Far as we open another of the letters of Paul and we we see of the way of faith, the way of grace, we see what you can and want to do and so prelaw that we’ll examine our own work with you and then attitudes and law that this will bring us into freedom and victory in our life. Our father, I pray, will be truth, which can also bring freedom to others. We ask in Jesus name, Amen. It’s not always known that the person in writing his letters often uses one of the letters as a basis for another.
In other words, that there is a literary relationship between one of his pistols and the other. A good example of it would be the relationship between Ephesians and Colossians. When you look at it, the content is fundamentally the same. The order is the same. He will change the phrasing a little bit from one to the other. But you can clearly see he’d written one and then in writing to another church wants to address similar issues and has one, if not in front of him in mind as he writes it.
It’s also true to say that there is a relationship between the Book of Galatians, which we’re going to be studying in the Book of Romans, and the themes are consistent. When you get later in the Book of Romans, you’ll find some additional issues which get raised. But in a general sense, there are common issues. In my introduction, I, I mentioned, like Second Corinthians said that when Paul writes, he writes his message and what he writes is coming out of his life.
And it’s he speaks of what God has said to him, what God has done in him, what God is doing through him. There is this sense of both his message and his ministry are an extension of his own spiritual journey. Holy Spirit leads him to his share of not just what is true was truth, but what is true and true for him. You know, this is and particularly because in the first chapter of this letter and well into the second, it’s one of the accounts where you get him sharing his testimony, you find the same thing.
Second Corinthians is very similar to its match of Second Corinthians. Is Paul speaking about the nature of his life and experience and then addressing it to others as principles by which we should live? You know, Paul knew the powerlessness of of a zeal which is based on ignorance. The Romans, he he’ll he’ll talk about the Jews who obey them. You know, I bear witness to that. They have a zeal in ignorance. And he he knew and will get this language in this chapter of what is to strive to please God in your own strength and and the futility of trying to attain a righteousness through the law.
And I I’ve called this series The Overcoming Life, because when I think of my early development as a Christian and my desire to live a life which was pleasing to God by my mind, to live a life of holiness and fruitfulness, and I’ve kind of been presented with a gospel which said we’re saved by grace, and then I’ve been presented with a righteous life, which was based on the law and whether it was intentional or otherwise. I found myself going to the Anglican Church, which I grew up in as a young Christian and which I have respect for.
And I have tremendous gratitude for so much of what I learned in that place. But I found myself going to the so the eve the morning communion service and every Sunday that the Ten Commandments were part of the morning prayers and the liturgy either in long form or short form.
But week after week after week after week, it’s like I was being confronted by the commandments. And and then when we came to communion service there, if you follow the Anglican order of the Communion Service, whether it was the the prayer of confession or a prayer of what’s called humble access to communion, there’s a sense of sinfulness and a failure to keep the law.
And I certainly consciously consigned my early discipleship was I’m saved by grace, by the Christian life is keeping the whole. And found myself trying to please God and become righteous through keeping his commandments. And Paul knows it doesn’t work. He knows from his experience what happens, you can you can get to a place where you are outwardly righteous because you outwardly are observing the law, but it doesn’t begin to do with the life. And so Paul will teach not only do we are we saved by faith.
By grace, through faith, but we live by grace, through faith and. I think my experience is that many Christians haven’t realized the second part. That they haven’t understood that the overcoming life is not one of war being saved by grace and then doing your very best to please God, a sense of humor
that they haven’t understood that to overcome, they have to continue to live by faith, walk by faith.
However, in the case of Galatia, which in a generalized, simple sense, if we can visualize Turkey, you’re in good shape, then no sooner had Paul come preach the gospel and moved on, that others came and began to teach another gospel. In fact, the very things. That. Courtauld are the things Paul himself and tried and rejected. In and and it’s helpful for us, just a bit of reminder, because some of you this will be reasonably fresh in previous studies, I’ve reminded you that that there was amongst the Jews, two kinds of Jews.
They were the Palestinian Jews. There wouldn’t have been called Palestinian because that’s a post Christian terminology. There were there were there were Jews based in Israel and there were Jews of the diaspora, those who are scattered abroad. And there are certain things associated with those who lived in Israel, which are quite distinctive in the nature of their Judaism. There was a loyalty to the land which Jews who lived outside didn’t have and are quite happy to live wherever they are living.
