Anger and tears sometimes go together.
AUGUST 4, 2020
Anger and tears sometimes go together. Let’s talk on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown. He’s an author, seminary professor and our teacher on Key Life, a program all about God’s radical grace. We’re committed to bringing you Bible teaching, that’s honest, straightforward, and street smart. Keep listening to hear truth that’ll make you free.
Thank you Matthew. If you have a Bible open it to Galatians, the first chapter one through ten. If you were listening yesterday, I was talking about the apostle Paul and how shattered he was when he found out that the churches, his babies, by the way, that he had founded in Galatia, we’re turning away from the gospel of grace. And he’s angry and he’s upset, in my mind’s eye, I can see the apostle Paul bending over a small writing table using the light of a flickering candle, composing his letter to these Christians. If you had been there and had read his words, you would have thought that the man who wrote those words was a harsh, vindictive man. But if you’d look closer, you would have seen tears falling on the manuscript that he wrote, uh, tears of a pastor whose message of grace was being rejected by his people. And then you would know that though his tone was harsh, there were tears there. We, uh, interviewed Bishop Herb Andrews, not too long ago on our, talk show. That’s called Steve Brown Etc, and you can find it by going to our website, keylife.org, it’s that simple. And then check on some of those interviews that we do on that talk show. It’s on 160 or something, more stations around the country on the weekends. At any rate, if you haven’t discovered that, you might want to check it. And, uh, we interviewed Bishop Herb Andrews right after the Floyd, horrible tragedy that took place. Herb Andrews had not too long ago, been arrested and he was wearing a clerical collar. So, he got some of the problems that go on there. Now, I don’t believe they were supposed to be stupid about this thing. I think that we have an anchor that says, this is right, this is wrong. This is the way you can walk. This is the way you can’t walk. That’s what the Bible is all about. And most of our culture doesn’t have that anger. So they, they just don’t know. So they say really dumb things and go in really crazy directions and the hatred and the anger and all of that. Well, anyway, we interviewed, Bishop Herb Andrews and, and I asked him, and I said, when you, when you saw that, uh, the video of the killing of that man, were you angry? And he said, yeah, maybe, but I want you to know that I’ve wept too, tears and anger sometimes go together and you’ll find that in the book of Galatians. And so don’t jump to any conclusion as I read these first ten verses to you. It starts this book with these words,
Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God, the father who raised him from the dead and all the brothers who were with me to the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God, the father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of God and father to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
And here it comes.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you to the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel– not that there is another gospel, but there are some who troubled you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preach to you, let him be accursed. As I’ve said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
In other words, Paul is simply saying, if I didn’t care, if I wasn’t serving Christ, if I was just out for myself, I would say, nice, sweet, fuzzy, warm things to you. But because I do care, and because I am an apostle of Christ, I’m telling the truth. In those opening words of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, written, by the way, in 49 AD, we have the early statement of the themes with which, uh, we’ll be dealing, uh, over the next few weeks on Key Life. Like a symphony, where the main themes are stated in the first movement. The main themes of Galatians are stated in the first ten verses of the letter. And what I’m going to do today and into the next few days is look at some of those themes. And then we’ll get into details. And the way Paul got into details, as he wrote this particular letter. One time a friend of mine came into my study with the following story, said that he’d fallen in love with a girl. He had courted her with all the power at his disposal. He said that, uh, she got angry with him and rejected him, and thereafter refused to accept his calls, or to answer his letters. Then he said, I started sending her gifts and flowers and candy and jewelry. You know what happened? She sent them back to me. He said, the problem he said, had to do with a wilted flowers, the stale candy and the woman’s jewelry. Well, that’s what the apostle Paul felt rejected. He was a pastor, Oh man, I’ve been there. I’ve done that. That can be a really hard place to be. His message had been rejected. And it was the truth. And you see a mixture of tears and of anger as he began. So without further chitchat, let’s check out some of the themes, uh, that you’ll find in the book of Galatians that are simply stated in the beginning of this particular letter.
First, you ought to look at the danger of rejecting Paul’s gift of truth. It’s Galatians 1:6.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you
And how did he call you?
in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel.
Look at the ninth verse.
If anyone is preaching to you, a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.
And then in the 10th verse,
Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please men, I should not be a servant of Christ.
Now there’s one other thing that I want you to know here. If you’re familiar with the letters of Paul, you’re aware that almost always, he opens his letters with a commendation, to the people, to whom he writes, in Romans seven through eight,
To all God’s people, beloved in Rome, we’re called to be saints. I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you.
That’s gotta make them feel good.
1 Corinthians 1:4,
I give thanks to God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him with all speech and all knowledge.
He said the same thing in Ephesians, the first verse,
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus.
He said the same thing in Philippians. One, three through five.
I thank my, you get the idea,
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, thankful for your partnership in the gospel from that point until now, from the first until now.
Then you read Galatians, and it is impossible to miss the fact that there’s not one word of praise. There is no thankfulness. There is no commendation. You know why? Because none was deserved. You can do almost anything as a Christian and you’ll be forgiven. Well, you’ll always be forgiving no matter what you do, but about the worst thing you can do is to mess with the message. About the worst thing you can do is to take the incredible good news of the grace of Christ, and to pervert it, to turn it into a legalistic, beat over the head, lack of love, something that comes from a God who is angry all the time and a child abuser. Don’t do it. Not a good thing. You think about that. Amen.
Of course, that was Steve Brown, teaching us from the first chapter of Galatians. Today, we got a glimpse at a very upset apostle Paul, but of course there was a very good reason behind that anger and those tears. More from Steve tomorrow. Sure hope you will join us then. You know, when someone really cares about something, there is a tendency for them to become emotional about it. Maybe that’s why people on both sides of the aisle get so passionate about the subject of climate change. But what if there was another way? Recently on Steve Brown Etc, we spoke with one of our favorite folks, Dr. Hugh Ross. In Dr. Ross’ new book, it’s called Weather and Climate Change, he introduces some interesting new information that’s sure to make you lean forward, no matter what you believe, get the entire conversation on a CD for free, right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email [email protected] and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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