The Gospel is our business.
AUGUST 3, 2020
The gospel is our business. Let’s talk about it 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. I hope you had a great weekend and I hope your worship was inspiring and uplifting and pleasing to God. And I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, last week, I kind of introduced the book of Galatians. We’re going to be spending the next 18, 19 years in this book of the Bible. Actually, I hope not, but we’re not in a hurry. We’ve started a new book and I read to you and I hope you appreciated it, Martin Luther’s introduction to the book of Galatians. Uh, Martin Luther said this,
The Epistle to the Galatians, is my epistle. To it, I am, as it were, in wedlock. It is my Katharine.
And Katharine was his wife’s name, so that was a pretty major statement. I love this book too. I really do. If I, if I were on an Island somewhere and they let me only bring two books, or three, one would be a book on how to build a boat. And the other two would be Romans and Galatians. And we spent a couple of years studying Romans, and we’re going to spend a good while studying Galatians. And we’ll get to that. But first, let’s pray.
Father, sometimes we are overwhelmed with your kindness. In every place, in every way, throughout our lives, we complain. And we ask you to change things and fix things and make them different. But father, when we look back, we see your hand in every place in every way. And when we get home and we’re with the others that you have loved so much, we’ll share the war stories. But father, one of the great things you’ve done for us is to give us your word. You wrote it down and if you hadn’t written it down, we would have gotten it wrong, but it’s there and it’s truth. And it’s clear and we praise you for that. And as we study it, help us to remember that the letter isn’t from Paul, it’s from you and to us. Father, you know, everybody, who’s listening to this broadcast, the stories are as many as the people who are listening, some of the stories are sometimes sad and difficult and for others, joyful and filled, but father, all of them overseen by your sovereign goodness. And we thank you for that. And then father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, that you would forgive him his sins, because they are many. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen.
Well, turning to the Galatians. And if you have your Bible, keep it open to the first chapter verses one through ten, we’re going to be spending some time there. This book has been called, the battle cry of the reformation, or maybe the great charter of religious freedom, or the Christian declaration of independence. But it’s a great book. And it is at the very heart of what this ministry is about. As you know, Key Life is about grace. I’ve been told often, Brown, you only ride one horse, but you ride it pretty well. That’s cause I’m excited and passionate about God’s grace. And I don’t see it as an ancillary doctrine, or something that we should remember. I see it, God’s grace and mercy and forgiveness and redemption at the very heart of the Christian faith. It transcends all literate, liter, liturgies. I’m doing the best I can. It’s the microphone. It, it transcends all doctrines. It transcends all religiosity, all churches at the very heart of the Christian faith. It’s God’s grace. Uncle John Vassar was one of the Christians who Rome, Beacon Hill and Boston and another generation. And one day he met a woman, uh, Beacon Hill in Boston, if you’ve never been there, can be a kind of snooty place. Anyway, he met a woman and he asked her if she was a Christian. And later that evening, she was telling her husband who was reading the Wall Street Journal. And she said, you won’t believe what somebody said to me today. And he looked up, barely listening and said what? And she said, somebody asked me if I was a Christian and without hardly breaking away his journal, he said, I would have told them to mind their own business. And she smiled and said, honey, if you had been there, you would have known that it was his business. The gospel is our business. It’s at the very hard of where we have been called. The business of the Christian, is to apply the gospel to himself or herself. It’s not just a salvation thing. And once we have been sufficiently loved and know we’re forgiven and that we’re free, then we should be let loose on the world. And we ought to tell them what happened to us. It’s the gospel. And it’s our business. Let me take a little bit of time to put this in perspective. In the ninth chapter of the book of Acts, you will find an interesting story about the conversion of the apostle Paul. As you know, I’m sure Paul hated people like us. He persecuted people like us and participated in the execution of people like us. And then Jesus whacked him upside the head. I’m not going to go into details about it, but you know the story, he was knocked off his horse and he was struck blind. And then he was sent to a house, uh, uh, where, uh, the head of that house, a Christian said, I know God said, I know about Paul, but he’s going to be mine. And I’m going to use him in some amazing ways. In some 13 years from the date of his conversion, Barnabas, a man of God came to get Paul and asked Paul to help him with the believers in Antioch. So after 13 years of study and preparation, God had deemed that it was time for Paul to be used in the service of the King. Now, a lot of things happened in Antioch, but one of the major things that happened was that the believers at Antioch sent out Paul and Barnabas on a missionary journey, perhaps the first mission enterprise in the history of the church. And, on that first journey, Paul and Barnabus visited towns in the Southern part of Galatia. Now you got to remember, this is the very beginning. This is the first girl friend. This is the start of it all. So they visited Galatia and they, they set up churches in, uh, percity in Antioch and Iconium, Lystra and Derbe. And after the completion of that first journey, Paul and Barnabas return to Syria in Antioch and their beloved people, they told how God had brought his grace to the Gentiles. They told how God had caused an explosion of grace to happen, in the Galatian churches. They were like parents, proud of their children. I mean, they bragged on them all over the place, but then there was a disturbing report, came to Paul, reports that those Christians in those churches were turning away from the gospel of grace and freedom. Let me let you know that I understand that, you know, I’ve seen people get grace and understand, but there’s something that’s toxic about religion. And if you don’t watch it all the time, and it’s the reason Martin Luther said, we had to preach the gospel to each other. There’s something about religion that gets under your skin and start making you self righteous and feeling you’ve got to do stuff you weren’t supposed to do or called to do. It’s a disease and it’s a disease of ecclesiasticism, and it can kill your Christian life. And when I see that happen and I see it occasionally, young pastors may be ones who had been my students that I’ve trained and taught who got grace. And couldn’t wait to share it with other people would go into churches and then the disease would come. And they would start becoming very, very religious and move away from the reality that they had known. That’s what happened in Galatians. It made me angry. And tomorrow when we look at this text, the first one in Galatians. You’re going to see an angry man. And his name is Paul. And I want you to know, I get that. If you’ve got grace, if you’re loved, if you’ve been forgiven, don’t shilly shally. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. That was Steve Brown. Continuing to guide us through the book of Galatians, a favorite of his and of Martin Luther. More on Galatians, including an angry apostle Paul on tomorrow’s broadcast. Make sure you join us then. So a question for you. Do you have a favorite place to read? For me, it’s at home feet propped up sitting in my favorite chair. Wherever you’re reading spot of choice is. I want you to picture yourself there. Relaxing as you enjoy paging through the 2020 edition of Key Life Magazine. In this newest edition, you’ll find an article called Christians Are Right. It speaks about believing the right truth in the right way and the importance of sharing truth with love and compassion. You’ll also find new pieces from Jenni Young, Chad West and Traylor Lovvorn. Don’t have your copy yet? Well, let’s fix that right now. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email [email protected] and ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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