So this week as we begin, I’m going to take the message in another direction.
A direction in which I think it would do many great things for your self esteem and your person.
Not that it would do much else but none the less, I want to give you the theme of the sermon and then the points up front.
The title is Stretching the Goliaths standing in your way.
The three sub points are: The power is in you, So you can get out of the boat, and Because God wants you to be ridiculously rich...
Alright, with that in mind, lets actually get into the days sermon.
Last week we touched base on some pretty important issues surrounding the men who had crept into the Galatian Church.
We discussed what it looks like when people who should not be in leadership assert their authority and assume authority not given them by God.
We talked about how they really did not deny the necessity of needing to know Jesus.
They never once told the Galatians that they didn’t need to know or trust in Jesus Christ but instead, added to Christ’ work.
In essence they were teaching the Galatians that while Christ was a good start, there was more to the faith than Jesus.
Jesus was a necessity, but only insomuch as he was the beginning.
It was then Moses who would need to bring it to completion through the Law.
Or better stated, you would bring your salvation to completion by your obedience to the Law.
That Good work began by Christ needed you to bring it to completion.
Yet in this, our primary focus was not on their addition to the Gospel.
Our focus was on the men who brought about this unfaithful Gospel.
It was on what we should be looking for when trying to determine if someone is a false teacher.
If you remember correctly, we looked at 8 traits that will reveal the false teacher.
The traits that always follow those who are not placed in positions of authority by the Lord Jesus Christ.
This week as we finish looking at , the primary focus of today’s message won’t cover much of last weeks content but should overlap a little bit.
As I was studying over this text, I realized that I completely forgot to address two of the most important sections inside of this text.
Those are what we shall cover today.
So please open your Bibles with me to .
Let us rise together for the reading of God’s Word.
In the last sermon, we did cover Paul’s reaction to the Galatians concerning their turning away from the grace of Christ.
We talked about how the Christians in Galatia had basically became religious turncoats.
They had not yet gotten to a place where they were rejecting Christ but as the text lays out, they were close.
The Greek word used for deserting is in the middle form which basically states that although they hadn’t fully rejected Christ.
They were well on their way to committing Apostasy.
They were right in the middle of abandoning the most profound and life changing thing to ever happen in the history of mankind.
Yet the Greek would also imply that they were not innocent as they made the choice in and of themselves to follow the Judiazers.
It also is rendered as passive which transfers the guilt of what had transpired to false teachers.
Now I don’t want to get bogged down on this by any means but it is important for us to understand.
These were Christians who were close to becoming Apostate.
Does that raise any red flags in your brain?
People will generally look
Does that make you ask any questions internally?
If it doesn’t, you’re not thinking through this.
How can someone who has truly been born from above become apostate?
How can one who has been given new life through the process of regeneration fall away?
We as Baptist adhere to the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints.
That sweet and marvelous Biblical teaching that tells us that each and every one of those whom are bought by Christ’ atonement WILL be with Him forever.
Not maybe if they do just enough.
Not maybe if they don’t (fill in the blank).
They will be with Him for all eternity.
They shall not be cast out for it is impossible.
I’m sure each of us in this room would affirm this, myself included.
Yet basically every commentary you read on this passage of Scripture will tell you the same thing.
These people were close to becoming apostate and rejecting the one who bought them.
They were close to rejecting the true atoning work of Christ.
Yet notice what the text doesn’t say.
The text doesn’t say, “I am astonished that you abandoned Christ.”
It doesn’t say I am astonished that you rejected Christ, although a few translations have translated very similar to that.
The actual rendering of the text doesn’t say that they had once and for all rejected Christ.
But it does say that they were close.
This is where that Greek middle comes into play.
If I could give you an explanation of what I am trying to say it would be something like this.
Malcolm has been baptized, that’s past tense.
Malcolm will be baptized, that’s future tense.
Malcolm is being baptized, that is present active or for this explanation, middle.
Paul is not addressing the Galatians in the past tense.