There was a loyalty to the temple. Which those outside may once a life go to, but others felt there and there was a view of the law, a very strict, rigid interpretation of the law. And amongst those who were part of the early church were what are called Judaize or those committed to saying, well, we can accept Jesus as messiah, but we must still rigidly adhere to the law. And so they come and we’re going to see in this letter the whole presented to us a message to get us to really embrace life, faith.
Um. It would appear from from the very beginning, there had been this kind of confusion or contention between faith versus law or law versus grace, and I’m absolutely convinced that if we can kind of really understand the nature of grace and faith is the way we live. Well, I to again, up on this idea of of law, I want to do better. I want to please you. We want I want to attain a righteousness through my own strength.
So that’s that’s kind of just an introduction to it.
There are when you read more formal introductions to Galatians, it’s the you get in some interesting discussions about the everyone believes it’s Paul.
It’s one of the books which people want to date. None of the books were dated, manuscripts weren’t dated. Obviously, you’re not going to get 80, 60 for that concept is hundreds of years later. So the books aren’t dated as we we would understand it. But there is a question as well. When was this book written? And the pivotal discussion is, is it written before or after the Council of Jerusalem? And asks 15. Because there are issues in that council, which we may come to discuss, but I think it’s we don’t need to sort of get into the discussions and of the dates, but it is there is this interesting discussion as the assumption is that this is probably written about 80 forty nine council Jerusalems, 80, 50.
And you kind of get this discussion taking place, this letter taking place, and later the the council resolving it all. But what we will encounter, we will encounter in this first chapter. And the first is the nature of the relationship which existed between Paul and Jerusalem.
You’ll you’ll find find that going on now. I decided to call this first lady doing it God’s way.
And I call this as thinking about this material is because we, each one of us have a choice, are we going to live the Christian life our way or God’s way?
They really they really is a choice. We can we can embrace the Christian life. And then say, right, well, I want to please God and then make assumptions. About how we do that. And the trouble is, we find if we do it, try and do it our way, we find it’s actually we make it harder for ourselves rather than easier for ourselves. And we we have a capacity and are going to divert from Galatians a little bit later tonight, because I want to want you to realize that when a man conceives of the way to please God, it’s not God’s way.
It’s the way we would think of God would want us to do it.
And what would have the appearance of wisdom and what would have the appearance of piety or the appearance of religiousness. So parents of of that we have man has this capacity to invent religion. And so we need to start with the sense of doing God’s way. So we start with the Galatians one.
And the first point I want to make is that God will always take the initiative. So we read Paul, an apostle said not from man by man, but through Jesus Christ and God, the father who raised him from the dead and all the brothers with me, with me to the churches of Galatia, grace and peace to you from God, our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, when Paul begins this, which is a defense of his message. And to defend his message, he has to defend his ministry because we can validate his ministry, it validates his message.
He wants us to begin to realize that his apostles shit does not come from men or nor is it through men, but it’s through Jesus Christ.
It’s where it comes from. Where does it come from? It’s not from men.
And what man would it be from? And the other words from himself. He’s saying that his ministry this is not for me, it’s not my idea and it’s not my message, but nor is it through men. And if I see this expression through men, we turn quickly to First Corinthians 15.
It says verse twenty one. It says that since death came through, a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man.
It means through the action and the sense of through an action the man so well spells parcel ship come from. It’s not either of it’s not his own idea, nor is it the action of somebody else.
Gollin ministry must have its origin in God Parcel’s ship ministry. Calling the ministry must have its origin. Neither neither you or me or those who have encouraged us can be the source of what God wants us to do. And it’s called himself who would take the initiative? And Hebrews, five and 10 across the Hebrews five. When talking about those appointed to the priesthood first for the officers, no one takes this honor upon himself. He must be called by God, just as Aaron once.
Now, Paul is actually not particularly wanting to start with a lengthy kind of discussion about a possible ship and about his ministry, except as to establish its origin. The origin of his ministry is calling from God, and it will follow the origin of his message is from God, and he will he will later on in this chapter make a statement says, even if I were to preach to you another gospel. Rejected. And so. It’s important for us to ask yourself the question, where does my ideas about the Christian life?
