So far, again, once we come to your word, we or we can, because we need your word, we need to be strengthened by your word, we need the light, which your word brings to us that we need the warning, which your word brings to us. And so little becomes that you would speak to us from your word, Holy Spirit, help us help me to teach and help each one of us to hear what you would say as we pray in Jesus name.
Last week we didn’t quite finish their study. And rather than rush it or go into extra time, I said I wanted to and just come back to it and we’d come in our nights to point six, our freedom in Christ will be challenged. And we’d looked at that. But I want to. I want to just comment a little bit more about verse five and under the six hour freedom in Christ, we challenged and then I want to comment a little bit about our need for Iraq to understand that call in those five forces.
We did not give in to them for a moment and literally there in the great kids, even for an hour, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you. I wanted to come in on this particular verse because the concept is, you know, if we could if we get caught up in something which is unsound, you know, just for a little time as as teachers and speakers, as Christians, and we get caught up in some kind of unsound teaching just going around, we get caught up and so on, we may well escape.
Because we’re mature enough and we know because in the end, it’s kind of sounds good, and then we realize now how long this is just not right, that we get caught and then we withdraw this sense of. I didn’t let that happen for even an hour because he says the next phrase in order, the truth of the gospel might remain with you.
Here’s the way that if we get caught into unsound teaching, even if it’s for a little while, we generally have influence on others because the danger is we escape. But those who with influence don’t. And so the the danger he is concerned about is that if we lose our freedom in Christ, if we get caught up in something which is fundamentally unsound, even though we recognize that the danger is in that period of time, while we’re caught, we influence others.
We move on and they don’t. So that’s that’s the danger. We’ll come back to it because in in Galatians, that kind of argument unfolds in greater and greater strength by then. Simply want to say to finish off last week’s study, is this what I call a need to understand our call? And let me read that. Let me read from verse six to 10. He says. So regulations to six inches and from those held in high regard and thought to be something, what they are makes no difference to me because God receives literally and this is a funny expression, God receives not the face of a man.
In other words, he’s not impressed by externals. For me, those of her standing have imparted nothing.
On the contrary, they saw that I’m entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised just as Peter to the circumcised, for he worked and Peter for his apostles ship of the circumcised also worked in me for the Gentiles and acknowledging the grace or the power given to me, James Keefe’s and John, those who are reputed to be of high standing gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship in order that we should be for the Gentiles and they for the circumcision only.
They asked that we remember the poor witch very thing we were keen to do.
Now there are all sorts of things one could come in about it. But the heart of what Paul is saying here is, is that not only doesn’t he is he unwilling to abandon the message which he preaches, which is not from man or through man, it’s from God, the revelation which is head of Christ, but also he understands to whom it is. He’s meant to preach his message. He has a clear understanding of to whom he is called.
And for Paul that the message and the call again, are very interlinked. Because, Paul, if we if we turn if we turn to Ephesians chapter three.
Yeah, I think if we tend to Ephesians Chapter three. Pull those two pulses, surely you’ve heard about the administration of God’s grace, that was and it seems me I’ve recently has a good look at this administration, so I’ll come back to it or stewardship that was given to me for you. That is the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I’ve already written briefly in all of this, then that you’ll be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to many in other generations, as it has now been revealed by the spirit of God’s Holy Apostles and prophets.
This mystery is that through the Gospel, Gentiles is together with Israel. Now we’re going to we’re going to strike this in Galatians Chapter three. But see, this is the message, the message that that Paul understands the revelation given to him, not just as that salvation is by grace, through faith, but the salvation extends beyond the Jews to the Gentiles.
And that revelation was not given to Peter, wasn’t given to faith, wasn’t given to the apostles. Their ministry was to the Jews. They preached the Jews. They faithfully established the Jewish church and so on. But until Paul has his revelation and one can go in, one can look at the accounts and acts of Paul’s testimony, whether it’s an ax nine or twenty one or twenty six, where he’s recounting his testimony when the call comes to Paul and in Oslo’s hands, prophesies on the message is that he preach the gospel to the Gentiles.
