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We need a mirror…even if we don’t like what it shows.

We need a mirror…even if we don’t like what it shows.

NOVEMBER 16, 2020

/ Programs / Key Life / We need a mirror…even if we don’t like what it shows.

Steve Brown:
We need a mirror…even if we don’t like what it shows. Let’s talk on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
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.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. I hope you guys had a great weekend and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, we’re studying the book of Galatians and it’s an absolutely amazing, counter intuitive, unbelievable and wonderful message in the book of Galatians. It probably more than any other place in the Bible delineates and defines the Gospel of Jesus Christ and clearly. And it is clearly good news. Now there might be an exception in Romans, but you put these two books together and you can change the world. It’s the message, that is the essence of the Christian faith. Listen, let’s, we’ll dig in if you’ve got your Bible open it to the third chapter of Galatians, starting at the 10th verse and to the end of the chapter. And I’ve read that once. So I’m not going to take the time to do it again, it’s a long text, so keep your Bible open, unless you’re driving, you scare the spit out of me. You keep your eyes on the road, but if you’re in a place where you can open your Bible, open it, and I’ll be referring to that text as we go along. But first, let’s pray. Father, we come into your presence, so glad for the truth that you have revealed to us. For the freedom, for the forgiveness, for the meaning that you have gifted to us, when it had nothing to do with our earning it. Father, we praise you and we thank you for that. Father, you know the people who are listening to this broadcast right now, sometimes the flame goes dim, sometimes we forget, sometimes the darkness closes in, I lift before you those who are going through difficult times and doubts and I lift before you also, those for whom the world is right and feels good right now. Remind us that you’re the God of our laughter and our tears of our joy and our pain. Father, when we come into your presence, we come rejoicing that we’re here by invitation and nobody can kick us out. And then father, we pray for the one who teaches as always. Forgive him his sins, because there many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. As I said, I’m not going to take the time to read that entire text to you, but I’m going to be referring to it as we go along. If you were listening last week, we saw the Paul is using what seems to a modern mind to be obtuse, to just not be understandable, but he’s using rabbinical arguments of the first century to make a point. And the point is the point, the point is the point that we’re forgiven and we’re free and we’re loved. And it has nothing to do with us. And I took some time to do an exegesis of that text, pointing out what Paul was doing and giving both of us some tools to understand the message that he is teaching. And we saw, and I mentioned this the last time we talked, that the curse of the law restrains. It’s a blessed curse, because it restrains, Galatians 3:23-24a,

Now before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint

And I would put parenthetically for our own good.

until faith should be revealed. So then, the law was our custodian until Christ came.

I saw a sign on the back of a truck that read “Don’t push, I’m going 55. I went 75 and it cost me $200.” And so, that’s kind of what the law does. The law’s not a curse in the sense that it’s not true. It is true. The law is not a curse in the sense that it, that it is something that, that will hurt you on the contrary, it will bless you. It’s the way to live. It’s still way the universe was created. And those, even if they don’t get grace, who understand the difference between right and wrong, what’s God’s will and what isn’t, what works and doesn’t work. My mentor, Fred Smith was a mentor to so many people in business. He had been very successful throughout his life and was the wisest man I’ve ever known. By the way, some of you think I made up Fred, so I could say wild things and I didn’t, he really lived and he’s in heaven now. And if you want to look at some of Fred’s teaching, go to But sometimes Fred would be asked, can you be a Christian and make money at business? And he would laugh. And he would say, if you’re not a Christian, you won’t make money for very long. And if you do, you won’t be able to sleep. In other words, he was saying what I was just saying. And that is that the law of God is the best way to live. It’s the best way to do business. It’s the best way to raise your children. It’s the best way to do everything, because it is a road map that God has given to us about how the world really works. And the law does restrain. It keeps us from killing ourselves. Now the bad thing that Paul points out is you can’t do it, you know, you can do a little bit of it. I mean, it’s good to have this kind of restraint that reminds us, don’t do that, that’s dangerous, don’t go there, that’s dark, don’t be that, that will destroy you. The law is good, even though it’s a curse, because we can’t live it. But the law is a gift. Then secondly, Paul says, not only does the curse of the law restrain, it reveals. Look at the 24th verse,

So then, the law was our custodian until Christ came.

Galatians 3:19,

Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions.

Roman, let’s go outside of Galatians, Romans 4:15,

Where there is no law there is no transgression.

Romans 3:20b,

through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

Romans 7:7,

What then, shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I should not have known the sin. I should not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

Romans 7:13, and I could go on and on.

Did that which is good, I need the law, then bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin ought to be shown to be sin.

C.S. Lewis one time said,

No one really knows how bad they really are until they try seriously to be good.

That’s true. In fact, it’s so good. I’m going to repeat it.

No one really knows how bad they really are until they try seriously to be good.

There’s a man in New England who would die if he knew that I was telling you this, so I’m not gonna mention his name. He was as close to God as anybody I’ve ever known. He was from China and in effect was a Chinese missionary to America and he was godly. And he was used in a wonderful way by God. I once asked him to be my pastor and he said, this has been years ago, Steve only God is your pastor. At any rate, he walks very close with God. I remember the first time I met him, I was going through the initial blush of feeling that I was God’s gift to the world. I was, ill at ease around my friend. And do you know why? Let me tell you, every time I got around him, I measured myself by his life and I went away feeling convicted of my need to be obedient and clean and to make my walk closer with the father. It was a revelation to me being around him. Now, I have to tell you the rest of the story. At one time, he felt that I was putting him on an altar instead of God. And he said, I’m going to do you a favor, but you won’t think it’s a favor and you know what he did? He confessed his sins to me. And I was absolutely shocked. So we disabused me of worshiping at the wrong alter, however that’s a good illustration of what the law does. When I stand in the presence of the law, I know who I am and what I’ve done and what I need. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, continuing to teach us from Galatians. Today, exploring how the law restraints and reveals. So much more to get into tomorrow and the rest of the week. Hope you will meet us again here tomorrow. Well, here we are just a few weeks away from the end of 2020. Can you believe it? I think I can hear some of you cheering, when I say that, because can we just be honest here, much of this year has felt like it, disaster, jobs lost, major events canceled, lives up ended. So here we are headed towards Thanksgiving day and you may be wondering how exactly to give thanks to this year. How do we praise God in the midst of trials? Well, that’s a question Steve has spoken about in a message called The Principle of Praise. It’s a powerful message that we’d love to send to you on CD today for free. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email your request to [email protected]. By mail, write us at

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
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If you’re in Canada, send your request to

Key Life Canada
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And ask for your copy of The Principle of Praise. And one more thing, would you prayerfully consider giving the Key Life? Big or small, monthly or one-time, every gift helps. You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or you can give via text, just text Key Life to 28950. In less time than it takes to write a check, you’ll be all set up. Key Life is a member of the ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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