In his stead.
NOVEMBER 26, 2020
In his stead. 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 is sick of phony religion.
Thanks Matthew. And by the way, Happy Thanksgiving! I’m so thankful to God for so much, but I’m particularly thankful for you. We’re talking about some of the marks of the kingdom of God and they’re in some ways mind-blowing, Paul is teaching on the kingdom of God. And if you’re a Christian, you’re a part of the kingdom of God. And there are some things that you ought to know about the country with which you have become a citizen and these, so the marks of the kingdom, and we’ve seen first that it is a moral kingdom. At the heart, there is a standard and a standard that refers to right and wrong and evil and good. And it is real and it’s built into the universe, but once you become a citizen of the kingdom, it has a whole different meaning. You don’t be good, so you can be saved. You’re saved and you get better. It becomes a heart thing, but the heart thing points to the reality of the ethical and moral standard, that is a part of the kingdom. And then we’ve seen that the kingdom is not only moral and ethical, but it’s also incarnational. We talked about it yesterday.
For in Christ Jesus, you are the sons parenthetically and daughters through faith for as many of you as were baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.
And we saw in John 17 where Jesus prayed for the second incarnation. What’s the second incarnation. The first is God and Christ. The second is Christ in Steve, Christ in Joan, Christ in Barbara, Christ in Sam, Christ in Bill. That’s the important second incarnation. When I was teaching not too long ago, I met with some guys who are teachers in a Christian high school. And they said that on occasion, they will take some of my teaching, a CD or an audio file and they’ll play it in some of their classes. But most of the time they say they listen to my teaching. And take the material from that teaching and use it in their own teaching. I can think of nothing more flattering than that. A friend of mine said one time, if you ever can’t be in your pulpit, call me, I think I’ve got it down, pat. I know the material, and all I have to do is lower my voice. You know, that’s kind of causes me to wince cause it, my teaching is simply, I’m a Bible teacher, that’s all I do. I try to read the Bible and to honestly tell you what I’ve found, even if you find it offensive and don’t like me. But what the teachers in that high school and what my friend said is kind of what happens with us and Jesus. As Jesus becomes incarnate, John 17 and Galatians 3:26 through 27. As the second incarnation takes, then we are in his stead. We are his spokesman. We are, Paul said in Corinthians, the ambassadors, we are the ones who witnessed to the teaching and the reality and the presence. In fact, we are that of Christ in the world. It’s the second incarnation,
I’m crucified with Christ.
Paul said Galatians, as you know, 2:20.
Nevertheless, I live yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.
That’s what Christ has done for us. You shouldn’t ask, what would Jesus do, you need to ask, what am I going to do? Because there is a sense in which we are the only Jesus that pagans will ever meet. Let me tell you something, when Christ returns, everybody says that Joe pagan and Jane cynic will be really surprised and shocked, well, they shouldn’t be, because Jesus has been in their midst and Bill and Sarah and Steve and Jim and Jack for all of their lives. And that was the second incarnation and a very important one. We, and it’s unbelievable. We stand in his stead. Now, we don’t do it alone. That wouldn’t work. I mean, it’s Christ in us. and it is amazing. Let me show you something else, you ought to note that the kingdom of God is not only moral and ethical and incarnational. It’s also international. Look at Galatians 3:28.
There is neither Jew nor Greek.
Let me give you an interesting fact that will explain the change in pronouns in this verse. Note, if you will, that in the 25th verse, Paul uses the pronoun we. But in verse 26, he uses the pronoun you. Now let me show you why. In the first century, an Orthodox Jew every morning, prayed this prayer.
I thank thee that thou has not made me a Gentile, a slave or a woman.
Now, the reason Paul says you, instead of we, is that he’s a Jew. Speaking, unbelievably radical ideas to his people about Gentiles and slaves and women. And the first thing he says is that in Christ, in the kingdom of which you are now apart, the distinction between Jew and Greek and Italian and American and African and Canadian. The distinction is no longer important. Someone has pointed out that no people have ever received the Gospel of Jesus Christ from any other, than a foreign hand. I thought about that and that’s true. That’s why the mission movement is so very important and still is so very important, because no peoples have ever received the Gospel of Jesus Christ from any other than a foreign hand. God gave it to a Jew. A Jew gave it to Rome. Rome gave it to an Egyptian. An Egyptian first took it to India. The Greeks took the gospel to Bulgaria. Norwegian took it to Iceland. A Scotsman took it to Ireland. An Irishman took it to Germany and Switzerland. The English brought it to America. The Americans took it to Asia. A Spaniard brought it to South America. And an Italian brought it to China and it goes on and on and on. Do you see what’s happening? It’s an international fellowship. Yechiel Eckstein, was my friend for years. And I think he’s in heaven. In fact, if he’s not in heaven, I don’t think I want to go. I mean, he got us and he was our representative to Jews, and he was kind to us and he got our heart. And I think in his heart, he had reached out by faith and it was counted to him as righteousness. But Yechiel Eckstein had an organization that’s still around The Fellowship of Christians and Jews. No, The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. That’s what the kingdom is, the kingdom is an international fellowship. You know what I did a number of years ago? I may have told you this, I went around the world. I mean, literally around the world, took a month. A lady in a church I was serving, who was connected to a lot of money in a foundation, said Steve, you say the right thing, but you don’t have the right heart. You speak the right words, but you don’t have any passion and I’m going to fix it. And so she sent me and two others, one was a cross cultural teacher, so they could explain things to this dumb mountain boy. And we went around the world. I ate stuff I never thought I would eat. I listened to languages in so many places, I didn’t understand. I, in Mauritius watched a volcano go out an African country. I in the Philippines was able to cut pineapple and eat it and preach before a group of students in the school that didn’t even understand my language. I went, well, I could go on and on and on, but in every place I went, the cultural communicator, that was Sam Rowan, would say, when I had a shocked look on my face, It’s not wrong, it’s different. And God’s people are different, but they’re connected by Jesus internationally. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. More from Steve on Galatians soon. But next week, Steve has invited our favorite megachurch Pastor Zach Van Dyke to join us again. Zach always brings such a good work. Be sure to join us for that starting Monday and tomorrow it’s Friday Q & A, with our friend Pete Alwinson. Tomorrow. Steve and Pete will address a question about a part of Moses life that is rarely discussed or taught on, the time God tried to kill him. Be sure to join us. So, let me ask you something. Do you ever feel like you’re a phony, you ever feel afraid sinful, you ever feel the pressure to try to keep it all together? If so, then you’ll understand the truth that we all have hidden agendas. Well, Steve wrote a booklet about this that invites us to drop our masks and discover how God’s love and grace propel us into the real relationships we thought we’d never have. Get that booklet 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 booklet. If you’re mailing us, send a request to
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