For God’s sake, let them help you.
FEBRUARY 1, 2021
For God’s sake, let them help you. Let’s talk on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew, executive producer of the program. Our host is Steve Brown. He’s an author and seminary professor who teaches the God’s amazing grace is the key to a life of radical freedom, infectious joy and surprising faithfulness to Christ.
Thank you Matthew. I hope you guys 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’re in the middle or even toward the end of a very long study in Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia. And it’s a wonderful, other than Romans, it probably as clearly as any place in the Bible demonstrates and teaches the concept of grace and freedom. As you know, if you’ve been with us, the people at the church at Galatia were doing fine. They got the good news and the good news changed their lives. And then the religious folks showed up. And they said, this grace thing is fine, but don’t let it go to your head. And there are some things that you need to know. Well, Paul was not a happy camper and that’s the understatement. In fact, some of the harshest things ever written in Scripture are written in the book of Galatians, directed to the Judaizers. The people that said, you gotta do this and this and this. And then God will be pleased with you. And Paul clearly in this book, makes the case for grace and freedom. One of the most important things that Martin Luther ever wrote was his introduction to Galatians. And if you Google it, you can find it and it’ll make your day, but at any rate, that’s where we’ve been living for a long time. And we’re up to the fourth chapter of Galatians. If you have a Bible and you’re in a place where you can open it, and we’re gonna be looking at verses 12 through 20, as we talk about proper care and feeding of new Christians. Before we do that. Let’s pray. Father, as we come into your presence, we’re glad you wrote it down. If you had left it to the whispers of your people, we would have gotten it wrong, but you put it in black and white and you gave it to us. And you said, stay here and remember and be glad. And we thank you for that. You know the people who are listening to this broadcast right now, you know the hard places and you know the good things. You’re the God of our tears and the God of our laughter. And then father, we as always pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, that you would forgive him, his sins, they call him Reverend and he’s not, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Paul writes, and I’m going to start at the 12th verse of the fourth chapter of Galatians.
Brothers, I beseech you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. You know it was because of bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not score or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ. Jesus. What has become of the satisfaction you felt then? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. For a good purpose, it is always good to be made much of, and not only when I’m present with you, my little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you! I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
Paul is here talking to new Christians. And he really is perplexed. He doesn’t know exactly what to do, but he gives us a hint of how to deal with new Christians in this text. And if you were listening last week, we saw that we are to model for new Christians, that’s Galatians 4:12. That doesn’t mean that you have to be nice and pure and good and obedient all the time. And there are people that won’t take new Christians into their homes, because they’re afraid the new Christians will see the couple fight. We’ll see the imperfections. We’ll see the dark side of the family. Listen, that’s what they’ve got to see. They got to see the reality and the model of what it means in practical, real terms to follow Christ. And then, secondly we saw last week, not only are we, the model for new Christians. We’re to identify with them, look at Galatians 4:12.
Brothers, I beseech you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are.
In other words, I have my problems too. I sometimes you struggle with this thing too. I sometimes find that I’m not doing the right thing when I knew what the right thing was. I’m kind of like you. That’s a good policy for new Christians, the comment that we ought to hear often from those in our church or new Christians, should be, “you too?”. And then, let me show you something new in this particular text about new Christians. And by the way, I don’t like the idea or the word discipling. I know, I know I can’t think of a better one and there is a great need for that in the church. But discipling kind of makes it feel like I’m discipling disciples of Steve Brown and there could be nothing worse in the church than a bunch of Steve Brown’s running around. But until I find a new word, I’m stuck with that one and it’s important. And that’s what we’re talking about this week on Key Life. But thirdly, not only Paul says, are we to model for new Christians and identify with them, we’re to accept ministry from them, Galatians 4:14.
And though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God as Christ Jesus.
And then 15b,
For I bear you witness that if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me.
This, by the way, is a very hard thing to do. I don’t receive well, do you? You know, I don’t mind giving. I don’t mind helping. I don’t mind ministering. I just don’t want you to do that for me, because that means I owe you and I don’t want to owe anybody. And a lot of our prayer life is like that too, please, Father, I’d rather do it myself, because if I do it myself, I can take the credit for it and feel self-righteous about it. It’s hard. It’s hard to receive, Every once in a while, I’ll be at a restaurant and the waitress won’t bring me the check and finally I’ll call him or her over. And I’ll say, where’s my check. And he, or she will say, you don’t have one. And I say, what do you mean? I don’t have one? Well, this man, paid for your lunch. Where is he? Sir, he’s left. Did you get his name? I have no idea what his name is. He paid for your lunch and said, have a good day. And I say something really spiritual, like spit. I don’t like that. I mean, it just makes me feel awful. I want to pay him back. I want to at least thank them and write them a long thank you note. I want to make things even again, but Paul says don’t do that. New Christians grow when new Christians minister to old Christians. New Christians mature, when they are allowed to reach out and make a difference in old Christians lives. In fact, that’s what the body of Christ is all about. It’s not about old mature Christians, babying immature Christians, new Christians. It’s about the people of God being together and holding up each other’s arms. I can’t tell you, I remember one time, this young man had become a Christian in our church, and he kept saying, he invited Jesus into his body. And I kept saying, Sam, it’s heart, not body. Try to get that right. And I prayed for him. And then he said, Hey, let me pray for you. And I started to say, you don’t know how to pray. And then he bowed us in and said, Oh Jesus. Be with my friend, Steve. And thank you for him. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. That was Steve Brown, resuming our exploration of Galatians. Today, we took a broad view of Galatians 4:12-20. More teaching from Galatians about the proper care and feeding of new Christians tomorrow. Hope you’ll join us then. Well, if we’re all being honest, I think we would agree, there’s no feeling quite like being right. Unfortunately that can often lead us to a mindset of us against them. Well, recently on our talk radio show, Steve Brown Etc., we spoke about this with Pastor and author Scott Sauls. Scott says when it comes to this issue, believers have a secret weapon to overcome that division. We put that entire episode on a CD that we’d love to send you for free today. So grab your 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 CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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