We’re in trouble…bad trouble.
OCTOBER 1, 2020
We’re in trouble…bad trouble. Let’s talk on Key Life.
It’s for freedom that Christ set us free and Key Life is here to bring you Biblical teaching that encourages you to never give into slavery again. Our teacher on Key Life is Steve Brown. He’s an author, broadcaster and seminary professor who’s sick of phony religion.
Thank you Matthew. Now we’re moving, we’ve spent a long time and I hope you took notes because you’re going to be tested on this. We looked at the macrocosm of the gospel. In other words, we backed off and we looked at the landscape of the gospel, seeing some of the characterizations of the gospel, that it’s universal, that it’s to be shared, that it is to continue to the next generation, it’s conspicuous, it smells like Jesus, it’s compassionate, it’s consistent, it’s candid and it’s cleansing. And that was it’s a good transition point to move into the next verses of this second chapter of Galatians. Tell you what, let’s start at the 15th verse of the second chapter of Galatians, as we look at some of the details of the gospel. Paul has just described the hypocrisy of Peter. He told him to his face. You know, I used to think when I got to heaven, I want to spend time fishing with Peter and I want to hear Paul teach, but I don’t want to go to dinner with him. But the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve gotten to know the apostle Paul and there is a child likeness, an authenticity about him that is very winsome. At any rate into the 15th chapter, after saying what he said about Peter, he says this.
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 Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by I 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 and agent of sin?Certainly not! But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself to be a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to. God. I have 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.
Well, you could hardly say it any better than that, or any clearer. Now, before we turn to these verses, I want to take just a moment to describe the dilemma of mankind. And then I want to give you a six paradoxical statements, and we’re not going to get to those today, but we’ll do this the next time we study Galatians and get down on defining the gospel. Those paradoxical statements are astounding and exciting. Recently, a friend shared with me a little book titled Murphy’s Law Book Two: More Reasons Why Things Go Wrong. It is a book which points to the difficulties of living, Murphy’s Law, as you know, is if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. Long’s commentary on Murphy’s Law, is Murphy was an optimist. And then corollaries of Murphy’s law, if anything can’t go wrong, it will. If Murphy’s Law can go wrong, it will. If a series of events can go wrong, it will do so in the worst possible sequence. And then four, after things have gone from bad to worse, the cycle will repeat itself over and over again. You know, that’s funny, but as a matter of fact the human dilemma is worse than Murphy’s Law. Recently, the Georgia state police, were discussing the most unusual traffic arrest they had made. And one of the officers said he stopped a man going 70 miles an hour in a 35 mile per hour zone. And as he walked up to the car, the man was talking to his billfold. And the police officer said, I’ve got a nutcase on my hands. What am I going to do with this? People don’t talk to their billfold. But as he got closer, he understood the man was saying to his billfold, Kirk to Enterprise, Kirk to Enterprise, beam me up out of here right now. All of us feel that way, sometimes. A teenager said to me, once my parents won’t admit it, but I know that I’m adopted. Maybe we all feel that way, on occasion. Let me show you what the dilemma is, the first is the problem of guilt. Somebody has said don’t tell me about my sins, I already know those, tell me something I can do about my sins. I’m criticized quite often, because I don’t spend a lot of time going over sin. I mean, I used to think that the job description of a pastor was to make good people better and better people bored. And so I would go into the Bible, find the admonishments, try to help people see how bad they really were and how they could get better, like me. My friend Ray Cortese who’s the pastor of Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church, said that he, and he’s in a small town here in Florida and he is now the pastor, the church has become a mega chapter, a mega church. And when he got there, he said, I went to a small place because I thought I could make a difference. I didn’t want to go to Atlanta or New York or even Orlando, cause that was too big. But I could really make a difference in this little town. It’s a sewer. And I’ve been sent here by the God of the universe to clean up this sewer. And then Ray, as a part of his testimony, God said, Ray, you’re the sewer, not them. And he said, when I got it, then I got the gospel and then I began to teach it. And boy did God honor that church, because of the gospel. Guilt is where people are, people know. People, you know. You know why people are so angry? Because they know. You know why people yell and shout so much? And speaking of the sewer, say such horrible things on social media that they, because they’ve got their own stuff. And they know if they shout enough and point enough and judge others enough, maybe nobody will notice what they know about themselves. I’m inadequate. I am needy. I have messed this thing up horribly. That’s a universal problem. And not only that, I believe that it’s almost universal that everybody knows it. They know the world, isn’t the way it ought to be, but they know also that they aren’t the way they ought to be. And so that’s a part of the dilemma of the world. Guilt’s the problem and alienation is the problem too. Now, these are the problems that the gospel speaks to at the very center of human beings. Alienation, not only guilt, but alienation as the poet puts it, we are sometimes like ships passing in the night. Alienation is that feeling of loneliness in a crowd, to feeling you’re on the outside. Feeling that nobody will tell you the truth and let you in. I felt that way all my life, but I was alienated from something that was at the very center of the universe. And I knew that too. Guilt, alienation, I’m not a part of this thing. And then the third thing is meaninglessness, and it’s the final one. When I was in college, I was a philosophy major. And Albert Camus was my hero. Jesus has taken his place, but Camus said everything, I’ve been reading the plague here of late preparing for something else that I’m doing, which is a novel about, that has some significance for this virus that we’re facing. It’s kinda like The Lord of the Flies and everything’s coming apart and everything is meaningless and absurd. Those are the problems. And those are the problems to which the gospel of Jesus Christ is addressed. Acceptance, forgiveness, meaning. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, continuing to teach us from Galatians. We’ll resume this series soon, but next week, Steve has invited our favorite megachurch pastor Zach Van Dyke to join us again and tomorrow, Steve will be joined by our friend, Pete Alwinson for Friday Q & A. I’ve already taken a look at the first question for tomorrow and it’s a good one. I mean, no spoilers, but, you’ll be glad you checked it out. Well, I mentioned our friend, Zach, Zach did a talk a while back called Original Shame, always a challenging subject, but this message from Zach is so powerful because it exposes the power of shame. It explains how to get free from it and points out the important difference between guilt and shame. If you have ever struggled with this issue and Hey, come on, we all have, then 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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