Sunday, September 2, 2012

Today we embarked on a new adventure through the Book of Galatians. It is a great study for us to come to the realization that by faith Jesus Christ is completely and unequivocally sufficient. However, there were those in Paul’s day that were infecting the churches of Galatia with a new message: Jesus Christ + Mosaism (the Law) = Favor with God. Paul the apostle was not at all keen on this proposed message. In fact, he is very clear on what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is from the very start of his letter. Read how he puts it:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen. (Galatians 1:3-5)

Very succinct and to the point, don’t you think? Then Paul goes on to say this about those who are preaching a totally different gospel which is not even any sort of good news whatsoever:

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:8, 9)

Wow! So the message that these teachers — who are false teachers by the way — are preaching something totally different than what Paul preached and he sees them as being the blight on the churches in Galatia. In his estimation, they ought to be “anathema”, accursed! Anathema carries the thought here of the delivering up to the judicial wrath of God of one who ought to be anathema because of his sin. In other words, in the context of Galatians 1:8, 9, the one who preaches another gospel other than the Gospel that Paul preached ought to be turned over to God for judgment. In addition, the term anathema means to be separated from Jesus Christ.

So how should we handle this false gospel? The best way to handle false teaching is to turn to the truth. The truth is that Jesus Christ, according to the will of God the Father, has given Himself to rescue us from the present world of sin in which we live. To be rescued by Jesus Christ also means to be rescued from our own sinful state! Thus Paul can tell us to see and understand the truth of who we are in Jesus Christ. Read what else he says in Galatians:

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. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. (Galatians 2:20, 21)

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us — for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE” — in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13, 14)

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4, 5)

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:24, 25)

But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. (Galatians 6:14, 15)

Faith in Jesus Christ is sufficient for freedom, for liberty sake. Any other gospel that is preached only enslaves. It is the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, that liberates from the Law and from license. “Jesus Christ + Nothing = Everything!” as Tullian Tchividjian says, is what Paul the apostle was saying is the true Good News!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Today we closed our study in the Book of Daniel.We have learned through this study that God’s sovereignty is in human history — in our human history! See how Daniel puts it in Daniel 2:19-23:

“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for You have given me wisdom and power; even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, for You have made known to us the king’s matter.”

I believe that Daniel realized this to be the truth and lived his life in faith and faithfulness to the God who called him to his great ministry. Therefore, we, too, need to learn to be people of faith and faithfulness to the Lord. And in so doing we will see men and women, boys and girls coming to know this precious Savior that we have, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is going to return for His people!

This evening’s service continued the life of Joseph. In Genesis 44-45, we learned that God placed Joseph (according to his own testimony to his brothers) in the position of being the second one in charge of Egypt. The purpose of his position ultimately was to preserve the life of his father, his brothers and their families. Read how Joseph said this in Genesis 45:7, 8:

“God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.”

Now I don’t know about you, but I just needed to hear these words today: God is truly in charge! God is truly sovereign! God is truly working out His plan in my life and in the lives of those who belong to Him!

As we go throughout our week, let’s turn to Him thanking Him for His plan and His work in each of our lives. To God be the glory forever and ever! Amen.

The Knowability of God: How God Makes Himself Known

The Knowability of God: How God Makes Himself Known is now available for e-books at:

The Knowability of God: How God Makes Himself Known

Or you can order the paperback here:

The Knowability of God: How God Makes Himself Known

Hope you enjoy it!

%d bloggers like this: