Galatians Sermon Series # 1

by   |  02.20.19  |  Sermons

No Introductions Required

Galatians 1:1-12

Focus: Preaching that is called by God protects the integrity of the gospel.

Function: To emboldened the church to hold fast to the gospel.

Plotline: When the gospel is preached, no introductions are required. Therefore, don’t mess with the gospel. Why would anyone exchange the freedom the gospel provides for anything that endangers that freedom? So, don’t mess with the gospel.

1 Paul an apostle—sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— and all the members of God’s family who are with me,

To the churches of Galatia:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

There Is No Other Gospel

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!

10 Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Paul’s Vindication of His Apostleship

11 For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; 12 for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

  • The title, “No Introduction Required.” Well, maybe I do need an introduction since I’m visiting here.
    • But Paul says, 11 For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; 12 for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
    • Paul says, No Introduction Required. Paul planted this church by the authority of the Gospel and testified by the Spirit. When the gospel is preached, no introductions are required.
    • Therefore, Don’t Mess with the Gospel. READ TEXT
  • Don’t Mess with Texas. Inspired by true Texas pride, Texas goes to great lengths to keep the state litter-free with award-winning ads, statewide road tours, education programs, and contests. For thirty years, the Don’t mess with Texas campaign has taught Texans the real cost of littering.
    • The campaign is rooted in Texas pride and calls for citizens to protect and defend the beauty of state’s environment.
    • Yet, sometimes I’m astonished when I’m on a back road, I see what looks like whole trash bags dumped out or I see someone throw out a McDonalds’s bag from their car window. Don’t mess with Texas!
    • It never stops astonishing me about what people will do. Littering is just a little example. We could fill a chalkboard full of how humans surprise us with their actions.
  • Paul is astonished how quickly the Galatians are about to trade the gospel for something so much cheaper. To trade their freedom for slavery. Paul is astonished how this church is messing with the Gospel.
    • Paul is astonished…like a parent who sees a child quickly give up his training; like a bird set free from its cage only to return; like the prisoner who cannot adjust to the outside and seeks ways to be incarcerated again.
    • And for Paul this is not good news! It is not good at all.
  • Why would anyone exchange the freedom the gospel provides for anything that endangers that freedom? While we yet do not know all the details of what the Galatians have done, Paul accuses them of accepting another gospel even against the evidence of their own experience of the Holy Spirit (3:1-5). You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified! The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so much for nothing?—if it really was for nothing. Well then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
    • Both sides are Jewish Christians. Both Paul and the teachers that have followed him share a common heritage and a common salvation. Yet Paul frames it as opposition between an apostle of Jesus Christ and the community-disturbers and gospel-distorters.
    • It is easy to make our own list of what the other gospel is…
      • Any doctrine that we personally do not believe.
      • Any false teaching that does not agree with the orthodox teaching that we hold so dear; we have heard all our life; the way we have always taught it; what my mama believed.
      • But that is not what Paul is talking about here.
    • We will later learn in the letter that the other gospel is a message that confines other people in a box. Paul is very specific about what the other gospel is…a message that is opposed to grace and especially opposed to freedom.
    • Some folks were using the traditions of Judaism as a preamble, or entrance requirement into life in Christ. Jewish Christian missionaries had come subsequent to Paul’s planting the church there. They began to supplement Paul’s gospel. Note, they were not opposing Paul, only adding to what Paul taught. They were teaching you had to live like Jews if you were to be considered a part of God’s people (2:14).
    • Three pillars of practice exemplified that preamble: Jewish Christians equated dietary laws (Gal. 2:11–14), circumcision (Gal. 5:6; 6:15), and Jewish holidays (Gal 4:9–10) as boundary markers for their identity. These three practices were identity markers that Jewish Christians embraced. And these practices were not wrong for Jewish Christians. Gospel + // A bundle like TV + Internet + Phone = new contract (bound again). The objection Paul has is bundling the Gospel with Jewish practices as essential for Gentile Christians.
      • They advocated obedience to everything written in the Law (3:10), promising that those who kept the commandments would find life (3:12).
      • Louis Martin, “The Apocalyptic Gospel in Galatians,” Int 54, pg. 247 states it this way, “If you Gentiles continue in the path of sin, you will be shut out of God’s kingdom. But if, alternatively, you will commence observance of the Law, repenting of our sins, we can promise you – on the basis of the Law’s blessing, now affirmed by God’s Messiah – that God will respond to your repentance, forgiving your sins, releasing you from the Law’s curse, and assuring you of life.”
      • In other words, they taught the Law of Moses would provide moral restraint to their fleshly impulses (5:16, 24).
      • And in these ways they had additional membership requirements. On the face of it, the message appears to be a simple restatement of the Gospel and the law filtered through a traditional reading of Deuteronomy. It was highly attractive and many believed it.
    • And what simply looks innocent on the outside is a threat to very Gospel of God and the way of the Spirit of freedom.
      • It is like a multi vitamin, merely a supplement, but yet lacking the power to cure a disease.
      • If only we pray more or better, drink our orange juice, exercise, be kind, think positively, join the gym, participate in church programs, believe the right things, practice religion the right way, then we will be wealthy, healthy, and wise. Then, we will be saved.
      • We seek out enhancements to make our salvation more vibrant or meaningful or significant. Nothing wrong with the programs, but when they are essential, then the gospel is nullified.
    • And I’m continually astonished how sometimes we ourselves act by putting people in a box.
      • A unity movement that excels in sectarianism.
      • Myself, I astonish myself, in how I act by putting expectations on others that I do not put on myself.
    • Paul says, “Don’t Mess with the Gospel”
      • For the gospel is a singular message of grace and freedom.
      • A message that states that only this Gospel places you among the true people of God through the faith of Jesus Christ. God has acted to set the world right and to rescue us from slavery to human religious programs.
      • Re-look at text. READ 1:1-4 again.
        • The gospel is not of human construction; it comes from God, who has taken the initiative to rescue us.
        • Rooted in what God has done in Jesus Christ on the cross, the freely given love of God.
        • God raised Jesus from the dead. The resurrection demonstrates God’s power over death. Christ delivers us from the grip of the present age.
        • Rooted in God as your Father (1:1, 3, 4). 3xs
        • A message that was revealed by Jesus. You see, the message, the messenger, and the origin of the message are bound tightly together.
        • In order to “set us free.”
        • What you believe affects what you do.
      • A message that comes to Paul (1:11-12) from God through Jesus Christ. Divine origins, not human origins. Therefore Church, hold fast to the gospel preached to you. And do not supplement it, bundle it with something else, or add to it.

Paul says, “Don’t Mess with the Gospel” Paul says, “Hold fast to the faith of the one who gave himself up on your behalf for it will set you free.”