Public ministry workers come from. There’s a country man, does it come from some awful. Some teacher, some tradition. Some denominational heritage is something I’ve conceived as well. I think the way should be or doesn’t come from God, is it clearly based on what God has said in his word? Because I find that if once we accept that the initiative must come from God, this must be God’s best, we can find unity. But. And if we do not go to that source and we don’t if we don’t go to God, if we don’t go back to his word, we will not find unity.
We’ll find us defending what’s it part of our religious tradition. Regulations one. And that’s that’s where disputes come. That’s where conflict comes when we appeal.
I remember years ago sitting down, someone was challenging, something I was about to do as a Christian in terms of being baptized and kind of sat in front of me and saying, but that’s not what the prayer book says. And the book is not the scripture and it’s not the source. And when I when I find Christians who are really struggling in areas, I say the only place we can go for authority on this issue is to go to what has God said.
And so the issue pulls first first thing he’s wanting to do is establish us, what is the source that we’re
going to depend upon? And the answer is, it has to be God, verse two, he says, the brothers with me and I got a few scriptures there. This is kind of an aside, not central to us, but we get so familiar with the term brothers. I think when we’re reading Paul’s writings that we kind of overlook the term.
It actually is not a term of affection. It seems to be a technical term as it seems to be a term which relates to people in ministry, in the churches. They actually could be probably men or women and that sort of sense. But they’re there. It seems to be, for example, and it’s nine thirty, it says. And when the Brethren learned of it, they brought him down from Caesar and sent him on his way to Tarsus.
Seems to be the attorney for the leaders of the church there, actually. Twenty three. And so he invited them, gave them lodging. The next day he rose and went away with them. And some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him, probably some of the leaders of the church, even when the Apostles and the brethren throughout Judea heard. It’s not just it’s not equivalent to just saying, hi, brother, it seems, seems to have more meaning than that.
Brian, it’s one thing I want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I’ve planned to come to you. I think, again, it’s certainly not male the term. So it seems to be a reference to to leaders or leaders of the church or the whole church or whatever. Roman seven one odina no brethren from speaking to those who know the law. And in terms, it seems to be an official kind of terminology, and so I don’t I don’t particularly get bogged down here, but just one of those things we kind of see so often, we’re reading the Bible.
That I frankly, because if it’s there, women are sitting there, they’ll think that this is not for me, you can actually take the time out and it reads, well, you just remove it. But it does seem to be addressed to people of influence. What is the intention of God? Firstly, he gives them the greeting, which is just a typical Paulene greeting, you know, he’s he’s saying grace to you and praise from God our father, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Typical of all Paul’s letters, it’s almost like his characteristic. This is one of my letters because that’s the way he greeted them. And then he says, you know, from who? From God, our father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who what who gave himself as a ransom for all the test, me born at a proper time and rescued us from from all afflictions and so on. In order that he might deliver us, he gave himself Resendes in order that he might deliver us out of this present evil age.
Now, if we can take I a whiteboard here, I’d write these three simple phrases together. He gave himself Resendes as one phrase. Number two, in order that he might deliver us as a second phrase. Then out of this this present evil age as a third phrase. You see in this letter, the gospel of Paul is under attack. We want to understand what Paul’s gospel was. Here it is.
This is the heart of the message summarized for us. He gave himself for our sins, one Timothy to the six says. He gave himself as a ransom for all. A test me born at a time when Timothy Toussie. So the beginning of the gospel is what Christ did for us. That’s the beginning of the gospel. Second phrase in order that he might deliver us. This was the purpose of what Christ did for us. It was not just kind of forgiveness, but deliverance.
Now, it’s not just that, the penalty of sin. Might be dealt with, but the power of sin over us might be broken. In the next seven 10, Stephen is talking about Joseph and Suzanne, God rescued him from all his afflictions and grant him a favor and wisdom in the side of Farah King of Egypt and all his handsome prince who rescued him delivered him.
And show the power of the gospel is not just one of the penalty of sin, it’s delivering from the power of sin. And then the third phrase is out of this present evil age. And which is to recognize that we don’t have to be just delivered from the power of sin in our life, but we have to in one sense, have lights come into us that we recognize the world in which we live for what it is. And Romans, eight thirty eight, Paul says, I’m convinced that neither death or life, nor angels nor principalities nor things present or things to come, nor the powers of these powers.
