That house you’re building is leaking.
OCTOBER 19, 2020
That house you’re building is leaking. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Being adopted into the family of God is not about doing more or trying harder, it’s about being welcomed by God because of his radical grace, free from the penalties of sin and never alone in your suffering. That grace is what Key Life is all about.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you had a great weekend. Hope you guys had great, I hope you’re getting to the point where you can go back to church. I know, we’re the church, you don’t go to church, but I don’t care. It is so good to be with God’s people again. I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, we’re studying the Biblical book of Galatians. It’s the book of radical freedom and radical grace and radical forgiveness and the apostle Paul who writes it probably doesn’t say it any more clear, any other place with a possible exception of the book of Romans. And so we’re taking our time in the book of Galatians, we’re up to the second chapter and I am your tour guide. We’re looking at verse 15 through the end of that chapter. Now we’ve looked in a general way, the question is what’s the gospel of what the gospel is, and now we’re getting down to specifics. And actually I’ve found six ways, that’s because I’m a preacher to say exactly the same thing over and over again. If you got it with me saying it once I wouldn’t have to do that. What’s that old story about the breacher, the new preacher who came and preached a wonderful sermon. Everybody thought he was something else. And then the next Sunday, he preached exactly the same sermon and they were kind of shocked, but they said, you know, he’s new, we’ll cut some slack. And the third Sunday, he preached exactly the same sermon again. And so by calling him on it, what are you doing? You just lazy? He said, no, when you get it, then I’ll go to something else. So I’ve found six ways, to say the same thing. And it’s such good news that it’ll blow you away. Before we study, let’s pray. Father, we come into your presence and we come with joy because we’ve been invited. Father, we thank you for the taste of heaven that we get when we can be still in your presence. But it’s just a taste, because someday there’s going to be a party to end all parties. You called it the marriage supper of the lamb. And father we thank you for that. You know the people who are listening to this broadcast and you know how hard it is sometimes. And for others, how easy it is sometimes, but you’re the God of both and sufficient in both cases, heal and cleanse and forgive and empower. And we praise you because you do. And then as the old ways, Father, we pray for the one who teaches, forgive him his sins, because there are many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. Now, as I mentioned, we’re looking at six paradoxical statements from the second part of the second chapter of Galatians. Let me read it to you again. We are, this starts at the 15th verse.
We ourselves who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners, yet who know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we ourselves were found to be sinners, is Christ an agent of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor. I through the law died to the law, that are my live to God. I’ve been crucified with Christ. It’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
That’s it. That’s the gospel. And we’re looking at some paradoxical statements that allow us to see that, we have seen that when you’re disqualified you’re qualified, we have seen to succeed is to fail and we have seen that to stand is to fall. And then yesterday, not yesterday, but last week, on the last teaching broadcast of the week, I just mentioned and talked to you a little bit about another paradoxical statement, to build is to destroy, Galatians 2:18.
But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I proved myself a transgressor.
And it’s not in the text but I might add you also prove yourself to be a dummy.
A sinner can repent but stupid is forever.
That’s what Billy Sunday said. And what Paul is saying here too. He’s saying if I keep trying to be better and better in every way, every day, then I’m a transgressor, then I’ve made horrible mistake. My house leaks. And for me to keep building on it, a leaky house, that’s dumb. My house, as Jesus said, sits on sand. And if I build on sand, that dumb house is going to fall apart and I’ll be a transgressor and I’ll be dumb for having it. Let me tell you, let me read a poem to you, which I love. It’s by my friend in Texas, Bruce Foggerty whom I haven’t seen in a long time. He’s a, great businessman, but he’s an incredible poet too. And, this is something that he wrote a long time ago.
I pushed my little plastic mower around the yard of my universe, trying to help God mow. God didn’t need my help, but he let me tag along feeling important. Back and forth. I labored in neat little rows, wasting the years oblivious to the absence of any real motor or cutting blade in my machine. I made rumbling sounds to heighten the sense of my own importance. And occasionally emptied my press clippings bag of imaginary accomplishments. Lawn finished, I attack the hard edges of my life with my toy weed eater, hacking at perceived problems that had spouted on my landscape. The great I am softly chuckled. When I finally see struggling, as at last I realized I had long ago installed AstroTurf.
That’s what Paul is saying, and he says it well. Someone said, Paul, couldn’t you just preach a little bit of the law? And Paul would say, are you crazy? Couldn’t you just say that yeah this grace thing is okay, but it’s dangerous. You’re giving people permission to sin. And Paul would say, no way. Couldn’t you just back off sometimes, you know you’re making people angry, and they go after you for this thing that you’re, that’s what you’re dealing with in this whole book. If you’d just say a little bit about being nice and reading the Bible and going to church and doing good things. If you’d just say a little bit about that, people wouldn’t be so mad at you. And Paul says I’m not going to build on something I tore down. What, are you crazy? Paul said to Timothy, this thing is sure and worthy of full acceptance. Then Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners and I am, not the laws. I am the chief of sinners. That’s it. To build is to destroy, and people, I do that all the time. I go out and try to build on the stuff like my career, like selling books, like being a Christian celebrity, like smiling all the time not to hurt my witness. Like being as good as I can be good. And, that’s building to destroy. And Paul said, don’t do that. Don’t, let me give you another statement. Statement number five, to die is to live, Galatians 2:17,
But if, I in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we ourselves are found to be sinners in Christ, then am I an agent of sin? Certainly not!
And then look at the 19th verse.
I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God.
And so, when you die, then you’re alive. He who loses his life, jesus said will find it. Now, I’m running out of time. And I’ve got a lot more to say about this, and we’ll talk more about it tomorrow. But right now you want to live, I mean, really live, go find a casket. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, continuing to teach us about paradoxical statements found in Galatians. Today, the idea that, to die is to live. And once again, our text was Galatians 2:15 through 21. More good stuff tomorrow as we continue in Galatians, seeking to answer the question, what is the gospel? Hope you’ll join us then, and for the rest of the week. You know, there are a lot of things that can steal our joy as believers, but there’s something especially insidious about shame. It not only brings us down. It also leads us back to that thing that made us feel shame in the first place. Our friend, Pastor Zach Van Dyke did a talk a while back on the subject called Original Shame. In this talk, he exposes the power of shame. He explains how to get free from it and points out the important difference between guilt and shame. Such an important message, so please, get this message on CD for free right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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