Now, God will confirm the validity of the call of Paul through the incident involving Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10 11. But see, when Peter starts goes into the home of a gentile, starts preaching, speaking about Jesus, the Holy Spirit falls on them.
Peter sees that God gives the Holy Spirit to them as much as he did to them when they first believed that Pentecost, he baptized them without ropes. How can you how can a Jew baptize a gentile? The Jews felt, yes, Gentiles could come into Judaism, but they had to become Jews first. And there’s no suggestion Peter was requiring them to become Jews.
In fact, this is going to be the heart of the message in Galatians. And so you’ve got Peter, who’s called to be an apostle to the Gentiles, has this one instance of gentile evangelism. It’s not God is saying I will validate Paul’s ministry through Peter’s experience.
Pulled as needed because he has his visitation from Christ to his is calling, but that that the message for Paul and the caller, Paul, was really close together.
He’s not just called for a five piece called to preach the gospel to Gentiles, and if if the Jews who came to Galatia to undermine Paul’s message were still able to successfully argue that the Gentiles had to become Jews first.
And I was there was no salvation for Gentiles, there was only salvation for converted the Gentiles who become Jews, if they had succeeded in that, they would have destroyed Paul’s message and destroyed his core.
And so chorusing saying what, I went up to Jerusalem firstly to see if there’s something wrong with my message, but something more than the message got validated, they also validated his calling and he’s actually not impressed by them.
You know who they are important, but they say he’s you get this in verse nine.
They acknowledge that God’s grace has given them to me, mentioning James Keefe’s and John, that God given it to me and boundless, that I heaven felt that there should be we should literally be for the Gentiles and others, that our ministry was for the gentiles and they for the circumcision. And so this is calling on. I want to come back to this in a more general sense for us to say, because this ad is outworking the desire to please God in in our desire to please God.
I think it’s not just what we. What we say, but there’s also to whom we said. Where are we called? It may be to a people group in this case was gentle, could be to region, could be an age group with
children to adults, could be women, could be whatever. If there is a specific call, our obedience to God is is not just an obedience in what we preach, but to whom we preach it.
And I the Satan’s desire to subvert the church can start when God and when he tries to incite and tries to divert us from the ones to whom God has called us.
And in Arabic, we our obedience has to be there.
To me, there’s this need to understand your call, calling us to business, you say, and call to me in business and call to be a witness in the workplace. This is where God has put me. And because I’m not running away from embracing what God has called me and I am where God’s placed me, then God will bless me. I don’t try and run away. And I’m not people who are clearly called to be business, who try to go in the ministry and lost their faith.
It’s strange to say that kind. I’ve known people who try to go on missions that belong in the mission field. They come back. Their faith is really shaken. The other hand. I’ve known people who are in business and religion who clearly called and they resist, resist and resist and faith can be shaken. So I think this is the place of our obedience is not just in what we preach, but where we preach, how we share it. And I’ve known I can think of a situation where a woman who clearly was called to marriage was married to children and motherhood and so on, and she tried to act as if she didn’t she wasn’t a mother and didn’t have children.
So for me to go here and preach here, God’s called me to preach there. And I said I said no. You call this particular point in time in your life to be a mother and a wife. That’s your calling. God will bless you where you are.
This is not God’s giving me this revelation. I’m getting all these words from God. And I said, well, it’s not God. It’s quite evident where you’re calling us from. Yes. In the future. But wait and be patient. And she wouldn’t listen. In the end, customer marriage cost her kids cost her faith because she was she was actually rebelling against God, using spiritual language, trying to walk away from the responsibilities she had. So it is that there is this need to understand and be faithful to her and I and it’s an issue.
Paul continually refers back to his call. He uses the word stewardship and and this oilcan Economia, which is actually drawn from the language of Greek poetry. It’s in Greek poetry.