He is his understanding that there is this world prevailing world view. Which we need to be rescued from. We’ll talk a little bit more about that Ephesians five 16. Also is making the most of the time because the days of evil. This is and then he kind of finishes this off. Inverse forces, according to the will of God, our father, which is the word of God. So what’s the word of God that we experience forgiveness of sins, what’s the word of God that will be delivered from the path of sin?
Once the will of God that will be set free from this evil age. I remember how I said that Romans and Galatians related epistles, how how do I get free from the present evil age and the white?
He says, will Romans 12, I beseech you, be transformed through the renewing of your mind? So there’s this kind of a divine transaction in terms of forgiveness, there’s a deliverance. Which Colossians Paul will talk about is deliverance from the dominion of darkness and borders into the kingdom of his son. There’s a there’s a kind of a spiritual.
The mansion where we move from one dominion to another. Out of the dominion of darkness, into dominion of his son. And then there’s a whole conceptual thing that we’re beginning to see our world and our our life completely different. And for us to experience these three things is God’s intention. That it’s it’s not just someone presenting us the four spiritual laws on the corner of the street. And saying, do you believe this is true? Yes, will you say this prayer will then be saved and walk off and never see them again, as if and it’s not that that is not necessarily invalid.
Is that part of the gospel? That’s so partial and complete that the what the freedom that Paul believes, which will get to this, is we work through three to five and six. The freedom is not just freedom from the penalty of sin. The freedom from Flash. It’s a freedom from the dominion of the world in which we live, and he is poor in this land. We’ll talk about slavery. On slavery, native proslavery descent, and this is the will of God for us, and he says to him, be glory forever and amen, but this is God’s intention.
The message which he preached and what we’ll find is that is that unless we really understand that, that this is what God wants for us and we approach it by faith.
We can end up being free from the penalty of sin because we respond to the gospel and ask Jesus to save us. We can stay enslaved to sin because we’re no longer working by faith. We’re trying to do it law. How about I pause for a second in case you want to? Powerful introduction.
It’s kind of a. Williams is the worst as personally reflecting in our own lives about this time. Yes, I believe he died from us in. Do I feel like he’s delivered me from Egypt and he’s really the power of sin in my life has been broken and we know it’s one thing to get out of Egypt. It’s another thing to get into the promised land. There’s this journey. But to really believe we’ve been delivered so that we’re free. And then also out of the prison age, to actually understand the world in which we live represents an environment alien to what we’re wanting, God wants us to be because of his will from life.
OK, all right, let’s on. And the third the third issue, so we’ve had the initiative of God, we’ve had the intention of God. The sad thing is then the rejection of God, this is the stage reading from the IV, he says. I’m astonished that you’re so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of God, by the grace of Christ, and are turning to a different gospel, which is really not gospel at all.
Evidently, some people are throwing you into confusion. They’re trying to pervert. The Gospel of Christ, it’s the rejection of God. This is. The rejection of God’s way, the gospel has been presented, and then suddenly Paul moves on and these people, they seem to dog him.
I use that terminology because in Colossians, he writes and says, beware of the dogs. It’s not like they were snapping at his heels everywhere he went. As soon as he moved, I move in and try and pervert what he said. And I kind of followed him wrong. And and it’s like it’s like no sooner had had he done went along than, you know, who had called them. The answer is God through the Ministry of Paul. He says he sees you deserting, the one is called you on himself, understands himself to be God’s instrument, but as God who is speaking through him to the Thessalonians and first listens to us 13, he’ll come in them when they believe what he’s preaching to them to be.
Not the word of man, but the word of God. And he says, if you if you believe it to be God, not just man, it has power in your life, and so it comes. He preaches the gospel, they receive the gospel, God begins. Do they work? And then as soon as another group comes along and preaches something different, that they deserve it, not just him, but the message.
For Paul, the power of his ministry was not in himself, but that he was an instrument of God’s Christ. In two Corinthians 12, verse nine passes and God has said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected and weakness, I will gladly, therefore, I will boast rather about my weakness that the power of Christ might dwell with the grace of God that they’re turning. He comes and presents the grace of God, the free gift of God, the working of God, which they don’t deserve.
He presents this to them. And along comes these people who says yes, but you must still be circumcised. You must still observe the law. You must do this. I know they come immediately. Lead them away from grace. The law. From God’s power, freely at work in them, which is grace to their own strength. Which they’ll seek to try and accomplish, he says, to another gospel and heteros, there are two words for another in Greek heteros, which is another of a different kind and alost, which is another of the same kind.
