Forced, not invited.
AUGUST 26, 2020
Forced, not invited. I’ll explain on Key Life.
Key life is a radio program for struggling believers, sick of phony religion and pious cliches. Our host and teacher is seminary professor Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking by the way at Galatians and we’re still in the first chapter. I’m going to spend a long time with this book, but we’re looking at verses six through the end of the chapter of the first chapter of Galatians. And we’re going to spend this week and probably next week too talking about, how Paul defended himself. And I said yesterday, and you should take it to heart. Christians sometimes are called to defend themselves. Now you gotta do it with grace and love and kindness, but sometimes you gotta say you’re an idiot. What you said is just not true. You, uh, cause Paul did that. I mean, he had been questioned. He had been told that there, or the people that he was serving had been told that he was a con artist, that he was not a true apostle. And Paul decided I’m going to say something about that. And he did. And in this section that we’re studying, we can learn something about where we are and what we deal with too. So, uh, the first thing you ought to note is that Paul said that he was confronted, he was constrained. He was forced. You know what C.S. Lewis said? And I love this statement, it’s one of my favorite quotes. This, he was an atheist until his thirties. He was a professor of medieval and Renaissance literature at Oxford and later Cambridge. And then he became a Christian and, and, um, he, he couldn’t even sit down and write without feeling that somebody was looking over his shoulder. And he said this.
To say that I was searching for Jesus, was like saying that a mouse was searching for a cat.
Man, he was confronted. Well, Paul had that feeling too. Galatians 1:11-12
For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Do you remember the ninth chapter of Acts? Paul confronted, not a preacher or a theological book. Or the four spiritual laws. He had a confrontation with the person of Jesus Christ and twice in the book of Acts, the apostle Paul gives his testimony. I mean, it was so powerful that it knocked him off his horse. Made him go blind. I mean, that’s not something you choose. You want to stay on your horses and you want to see where you’re going. And Jesus just wacked him upside of the head. That’s not something you choose, it’s something that is. You know, I can say the same thing about me and you can too. How did you become a Christian? Well, uh, I thought about it for a long time and I prayed about it and somebody told me the gospel and I thought about it some more. And then, then I received Christ and my life was changed. Behold, I’m a new creation. The old is passed away and everything is become new. But wait, just a second. Try to remember the place where he found you. Did you really have a choice? Or, did he knock you off your horse? I mean, could you have done anything else other than what you did? Was somebody, somewhere planning this thing that happened to you and you fell into it and you couldn’t get out of it. I talk to people all the time about how they came to Christ. I sometimes will say, when you, when you became a Christian, was it brand new or was it like something you already knew and you were being drawn to? And I’ll say, no, it was a brand new man. I was a new creature and then they stop and they say, you know, it felt like I was coming to a home with which I was familiar. I felt like I was being dragged into the kingdom of God. There were heal marks from there to here. I was confronted and frankly, I didn’t have a whole lot of choice. That’s what Paul said. And that’s what, if you think about it, you will know too. You will see how God had a plan. And how you set you up. You know, you didn’t choose where you were born. You didn’t choose the people that were going to come into your life. You didn’t choose, uh, to be a thoughtful person and think your way into the kingdom. You may tell people that, but that’s not what happened. Think about it. And you’ll see that you were just confronted with the reality. Now I’m not talking about the possibility of saying no. That’s another issue altogether. Yeah. You hadn’t responsibility at that point, you really did have a real decision to make and you did make it. When they sang just as I am, you came forward and you could have sat in your pew. Now, no more needs to be said about that than that. But here, I’m talking about the reality of what Paul encountered. A number of weeks ago, I was introduced by a friend to a lady who’s been taking our tapes. She said to me, and my friend got tickled when she said it. She said, I know you, Steve, I’ve known you for a long time. I’m your friend. I felt that way about Jesus too. You think about that. Amen. Well, it’s Wednesday and sometimes on Wednesdays, when I have the time. I take the time to answer one or two questions that we get from you. And then Pete, of course will be in and we’ll do the whole program on questions and answers on Friday. But, uh, but sometimes I have this time and we love getting your questions and we take you and your question seriously. You can ask your question really simply by picking up the phone dialing 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-KEY-LIFE and it’s open 24 seven, hit the button they tell you to hit and then record your question. And sometimes we put your voice on the air. Or you can send your question to
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Or you can email us at Steve@keylife.org. And as I said, we love to get your questions. And, you knew I was going to say this too. If you can help us financially, I would appreciate that very much. And I say that being well aware that most of you can’t, or don’t feel called to do that. But if you have. Pray about it and be as generous as you can. This has been a pretty hard year for us, in some ways. And, uh, and, and we’re still here and the bills have still been, been paid and that’s because some people have been so faithful. Would you be one of those, ask and see, and if you are, be as generous as you can, and I promise. We’ll be as faithful with your gift as you were and giving it. And we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. And as I said, if you can’t, we get that too, say a prayer for this ministry. All right. This is an email, Steve, you don’t need to pray on the radio for God to forgive you your sins, because they are many on Mondays. Don’t you know, that you’re already forgiven? Well, yes I do. You’d be surprised at how often I get that question. Now, the person who wrote this email wrote it in a nice civil way. Some people are not so nice and not so civil. They say, you bozo, quit doing that. Well, I do it for two reasons. I do it first because I don’t want anybody to think that I speak from Sinai and that I don’t struggle with this. My beloved associate for many years, Dave O’Dowd was once approached by a lady who had done something bad and she said, Dave, you won’t understand this. You’re, you’re a preacher and Dave almost came out from behind his desk and said, I’m not gonna let you get away with that. I struggle, just as you struggle and don’t you forget it. Well, that’s kind of when I say forgive him his sins, cause they are many, that’s a statement and it’s a statement I need to make, or people will start thinking that I’m more spiritual than I am. And I’ll say something really dumb and they’ll do it and it’ll be my fault. Okay. But there’s another reason, I know I’m forgiven, not just of my past sins, but my present sin and every sin that I can think of in the future. So why do I ask for forgiveness? Because God told me to ask for forgiveness. It’s the First John 1:9, that
If we confess our sins, he’s faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Now, John could have said in a parenthetical fashion in that text, but you don’t have to do that. Don’t worry about that because if you’re a Christian, your sins are already, but he doesn’t. That becomes from God’s word, a call to do something that’s important. And then you ask, does that accomplish anything? Yeah, it doesn’t accomplish anything in God’s heart, but it accomplishes stuff in my heart. You know, one thing that it’s taught throughout the New Testament? It’s the concept of repentance. Repentance isn’t repent or go to hell or the world is coming to an end, repent. Repentance is from a Greek word metanoia, and it means to change your mind. It’s an attitudinal thing. It means knowing who you are, who God is, what you’ve done. Telling him about it and agreeing with him and sometimes with sorrow, that’s it. That’s repentance. It is in effect kind of confessing, And so I get what you say in your question, it’s a good question. And it shows that you get grace and I’m glad for that, but if it’s all right with you, I’m still going to pray on Mondays. Forgive the one who teaches his sins, because they are many. And we would see Jesus and him only. And I’ve been doing that longer than you’ve been born and I’m going to do it until I die. If that is alright with you. Hey, Key Life as a listener supported production of Key Life Network.