Don’t let anybody take your freedom away.
MARCH 1, 2021
Don’t let anybody take your freedom away. Let’s talk on Key Life.
Key Life is all about God’s radical grace, grace that has dirt under its fingernails and laugh lines on its face. If you want the Bible to be a book of rules, you may want to stop listening now, but if you’re hungry for the truth, that will make you free. Welcome to Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you had a great weekend and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, we are studying the book of Galatians. It’s a declaration of freedom for Christians and grace and God’s mercy. And every Christian ought to spend at least some time every year reading through the book of Galatians, because it’s so easy to forget. You can go and Google Martin Luther’s introduction to the book of Galatians. And so each time each year, when you read the book of Galatians, read Martin Luther’s introduction to the book of Galatians and you’ll rise up and call me blessed for having suggested it to you. As you know, if you’ve been with us, we’re in the middle of a very long study of the book of Galatians. I’m taking my time. It’s my program. I can do it if I want to. I am as it were your tour director. And we’re very slowly going through this small book, looking at some of the most important, astounding, astonishing, life changing teaching in the entire Bible. Okay. We’re gonna pick up where we left off last time at the fifth chapter of Galatians and the first 12 chapters. Before we do that, let’s pray. And then we’ll get down and we’ll study. Father, as we come into your presence, we think of the gifts that you’ve given. The grace, sometimes we forget. The forgiveness, sometimes we feel guilty and shouldn’t. The freedom, and sometimes we forget that we’re free. Father don’t let us forget, help us to remember and to be glad. Father, you know, the people who are listening to this broadcast, you know them by name, you know everything that hurts and everything that brings joy and you’re of a God of both. Sufficient for every need and a participant in every bit of laughter. As always Father, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast. Forgive him his sins, because there are many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Alright. If you’re in a place where you can open a Bible or your smartphone or your pad or whatever you use. I’m going to be reading the first 12 verses of the fifth chapter of the book of Galatians. And you need to know that Paul is not a happy camper when he writes this. In fact, some of this doesn’t even sound Christian, frankly, but listen to what he says.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. Now I Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is bound to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love. You were running so well. Who hindered you from a obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who called you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine, and he who is troubling you will bear his judgment, whoever he is. But if I, brethren, still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? In that case the stumbling block of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you wouldn’t mutilate themselves!
Good heavens. That’s from Paul and believe it or not, that’s in the Bible. Now you need to know. And probably you do that when Paul’s talking about circumcision, he’s talking about the law, all of it, every bit of it. Once you do the initiatory right and put your faith in it, then you’re stuck there. And Paul says, see if you can do that and see how that works for you. And then when he gets angry and that doesn’t give us permission to do the same thing. It simply records. If you believe in verbal plenary and inspiration. And I do. Every word of the Bible is from God himself. And without error, revealed propositional truth. That means that when the Bible tells you that somebody said something, it is accurate that they said it, and it is accurate that, that which they said probably should be said, if not the way they said it. Did you get that? That means don’t look for permission from either Jesus or Paul to go after the people you disagree with, who have perverted the gospel, but you are called with Paul to speak truth and he speaks truth and he speaks it clearly. Now I want to, before we get down and talk specifically about Paul’s teaching, there’s some great teaching in this text about false teaching. I want to go down two or three side roads. And the first side road is this, note the fact that freedom is not a passive state. It’s active, it’s a positive stand. Look at the verse.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore,
You can translate that as don’t shilly shally, don’t be a wuss about it. Don’t you dare back off. Don’t you dare let go of what is at the essence of the Christian faith.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast, therefore, and do not submit
In the Greek, that means, be loaded down with.
Don’t submit again to the yoke of slavery.
Don’t you shilly shally. I remember one time when I’d been asked to speak for a large club in the city where I was then serving, I had quite a reputation, for telling jokes and being funny. And that’s why they asked me to come and speak. Then Jesus came into my life and messed everything up, some very good gigs. So when they called, they said, we have voted unanimously our board to invite you to our annual dinner. And I said, and I said, well, that’s good, but there’s something you need to know about me. I have encountered Christ in a significant way, and I’m not as funny as I used to be. And if you’d rather I not come, that will be fine. He said, he said, I’ll get back to you. He called two days later and said, we still want you to come. And the vote was five to four. So, I went and man, the booze was flowing and they, you know, they were not feeling any pain and I was supposed to get up and speak and I was sitting there and I thought, you know, something, I think what I was going to say was a bit strong. I do have some good jokes. I think I’m going to back off just a little bit and not be as strong as I thought I would be. And at that very moment, a guy who was a brother in Christ, a member of the church that I served walked down this long hall and behind the speaker’s table, put his hand on my shoulder and not lightly and leaned into my ear and said, Brown, don’t you back off one bit. Don’t you shilly shally, and then he turned and walked off. He had read my mind and by the way, I didn’t back off, but I didn’t get invited back either. Now Paul’s saying something like that here and it’s that strong in the Greek. Don’t, don’t take the pearl of great price and, and destroy it. Don’t take the freedom that Jesus has given you and sell it for a mess of pottage. Don’t let people do that to you. Jesus paid a big price for your freedom. You hang on to it with everything you’ve got. Kick against the goads, stand fast. Jesus will stand with you. You think about that. Amen.
Don’t let anyone take your freedom away. That was Steve Brown, teaching us from Galatians, today getting into the first 12 verses of chapter five. More about our freedom in Christ and that yoke of slavery tomorrow. Don’t miss it. So you may be aware that we have another program. It’s a talk radio show called Steve Brown Etc. And on that program, we recently interviewed author Dane Ortlund about his book, it’s called Gentle and Lowly, named of course, for how Jesus described himself. In that conversation, we explored what the Bible really says about Jesus’ heart towards sinners and sufferers. And even though you probably know about that, it’s just an unexpected blessing when we’re reminded of it. We’d love for you to hear that full conversation. So we put the whole thing on a CD that we’d be happy to send out to you for free. So why not give us a call right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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