And he he says to them. They in terms of that, they seek to present another gospel. And it’s another of a different kind, but there is now a different kind. There’s only one kind of gospel, that’s what he’s saying to them. He obviously can’t lose it all in the English, but his choice of other is very specific. It’s as if they’re offering you a gospel of a different kind. And once you change it, it’s not the gospel.
That’s that’s the issue. As in polls states today, there are many who come and claim to preach the gospel to us. And yet there’s only one gospel was contained in the scriptures, found in the Bible, confirmed by those who teach the scriptures, it’s the one true and apostolic faith. It’s a gospel which presents Christ as the one who died for our sins to deliver us from this evil age, it’s not a gospel whereby Christ died for us, that we might continue to live the same way we live.
It’s not a gospel where you just get forgiveness and live, go on living your life. And what’s the gospel he died for us to deliver us? And deliver us from the evil age, the gospel of a power which transforms our life. That’s the nature of it. It’s not a gospel which has come forward in some big meeting and the next stage just continue to live the same way. In fact, that kind of approach to the gospel is denying the power of the gospel.
He he speaks of these people as as those who trouble us. Is there some are troubling you and wishing to pervert the gospel, they bother us, they wish to change the gospel. You know, I have to ask you the question, why should today be any different? Why should we not assume that in our own time, there’ll be those who will seek to bother us, disturb us by offering us a different gospel? And someone can ask you what what will they be?
There will be people who are in bondage to human traditions who want us to conform to their traditions rather than to the gospel. If that’s.
What happened was we can begin to ask the question, what then as a substitute, what I look like, what what what is the distorted gospel look like, which is presented to us, the gospel, which we will not have the power to see us experience deliverance and so on first in side.
Says even if we are an angel from heaven to preach the gospel, so they the message may come by way of angelic manifestation or revelation. It’s that way. And if it was Preachers’, other than what was preached to you, let him be eternally condemned, as we’ve already said. So we say again to anyone is preaching due to another gospel and that which is accepted, let him be condemned. People can fall from grace and Satan can appear like an angel of light, two Corinthians 11 13.
Process, that’s a first apostle’s deceitful workers disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. Two Corinthians. 11 13 preaching another gospel different from that which we preach to you. I before
before I present to you a kind of a view of some of the most common substitutes would be good for us to sort of reflect on them.
I remember when I was in seminary, this is back in and so I was in 1978 or 79, this book came out claiming to be a series of angelic revelations about aspects of the gospel, which had not been put in the scriptures.
And this pastor kind of had a series of these visions from God. And so I managed to get a publisher really self publish them or get some publisher, and this book was just circulating like like fire throughout the church and everyone is reading. And there was a particular aspects to it. It was one of the aspects to his household salvation. If you get saved, your whole household is saved, which is very appealing. If you’re the only Christian family to think you’ll run off if you get saved.
And there were a series of these and of course, the book became controversial and it was reviewed and sun wasn’t made public, was the fact that the guy who had these visions himself was concerned by some of the stuff which was in them. And so I wrote the visions down and submitted his manuscript of the Visions two to three well-known theologians to to read them and examine them, to make sure that there was nothing in these visions, which is contrary to the teaching of scripture.
Well, I didn’t take the readers and one of my professors was one of the people who read it. Take very long to realize that this was clearly not from God, that there was this vision which was clearly stating something different, the scripture, whatever. So anyway, so critique this thing, send it back to the guy.
And and and what was actually printed was the revision, not the vision. And of it it wasn’t what he claimed to have seen. It was what is claimed to have seen as revised. But what he thought was right, which you think about, it totally discredits the whole thing, because if it’s wrong, it’s wrong.
Now, that’s what twenty, twenty two years ago and some and my observation is like every few years, it’s like someone goes to heaven and comes down as a near-death experience, comes back and has some insight as to what heaven’s like or what hills like or whatever it might be. And you can kind of get these things, these type circulate and so on. And we need to be careful. When we listen to this, we go back to the scriptures.
Is this the gospel presented in? Now, with this, I want you to the Clawson’s to. And some of you have heard me go through this passage before, and I can tell you I’m embarrassed. I don’t care whether some of you hear me preach this 10 times. Because this is Colossians two is polls expansion of the spiritual substitutes, the counterfeit.
