from various forms of blood poisoning. Think of the three stages of faith like this. I may accept that the bottle exists. I may trust in its ability to cure blood poisoning. But nothing will change unless I receive the drug which it contains. I must allow it to destroy the bacteria which are slowly killing me. Otherwise, I have not benefited from my faith in it.

It is the third element of faith which is of vital importance in making sense of the cross. Just as faith links a bottle of penicillin to the cure of blood poisoning, so faith forges a link between the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ and ourselves. Faith unites us with the risen Christ, and makes available to us everything he gained through his obedience and resurrection.[2]

  1. Verses 17-19 continue this theme of justification.
  • Justification means counted righteous or declared righteous.
  1. One writes: “Justification should not be confused with forgiveness, which is the fruit of justification, nor with atonement, which is the basis of justification. Rather it is the favorable verdict of God, the righteous Judge, that one who formerly stood condemned has now been granted a new status at the bar of divine justice.”[3]
  2. Further: “To be justified means to be declared righteous before God, that is, to enjoy a status or standing of being in a right relationship with God, of being accepted by him.”[4]
  • Now let’s apply:
  1. Application: no compromise
    1. We must not be hypocrites.
    2. We must never compromise on absolute truth and the Gospel.
    3. We must not compromise because of fear (verse 12).
      1. This means that even if people threaten us with our job, we must not compromise the gospel.
      2. This means that even if we face removal from a club we must not compromise the Gospel.
      3. This means that even if we lose friends, we must not compromise the Gospel.
      4. We must be prepared to be unpopular for the Gospel.
      5. Remember, doctrine matters and compromise comes in small ways.
        1. There are many liberal churches that were once strong.
        2. Remember that most of the ivy league colleges started out as strong Christian schools. Harvard, Yale, Princeton were strong Christian schools.
      6. This passage deals with compromise with what the Gospel is. However, we compromise on sin as well and that must never be.
        1. We treat gossip like it is not a sin.
        2. We treat disrespect like it is not a sin.
        3. We treat cliques like they are not sinful, though they are unloving.
        4. We don’t deal with our lustful ways.
        5. We neglect our envy and our affluence as sin, even though we are not prioritizing God above all things.
        6. Compromise is dangerous.
      7. We must not act different around different groups.
      8. We must apply this passage based on Gal 3:28 and Rev 7:9-11
      9. Based on verse 16, we must recognize, preach and teach the proper doctrine of soteriology that we are justified by faith in Christ Jesus.
      10. We must recognize the law just gives us knowledge of our sin (Romans 3:20; 7:7-9).

Close:

I get many different articles sent to me. Last week, I read one about de-conversion stories. These are stories of people who left Christianity. There are common denominators, but one is that they compromise the Gospel first. Before leaving Christianity altogether, they compromise. They compromise their beliefs. They take out the belief that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. They compromise the miracles in the Bible. They compromise the idea of sin.[5]

Don’t compromise, it is slippery slope.

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with Him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means being with Jesus Forever (Rev 22:5)

[1] Craig Brian Larson, editor of PreachingToday.com

[2] Alister E. McGrath, What Was God Doing on the Cross (Zondervan, 1992), pp. 99-100

[3] Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Ga 2:15.

[4] Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Ga 2:15.

[5] https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/3-beliefs-progressive-christians-atheists-share/