There was the fundamental kind of fundamental subject of the poem, which is called The Hypothesis, and then the plots within the poem as to how the fundamental thesis was. The theme was to be woven in each of these plots was that Economia?
And it was kind of God the Paul understood in the overall scheme of God and the plan of God, that in all that, in the plan of salvation, God had a plan for his life.
This was his own economy. This was his plan that he would preach the gospel to the gentiles. Each of us have got to kind of understand it in our own way for some us to be a missionary, for some of us to be mother, to some us to be in business, that this time is to reach students while we’re at university for this particular point in time and to see it and embrace it. So the last thing I say, I think knowing our coal is what allows us to continue in times of great difficulty.
Because often it’s discouraging, often there’s resistance. Often there’s a sense of failure, often others will say, why are you wasting your time? What anchors you is not what’s seen, what’s been revealed to you by God. And you kind of begin having finished that. Then I want us to turn to the next set of notes, which you’ve all got. And and to move. From there into the next election cycle, I’ve called faith the foundation of salvation and life.
And Paul, if we just start reading, why don’t we just pause for a second, because some of you might be just transitioning here. Some of you might like to make a comment or question related to what
we’ve just said. For example, you definitely need to be a mother and a wife, and she said that she had a. Usually you will see clearly if she’s the way the Bible would guide you.
The question for the is about the example I gave of the woman. She made a vow in marriage and having children. She’d accepted a godly responsibility towards the kids. The scripture says to her that, but if she’s going to go on a mission trip, she can deny her husband, but by his consent for a short period of time. And secondly, that if she doesn’t take care of her own family, she’s worse than infants. If she neglected children and neglects the needs of a husband on both counts, the scripture just says it’s not right.
So the Bible itself is able to say to her, what you are saying is not right. This call may be there, but it’s clearly not yet. And when she didn’t want to hear what was scripture, dad told me about scripture, God spoke to me. I knew it’s a form of rebellion. She’s trying to get out from under what she perceived to be the restraints of marriage and the restraint, the responsibility of her own kids. I’m very sad and but I’ve seen men do it.
I’ve seen men, you know, equally responsibility, equally irresponsibly, but use a kind of spiritual language to defend what they’re doing, which is clearly not right. From. Well, let me read so we’re still in chapter two verses 11 through 13. Says when he first came to Antioch, I resisted him to his face because he was condemned. For before sound from James, this is from Jerusalem came he was eating with the Gentiles, but when they came he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those of the circumcision and I was Jewish believers for 13 other Jews were hypocritical with him so that even Barnabas was enticed into the hypocrisy.
Isn’t it interesting that here we have here we have Peter the Apostle is he’s already betrayed Christ prior to the crucifixion is destroyed, is forgiven by God.
You can look 20 to 30 to Jesus says, look, Satan’s decide this if you like. Wait a bit. I prayed for you that your faith will not fail. And but before the Christ twice, you’re going to deny me thrice the whole issue. He’s been through all of that.
He comes, he’s preaching some years of past this is this is not this is not a few months after the resurrection. This is 15 years later. It comes clearly he’s had the he is I presume he’s had the experience with Cornealious. And he comes to Galatia, he said, eating with Gentiles, but when some people come from. From James from Jerusalem, he withdraws why? And the answer is that if there is this temptation to want to please men.
To maintain whilst in Jerusalem, he doesn’t have to face this issue. He just is with Jews all the time. But poll shows courage in dealing with a problem head on. Now, this is Peter. And Paul, this type of terrorism, this is not always popular in many cultures. In many cultures, they say we don’t tackle things head on, you wait till it’s all quiet down later on, you take him aside and whatever, but this issue is so important that Paul understands as a leader that if he doesn’t deal with this publicly, what these people have done will do great damage.
And it’s like what he’s just said, he’s he’s just alluded to the fact that, you know, like the life of a leader is like a pebble in a pond. The ripple effects of the things that you say and do are enormous. Peter demonstrates he’s a believer who knows what the right thing to do is. He’ll eat with the Gentile. Because of Kornelius, but he still wants to be accepted by his friends and companions before God had shown him the true way.