We need to know them. We need to be aware of them and we need to know where others have them, because this is a passage in Colossians to where Paul was set out in his experience. The four expressions of another gospel, and so we can think of it.
All right, so if we pick it up questions to pick it up at our side, well, we’ll pick whatever six is seven. Just as you receive Christ, Jesus as Lord continue to live in him. We didn’t build upon him strengthening the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness and the words Paul says, now, stay with what you are taught. Can no one site. Savor that no one takes you captive by through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than uncrossed.
So the first is philosophy. Now, what is philosophy, philosophy is fundamental, is truth. Which is the result of the application of logic to human observation. Oh, I see I apply my human right, rational thinking and logic.
And from that I get I come to an opinion of the way things are, the way God is. The way the world is, the way nature is and so on, it’s its philosophy, their philosophy is by no means all error.
It’s the reality is, however, it is merely the application of human reason, it’s not rooted in revelation.
There is an element of revelation to it in as much as creation itself is a gift to us from God and Romans, one would say we can see in creation things about God and therefore some of the great philosophers saw and saw in the created order of things a revelation, what God’s like. And and the early people like Plato and so on, are actually called theologians and they speak of God.
And I have faith in God, son. But when you start from that basic place of that and then apply logic and reason, you begin to develop systems of understanding which are philosophical rather than revelation from God. And it can take you a long way away from God. And the Greeks were known for it. And Paul recognizes already there is a danger that he’s what he’s doing, it’s as if he’s preaching the gospel and people who are familiar with Greek philosophy and the teachings of the philosophers, Aristotle and Plato, and that there are different philosophical schools.
We’re just like filtering what he was saying through philosophy and redefining the nature of the Christian faith. And what does it do? Well. It is a very foundational, fundamental philosophical level. It can lead you to saying, well, there’s evil in the world, the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ couldn’t have made an evil world. Therefore, the God of the Old Testament, the creator God can’t be the father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You can end up with two Toogood’s. Philosophically, and that’s what I did, was the earliest of the heresies. Or it can end up with a view of the physical world is evil, the world of ideas, spiritual things, is perfect and ideal. I therefore should see my own body as evil. You know, concepts of asceticism and the way in which you live and or else you live a life of a license, doesn’t matter what I do with my body, provided I think the whole thing, it can completely and utterly distort you view of God if you have the world view of yourself.
The great writers of the church and I have yet to find one who wasn’t a philosopher before he was a Christian.
Now, that doesn’t scare the daylights out of you, it does so to me that if they’re grounding. And you’re talking I’m talking about just a matter I’m talking about Clement of Alexandria, you know, I’m talking about Jerome, I’m talking about these guys. It’s almost there is no great surprise about it because none of them are Jews. And the classic education was in great philosophy, if you went to university, you went to study rhetoric and philosophy and so on, and if they were the educated and they became the teachings of the church, the nature of the education, they would have to take the philosophical.
And that doesn’t send us some warning as to why the early church may have ended up with some very bizarre views of things like human sexuality.
And celibacy. And the whole nature of the Christian life, the very thing that Paul is warning about here. They would say, well, we’re Aussies, we don’t got out of the cafe and have a cappuccino and discuss Aristotle in the same way the Europeans do, I think there is a difference in a sense, but it’s a danger. It’s to me I see it more as an expression of people who want to argue about the meanings of words and reduce Christianity to a theology of theology.
It would be kind of a dry Christianity, which is kind of discussions about abstract truth rather than Christ would be the way we would probably encounter it today. You know, at its best evangelicalism. Is a passionate love for Christ and living for Christ, a living in Christ and presenting Christ and persuading people that Christ. At its worst, it’s a it’s a bigoted commitment to an understanding of how you interpret, interpret scripture, whether more concerned, whether you interpret scripture correctly as to whether you really love Christ.
And if it gets into this issue, it takes us away.
That’s number one. Number two. And you may well want to discuss some of these. Number two, if we skip down to the 16.
Paul, therefore, do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink with regards to religious festivals,
new moon celebrations or 75th days. These are a shadow of the things that were to come. And as these things were there to forecast what was to come, which is to cross.
The reality, however, is found in Christ.
This is this is. Legalism and a sense of probably a combination of legalism and ritualism.
