Sometimes kindness doesn’t sound kind.
AUGUST 5, 2020
Sometimes kindness doesn’t sound kind. Let’s talk on Key Life.
This is Key Life, here to let Christians know that God isn’t mad at them. Keep listening, and you’ll hear that because of what Jesus has done, you’re welcomed home into the family of God because of his radical grace, free from the penalties of sin, and never alone in your suffering.
Thank you Matthew. Uh, we’re examining the first 10 verses of the first chapter of Galatians as we began our study of this particular book. This and Romans, you know, I love the Bible, you know that. I’ve been teaching it for many, many years. I’ve taught every book of the Bible and I love God’s word, but if I had to pick, it would be Romans and Galatians. And I find it hard to separate the two. One is very visceral, emotional and clear in the gospel. The other is very theological, philosophical, logical and reasoned. And both of them have elements of the other in it. And Galatians is the declaration of freedom for the Christian and Paul, we have seen is quite upset that the Galatians, now these are his people. I mean, these are the first churches that Paul founded and it really bothered them that people had come in and told them, well, this grace thing is all right, but you’ve gotta be careful of it. This grace thing is good, but it can be very dangerous. And there’s some other things you ought to do. You need to do this and this and this and this. And it drove Paul nuts. It drove him to angry words and it drove him also to tears. And, and the theme that you find running throughout Galatians, and certainly in these first 10 verses is the theme of truth. You can’t mess with God’s rules, Galatians 1:6, Galatians 1:9, Galatians 1:10. And I pointed out yesterday that in most of Paul’s letters, he says something warm and fuzzy at the beginning. A bit of praise, a bit of thankfulness. There isn’t a word of that here. And that’s because a major sin has been committed. Now, as we study Galatians, one of the things we’re going to discover is that no matter what the sin is, and that includes blasphemy of the Holy spirit, that sin can be forgiven. And the reason Jesus said blasphemy of the Holy spirit couldn’t be forgiven is because the Holy spirit is the whisper of God in your heart, the convicting whisper of God in your heart. And if you reject it and you turn away from it, you move into a foreign country and you can’t hear it anymore. And so, and so the reason you won’t be forgiven is because you don’t give a rip about being forgiven. You won’t even bother to ask, but throughout Galatians the message of grace, and we’re going to see this as we go through this, is incredibly radical. I mean, it goes all the way. We have a cartoon that somebody drew of a pastor standing in front of his congregation. I think that cartoon is down in the lobby of this building. And it shows this pastor standing in front of a congregation and the congregation looks shocked. Uh, the guy’s hair is standing up on end. There is a look of horror on everybody’s face. And the caption says, the pastor says, now Steve didn’t mean what you think he meant. Well, yeah I did. And that was true of Paul too, as you read this, this is as radical as it gets. It is radical grace. But that doesn’t mean that when Paul speaks truth, that he’s going to skip over truth. He’s not going to do that. He said, you have left your first love. And later on, he’s going to say in Galatians, how could you? And so here is Paul speaking, absolute truth. You know, one of the dangerous things about our culture is that Christians have been intimidated and that shouldn’t happen. Um, my friend, Jerry Parries and I, he’s an African American pastor and one of my best friends and we love each other and we recorded a pastor’s chat during some of this horrible time we’ve been going through of division and hatred in our nation. And what we said was good and helpful, but the fact that we love each other was even better. But one of the things that we talked about it, and one of the things you need to remember is don’t let them, don’t let them keep you from speaking truth. There was never a time in history when the truth was more important. And the only people who know, true truth are Christians. And so we can’t be intimidated in speaking, we’ve been given an anger, a no, an anchor. We’ve been given an anchor and it tells us what’s right and what’s wrong. And what’s true and not true. What’s expected by God and was not expected by God. What is justice and what isn’t justice, what is profound and what is silly. And Christians know that, and we can’t let people make us quiet. You gotta speak truth because truth is important. And the people of Galatia having heard the truth had turned away from that group. I remember Dr. Stanton, um, my early mentor when I was a young pastor at a great warm and fuzzy ecumenical gathering, is standing up and saying, listen, there’s some things that I believe need to be said. And then he skipped over the warm and fuzzy and said, what about this? And what about this? And what about this? You could have heard a pin drop. There ought to be a lot of pin drops going on in our culture as Christians stand up and with Paul proclaim the truth of the grace of God. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, teaching us from the first 10 verses of Galatians. A book Steve called the declaration of freedom for Christians. More good stuff tomorrow. Hope you will join us then. So as Steve alluded to things started off great with the believers in Galatia, then something went sideways, the same happens for us too, right? From out of nowhere, we have doubts. Now our tendency is to act like we’re fine. As we try to figure it out on our own, that is a recipe for disaster. Steve spoke about this in a sermon called When Believing is Hard and Pretending Doesn’t Work. Take a listen to this clip. And then I’ll be back to tell you about a free gift. Here’s Steve.
Some of you have never doubted in your life. And you’re quite proud of that. You’re a covenant child. Your mother told you was true and your mother would never lie. So you have never doubted. Now denial’s a nice place to live. But let me tell you something. When the doctor says you’ve got cancer, when your daughter’s pregnant and there’s no husband, when your life is falling apart and people know about your sin, call me and we’ll talk about faith. But I suspect that the great majority of people really do believe. It’s very difficult and you’ve struggled with it. And you’ve come to this position. You really do believe. Some of you may be pastors, some of you missionaries, some of you, some of you staff members at a para church organization, and you really believe it and you’ve given your life to it, but at night just before you go to sleep, in the dark, you think I hope this is true, because if it’s not, I’ve really screwed up my life. And then you go to sleep. I want to talk to you this morning. And I got some really neat stuff to show you. Now in just a moment we’re going to get down. But first, I want to go down a couple of side roads, side road number one, you know, those people who never doubt, the leaders who stand before you and talk about their purity and their goodness and their obedience and their faith. You know, those people. They’re lying to you. And it’s very important that you remember, now they don’t mean to hurt you. They’re trying to help. They’re trying to bring you to a position of maturity and then they will tell you the truth. But listen to me, they are lying to you. This is what we believe, is really big. And it’s really hard to believe. And everybody I know, has doubts. And it’s very important that you remember what I just taught you. Or you’ll get discouraged. Now, I’ve got a second side road that is not totally unconnected to the first side road. And it is this, never, ever for God’s sake, dumb down your faith to fit your doubts, never, ever dumb down your faith to fit your doubts. Look at the 33rd verse.
The Jews answered him. It is not for good work that we’re going to stone you, but blasphemy, because you being a man, make yourself God,
Whoa. He did. And that Is a big, big thing. I’ve done that. Some of you know, uh, I’m a graduate of a very liberal left wing graduate school in Boston, a graduate school of theology. And I went there cause I didn’t believe anything. And they didn’t either. Gradually I began, I began to make my faith fit my doubt. I didn’t believe in the Virgin Birth. Intellectuals know that virgins don’t have babies. I didn’t believe in the resurrection, because intellectuals know that corpses don’t get out of graves. Okay? I didn’t believe the Bible as authority, it was an important book, but certainly not an inerrant book, because people who were intellectuals simply knew that no book could be inerrant. And then the doctor told me, my daughter was really, really sick. And I reached for my faith, and there was none.
This is such an important sermon and that was just a piece of it. You’re going to really enjoy the full thing. So get your copy on CD for free, right now. Call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also request the CD by emailing Steve@keylife.org. If you’re mailing us, send request to
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