Is he still has these old friends? I suppose in some ways this is just an analogy, but a tough one. I’m not sure it’s a like someone who comes in a Pentecostal church and out of an evangelical kind of conservative background and comes into a Pentecostal experience and is clearly enjoying his time with Pentecostals. But suddenly a couple of evangelicals kind of visit the church and he chooses to go over and sit with them. He doesn’t put his hands up and sing in spurts and know there’s a credibility gap between what he believes and what the way he behaves.
Polls tells us that the cause of the gap is the fear of men. It’s this fear that we must overcome if we’re going to please God and gain his acceptance. In June nine, twenty two and twenty three old witnesses, obviously concerning Jesus, John, nine, twenty two, twenty three, he says his parents said this because they are afraid of the Jews, for the Jews were already agreed. And then you remember the story in John about the healing of the man on the Sabbath and hated it.
We don’t know if I knew where they were afraid of the Jews. And it says they’re afraid that if anyone should confess to be the Christ, they should be put out of the synagogue for this reason. His parents says he is of age. Ask him. So. I want to say in ongoing pursuing a desire to please God and living the life. The difficulty. Is not always the truth of what we know to be the truth, but the influence of others around about our fear of men desire to please one another.
If we go back to the Galatians, get back to Galatians two within. And what we can see that that even Barnabus is known for his sincerity and his care gets to save, which is quite extraordinary, if you think about it, for the pressure at times is great. This is a very sober warning for us about the effect of hypocrisy, which can have on even the most sincere of believers. Anonymous is always portrayed in scripture as a sincere, generous believer in Christ is the one who goes and gets pulled when no one will go near.
Even his name, in a sense of encouragement, of encouragement. Yet he was seduced by the hypocrisy of Cephus. When a church leader falls or is to see the great danger is that even the true believers will find. I was hearing a hearing very recently of a church in city, it’s quite a large one. Well, sadly, there’s been no. The exposing of considerable. Immorality by more than one of the pastoral staff. And I’m just wondering what it will do to even this hypocrisy by them, I just wondering what it will do to even mature believers.
Verse 14, he says, but when I saw that they were not walking straightline the truth of the gospel, I said the Kiva’s before them all. If you’re being an ethnic Jew, do not live like a Jew. You just been eating with the Gentiles. How can you compare with Gentiles to be Jewish? You know? And what what’s what’s what’s this about, Peter? One minute you’re living with eating with the Gentiles, next, when you withdraw and you come on, what’s what’s this all about?
And you know what it’s about. It’s not about what people believe. He knows it’s not about keeping the commandments, he notes it’s by faith. But the temptation of the fear of the people causes him to live inconsistently with what he actually believes.
First verse 15, he says, we were Jews by nature and not from the Gentiles. Now that a man that has not become righteous from works of evil, but through faith in Jesus Christ and we believe in Christ Jesus, in order that we might be justified by our faith in Christ and not by works of law, because by works of law, no flesh will be justified. What Paul saying is that we do not need to be Jews to be Christians.
That says, look, Ahmadu. Patents, the Jew. We tried to gain God’s favor through the keeping of the law, and we know you can do. That’s why we needed Christ, we needed the grace which kind of cry we know we know the futility and this is why then when we know you can to apply the law, why would you want people to have to become Jews? As if through the law they can be saved. And how does this relate to us?
Also, even. Yes, he did, but the question of the tape is about having Timothy circumcised. The issue there was one was one is that Timothy, whose father was known to be Greek mother, was Jewish. I think his father was Greek. And Paul was going back to Jerusalem into the temple, and he couldn’t take him into the temple. Whilst he’s uncircumcised, in fact, if you recall what happened, he goes to Jerusalem and they accuse him of taking someone uncircumcised and to arrest him.