Vance hitting the ball would be the middle translation
Although much of what they had done had already taken place.
Paul was addressing them in such a way that they would see his writing to them as a warning to repent and run back to embracing Christ and Him alone.
That they would reject this form of teaching that they had begun to accept and cling to the teachings that Paul had left them with.
By the Sovereign Grace of God, the Lord used the Apostle Paul to call these Galatians out of their sin before they went to far.
It’s impossible for a true Christian to truly reject the faith because it is God who will prevent that from happening.
God will not allow His people to be cast aside.
He will not allow them to run so far that they have rejected Him.
Although they may be dangerously close, they will one day be brought back by the Sovereign Lord.
That should both give us great joy and cause us to fear for the things we may do.
On the one hand the Lord may allow you to run free.
To run amuck through your sin for a period of time but at some point in time He will bring you back unto Himself.
Beloved that should scare you to death because you don’t truly know where that boundary line is!
God might allow you to run so deep into your sin that you all but deny the Lord Jesus Christ before He calls you out of your muck.
Allow you to go to the deepest parts of that remnant of depravity left inside of you and then right before you fall off of the cliff, He will bring you back to Him.
At the same time that that scares you, it should bring you great joy.
Great joy to know that God will at some point bring you back should you ever begin to turn into a religious turncoat.
Now that doesn’t mean that it’s not gonna hurt.
That doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences from that here in this life, but beloved He will in His mercy bring you back!
And in each situation, He’s going to use the same method of bringing you back.
Any guesses on what that may be?
Beloved He will use the very same thing He used when He called you unto Himself.
In the deepest and darkest recesses of your heart, the only thing that will bring you back to life is the Gospel.
In the depths of your rebellion against God, only the Gospel will bring you back.
This morning when you got out of bed, only the Gospel gave you new morning mercies.
And friends it was no different with the Galatians.
That was the only thing that would bring them back.
There is no other answer to the rebellion found in mans heart.
Whether it’s the year 48 AD and you’re in the Galatian Church or 2017 and you’re in Kirkwood Baptist Church.
The response from God doesn’t and will never change.
It will always be the Gospel.
There is no end to what this looks like in our lives.
We will spend an eternity trying to understand it.
The Gospel is not like other doctrines we may disagree on today.
Beloved at the Second Coming of Christ, everything you will ever need to know about the end times will be answered.
You will know whether or not you will endure the great tribulation or be taken up into the sky before it begins.
You will know how to understand the entirety of interpretation on eschatology.
Every question you might have ever had concerning Covenant vs. Dispensational theology will be answered.
Every theological question you can think of will be answered with exception to one.
And that is the depth of the Gospel.
Just how deep into our lives this Gospel really needs to go.
Why it is our hearts continually need to be reminded of it all the time.
There is truly something to be said about the Good News of Jesus’ coming.
But what does this mean?
To answer this, we need to examine what Paul is saying here when he uses the term called.
What is the Gospel?
I mean we can stand up here all day long and make declarations about the joys of the Gospel but without objective truths concerning what the Gospel really is, our words are pointless.
So the questions that will being answered today is what is the Gospel?
The effectual calling
This is the accumulation of all that we have spent so much time on.
This is where this background and application that we’ve covered are no longer thoughts rolling around in our heads but become truths engrained upon our hearts.
This is where knowing what Paul meant when he talked about this present evil age really comes into play.
Beloved what is man’s greatest problem?
What is man’s greatest problem?
Man’s greatest problem is that God is Good.
Now I know that many in here might be thinking something along the line of, why is that a problem?
It’s a problem because God is good, and man is not.
God is the righteous judge and creator of all things beloved.
God is the one who knit you together in your mothers womb.
The one who thousands of years ago put this entire plan of creation into action.
He is the righteous one to whom we will give an account.
And yet beloved, our accounting is off.
In sin did our mothers conceive us and in sin were we born.
We have not lived one moment of our days not bound at the heart to this present evil age.
