Before you move, get it confirmed.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2020
Before you move, get it confirmed. I’ll explain on Key Life.
That was author and seminary professor Steve Brown. And this is Key Life. We’re all about radical grace, because of what Jesus has done, God’s not mad at you. Keep listening and that message will set you free to live a life of joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew, if you have your Bible open it to the first chapter, we’re looking at Paul’s self definition, the proof is in the pudding. Now Paul’s doing this for his critics and for those who followed him, but he’s also doing it for himself. Everybody has self doubt. When it says that Jesus was tempted at all places as we are. That means he did too. I mean, that’s what the temptation experiences of Jesus were all about. He was thinking, I’ve got to be crazy, that I am God. But I think I am. And Satan kept running it up the flag pole and Jesus, as you know, was able to deal with those three temptations. So it’s normal, it’s human and it’s not sinful to I have self doubt. And the apostle Paul was doing that for himself and for his critics. Now, if you’ve been with us and you’ve been listening and you never listen to me. And you’ve been listening, we have seen that Paul in his self evaluation and in his, the way he’s defending himself against his critics, notes that he has been confronted and convinced and changed and consumed and controlled and notice that they all start with a C. I worked very hard at that and I don’t want you to miss it. Now, he’s confirmed. Look at the 18th verse,
Then after three years I went to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days.
Now, what is Paul doing? Paul is getting his ministry confirmed by the people of God. Let me tell you something. If you believe that God has called you into leadership and nobody thinks that you have been called into leadership, you have not been called into leadership. Pat Arnold was a friend of mine. He was the last missionary out of Cuba when they closed it down years ago. And he served as a mission pastor in a church where I was the pastor. And Pat Arnold was talking about a situation that was going on in our church. And one of the things he said in reference to her particular individual, I’ve never forgotten. This is what he said. If there’s no sheep, there is no shepherd. In other words, there has to be some kind of confirmation that you have been called. Now that includes, that includes salvation. I mean, if you are sure. I remember a man coming into my study. He was, well, he was plastered. That’s what he was. He smoked, and I was afraid if he lit a cigarette, he was going to blow up the church. And he was holding onto my desk just to, just to be able to stand up. And I said to him, Sam, it’s important you get ahold of Jesus. And he got angry and said, what do you mean? I belong to Jesus. I’ve been a Christian for 34 years, I’ll have you know. And I said to him, and I said it gently, it sure doesn’t show. You gotta, you know there needs to be a confirmation of the reality of what’s going on in your life. The people around you, if you’re saved and you know it, then the things that you are and by which you define yourself, ought to show it. And you say, Steve, I thought you were about grace, I am. I’m not saying go out and show everybody that you’re obeying all the rules and you’re nice. And you’re spiritual and you have memorized the books of the Bible. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about that inner thing that takes place, that shows where you’re more authentic and real about who you really are. Where you reach out to people that you ordinarily would not have reached out and you cut slack in places where you never would have cut slack. It’s the change that takes place in a Christian and it’s gradual and you can’t stop it and you need to rejoice in it. Maybe you’ve heard me say before, but it bears saying on a number of occasions. If you’re listening right now and worried that you’re not getting any better, quit worrying, you’re going to get better. You can’t help it. There’s nothing you can do about it. That’s promised because he who began a good work in you, that’s Philippians 1:6, will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It will be slow, sometimes it’ll be painful, but listen to me, quit worrying about it. You didn’t start in a very good place and you’re not going to get to a very good place till you get home. But in between, I promise you on the authority of God’s word, you’re going to get better. Don’t you feel pretty good about that? And not only are you going to get better, even if you don’t see it, other people are gonna see it. And Jesus is going to get the credit for it. Now what Paul is talking about here, isn’t about salvation, but it’s talking about his ministry. He went up to Jerusalem. Why is that? That’s because that’s where the leaders were so that they could, and they did, affirm the ministry that God had given him. You can read about it in Acts. I mean, God had sent him to the Gentiles in particular and he was confirmed by the church, that needs to go on all the time. That’s why God put us together so that we can take a gifted person. And when God has called them, we can, as God’s people confirm that call before God. And when that person doubts, whether or not they been called, they can say the church set me apart. That’s why the church really is in important. All right, let me show you something else. A seventh, and this is the final one. And then tomorrow, we’re going to talk some about the definition of the gospel. You should note, not only that Paul in his self-definition and his self talk and his defense to his critics was confronted, convinced, changed, consumed, controlled, and confirmed, but God got the credit, and that’s the final C. Look at Galatians 1:22-24.
And I was still not known by sight to the churches of Christ in Judea. They only heard it said, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God but because of me.
Oh, that’s cool, I mean, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? I mean, this really isn’t about you or me. It’s not about how wonderful we are. It’s not that people glorify and tell us how good we are. It’s about him. I one time was speaking at a conference, a lady came up to me and she said, oh, I am so pleased to meet you. Your ministry has literally changed my life. Would you be willing to meet my friend?, and I, and you know, my peacock feathers were flying in the breeze. I was feeling pretty good about me. And so she called her friend over and then she turned back to me and said, Jane, I want you to meet. And then she looks at me and just started blushing. And she said, oh dear, I can’t remember your name. Oh, I tried not to show it on my face. You know, I’m a good poker player and a good preacher. One, I no longer do the other, I keep trying to do. And so I’ve learned how to have a bland look, no matter what’s going on inside. And so when she said, I can’t remember your name, I tried not to show the wince that I felt in my heart. And then I laughed and told her my name and I met her friend and I went on about my business and I said to Lord, that hurt. And God said, why is that? And I said because they didn’t know my name. And then he said, but they knew mine. And I realized that’s what it’s all about. That God was praised. We do so many silly things. Did you know that back when they had the first nationwide television broadcast, they invited some, some people to come and speak and one was Conrad Hilton. He had this vast audience for the first time. And you know what he said, when you stay at our hotels, make sure the shower curtain is on the inside. I don’t want to be remembered for that. I want to be forgotten for Jesus. And you do too. You think about that. Amen.
That was Steve Brown, teaching us from Galatians about the importance of confirmation, proof in the pudding. We’ll continue from here tomorrow. Hope you will join us again then. So here’s a fun fact, in the 16th century, some clergy declared coffee as satanic and asked Pope Clement the eighth to ban it. You know, it’s hard to keep our preferences to ourselves, isn’t it? The problem is our preferences aren’t always God’s preferences. This is an idea explored by Chad West in an article called Coffee and Other Horrible Sins. You can find it in the 2020 edition of Key Life Magazine. You’ll also discover loads of great content from other favorite Key Life voices like Jenni Young, Traylor Lovvorn and of course Steve Brown. It’s the 2020 edition of Key Life Magazine. Get your free copy right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email Steve@keylife.org and ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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