And I was expedient not because of what he believed, but because because of where he wanted to go to what he wanted to do to have him circumcised in a in first Corinthians nine says, look, you know, I’ll become a Jew to the Jews, that I might win the Jews ibsa jantar to the Gentiles when the Gentiles.
He’s he’s saying for himself, if it’s emissions issue are in a cultural sense, I’ll conform, but not on a belief since I’ll conform. And the Timothy case seems to be a case where he wanted to take Timothy with him, but the only way you could take him. Where he was going was if you had him circumcised. And information makes it pretty clear that it’s not that’s that’s why it’s done, it’s not because Timothy was becoming a Jew. Because, Paul, I think Paul makes it quite clear that he doesn’t believe.
But he needs to become a true. I guess today it’s interesting because today Jesus would say if your mother said you used to. Which would have made him an uncircumcised Jew, but I don’t think it goes back to New Testament times. I think that concept of identifying Jewishness. True, the woman is a medieval thing, it’s not a historic thing, but I’m not sure. So we do not need to be Jews to be Christians, and that’s just let’s just back off a little bit and talk about this.
This was the first major theological controversy in the church. And which could have split the church. You could have ended up with two churches, you could have in it with a Jewish church and a gentile church. The question was, must Gentile’s become Jews? Before they can become followers of Jesus in Acts 15, there’s a council called the Council of Jerusalem, the question, Paul Barabbas, go to Jerusalem. James gathers the elders of the church together.
Peter talks about what happens to Cornelius and Peter presents his defense of what has happened and the issue of must a gentile become a Jew is resolved.
The answer is no. They did. What they do say, however, is that if Jewish believers and gentile believers at fellowship with each other. Then gentiles need to realize there are certain cultural issues, certain foods which cannot be eaten, because if you’re going to meet in around the same table, then they can’t be food offered to idols and strangle meats and these sorts of issues.
In other words, this is part of their their Jewishness that can but circumcision, which is a sign of Judaism, is not required of the gentiles. And it was a resolve because if it wasn’t resolved, we’d have ended up with it. If we. We just look at one verse, we get a verse 17. Process it while seeking to be justified by our relationship with Christ, we have found ourselves to be sinners. Then Christ is the minister of sin, and may this never be.
And I mean, this is this is Paul getting quite difficult. So let me try and understand what Paul saying, Paul saying, look, we’re saved by faith, not through keeping the law. What Christ has done for us. So if according to Christ, we’re not under law, we don’t have to be circumcised. So we don’t get circumcised. But if we’re meant to be circumcised. That who’s the one who’s caused me to lead you all into sin?
And StarCrossed. And if Paul’s message is wrong that they must be circumcised. Paul says the the origin of that is Christ. And so if you are seeking to be justified by our relationship with Christ, we have found to be sinners, then the one who’s caused me to abandon circumcision is Christ. And this Christ is to blame. And he says, may that never be? That can’t be true. And then he goes in verse 18, he says, let me go one step further, he says, In my own life, he says, I demolished this sense of the need to fulfill my Jewishness through circumcision.
And if I build again on the things I have demolished, I demonstrate that I was at fault. You know, if I now having rejected circumcision is required of Gentiles by now, changed my mind and say, sorry, guys, you got it wrong, you’ve got to be circumcised. Then I demonstrate that I was at fault. In other words, he’s he’s threatening the whole if he threatens the foundation, that it’s through faith, not through the law.
If he switches to and fro, the whole thing is an. OK, let me take an example of how this works itself out. Let’s take seven to Adventism. Seventh day venison say, well, we’re safe through Christ by grace, through faith. And this is but you must keep the law. And they want Christ and the Lord, but once you reintroduce the law. You’re actually undermining the very foundation of faith, which is which is faith itself.
He says the first 19, he says, by the law I died, the law that I might leave to God. In a funny way, what Paul is saying, you know, the law itself taught me not to trust in it. By my trying to keep the law and realizing what it didn’t do, I no longer see it as a means to coming to my God. And the chapters three and four pools to and focus for us. He’s abandoned the law as a basis for gaining God’s acceptance.
