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Is the Gospel Good New

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“Is the Gospel Good News?”

Text: Galatians 2:15-20

Scripture introduction

All the Christians know that Jesus is the Gospel itself.  We believe that His birth and His life and His death, and resurrection, all of them are the facts of the Gospel.  We know that when we believe in Him, we can be righteous and saved, but most of us do not know what the Gospel should be in our personal life nor how it should change our personal life.  If you have a desire to have better understanding of the Gospel in your personal life, this passage is for you.

Galatians 2:20 “20I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Introduction

To raise interest

In the mission field as missionaries preach the Gospel to the native people, they try to find the best way to explain it in their culture.  This is because without explaining the Gospel in terms of their culture, they cannot properly understand and apply the Gospel in their personal life.  Some tribes might not have a word for “peace” in their language because there has been no peace.  If we explain Jesus as “the God of peace,” they will not understand Jesus.

To introduce the subject of the message

The Gospel itself is the Good News, but when we do not personally apply the Gospel to our life, the Gospel may not be Good News.  Even though many Christians can explain the Gospel as the story of Jesus and as Jesus Himself, they may not know how to explain how the Gospel can be the Good News to and in their personal life.  The passage we just read is how Paul makes the Gospel Good News in his life and how Paul personalizes the Gospel as the Good News in his life. 

To make the subject personal

Is the Gospel Good News to us?  We can say, “Yes,” but how is it the Good News to us? And why is it the Good News to us?  Can we give correct answers for these questions?  If not, we are on the wrong way.  Many of us fail to understand the Gospel as the Good News in our life. This means that we still have not applied the Gospel to our personal life (FCF).  Here in the second chapter of Galatians, Jesus phones in this wake-up call: “Be justified by faith and make the Gospel Good News in your life!!”

Proposition: Because we are justified by faith in Christ; we must make the Gospel Good News in our life.

Transition: “Being justified by faith in Christ” means that we personalize the Gospel in our life as the Good News.  Justification is the result of making the Gospel Good News in our life.  How do we know whether we are justified or not?  The answer is “we can know it by whether the Gospel is the Good News in our life or not.  If so, how can we make the Gospel Good News in our life?

I.        To make the Gospel Good News, in our life we must confess that we died with Christ.

Place & Proof: Look at the beginning of v19 and v20!  Paul says 19For through the law I died to the law…..” 20I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live….”

In these verses Paul expresses how he proclaims his own death.  To make the Gospel Good News, we must recognize and proclaim our death with Christ.

Explanation

In these verses we can find three key words that Paul uses to personalize the Gospel in his life.  From v15-18 Paul just explains how we can be righteous. It is not by the work of the law, but by faith. vv19-20 is about Paul’s personal testimony.  He talks about how the Gospel in general could be the Good News in his life. 

The first key word in his testimony is “die” or “death.”

In v20 Paul says “20I have been crucified with Christ.”  This is the main point of his death. Having been crucified means that Paul identifies himself with Christ who died on the Cross.  By using the phrase “with Christ” Paul seems to imply that he was one of the robbers on the right or left sides of Christ.  The admirable thing is when Paul says this, he does not say “I was crucified with Christ,” but he says “I have been crucified with Christ.”  He uses “a present perfect tense.” This present perfect tense may be used to emphasize that the results of a past action are still continuing.  This means that his death with Christ is still going on since he believed in Jesus. 

Sub-Point1: To Paul being crucified is to die to the law.

In v19 Paul says “For through the law I died to the Law…..”  This death was caused when Paul was crucified with Christ.  What does “the death to the law” mean in this verse?  In Romans 7:6 Paul uses the same Greek word “death” and gives us more of an idea about “the death to the law.”  Paul says “6But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive……”  Paul explains that “the death to the law” means to be released from the law that held us captive.  Paul says “I am freed from the authority and penalty of the law.”  This is one of the results of being crucified with Christ. How could we be freed from the law?  Paul confesses that it is because “he has been crucified with Christ.”  His death with Christ is the reason for his freedom from the law.

Sub-Point2: To Paul being crucified with Christ is to die to sin.