And yet one day each and every single one of us in this room will stand before God and we will give an account for our lives.
We will answer question after question before the Lord and we will watch the scales weigh heavier on our sin than ever will on the good.
Beloved are you listening to me?
You and I will stand before the Creator of the Universe and He will demand from us an account for our lives.
I don’t care who you are.
What family you’re born into or the amount of money you make.
God will not take into account how hard of a life you might have had nor the things you might have given up in the name of religion.
The scales of Justice will overflow on the side of evil beloved.
You are not a statistic in this room.
You personally will do this!
You were created by God for a purpose and you will give an accounting to the Lord for how you fulfilled your purpose here on earth.
You child will one day give this account.
You mother or father will one day give this account.
You Leader will one day give this account.
I pastor will one day give an account for my life.
I will give an account concerning whether or not I fulfilled this purpose for which I was created.
As the Westminster Catechism question 1 says, Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
The problem here is that we cannot Glorify God in our fallen state.
That bent towards seeking after our own sinful desires causes us to seek elsewhere for everything.
It causes us to be blind to our sin nature.
It causes us to be blind to our sin.
And because of that, when we stand before God, we will be guilty.
Not a one of us in this room could stand before God as a righteous and blameless person.
We have all fallen short of the Glory of God because of our sin.
And this is where the problem comes in.
We have no righteousness of our own.
Sure many of us could create some amazing list’ that might even be impressive to a judge here on earth.
But the judge here on earth isn’t righteous.
The Judge here can only look at you in light of the life that you have here.
They can be deceived by false testimony given on your behalf.
You could be let off for a murder you committed here on earth based merely on a technicality.
Yet it is not so with God.
You cannot have false witnesses give testimony to God on your behalf and expect to be let off.
You cannot be let off on a technicality with the Judge of all the universe.
Regardless of the number of witnesses you could have stick up for you, the Lord knows the very depths of who you are.
He knows who I am.
And it’s because of His knowledge of who we are that God provided a way of an escape for His people.
Now this is not an escape like what is found in the Old Testament.
Where God provided that medial covering for His people on the day of the atonement.
That covering that would merely get the person by until the next years offering needed to be made.
No it is not like that at all for that escape only had the ability to cover over.
It never had the ability to justify.
And it is precisely this that brings us into this marvelous and beautiful good news.
The good news that no longer does man need to go to the temple with his offering in hand to try to seek after forgiveness.
No longer does man need to go to the priest and have him make an offering to the Lord on his behalf.
He has no need for temporary covering because the Lord provided the perfect justification for all of His people.
The one who will stand before you on that day of judgement and when the account is given, it will be His record given and not your own.
It will be His goodness that is laid out before the Lord for all to see.
It will be Him who gives an account for you.
And that beautiful scale of the Justice of God will slam back into even proportions because Christ will be the one standing in our place.
Not only in heaven will we be justified before the Lord, but right here on earth we will be set free from the chains of bondage that have held us captive.
This marvelous and beautiful good news that sets men free from their sin and justifies them for all of eternity.
Never can it be removed from them, nor can they run from it.
And here is the most ironic part, it doesn’t cost us a thing!
There is not a dollar amount given by which this may be bought.
There is not an amount of effort or work allotted for you to do to earn it.
It is not given to you as long as you make your payments on time.
It is not given you on the basis of anything outside of it pleased the Lord to show mercy to whom He will show mercy.
No instead it is given to all those who repent of their sin and trust in the Lord.
Knowing that the debt that was owed God on our behalf has been paid for.
This is the Gospel.
This is the Good News.
And yet there are those in this world who would love nothing more than to pervert this Gospel.
There are those maybe even among us who would push for a form of external attributes that make up a culmination of checklist that need to be done once you have been saved.
Those who would in their own little way, add to the Gospel.
Jesus plus something else.
Some who would add the external markings of the Law.
Jesus plus Moses’ Law.
Jesus plus circumcision.
Jesus plus clothing.