Whereby the observers, the observance of religious patterns and behaviors, whether it’s in terms of what you do and don’t eat what you do and then drink whether you go to church every Friday night or Sunday morning or for the high festivals for Saints days or all of this.
And Pulikesi, it’s really important to say that Paul doesn’t denigrate them. It doesn’t actually say that one shouldn’t have observed these festivals. But in the past, these were these were there to lead us to Christ.
They had their place in the history of the Jews. They were important, but only important as they pointed forward to Christ. And again, it’s moving to today.
And we would see this in in people who believe you should go to church in a black suit and a white shirt, black tie, people who should who say you shouldn’t dance or cheer or go with girls to do the intensive and that that the the important things are what you do and then do or it becomes and I think there are different religious traditions involved in this Catholicism in terms of going to the masses.
The most important thing.
For some, it’s doing religious pilgrimages, these kinds of issues. And we can say that the firm has replaced the reality, the form, which is to bring you to Christ, becomes the important thing. You know, I don’t have a problem if a person wants to go to a church with with liturgy and organ music and candles or any of that thing, provided these things, bring them to Christ, if through this they find a loving, enriching relationship with Christ, which they then live out during the week, that’s if that’s what turns them on, if that’s what will help them, if it’s a means to Christ, to wonderful thing.
We shouldn’t attack it just because instead of bells and smells, we like bells and yells. You know, we shouldn’t we shouldn’t confuse that for some person icons and these sorts of things, you know, objects to aid in the worship of Christ, Christ and the richness of the eastern traditions of the church. We ought not to mock them in any kind of way. What we probably need to do is examine within our own traditions, are there similar things?
Well, we think where we’re really religious, if we go to the mid midweek Bible study and prayer meeting and we go to every single meeting the church ever has on, and we feel like we’re going to these meetings and this becomes a ritual pattern week after week after week. And we have to say, is it is Christ the focus of my life or are these meetings focused on my life? That’s that’s the second one. Philosophy is the first legal’s and the second straight on verse 18 to that anyone who delights in false humility in the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize.
Such a person goes into great detail about what he’s seen and his own spiritual mind pops them up with idle notions. He’s lost his connection from the head, from whom the whole body supported and held together by its ligaments and seniors grows as God causes us to grow.
Say, in the previous case, the the he describes the legalism and formalism originalism as a shadow. And the shadow rapporteurs cast backwards, you have the signs in front of you, the shadows behind you. And this sort of sense, and he’s saying these things were a shadow from Christ in Christ was there, and the reality is, let’s not talk to the shadow. Let’s not have a relationship with a shadow. Let’s have a relationship with the real thing.
In this case, there’s all these trappings of a kind of a spirituality, but it’s set that they separate you from the head. Who’s Christ from her real godly growth comes. And I you can call it super spiritualism
if you like, super spirituality. Ecstasy, mysticism in these kinds of issues. And again, I have to say, we encountered, I encountered I encounter people who who are who want to talk to me about the latest dream, a vision.
They’ve had an angel manifestations and they come along. You read this book. We listen to this type of wonderful stuff. This man’s been to heaven and back and all this kind of stuff. I listen to it and I’m looking for Christ because I know it’s out of their relationship with Christ. A growth will come on. That’s like they’re looking for the spectacular looking for the and for the supernatural, looking for the place which is takes them outside of themselves as if this is the key to spirituality.
And Paul says it separates you from the head. And what of my saying? Because all of this philosophy, you know, you can look at the revelation of creation and saying it, God, wonderful traditions. Religious observance of this can be a means for which we. We cannot cross. If you have an angelic visitation. And every now and again, even as it’s always someone else who hasn’t been you never there at the time, but if you have one, you know.
You know, if it’s really a danger from God, it’ll be like Mary, it says, do whatever he tells. And in the wedding, Mary says, whatever he says for you to do, do it. She points to Christ in a drawing attention to herself. And you can sort of test the angels because the angels draw attention to themselves, I draw attention, they draw attention away from Christ and get caught in it. I remember the first time I went to Singapore and people want to thrust this literature, these books on me written by my Asian Bible teacher, I had all these revelations and I had a wonderful very, very chin and very deep and, you know, and this kind of stuff.