Not because of his faith in Christ, but because the law itself taught him to do so. And I’ll throw out a little bit of looking forward, you see, Paul only sees the law as a schoolmaster. That we were never meant to have a relationship with God based on the well, the law was meant to bring us to this place of confronting us with our need for God’s grace. That’s what the purpose of the law was, look and bring me to God, it brings me to my need of God’s grace and to keep.
And so I did what? What the law wanted me to do. I abandon my trying to gain God’s acceptance through the law. Which is what the law wanted me to do. He says in verse 20, he says, or end of nineteen bases I’ve been crucified with Christ is no longer I live, but Christ lives in me. And that which I now live in the flesh in terms of his physical body, I live by faith, which is in the son of God, the one who loved me and gave himself.
On my behalf. He came to this point. I’m dying to everything, which is a Jew. He was told with Please God, Ganga’s accepted. But which is really coming out of himself. It was sulfur time, it was self- righteousness. It was self pleasing. It was self-motivated. Kind of the point of saying just as Christ died to fulfill what the law required, I, too, must die. Because the purpose of the law was to lead me to Christ.
I cannot go on living the way I used to live. So it’s a powerful term, it says, you know, he says, I’ve been crucified with Christ and when we get to Chapter three, which unfortunately I’m really sorry, the chapter headings even there. Because you speak of Christ having been publicly portrayed as crucified, it’s talking about his own life. They can see in him someone has died trying to live by the law, and he’s fellowshipping with Jantar.
He’s a ban on circumcision for the for the Jantar, he’s eating foods which they can see in him. Someone has died to form manner of life and he says it’s no longer I live. It’s not the old me. But Christ lives in me, this is this new relationship with Christ which will unfold for us more, and he says the life which that which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith, not by through the law, by faith, which is in the son of God, the one who loved me and gave it up for me.
At this point, you know, I want to say that. None of us here tonight come out of a Jewish tradition with the tyranny of the Lord, with the with the 600 plus ways in which you can break the Sabbath.
With the way his cold. With the with the observance of the sacrifice sacrificial system and all of these things, none of us come out of that. So we we have to ask yourself in terms of wanting to please God and have, you know what what is the nature of the foundation of our Christian faith? And if it’s faith, what did it replace? Because there will have been another foundation for Paul with the law. Pajares, it may have been Buddhism or for who, whoever it might be there is, but where is Buddhism?
It’s self centered, self attainment, self-denial.
If it’s if it’s the secular man in Australia, it’s the concept of I’m a self-made man and I worship my creator. This this is sense of feeling.
I am who I am. I’ve made myself who I am. I am where I’ve got to be. And if God’s going to accept me and accept me because of who I am. The truth is in five. But doesn’t accept me for who I am. He expects me despite what I am. That’s the nature of. Because of it, any sense at this point, I believe God’s acceptance. It’s because of good works that I’ve done. Being on charity boards, giving money to the poor.
Preaching the gospel to the world, I think the pastor of a church leading a youth group, whatever, if at
any point I believe God’s acceptances of me is based on these things which I’ve done. Then it’s not five. So with me to Titus, chapter three. Title three. Verse three, Paul says, At one time, we, too, were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passion and pleasures, believed in malice, envy, being hated and hating one another.
But when the kindness and love of God, our savior, appeared, he saved us. Not because of righteous things we’d done, but because of his mercy. He sailed through the washing of rebirth and renewing the Holy Spirit, and he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ, our savior. So that having been justified by his grace. We might become is having the hope of eternal life. So let me pose the question to you. For whom do you think?
It’s more difficult. To become a Christian. A good person, Wassenaar. Your hands are good first. I think it’s more difficult for a good person. It is more difficult for the good person. Because the center understands they have needed forgiveness. They actually know they need God’s grace. They know they can bring nothing to God, it has to be an act of grace. There is an act of faith. But for the person who perceives themself, you know, I’m an ordinary kind of person, I am not perfect, but I you know, I give to charity and kind of help the old lady across the road and kick my dog this week and all of this going to who has a sense that they’re all right.