Yet this Gospel that Paul is referring to here, isn’t like the religions of the world.
This isn’t like having an all roads lead to Jesus conversation.
That’s why Paul says the Galatians were turning to a Hetero Gospel.
A Gospel that is different from the original.
A Gospel with no hope and no power.
A Gospel dependent upon Jesus plus Self.
Now you might be thinking well Cory that’s all Good, but how do I know?
How do I know that I’ve encountered a different Gospel?
Well let me give you four traits that will reveal the true Gospel and also a false Gospel.
Now I’m sure there will be and are more versions of false Gospels out there that I won’t cover today.
However, just keep in mind that the Gospel is free to you.
It’s independent of anything you must do.
Here’s your first point.
I. The Gospel of Faith Plus the Law.
1. This was precisely the issue addressed here in Galatians.
We see it and also in .
Yet for us, when we hold up these teachings to the Light of God’s Word, they don’t jive.
very clearly lay’s out a Salvation by Faith Alone.
Not only do those two refute this idea of Jesus plus the Law, you cannot find me a place in the New Testament where in context a passage tells you that you need anything apart from Jesus Christ.
Not only are they refuted Scripturally, but Paul also tells us later on in Galatians that those who seek to be justified by the Law will fall away.
Faith that adds anything to the finished work of Christ will always at some point fail.
They will at some point prove themselves to be like those listed in .
The people who have tasted of the fruit of the glorious Gospel and who will after a while, reject the necessity of their need for redemption.
II. The Gospel of Works without Faith.
This idea of the Gospel really cuts to depth of mans problem.
We fail to truly see just how wicked our hearts are and then we lift man up in such a way that tells us faith is unnecessary.
We then begin to downgrade our sin and see externals as the sign and seal of the New Covenant.
Now this idea developed later in Church History, yet none the less it did show.
There came a time within the Church that people were baptized by the sword.
During the Crusades many people were forced into baptism to make a profession of faith.
Yet there was no faith in their hearts.
They were baptized with no real change taking place.
There was no expression of faith but a reminder to focus on the externals for that was what mattered.
The problem is that God cannot be pleased by anything other than His Son.
Nothing done on the external side of man justifies himself.
Nothing there makes him right before the Lord.
Only Jesus Christ will make him right.
He is the advocate before the Father for us.
He is the one who regenerates the heart so that you may have faith in Him.
This Gospel tells you that you will be justified before God on account of your obedience to some form of Objectives not set out by Him.
III. The Gospel of Good Works only.
This is the idea among so many today.
Often times when I do street preaching, these are the people I encounter.
(Ask about heaven to find they will be there based upon their own merit)
A good and moral person, especially if they’re religious are considered to be good.
This is what we see when we go to funerals all the time today.
You’ll hear things like I know Jimmy didn’t believe in Jesus and he’d done a lot of wrong in his life, yet I’m sure he’ll be in heaven because he’s a good person.
He was a moral man who was a good person.
The problem with this thought is that it’s never measured by God’s standard but is instead measured by their own.
Never once will they hold themselves up unto the Light of God’s Holiness.
