Make sure it’s important before you do it.
JUNE 1, 2021
Make sure it’s important before you do it. 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, straight-forward and street-smart. Keep listening to hear truth that’ll make you free.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open to the last chapter of Galatians, and we’re bringing this study to an end. I’m not going to read those verses to you again. It’s verse 11 through the end of the last chapter of Galatians, that would be the sixth chapter. If you were listening yesterday, I was talking about the importance of not majoring in minors, Galatians 6:15.
For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
And we saw that Paul has said, that’s what’s important. It’s not whether or not you’re circumcised, whether or not you wear the right clothes to church, whether or not you can quote a lot of Scripture. At bottom line, it’s the cross of Christ that creates new creations. And he was not going to major in minor things. And we need to remember that, this is a side observation. I’m going to give you some questions later, that are, probably tomorrow, that are gonna make you feel really guilty. But, the apostle Paul is saying don’t major in minors, and I was telling you yesterday, when I ran out of time about a church I served, where they had just built a new building, and it was a beautiful building. And the previous pastor had yelled at them, while they were doing that. And one of the things he yelled at him about was having an alter, cause Presbyterians don’t have altars, we have communion tables. And he made them move it away from the wall, and to move it up in the sanctuary. And they asked me, the pulpit committee, when they were considering me to be their pastor, what I would do with the, I told you this yesterday, what I would do with the communion table. And I said, you can hang it from the ceiling, if you want to, as long as I can serve communion from it. And there was a relief that came over the pulpit committee that I didn’t understand, understand then, but I understood later. There had been a lot of very minor things that have been made into major things and it had destroyed the church. Paul said, don’t do that. Just don’t do that. We do that anyway, don’t we? I have in my library, Dallamoor’s books, I think there are two or three volumes on Whitfield. And it’s an old couple of volumes. It goes back years and I loved it. Read every word of it and fell in love with George Whitfield. And what God did with that, man is incredible. I think in the first volume, it goes up to when he was 26 or 27 years of age, and he had already done more than I would ever do in 20 lives. And it just blew me away. He traveled to America, was the spark for the great awaken. He founded an orphanage in Georgia and it’s still there. Anyway. I loved, but the thing about, the thing about Whitfield that stood out more than anything else is that he refused to focus on minor controversies. In Scotland, there had been some serious problems with some men there, who had formed an associate Presbytery. Whitfield had been in disagreement with a controversy that caused them to do that. And this is what he wrote.
The love that I bear you constraints me to send you a line. It is some concern to me that our difference as to outward things should cut off our sweet fellowship. God knows my heart. I highly value and honor you.I applaud your zeal for God. And though in some respects, I think it not according to knowledge and to be leveled frequently against me. Yet, indeed I feel no resentment in my heart. And should joyfully sit down and hear you and your brothers preach. Oh, when shall that time be, our Lord and our God. Your younger brother and servant in the gospel of Christ. George Whitfield
Is that cool, that is such a good thing. And we need to remember that kind of thing. I love to debate, and frankly, I’m good at it. And that’s a curse. I have a glib tongue and a deep voice, and I can even say really dumb things and people think they’re smart. And that’s dangerous. And I’ve learned to be quiet. There are so many small things that are in the church that really don’t matter. If you’re involved in the worship war, stop it. If you’re involved and yelling at people because their hair is too long or they shouldn’t come dressed to church that way, stop it. Those may be things that need to be discussed, but they’re minor. And Paul said, don’t major in those things. And a place where Whitfield had preached, just as an aside, there was a revival in Scotland. And whenever God pours out his Spirit on the people, there are critics that stand on the sidelines and throw rocks, and they did it in this one. And there was a pamphlet which was written, critical of the revival. Now this is, this is true, and this is a long title. But it’s actually the title of the pamphlet that was written against the revival that God had brought up.
The declaration, protestation and testimony of the suffering remnant of the anti-Popish, anti-Lutheran, anti-Gaelic, anti-Whitfieldian, anti-Erasmian, anti-sectarian, true Presbyterian Church of Christ in Scotland.
Oh man. I would have prayed they got the hives. Whitfield wouldn’t have, he would love them. And maybe Whitfield’s got it right. And I need to repent. Let me show you something else by way of side observation, please note Paul’s concern for Israel, Galatians 6:16.
Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.
Now, don’t pass over that too quickly. Paul is saying something really important. As you know, he had been, he had risen high in the power structure of the people of Israel, and he loved his people. And if you read Romans, you find out that love is, in fact he said he was willing to lose his salvation, if his own people would know Messiah. I mean, this is a man who loved Israel and with reason, cause we ought to love what God loves. And God loves Israel. Every morning of my life, because I know God’s heart, I pray for the peace and security of Israel and Jerusalem and God’s ancient people, Romans 9:1-5.
I’m speaking the truth in Christ– I’m not lying; my conscience bears witness in the Holy Spirit— that I’ve great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I would wish that I myself were accursed and put off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen by race.
He’s talking about Israel. I have a poem, and if I knew the source of it, I’d tell you, but I just made notes on it.
Yet listen Gentile. Do you love a Bible’s precious page, then let your heart with kindness move to Israel’s heritage, who trace those lines of love for you. Each sacred writer was a Jew. And years and ages passed and nations rose and fell, though clouds and darkness oft were cast for captive Israel. The Oracles of God for you, were kept in safety by the Jew. And when the great Redeemer came, for guilty man to bleed. He did not take an Angel’s name, no born of Abraham’s seed. Jesus who gave his life for you, the gentle savior, was a Jew. Go then and bend your knee to pray for Israel’s ancient race.
Paul would have said, yeah, that’s what I meant. That’s what I was talking about. And in Romans, he said that those of us who are Goyam, who are Gentiles. We have been let in on a covenant that had been around for hundreds of years, before the coming of Christ. And we’re a part of that. And what the church is built on, is this shoulders of ancient Israel. And we ought to be thankful and rise up and call them blessed and pray for our friends, the Jews. In fact, and I got to say this, we’re almost out of time, but if you have a Jewish friend don’t, you dare witness to that friend, until you first ask forgiveness for what has been done over the centuries in the name of Christ. It’s not pretty. And it’s not pleasing to God, because we should love those God loves, because God is God. You think about that. Amen.
Major and the minor things, that is a good word to us from Galatians 6. Thank you Steve. We’ll continue our week long wrap-up of Galatians tomorrow, sure hope you’ll join us then.
Put down your oars, put down your swords and look to God, a God who saves not by demanding, but by dying. He has sent his son from heaven to be thrown into the storm of sin and the belly of death for you.
That’s just a small excerpt from an article titled Rowing Against Grace by Chris Wachter. And as you may have guessed, the piece has to do with Jonah, and us. You can find that article in the 2021 edition of Key Life Magazine, along with some other great writings from Robin DeMurga, Chad West and of course, Steve Brown. Grab your free copy right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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