We’re cursed…and it’s a blessing.
NOVEMBER 11, 2020
We’re cursed…and it’s a blessing. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew, executive producer for the program and our host is author and seminary professor Steve Brown. The church has suffered under, do more, try harder religion for too long. And Key Life is here to proclaim that Jesus sets the captives free.
Thank you Matthew. If you were listening yesterday, I read almost all of the Galatians 3:10-27, but I ran out of time, at the end. And I hate it, when that happens. You know, I have so much time and no wiggle room. And when I run out of time, I’m out of time. I can’t add anything after that. And I can’t tell you how much I wanted to add to the Scripture, or at least do some explaining before today. But if you had questions about that text, and if you didn’t read it, you ought to read it. It’s Galatians 3 and it starts at the, wait just a second. Got to open it now, it starts at the 10th verse and it goes through the 27th verse and to a 21st century, Goyam, Gentile mind, that really sounds obtuse. I mean, when you read it, you go, what?, what are you talking about? If you haven’t spent much time in the New Testament, a lot of that is just dark. You don’t get it. And I didn’t either, so I’ve done a lot of work on trying to understand what Paul’s doing and I’m gonna help you. There is one passage in the text that I read to you that has, I counted them, 130 different interpretations. The problem with those verses is that Paul is using First century rabbinical arguments that to the 20th century mind or the 21st century mind will seem rather unconvincing. Before we dig into the main teaching of this text and it is so good once you get it. I mean, it’ll blow you away, before we dig into that main teaching. Let me, let me see if I can help with the giving some handles in understanding it. As you remember, the main thrust of the book of Galatians is this, how does one know God? And walk with God. And we’ve seen that one of those ways proposed by the Judaizers was that you get to know God by being obedient to God. And by being obedient to the law of God. In Galatians, Paul says that there is only one way to God, and that is by grace. Faith in the accomplished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. And the major thrust of the book of Galatians, is to show the superiority of this way, the way of faith and grace over the way of the Judaizers, the way of obedience to the law. Now, in the verses that I read to you yesterday, Paul uses a number of arguments to further this belief, this assertion, that grace is superior to the law. For instance, in the 15th and 16th verses, he builds an argument on the plural of one Hebrew word. He’s saying that the promise of justification by faith, is not to a bunch of people who are Jewish by descent, but the promise is to one person and that person is Jesus Christ, and he has passed it on to his friends. Now that wouldn’t be an argument you would put in a book that you were sending to your friends about the Christian faith today, but it was rabbinical and it was important. For instance, in the 17th verse, he argues that the covenant of promise, that would be grace and faith, is 430 years older than the covenant of law, when Moses received the law. And legally has a prior claim on us as an agreement. In other words, all of this started with grace and faith. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what God was doing in creation. That’s what it’s all about. For instance in the 20th verse, Paul draws a distinction between an agreement, which is dependent on the faithfulness of a number of people, who are a part of the agreement. But a promise is only dependent on one person, the person who makes the promise. When he says that God is one, he’s saying that what you have in Christ based on promise, isn’t dependent on you dummy, on your fulfillment of an agreement. It is dependent only on one person and God is that one person and he’s faithful and he will never lie to you. Now, I could go on and on. You know, when you begin to study this and I have, and I did it because I like you and I was confused myself. If you go into it, you’ll, and you don’t look at it and see it through Paul’s eyes, you miss the important message that he’s teaching. How incredibly amazing it is, how profound, how counter intuitive, how it is such good news to those of us who have become Christian. That’s the main practical teaching of this text. And, I’m beginning to run out of time for today, but tomorrow we’ll look into what the apostle Paul had to say, in a practical and real way about how we live our lives. How we become Holy, how will we walk the talk. How we as Christians witness to the world. And it’s not what we have thought, but right now, just remember, saved by faith in Christ alone. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. A lot more to explore there, but how amazing is that, that difference between an agreement and a promise? Grace and faith. That’s a lot to be thankful for, and of course later this month we’ll have a whole big day dedicated to giving things, but here’s the thing, while it’s incredibly easy to give things, when things are going well, it’s a whole different situation when things are going bad. Well, Steve has actually addressed that very situation in a sermon called The Principle of Praise. I want to share a little of that message with you right now, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free gift. Here’s Steve.
We’re going to be looking at the principle of praise, and somebody says, well whoopee. There’s nothing new or exciting or different about that. I’m always thanking, God, I thank God, every day of my life for my health and for my life, I thank God for my family, but we’ve missed the point. The principle of praise asked this question or the Bible does, what do you do when you don’t have good health? What do you do when you are facing death? What do you do when you don’t have a family? What do you do when everything you have built falls to ashes? What do you do about praising then? If you’re looking for a good title for this sermon or for this teaching from Ephesians, you could call it How to be Thankful When You’re Not. Or perhaps How to be Thankful When You Have Nothing for Which to be Thankful. Somebody said, every day the wrong world rolls over on somebody who was just sitting on top of it. I recently read an illustration of how that works. In 1923 at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago at one table in a restaurant in that hotel sat seven men and these seven men were viewed by the whole world as being objects to emulate. They were men who together control more money than the entire United States Treasury. At one table, there was the president of the world’s largest utility company, same table, the greatest wheat speculator in the world, the president of the New York Stock Exchange, a member of the cabinet of the President of the United States, a man known as the biggest stock trader on wall street, the president of the Bank of International Exchange and the head of the world’s largest monopoly. Kids all over America looked up to those men. They said, if I could only be like them, but today, as we are able to put things into perspective, we can write the whole story. The president of the world’s largest utility lived the last days of his life on borrowed money, he died penniless. The great wheat speculator died abroad insolvent. The President of the New York Stock Exchange served a term in Sing Sing Prison. The cabinet member was pardoned from prison because he had a terminal disease and so he could go home and die with his family. A man known as the biggest stock trader on wall street, the president of the Bank of International Exchange and the head of the world’s largest monopoly all committed suicide. Every day the world rolls over on somebody, who is just sitting on top of it. And so the question before the house this morning is simply this, when your heart’s broken, how do you praise God? When everything is in ashes around you, what do you do then? And the Bible says to praise God. Our text Ephesians 5:18-20, let’s read it together.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is the debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart,
And here it comes.
always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God, the Father.
Now, because some of the other things that I’m going to be saying this morning, aren’t going to be accepted by everybody. Let’s check out some other Scripture verses, so that we can see that I’m not just proof texting, I Thessalonians 5:16-18,
pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Philippians 4:4-6, Rejoice in the Lord when you feel like it, doesn’t say that.
Rejoice in the Lord always.
And so what’s the principle? The principle is, that when you’re down and out, when nothing’s working out, when you have tremendous tragedy in your life, praise God for it.
That’s some good stuff. And I know you’ll want to hear the full talk. So call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433, and ask for the CD called The Principle of Praise. You can also email your request to [email protected] If you’d like to reach us by mail, write us at
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