And I read this stuff and I thought, man, I thought, this guy. I would say it’s spectacular stuff. But it separates you from Christ, and I said not only with this teaching separating from Christ and take them into the thrill of experience. And I said, but this guy himself is separated from Christ. Now, I didn’t know him. Never met him in the Senate administrator’s friend. I thought this is dangerous stuff. It just takes time and years later, I found out that I had to get out of the country because of morality issues and financial issues, and he came, you know, went overseas and the same thing was replicated there in the sun.
But it’s the sun. It’s the danger. And lastly, number four. Of 20. Is it since you died with Christ, the basic principles of this world, that’s to a philosophical understanding. Why do you still feel as if as if they still belong to. Do you submit to its rules? Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch, which is kind of the legalism. These are all destined to perish with use because they are based on human commands and teaching.
And this is this is such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom. Self-imposed worship, the false humility, the harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. This is probably best to summarize the self-denial. If you read any church history. So you read the story of Martin Luther. A monk and the traditions of the Catholic Church where. And as part of their spiritual disciplines, they’d have these whips leather with lead and they’d go in and and was so trying to deal.
You know, with this sin, with the demons that they flogged themselves, literally ripped their backs open with these whips to inflict pain, believing that this was the key to driving it.
You know, to punish yourself, you punish your body and so on. And Paul knows and Paul will ultimately get back to Galatians, he’ll he’ll say, you know, I you know, I was the most zealous of all of the modern contemporary. He must have been down this path of self-denial and all of this and realized in the end, it doesn’t deal it doesn’t deal with the insane Steeles with the physical body. And we see it today. We do know.
We may say it’s still present in the parts of Catholicism and some of your thoughts, but outside of Catholicism we can see it in other traditions, you can find it in certain kinds of fundamentalism. We had Protestant or Pentecostal and so on, you can and you get this strange irony of how fast the long
periods of time, although pray for long periods of time and then then they’ll go home and get drunk. And. Years ago, I had one of my students of of a moment I was teaching Bible College and for a part time job she was working as a cook and a religious order, and they’d taken the vows of poverty and chastity, obedience.
So they kind of locked every part of their life up. But the food they ate. And the alcohol which was consumed. And this was like the only indulgence which was left to them, indulgence in a funny use of the word. But but it was just it was like I’ve denied myself this. Therefore, I will compensate Brian. Now, take us through this, because to take us away from Galatians to say these are the kind of substitute. Paul pulls that and they’re alive today.
Oh, no more self-denial. Now, if we go back to Galatians, close one, too. What I wanted to wrap it up with the last verse is verses eight nine.
Because if are the dangers that we’ve looked at, tolerances, he says, if we are an angel from heaven, should preach the gospel other than the one which we preach to you, let him be eternally condemned, literally, literally be let him be anathema to us, as we’ve already said.
So now we say again, if anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you’ve accepted, let them be condemned. So Paul says the gospel, which we we looked at earlier, presented to you that it. Now, the question he wants to finish with to this point, the observation is what is Paul’s motivation? And why is why is he so strong? And he says, am I trying to win the approval of men or of God?
Because if I if this is about God’s freedom, if this is about entering into what God has for me, I have to resolve the question of who’s seven? Am I? I’m not going to do it my way or God’s way, which is why am I not I said doing it God’s what? I’m going to live a life which is really all that God’s got for me and overcome. I’ve got to do God’s way.
So he says, how am I trying to amazement? If I were trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. And so we kind of start this new study which says, OK, am I going to do it my way or God’s way? My serving of men or servant of Christ? I accept the fact that in this journey, they’re going to be counterfeits presented to me. Things which have the appearance of wisdom. Which same wise would same spiritual, which same religious.
We’ve seen highly self-denial, all going to be at the polls, but they’re not the white Galleguillos comes and not the way freedom comes, they’re not the way we’re going to overcome. To overcome, I’ve got to do a. So what we might do is I just pray and then you might like to ask a question a couple of minutes, we might just ask some questions, so let’s just pray.
Is the way that Paul belongs that we might. Remain free in the freedom for which Christ died for us. We might not live in it and enjoy it. We changed by it. Lord, we believe that Christ died for us. He died that he might deliver us. And he might also deliver us, indeed, from this present evil age. Well, I pray that we might be able to walk in this freedom experience. As we were in faith, keep our eyes on him.
To help us, Lord, to walk this journey together, we pray in Jesus name. I’m in. Any we just got just a couple of minutes, a few minutes maybe you’d like to interact with make some comments because the type can go off.