Find the ego and you found the problem.
MAY 18, 2021
Find the ego and you found the problem. Let’s talk 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, mostly the last verse of the fifth chapter of Galatians, and the first 13 verses of the sixth chapter of Galatians. We’re moving pretty quickly to land this plane of Galatians. And we’ve been here a long time. If you were listening yesterday, I hope I disabused you of the myth that we sometimes have, that the early church was a wonderful place. And if we could go back to that, then everything would be fixed. Oh, that’s not true. As we study Acts and that’s where we’re going next, we’re going to see, they fought worse than we do. I mean, they’re worse than Presbyterians. And, yet they were close to the source and because they were, they did it right. And it came out right. And we’re gonna look at how they did it. And spend a long time doing that and then maybe do it that way. Well, that’s what is happening in Galatians, in this text I read to you yesterday, the 26th verse says.
Let us have no self conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.
I think I’ve told you this, but one time I asked my late mentor, Fred Smith. And by the way I’ve told you this before, if you check, you can go to Breakfastwithfred.com People tell me I made him up, so I could say really out of the box things. And I really didn’t. For 30 years, he was my friend and my mentor and the wisest man I’ve ever known. Breakfastwithfred.com check it, you’ll be glad I told you about it. Anyway, Fred didn’t finish high school. And yet he moved in circles of intellectuals and scientists and doctors and professors. He wrote up a regular column for leadership magazine. You and Your Network was the name of one of the books that he wrote. He was a very wise man, but as I said, he never finished high school. They used to pay him a lot of money, to come into major industry as a consultant and he would spend a week, maybe a month with that particular industry. And then he would analyze their problems. And then he would sit down with the board and they would talk about those problems and what could be done to fix it. I, one time said to Fred, Fred, what do you do when you’re going? You didn’t even finish high school. You don’t know about stuff like that. What, he said, it’s a lot more simple than most people think. I said, all right, how do you do it? He said, all I do is look for the ego. And when I find the ego, I’ve found the problem. Oh, that’s what Paul is saying here. What’s self conceit? It’s ego. What’s striking out at people? It’s ego. What is envy? It’s ego. That was the problem at the church at Galatia. All of that has gone on before. And it’s going on now, when Augustine said, or at least hinted, that the church was a prostitute, but his mother, I get that. I love the church. I really do. And, during this pandemic, when we couldn’t be together, I hated that time. I didn’t hate it, because of COVID. I hated it, cause I couldn’t be with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I couldn’t get a hug from people in the church. I couldn’t sit down and we could share and be open and talk about God and worship together. I love the church, I love all kinds of the church. I mean, anybody who belongs to Jesus, belongs to anybody who belongs to Jesus. And that includes charismatics and reformed and dispensational, Pentecostal and Catholics and Lutherans and Baptists, and even Presbyterians and independents, the people who belong to Jesus, and we’re a bad bunch. We were, I think it was Chuck Swindoll that says we’re porcupines in a storm trying to hug each other. And that is so good. And it’s so true. Well, at any rate, This, in Galatians and Paul is dealing, you got to remember with some of these problems, and he gives five or six principles that will make a difference. And in so far as we exercise those principles in the church, then we’ll see things getting just a bit better, because this is the way it’s supposed to be. I have a friend whose daughter is playing in an orchestra. And she loves it, it’s a symphony orchestra and the conductor is pretty hard on them. And, my friend laughed and said he can be hard on them, because he wrote the music and he knows how it’s supposed to sound. Well, God wrote the music and he knows how it’s supposed to sound. And he’s far more gentle, than the conductor of that particular orchestra. Alright, enough chit chat, let’s check out some of these. We’ll get to one of them, maybe today. I want you to note the principle of reliance, Galatians 6:1-2.
Brothers, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual
Now, it doesn’t mean it, there are some people that are spiritual and some people who aren’t. He’s talking about a particular time in your life. There are times when I am so close to God that I almost have Chicana glory, and there are other times when I’m running as, all you can see his heels and the elbows as I run as fast as I can away from God. And so what Paul was saying, when you’re in that state of spirituality, and you who are in that state, you should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Look to yourselves, lest you too be tempted, bear one another’s burdens. And so fulfill the law of Christ. Someone told me once that he wasn’t going to be a member of the church and I asked him why. And he said that the problem was, that everyone in the church had problems, I almost spoke in tongues. I thought a pagan finally got it. Now, they never get it. That’s who we are. We’re an organization that has problems and everybody has problems. But I got to thinking about what he said, and I thought if that’s our witness to the world. It isn’t that we’re so good, it’s that we’re not, and Jesus loves us anyway. And the best thing we could ever do is confess our sins to the world, not pretend to be something that we aren’t. At a church, that I was once a part of, I have, and this is a confession. I sometimes have a problem with my temper, and I heard something just sent me reeling. I was having a problem with a particular person. I was angry at him. And as, I was telling this to a brother in the church, and we were talking about it, and I was expressing some really negative stuff. And my friend said, you don’t understand him. Let me tell you about him. And at that very instant, there was a knock on the door, and it was that guy. And I thought, Lord, if you love me, you wouldn’t do this to me. You really wouldn’t. This is not an appropriate time. I’m not ready yet. I’m working on it. Okay. Please send him away. But he wouldn’t go away. He kept knocking on the door, and my friend laughed and said, Steve, just cool down. You don’t even know the facts about this guy. Learn to know him and let’s see how this works. That was very wise counsel, because I found out. And now he’s one of my best friends. I found out, I found out that he was like me and he needed somebody like me and I needed somebody like him, Saint Chrysostom, has a significant comment on this verse, he says
He who is quick and irritable, let him bare with the slow and the sluggish. And let the slow in his turn, bare with the impetuosity of his fiery brother, each knowing that the burden is heavier to him who bares it, than to him who bares with it.
Is that good or what? We need each other. We really do. Heard a great statement the other day.
Don’t walk in front of me, I might not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I might not lead. Walk beside me, and be my friend.
We really do need each other. I’m not good enough or smart enough or obedient enough or righteous enough or pure enough to do this on my own. And I am not being authentic in saying that, I’m being honest. And the reason I’m being honest is because I know you, you’re not good enough and you’re not pure enough and you don’t know enough and you aren’t obedient enough to do this by yourself either. And that dear friend is why Jesus created his bride, the church, the body of Christ. You think about that. Amen.
Of course, that was Steve Brown, continuing to teach us from the end of Galatians 5 and the beginning of Galatians 6, about trouble in the church today, taking a closer look at the ego and all the problems that arise from that. Maybe, you have an issue with ego. I know I do at times. Are you working at getting better with that? How’s that going? Listen, if we could just be honest for a moment, struggling to get better all on our own is just exhausting. If that’s you, then you might be interested in a sermon Steve did, teaching from Ephesians 2 about how our sanctification really happens. If trying to muscle your way toward getting better has left you spent, you’re going to want to check out this sermon. We put the whole thing on a CD that we would be delighted to send to you today for free. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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