Then the message of faith is actually quite difficult. Very difficult for them to come. Now, the irony is, however, that they they may well join the church, find it difficult, they may not find it difficult at all to belong to church. For them, I feel very comfortable in Chad. For them, I’d like to be in church from, like Christian. But all the time, believing that God is their God because of who they are.
Not on the basis of fact. And we know so with I know you know, the way you what you present on the outside and once you are on the inside is two different things. And Jesus understood this. And to the to the righteous Jew who committed adultery, he says, yeah, but when your eye looks with lust, if you’re doing inside what you’re condemning others for, do externally. The greed and pride and all of these things internally is a.
And we can conceal it, we can conceal it so well, people can because they can be respectable. They can be polite. But they can also believe this in their own way, this self righteous that they get on God’s side, they pass the weighing of the scales.
We’re at a point where we’re talking about what it means to be crucified with Christ. We move forward pretty well through this series, this particular time, but what I want to counter is because. Right here is what had some type of the missionary China calls the exchange life. As to who’s living. If I believe what, let me back up and explain and explain in terms of because Paul will certainly he’ll say it in Romans sunglasses, you know, your subject floor until you die.
The nature of law, so if you’re if you’re married, the other thing which can break the marriage is if you die, I mean, so you can abandon your marriage, but otherwise you bounce your husband until you die. But every woman you die, you free.
Now, if the law is enforced, you’re in bondage to it.
You’re bound to it until you die. But when you die, no more law. Because Paul understood this, therefore the key to getting free. From the law was to die. Die to living for yourself. And to embrace a life which now Christ is living through, you ain’t even through rather than you living for yourself. There’s this point where Paul says, I no longer live. The life I now live, I live by faith, not law, because I’ve died, I’m now free from the law.
I’ve exchanged a life under the law for Life five. Life of dependence upon God, a life of trust in God, a life where I’m righteous, not because of what I do, because Christ has done a life where I’m not dependent upon myself, not trusting myself. I’m trusting in God.
The business exchange has taken place, and in that place, there can be absolute peace. Because
whatever happens. All of this depends on good. My securities and God no longer striving. Mr. President, your life as a living sacrifice the take your life and say, here it is, Lord is my life any trouble? Because the living sacrifice, we kind of wriggle off the altar. Yeah. And and this ability to stay in the place of faith because we’ve got the law is actually very difficult.
It’s it’s real, it’s a reality, it’s a spiritual reality, which we can enter into, but to live in it. It’s actually quite difficult. But if you don’t live in it. And you’re in ministry. You carry the burden for the ministry and the ministry becomes very stressful. And I remember reading a biography of Hudson Towers and he says, go through a booklet called Exchange Life, which is based on this. And people said to him, how can you know?
He was this missionary lady who got sixteen hundred missionaries in China, every one of them with dependent upon the money which came to him. And he’d pray and George Mueller, a third of all money came from one man, George Miller, who himself was praying in one of those wonderful store. But how can you how can you handle stress? Evolving. Well, the answer is you can’t unless you’re living by faith. If you’ve died to saying this is this is dependent upon me.
I remember. Not only for. December eighty four. Thirty years ago, when I became the first pastor of Christian City Congression. And we had a budget of seven hundred and fifty dollars per week. I have to tell you, I could believe for seven hundred and fifty dollars. If it had been a thousand people out of struggled thinking, how can I do this, you know, but I had to I had to God in his grace, I had to.
And the offerings were two hundred and fifty. And when the Sunday before they are free in two hundred and fifty in a Sunday, I came on staff, we needed 750 and we had three thousand dollars in the bank. And if you can do your mathematics, that’s five hundred dollars less the offering. Our bank account was going to last six weeks unless the offerings moved up. And someone offered to actually pay my salary for years, so we would only need 250, and I said, now this has got to be an exercise.
