If you were really saved, you wouldn’t do that.
APRIL 15, 2021
If you were really saved, you wouldn’t do that. Let’s talk on Key Life.
The deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. That’s what Key Life is all about. So if you’re hungry for the hopeful truth that God isn’t mad at you, keep listening. Steve Brown is a professor and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. We just finished and frankly, I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Going down the list that the apostle Paul gave in the fifth chapter of Galatians, and he calls it the works of the flesh. And, you know, I don’t have the problem with Paul saying that, where it gets dicey is when he starts naming them. He goes down the list, and it’s a long list. And we spend some time looking at all of those. We saw that the works of the flesh, and he began with sexual sins, and then he goes to relational sins, and then he goes to religious sins, and then he goes to drunkenness. My favorite subject, cause I’m a teetotaler, and that’s not my choice. That was God’s choice. And when I have an attack of sanity, I’m thankful for that. Now, let me go down a side road. I want you to note, if you will, in this text in the fifth chapter of Galatians, a particular verse that references our salvation and can be very troubling. And Satan has a field day with this verse. It’s Galatians 5:21b.
I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things,
That’s the list that he’s just given on the works of the flesh.
Those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Now the first thing a lot of people think about when they read that statement is good Heavens. I’m not going to inherit the kingdom of God, because if you don’t find yourself in some place, in the list of the works of the flesh, you haven’t read it right. I mean, I found two or three there that really keep me awake at night, but let me show you something from the Greek, the verb Paul uses his here, means ongoing, habitual sins, so that you become defined by those sins. If Jesus visited your house today. And, he would sit down with you and talk about your sin. You’d blush, because if you’re praying properly, you already blushed that morning in your devotions, and he would tell you about some of the things that are besetting and that are difficult, and that hurt your walk with Christ. And do you know what he would say at the end of it? Child, come here, and he would hug you. He would love you. And if you don’t get that part, and Paul does not cut that off, Paul knows that’s true. We’ve been studying, good Heavens, the book of Galatians, where it is radical in its freedom and its love and salvation. No matter where you’ve been, no matter what you’ve done, no matter who you are, no matter who you are hurt, or what you’ve been drinking. You run to him. He’ll never ever say, I’ve had it with you. And you’ve got to get that, or you won’t get the flavor of what Paul is talking about here. Michael Cloist, who has a wonderful book on prayers, has one on the sin. He’s the late Michael Cloist, and he was a French priest, and his book has been translated into English. It’s not a very creative title. It’s titled Prayers. And it was the first of the colloquial prayers, there are a lot of those around now, but Cloist did that early on. But at the end of his confession in the prayer on sin, God says to him, son, it’s not falling in the mud that’s the worst, it’s staying there, swimming in it, rolling in it, and liking it. And if you do that, then you got to question the reality of your relationship with Christ. Pianist Arthur Rubinstein, was something else. He was fluent in eight languages. One time he told, he’d gotten hoarse and couldn’t talk. And, it was so bad that he had to see a doctor. He had read many reports about smoking and cancer and he smoked and he knew he had it. He said, I searched the doctor’s face as he examined me for a clue during the 30 minute examination, but he was expressionless. He told me to come back the next day and I went home full of fears and I didn’t sleep that night. The next day, there was another long examination. And again, the silence from the doctor and Rubinstein said, tell me, I’m old, I’ve lived a good life. I can stand bad news. I can stand the truth. With my full rich life, I’m ready to die. What’s wrong with me? The doctor looked at him and said, you talk too much. That’s what’s wrong with you, and that’s why you’re so hoarse. If you would talk less, it would, and you say, Steve, why are you telling us this? Well, there’s a difference between being a blabber mouth and communicating. It’s the difference in this list? You’re probably going to sin, but don’t get in that mud and roll in it, because when you do that, it’s a sign that maybe the original relationship isn’t there. And I wanted to say that, because I knew you had focused in on that verse, and I was glad to help. Don’t thank me. Now. I want to say a little bit more about freedom. We talked about freedom and what it wasn’t before in this text. But let me show you something kind of interesting, because that’s the theme of the book of Galatians. You ought to note that freedom is discerned in desire, Galatians 5:17.
For the desire of the flesh, or the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would.
What do you mean doing what I would, because I would be faithful, because I would be good, because I would be kind and loving, because I would avoid all of the sins that you’re going to name, when you talk about the works of the flesh. I don’t want to go there. And that’s what Paul is saying. And he’s saying that’s a sign of your freedom. And it’s also a promise from God that increasingly, and it’s called sanctification, you will be able to fulfill your desire. I’ve said it so many times that I know you’re tired of hearing me say it, but nobody thinks it’s true. So, I have to keep saying it. You never met a man who wants to please God, more than I do. I really do. Good Heavens I’m a Bible teacher. You know, when I go through this Scripture, it’s not as if it’s off the top of my head, I’ve spent hours and hours, in my study pouring over the Scripture, trying to understand it. And when I do that, I want to say, oh God, make me more and more like Jesus. And so Paul says,
That these desires, the desire of the Spirit and the desire of the flesh are opposed to each other to prevent you from doing what you would.
What would you do? Let me tell you something I’ve discovered. And I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve talked to thousands of people. Many of them are pastors or clergy, and many of them are Christian leaders. I’ve been doing it for a very long time. You know something, I never once, I can’t think of a single time, I’ve met a Christian who didn’t want to be better than he or she was, not once. Now I’ve met Christians, who’ve left their church, because they couldn’t. I’ve met Christians who have been devastated by their sin and have sinned in great ways. I’ve met Christians, who’ve denied the faith, even. I got a note from a lady one time that said, Steve, I don’t want you to hear it from anybody else, but I’m gone. I can’t do this anymore. I’m just not good enough. But she wanted to be. So, as I said, and I’m going to say it again. I never met a Christian, who didn’t want to be better than he or she was. You fit in that? Well, what does that say about you? Where did you get that? Where did that desire come from? Why do you want to be better? It’s more fun to be worse. Why do you? Why do you want to be better? Let me tell you, it’s from Jesus. And Jesus gives that to his own. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, wrapping up this week of teaching from Galatians. We’ll continue that journey soon, but tomorrow, it’s time again for Friday Q&A, one of the questions that Steve and our friend Pete Alwinson will tackle is this one. “Why didn’t God just kill Adam and Eve and be done with it?” That’s actually a great question, so be sure to tune in. Well, here we are already at the end of April. Can you believe that? The year is flying by. So let me ask you, have you claimed your copy of the 2021 edition of Key Life Magazine yet? If not, allow me to intrigue you. This edition features a wonderful article from Steve called You Can’t Fix it. You’ll also discover pieces from Robin DeMurga, Chad West, and a new Key Life voice. Chris Wachter. It’s all in the 2021 edition of Key Life Magazine, and we would love to send it to you for free. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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