I. THE GOSPEL OF FAITH PLUS THE LAW A. THIS PERVERSION EXPLAINED... 1. This 'gospel' was the problem Paul faced in his day 2. Some Jewish Christians demanded that Gentiles had to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses as well as obey the gospel of Christ - ; B. THIS PERVERSION REFUTED... 1. At the council in Jerusalem - 2. In the epistle to the Galatians - . In other epistles of Paul (e.g., Romans, Colossians) [Note carefully that those who seek to be justified by the Law fall from grace (). This illustrates the danger of accepting a 'perverted gospel'. Another such 'gospel' is...] II. THE GOSPEL OF WORKS WITHOUT FAITH A. THIS PERVERSION EXPLAINED... 1. This 'gospel' developed later in the course of church history 2. It exalted the efficacy of certain ordinances to the exclusion of faith 3. Thus some believed you could baptize others without the need of faith a. Such as infant baptism b. Such as infidel baptism (e.g., at the point of a sword) B. THIS PERVERSION REFUTED... 1. Faith is essential to pleasing God and our salvation - ; ; 2. Repentance of sins and faith in Christ are prerequisites to baptism - ; 3. It is faith in the working of God that results in rising to a new life - [A popular perversion of the gospel is what we will call...] III. THE GOSPEL OF GOOD WORKS ONLY A. THIS PERVERSION EXPLAINED... 1. Many have the idea that as long as you are a basically 'good person', you will be saved 2. Especially if your 'good deeds' outnumber or outweigh your 'bad deeds' 3. Thus a good moral person, especially if religious, is assumed to be saved B. THIS PERVERSION REFUTED... 1. Good moral people, even devout, are in need of salvation a. Cornelius was a good, moral, devout man - . Yet he needed to be saved - 2. Many examples of conversion in Acts involved religiously devout people a. The 3000 on the day of Pentecost - . The Ethiopian eunuch - . Lydia of Thyatira - . Paul - 3. We cannot be saved by our good works - ; [Sometimes a perversion of the gospel leads others to overreact with another perversion...] IV. THE GOSPEL OF FAITH ONLY A. THIS PERVERSION EXPLAINED... 1. This 'gospel' proclaims that one is saved by "faith only" 2. I.e., no obedience is required, especially not baptism 3. An overreaction to salvation by works without faith, or to the gospel of good works B. THIS PERVERSION REFUTED... 1. The gospel of Christ requires obedience a. Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him - . Paul proclaimed what he called "the obedience of faith" - ; . Paul and Peter warned of those who obeyed not the gospel - ; . We are not saved by "faith only" - cf. ,,, 2. Many fail to distinguish between different kinds of works a. Works of the Law (of Moses), by which one is not justified - . Meritorious works, done to earn salvation, which is impossible - ; . Works of God, commanded of us to please Him - cf. 3. Works of God are done, not to earn salvation, but to receive God's grace a. Faith in Jesus is a work of God - . Repentance of sins is a work of God - . Confessing Jesus is a a work of God - . Such works in of themselves do not save us - cf. 4. So baptism is a work of God, not a work of man a. Commanded by Jesus and His apostles - ; ; . In which God does the work of saving - ; . In which we put on Christ - . Which, when obeyed, causes others to thank God - ; cf. 6:3-7 CONCLUSION 1. There have been other perverted gospels... a. Such as Gnosticism, which denied Jesus coming in the flesh b. Such as Mormonism, which proclaims a different gospel based upon 'angelic revelation' 2. We need to be careful to receive the gospel preached by the apostles... a. Even angelic revelations are to be rejected if different from what the apostles' preached b. Otherwise we will be accursed 3. The pure gospel of Christ may not be popular, but who are we trying to please...? a. If it is men, then we are not true servants of Christ - . If it is the majority, we are on the wrong path - Is the gospel you heard, received, and obeyed, the same gospel proclaimed by the apostles of Jesus Christ...? - cf. ;
They will strive time after time to lift up the Christian name but will instead lift up their own hearts.
IV. The Gospel of Faith Alone.
This is the Gospel that you know you can trust.
This is the Gospel that although you may be called to repent and to trust in Christ, ultimately, it depends Christ.
The whole context of James comes to my mind which is completely different from how many want to distort it.
It is not another Gospel but is the Gospel of the Lord.
In Him and by Him and for Him alone.
The Gospel of Christ will require obedience.
The real Gospel will produce these works after salvation.
For they are inseparable.
You will have obedience but not obedience that produces salvation.
Obedience which reveals the heart changed inside of you.
Beloved the whole point is that the only works that are required for salvation are works that come from the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is His work that Justifies.
It is His giving of faith that justifies.
It is His death and resurrection that show to you this good news.
It is not of you.
And anything other than that is not the one true Gospel.
It’s not a Gospel preached by the Apostles.
Finish however God wills.