Just the truth, nothing but the truth.
AUGUST 6, 2020
Just the truth, nothing but the truth. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
It’s for freedom that Christ set us free and Key Life is here to bring you biblical teaching that encourages you to never give into slavery again. Our teacher on key life is Steve Brown. He’s an author, broadcaster and seminary professor who’s sick a phony religion.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at some of the major themes in the book of Galatians as articulated by the apostle Paul in the first 10 verses of the first chapter of Galatians, I have suggested that this is kind of a symphony and a lot of, a lot of Paul’s letters are like that. When he’ll set up the major theme, the way a composer will in a symphony, and then those themes you can hear throughout the entire symphony playing in the background, upfront, all over the place, over and over again. And you’ll find that in the book of Galatians. So we’re taking a good bit of time, here in these first 10 verses. And then when we start our tour of the symphony, I’m going to point out those themes when they come up. And we’re going to talk about them a little bit more, but we have seen that the apostle Paul gives the people, the Galatians the gift of truth. And I said yesterday, that one of the dangers of our culture that is politically correct, religiously correct. Never offend, never cause people to think less of you, just don’t say anything. And we don’t see anything. I have a friend who said that back in the days when, well, they still don’t have a lot of freedom of speech. He said in Russia, they don’t have any freedom of speech, and they don’t say anything. In America, we’ve got freedom of speech, and we don’t say anything. Don’t let people intimidate you. You speak gently and lovingly. Cause that’s what this thing is about. But always speak truth. There’s so many who need, somebody tells a story about a pastor who’s coming from the church, discovered that a mule had died in the front yard of the manse. Not knowing exactly what to do with the dead mule. He called the town’s police department and he reported it. The Sergeant who answered the phone, started laughing as the good pastor told the story and said, but Reverend I thought you were supposed to deal with a dead. Pastor replied, we are, but it is our practice to contact the relatives first. Oh man, we wouldn’t say anything like that, even in humor. Because we want to be correct and offend no one. Listen, there was a time when the Christian faith and the gospel was not offensive in our culture. Uh, there was a time when about everybody, even if they disagreed, didn’t say anything, if you spoke the truth of the gospel. There was a time when, uh, we, no politician could get elected without nodding in the direction of Christian truth. Listen, if you think that’s the way it is today, you’ve been living on another world, in another universe. I mean, this stuff is really offensive to a lot of people. When I first, when I first realized what God had called me to do, he didn’t call me to be a prophet, he didn’t call me to say really angry things at people. He called me to tell people that God loved them. I said in my ecclesiastical language, way cool. That is so good. I believe my friend Tony Campolo, really is a prophet. You know, I don’t agree with a lot of things he says, and he doesn’t agree with a lot of things I say, but whenever I’ve heard Tony preach, I’ve been convicted. And that was the work of the Holy spirit. And I said to Tony, you know, God likes me a lot more than he likes you. He’s given you a message, a prophetic message. And he’s given me a message of love. And people are going to like me a lot more than they’re going to like you, right? Wrong. That makes people angry. Uh, you, when you speak truth, even truth, that is good news truth, it makes people angry. You say, wait, are you saying that I should be a pain in the neck? No, of course not. I’m just saying that maybe the world would do with a little bit of truth. And we know truth. God has revealed it to us. And that’s what Paul was saying here. I’m going to tell you the truth and I’m going to say it strongly and you’re not going to like it. And you may not like me, because I say it. But Whoa, to me, if I do not speak the truth. Listen, there is truth that God has given us. And it’s precious. Most of it’s good news that God calls people to himself and he’s not angry that there is forgiveness. It’s the message of amazing grace to a wretch like me. It’s a message that says nobody, nobody can be self righteous, because we’re all fallen, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That God who is Holy and scary and big can be your father. And he’ll love you. He won’t change the truth, but he will love you and forgive you of every bad thing you’ve ever done. Don’t compromise that, don’t back off, say it, speak truth. There’s another thing that Paul brings up in this, in these first 10 verses that we’re going to see again, as we do our tour of the major symphony, we’re going to see this theme again. He talks about, he offers them the gift of leadership. The gift of apostleship, look at Galatians 1:1,
Paul, an apostle– not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the father, who raised him from the dead.
Now, as we study this letter, we’ll find that this stated theme in the first verse is the center of verses 1:11-21, a passage where Paul defends the Apostolic authority under which he ministers. The problem was that when the original apostles met together to elect someone to fill out one of the original 12, that would be Judas who had hung himself. The requirement on that occasion was that they find a man who had been with Jesus, from the beginning. The people who had come to Galatia were saying that Paul was not a true apostle, because he got on the wagon late. And one of the thrusts of this letter, Paul is defending the authority by which he speaks. That’s a hard thing to do. It really is. I’m your leader. Follow me. God called me to be your leader, you better, but you’ve got to be discerning. And you gotta be aware that there really is genuine authority. And the authority comes from God. Now that doesn’t mean that the authority figure doesn’t need to be accountable. He or she needs to be accountable. He or she needs people around them who speak truth into their lives. If you’ve got an authority figure in your church, that isn’t accountable to anybody, you run as fast as you can. But nevertheless, there are God anointed authority figures who have been called to speak truth to us. And by the way, that’s a gift. We live in a culture, where that’s not seen as a gift. In fact, I wrote a book called Scandalous Freedom, and we really are free. I get really upset when people kneel before anybody, but God, I am, I get the freedom thing, but, uh, but you gotta be careful, because God is anointed authority. It’s the authority of God’s word. It’s the authority of the people of God, who have discerned it and given it to somebody. It’s the authority that comes from God, himself. Sometimes that’s governmental authority and that’s a guess, by the way. Drives me nuts. But it is. And it’s ecclesiastical authority and that drives me nuts, but it’s his authority. We in our denomination, and when you’re ordained. And in fact, when people even join their church, uh, they are asked, will they submit to the leadership? Sometimes that’s really hard. And sometimes you can’t when they’re not following God. And sometimes you got to leave and sometimes you got a weep, but it’s not going in the right direction. But generally God has led his people home by using people who are leaders who are following Christ. That’s what Paul said. Follow me as I follow Christ. Now the leader of a church needs to be one who washes people’s feet. Needs to be someone who is a servant. Needs to be someone who is kind, who isn’t building an empire, needs to be someone who’s gentle the way Jesus is gentle. Those are the leaders, God anoints. and the people of God have a gift, when they’ll follow them, wherever they go. You think about that. Amen.
And of course that was Steve Brown leading us further in his guided tour of Galatians. We’ll resume that series soon. But next week, Steve has invited our favorite megachurch pastor Zach Van Dyke to join us again. Zach will be here teaching us all week, but first, tomorrow, it’s time again for Friday Q & A. That’s when our friend Pete Alwinson swings by and together, Steven and Pete answer the challenging questions you sent in. Tomorrow, they’re going to tackle a question about the rapture. Should be good. I might even tune in. Well, you know, that we offer all a lot of free stuff here on Key Life, but what about Three Free Sins? Three Free Sins is a booklet based on Steve’s book of the same name. The book is about what Key Life itself is about, grace. If you’re frustrated with a religion, that’s simply a failed sin management program. It’s time to discover that you not only have three free sins, you have unlimited free sins, because of Jesus Christ. Get your booklet now, by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE, that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also request the booklet by emailing [email protected]. If you’re mailing us, send a request to
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