It has to be I have to know, I have to know, got it, I have to have to know, God I can do is. And so so our budget was thirty five thousand dollars. And for me, this was the like an exercise of exchanging my not coming out of a business like professional life where money comes from work and a hero here, how do I leave this thing, how I leave this church? Where does this money come from?
And the answer, if I can’t get to a place of a faith, which is a place of rest. Then to be in ministry is going to be just as stressful as being a chartered accountant. I have to come up with. That was thirty five thousand seven. And we’ve got a budget this year, you know. And I have to tell you, I think I was more stressed the first year that I initiated. Why, because you become after you become used to the faithfulness of God.
And you learn to rest in the place of faith. Because the alternative to rest is driving. Opponents buffeted it, shipwrecked. Yes, and it gets plowed. It’s not like it’s easy, it’s a struggle. But in all of this, he says, but I’m not perplexed, I’m not crashed, I’m not this. It’s what happens inside him and one on wanting to say to you guys, because I deliberately called this series The Overcoming Life and wanting to say to you, it’s not just being saved by fate, it’s living by faith.
This is what Galatians is going to unfold for us. The faith is not just how we get to know God, it’s how we live with God. It’s not just Christ dying on the cross, it’s our being crucified with him, which takes us to that place of faith where we can live with him, where Christ is in know.
And verse twenty one, he says, I do not set aside the grace of God. He said, I don’t rebuild the law of abandoned in favor of faith, for righteousness is through the law. And Christ died needlessly. So let me ask you some question. No. One, what was the foundation of your life before you kind of put your trust in Christ? What was the foundation because it would have been paid for with. So secondly, when you put your trust in Christ, you die to our life.
You had a death, you had a crucifixion experience, you died with him. Don’t try and raise from the dead the life you used to live. Let it die. Continue to put your trust in Christ that you might enjoy a
faith, life and close fellowship with him and I, I we’re going to come back.
But I mean it the sense of enjoying the faith life, the thing which strikes me over and over again in the New Testament is the church incredibly persecuted, incredibly suffering unjustly.
But the word which occurs over and over is that of joy produces joy inexpressible. And Act five, it says Act 13, it’s fifty two, it says the context of persecution are continually filled with joy and with all respect.
The Philippines. You know, he speaks of his joy for them, those in prison. How can this be unless. It’s not what you see is what you believe. And it’s this life of. The moment. We try again to earn God’s favor. We are saying that Christ did not need to die for me. I can do it on my own. And we’re going to unfold this. As we go on that. When I look back in my early years, the Christians, I’ve spent time counseling with many people over the years when I find someone with an area of sin in their life, they’re unable to break.
They come to me and they say, I’ve tried and tried and tried and tried to break this thing. It’s it could be, but it’s really demonic. The real problem is the way they’re trying to break it is through the law. That’s simply saying I shouldn’t do this, therefore I won’t do it. And it’s striving legalistically. To try and attain righteousness. And until they come to this place of saying, I can’t, God, you’re going to have to do it again with this place of dying to trying.
Come this place of faith then and then only does God’s grace come into their light, which allows them to walk in victory. And and, Carol, Paul will explain what this means, because it it’s like dying through an all life is like putting off on old life and putting on a new one. This is the imagery here. I can’t just stop the old. I’ve got to I’ve got to consider the all dead. I’ve got to believe the old is dead so I can put on a new it was a whole faith life of living which says, I don’t do that, not because it’s wrong, but because it belongs to an old life.
In my new life, this is what I’m going to buy. I just behavioral based on a belief. You know, think about counseling, different counseling models. And counseling wanted to purely try and trying to behave differently, people regularly revert back the old behavior because their fundamental belief hasn’t changed. The belief for gospel point of view, we have to believe, is I no longer live. I’m a new person, that person who used to live that way died.
And we’ll explore that. When we pop the tape off for tonight, let’s stop it here.