In Romans 6:11 Paul says “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin….” In Romans 6:17-18 Paul continually says “Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin….. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.”  To Paul, death with Christ means to die to sin.  Like the death of Jesus on the Cross to set us free from the sin, Paul says that he is free from the debt of sin by being crucified with Christ.

Sub-Point3: To Paul being crucified with Christ is to die to his earthly desire.

In the middle of v20 Paul says “It is no longer I who live….” Paul indirectly says that he is a dead man. This is how Paul denies his personal life and his earthly desire.  Galatians 5:24 “24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

In 6:14 Paul also says “14 ……by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”  Paul lays down his earthly desires and he also seems to say “I am free from my earthly desire because my earthly desires have been crucified.”  In 1Corinthians 15:31 Paul also says “I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!”  When do we feel free?  When we do not have any earthly desires, we feel free.  Paul says “It is no longer I who live…..” 

Application

Whether we believe or not, we have been crucified with Christ since we believed Jesus as our personal savior.  As Paul identifies himself with Jesus, we also must identify ourselves with Christ.  It is because Paul’s confession is not only his confession, but must be the confession of our faith too.  When we believe in Christ, the death to the law and sin and our earthly desire can happen, but I do not think it can continually happen without our confessing that we died with Christ.  As Paul says in 1Corinthians 15:31, we must confess that “we die every day with Christ!”  As Paul confesses his death with Christ, our death with Christ must happen every day in our life. 

How can we confess that we died with Christ?  We can confess whenever the law insists its authority and whenever the sin insists that we are its slaveries.  Then talk to them, I have crucified with Christ. My Lord is not you, but Jesus.  We must go against sin.

What is the Good News in our life? Why is the Gospel Good News in our life?  It is because we have changed our master or our boss to Jesus.  It is because we are no longer under the control of sin.  It is because we are able to resist against the sin in the Name of Jesus.  Do not just let it go or let it be, but fight against sin and proclaim that sin is no longer my master, but the Lord Jesus is now my master. 

How is the Gospel Good News in our life? It is because we are no longer to live according to our own desire, but God.

II.     To make the Gospel Good News, in our life we must confess that Christ lives in us.

 

Place & Prove: Look at the end of v19 and the middle of v20 Paul says 19…..so that I might live to God.” “20It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

In this verse Paul proclaims how he lives and how he gains his life back from the death with Christ.  To make the Gospel Good News, we must recognize and confess that Christ lives in us.

Explanation

The second key word in these verses is “life.” 

Paul shows us how he could regain his life and what the real meaning of his life is and how to live with the regained life in Christ.

Paul says that because he died with Christ, he could regain the life in Christ.

In v19 Paul says “19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live to God.”  This means that his death to the law allows him to live for God.  In v20 Paul also says “20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”  This also shows us that because he has been crucified with Christ……. Christ lives in him.  This is the right order of God’s justification.  Death first, and then life.  Without death there is no life.

Sub-point1: Paul confesses that the life he has is not his own.

In v20 Paul says “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”  The life Jesus has is the life which overcame death.  Paul confesses that only Jesus is able to give him life.  Paul understands that “the life” he has is not his own, but the life of Jesus.  Paul confesses that the life he has is not his own, but he has been given by Jesus.  Paul denies his ego and his desire and even his life, but he fully recognizes the authority of the life of Jesus which overcomes sin and death.

Sub-Point2: Paul also confesses that the life he has is not for himself.

In v19 Paul also says that “19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live to God.” Another Bible version translates “so that I might live for God” to clarify the meaning.  He says that he regains his life in order to live for God.  He emphasizes that his life is only for God.  It is because his life is not his own, but Jesus.  It is obvious that if we are justified by faith in Christ, we must live our life only for God, not for anything else.

1 Corinthians 10:31 says “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  This means that our first priority must be for the glory of God. 

Application

When we believe in Jesus, we have the eternal life, but remember the life we have is not our own, but Christ’s.  Remember! The life we have been given in Jesus is not for ourselves, but for God.

