Seeing is not believing. Believing is seeing.
SEPTEMBER 1, 2020
Seeing is not believing. Believing is seeing. 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, straightforward and street smart. Keep listening to hear truth that’ll make you free.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open it to the first chapter of Galatians, as we continue with our study in Galatians, and what we’re doing is we’re looking at Paul’s defense of his own ministry and of himself, and on the fact that he’s a servant of Christ. And as we look at what he says about himself, we should be able to say something similar about ourselves. Now we’ve seen that he was confronted. He didn’t make the choice. God made the choice. And you know, that was true with you. There isn’t a chance of a snowball in a hot place, that you would know Christ, except that he came to you. John said we love him because he first loved us. Listen, he knew my name before I was ever born, before he hung the stars and created the universes and dug out the valleys and patted up the mountains. He knew my name and in time he revealed himself to it. Now let me show you something else. He was not only confronted. He was convinced. Look at Galatians 1:8-9,
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to that, which we preached to you, let him be accursed.
And then Paul says it again. And you went to say, yeah, but Paul, other than that, what do you think about it? And then look at Galatians 15 and 16th of verse of that first chapter.
But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace was pleased to reveal his son to me in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles.
Now that’s a man who didn’t whiff and waft. That’s a man who was convinced that he was right. That was a man who knew what he believed and didn’t mind saying so. That’s a good trait all the time. One of the things that I find myself bothered by of late is how often in our cancelled culture, people who are cancelled, repent publicly and apologize. I mean, that drives me nuts. Even if what they said was really dumb and shouldn’t have been said, or even was wrong. The public apology drives me nuts. I, I mean, I’m not big enough to have that happen. Nobody’s gonna cancel me because, I’m old. And then the one who holds me is Jesus. And he’ll never cancel me. But if I were in a position politically or I were in a position as a CEO of a corporation, or I was known all that over the place. And they went after me on the sewer, which is social media. I would say, look at me and read my lips. I don’t give a rip. I don’t care what you say. I don’t belong to you. I belong to him. I just wish one or two would do that. That wouldn’t make me, well, Paul was like that. Paul was absolutely convinced, that what he taught and what he preached was true. And there was a lot of criticism. Augustine said this,
The world says that seeing is believing. The Bible says that believing is seeing.
Let me tell you something, I couldn’t do anything, but what I’m doing right now. I mean, you turn on a microphone, I got to say what I got to say, even if people get offended. And a lot of people do, frankly, and, uh, but I can’t change it. Woe be on to me, Paul said, if I don’t preach the gospel. That would be the grace and forgiveness and mercy of the God of the universe. And I’m convinced. I remember when I was in graduate school in Boston. It was a seminary and they didn’t believe anything. And I didn’t either. So it worked, then Jesus came and messed everything up. But I remember that and we were all sophisticated and we thought we were intellectuals and we didn’t believe much. And one of our students had gone to study abroad for a year and he studied by a famous scholar by the name of T F Torrance. Torrance was admired all over the world, still is, as a matter of fact. And when this student came back, uh, uh, he had changed. I mean, he’d gone from being a liberal, this side of wacko to being somebody who really believes something and didn’t mind saying so. And I said to him, Billy, what happened to you over there? He said, let me tell you. He said I sat in Torrance’s office. And I was expressing my sophisticated and intellectual nonsense. And do you know what he did? I said, what? I said, he pointed at me, Billy said he pointed at me and said, son, God is real to me as that chair you’re sitting in. And I thought, Oh my, I want God to be real to me that way too. So, Paul was not only confronted, he was convinced. Um, um, it’s the conviction of Paul. Ask God to give you that, he gives it to you. I get a lot of letters from people who have doubts about their Christian faith or particular doctrines of the Christian faith. And I take that seriously. That can be a really dark place. In Mother Teresa’s posthumous publication of her diary, we found out that she went through periods like that. Of thinking that God didn’t love her, of extreme doubt and depression. And so that’s a part of who we are as Christians. We go through periods like that. But, and this is going to sound pious. And I’m sorry. And I’ll repent as soon as I finish this broadcast. But listen to me, God is as real to me is that chair you’re sitting in. I can’t go any other place or doing anything different, because I’m convinced of the truth of the gospel. And once you see the truth, I mean, really see it and get it. And the truth is expressed by Jack Miller,
Cheer up, you’re a lot worse than you think you are, and cheer up God’s grace is a lot bigger than you think it is.
take, you know, we had a principle, we used to teach in our Born Free Seminar. We don’t do that much anymore, but that material is still around. And one of the principles we taught was this, you take the first step, God will take the second step, and by the time you get to the third step, you’ll know it was God who took the first step. And in the knowing that being convinced, you’ll stand solid in a world that’s wishy washy and shallow and superficial. And as God convinces you, you become more assured that you’re the real thing. Just like, now I don’t want you to be arrogant about it. Don’t get self-righteous and say, I’m right and you’re wrong. You’re probably as wrong as you are right. But about the central message, the central message of the gospel, be convinced and rest, in that conviction. I want to say more about that, but I better move on. Let me show you something else. Thirdly, I want you to note that Paul was not only confronted and convinced, but he was also changed. Look at Galatians 1:13-16,
But you’ve heard of my former wife in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond my own, among the people, so extremely zealous was I.
You know what I was like before. Paul said, in II Corinthians 5:17,
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he’s a new creation. The old has passed away and behold everything has become new.
Newton, I love this statement, said this
Once I was a wild thing on the coast of Africa and then Jesus Christ caught me and tame me. And now people come to see me as they come to see animals in the zoo.
Now, when I talk about this and I’m going to talk more about it tomorrow, because more needs to be said, because it can become just another, obey the rules and people will know you’re different. That’s not what Paul’s talking about here. He’s talking about a heart that was broken, a compassion that was given, a love. He didn’t stop smoking and drinking and cussing and hanging out with people who do. That’s not what it’s about. Although you ought to stop those things. Don’t get me wrong. He was talking about a love that simply wouldn’t let him go. It was a major change and everybody knew it. You think about that. Amen.
That was Steve Brown, continuing to guide us through Galatians. Yesterday, we were reminded that God shows us not the other way around. And today teaching from Galatians 1, Steve’s touched on the truth that believing is seeing. More good stuff from Paul’s letter tomorrow. Please join us. So if you listen to the show every day, you probably like the teaching you hear on Key Life. And if you’re listening to me talk after the teaching is all done, then you must really like Key Life. That’s why I’m confident you’re going to love the 2020 edition of Key Life Magazine. In this newest edition, you’ll find an article from Steve called Christians are Right. It speaks about believing the right truth in the right way and the importance of sharing truth with love and compassion. You’ll also find pieces from Jenni Young, Chad West and Traylor Lovvorn. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email [email protected] and ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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