What is the Good News in our life?  The Good News is that we have the life.  The life we have is not the life in this world, but it is eternal life.  We do not have our eternal life when we go to the heaven, but the eternal life starts when we believe in Jesus.  Now we possess the eternal life with Christ.  In Romans 6:8 it says “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” 

What is the Good News in our life?  We have changed our lord form sin to the Lord Jesus.  We have served the sin as our master, but when we believe in Jesus, we do not need serve sin anymore, but we can serve and live for God.  Romans 1:6 says 6……so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.”  This is the Good News in our life.

III.  To make the Gospel Good News, in our life we must confess that we live by faith in Christ.

Place & Proof: Look at vv15-16 and the end of v20 where Paul says, 15We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ…”20…. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

Paul says that “he lives by faith in Christ who loved him and gave Himself for him.”  To make the Gospel Good News, we must confess that we live by faith in Christ. 

Explanation

The third key word in these verses is “faith.” 

“Faith” is that Paul most emphasizes in this passage.  “Justification by faith in Christ” is the main theme of the book of Galatians. 

In v15 Paul says “We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners.”  This implies how Jews thought of themselves as different from Gentiles by birth.  Jewish people were distinguished by their circumcision.  They thought that circumcision is the way to be righteous.  They said, whoever wants to be righteous, they must be circumcised like Jewish people.  Paul also seems to distinguish Jews by birth from Gentile, but what he really wants to say is v16 “16yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ….” 

Paul says to Jewish Christians that “Even though you are Jews by birth, you also must be righteous by faith in Jesus Christ, not by the work of the law.”  He also keeps saying that in v16 “We also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”  In v21 he also says 21I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”  Another version says “Christ died in vain.”  Paul’s concern in this verse is justification by faith, not by the works of the law. 

Paul says ‘whether you are Gentiles or Jews by birth and whether you are rich or poor and whether you are smart or foolish and whether you are beautiful or ugly and whether you are tall or short, whether you are educated or not, there is no exception; salvation is by faith in Christ.’

What is the Good News in our life?  The Good News is that we can be saved by faith in Christ, not by the work of the law.  If we can be saved by the work of the law, I think, nobody may be saved in here.  But the Good News is that we can be saved by faith in Christ.  Isn’t it the Good News?

Application

In Romans 4:2 Paul says “If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about--but not before God.”

1Corinthian 1:28-19 says 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

Think about it!! What do we boast about?  Do we boast about our wealth?  Do we boast about our smartness?  Do we boast about our occupation?  Do we boast about our virtue?  Do we boast about our appearance?  Do we boast about our education? 

What do we boast about?   Are we saved by our money?  Are we saved by our smartness?  Are we saved by our virtue?  Are we saved by our occupation?  Are we saved by our work? 

No!! We are saved by faith in Christ. 

What is the Good News in our life?  The Good News is that we do not need boast about ourselves and we do not show up ourselves, and we do not need to pretend holy or good or virtue because no one is better than anybody.  This is the Good News in our life.  Even we do not know who we are because of our pretending…. We understand us as the one who is pretending, but it is not.  But the fact being saved by faith in Christ shows us who we really are and we can find our real identity in Christ as a justified sinner.  this fact leads us to live our life as we really are in front of God.

This is the Good News in our life.

Conclusion

If Jesus asks “what is the Gospel to you?”  How can we answer him?  If we do not personalize the Gospel in our life, it is still the Gospel, but it is not the Good News.  If our life is not changed by the Gospel, it is still the Gospel, but it is not the Good News in our life?  If we do not die to the law and sin and our earthly desire, the Gospel is still the Gospel, but it is not the Good News in our life.  If we do not live for God, the Gospel is still the Gospel, but it is not the Good News in our life. 

Even though we confess that we believe in Jesus, our life is the same as before, I wonder the Gospel is the Good News in our life.  Even though we confess that we are saved by faith in Christ, if we still boast about ourselves, I wonder the Gospel is the Good News in our life.

It is not the matter of the Gospel, but it is the matter that we do not receive the Gospel as the Good News in our life.

God wants to re-initiate His relationship with us.  God wants to rebuild our broken heart by our sin in His Gospel and makes it the Good News in our life.  God invites us to His presence.  It is time to come to Him.

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