Why do you believe what you believe?
AUGUST 27, 2020
Why do you believe what you believe? Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown, and this is Key Life. We’re dedicated to the teaching that the only people who get any better, are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them anyway. Steve is an author, seminary professor and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open it to the first chapter of the book of Galatians as we go through this particular declaration of independence of freedom of love that Paul talks about, which is the major theme in the book of Galatians. And if you’re just joining us, we’re looking at some of the ways that Paul defends himself. Oh yeah. He defends himself and his calling and his apostleship and his ministry to the people who have been critical go of him. And in that defense, we’re able to see our own defense, the assurance of our own salvation. So it has practical application in our lives. And we saw yesterday that Paul was confronted. I mean, he didn’t dream it up. He was just whistling a nice Jewish tune, as he went to work. And then Jesus knocked him off his horse. You know, it happens that way and almost always not that violently, but in our lives. And if you think about it and the place where he found you, you were confronted. I mean, it wasn’t something that you worked at, something that you got together, something that you thought through and use logic 101, you were confronted. And if that’s true, you’re his. And it is, if you think about it. Now, let me show you something else, I want you to see that Paul wasn’t only confronted, but he was also convinced. Look at Galatians 1:8-9, and he writes,
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preach to you, let him be accursed.
And then he repeats it, now that’s a man who’s convinced of the truth of what he says. And then in Galatians 1:15-16a,
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.
Outright crazy. It really is. If you can step back, and that’s hard to do and think about it. It’s the craziest thing that, I mean, it runs against everything. That’s why a Christian worldview is so important. It’s a true worldview. And when we see the world through the eyes of Jesus, Through the eyes of biblical truth, we understand. Technically that’s called a meta-narrative and a meta-narrative is a template that explains everything else. I mean, if you think about it, it really is. It’s crazy. Who would ever dream up, I would have dreamed up a better religion than this one. I mean, I could make something a lot more reasonable. You remember how Paul wrote in I Corinthians, the foolishness of God. It’s so weird that he had to call it the foolishness of God. It is, you know. I mean, what kind of God, uh, doesn’t require anything from you, except that you let him love you. That’s crazy. What if your position before God is dependent, not on a thing that you do, but on his love for you and that it’ll never stop. And he promised. That doesn’t seem right. You ought to let me do it. Some, did you hear about the pastor who went out on the, on the golf course and he hit the ball and duffed it. And a rabbit came down and pushed it down the fairway and then a bird, an Eagle picked it up and dropped it on the fairway. And then a squirrel came up and kicked it softly until it went in the cup. And the pastor threw his club down and said, please, God, I’d rather do it myself. Well, we’d rather do it ourselves. We really would. And so God gives us something so crazy. So weird. So out of the box that if it weren’t true, frankly, we would not believe it. And so something supernatural happened in the apostle Paul on his way to killing Christians. Something happened to him that convinced him for all of his life, through persecution and beatings, threat of execution. Um, and it goes on and on, that wouldn’t let him change it because he was absolutely convinced of it’s truth. When I was in seminary, we had a young man who had studied under Torrance in Scotland. And you got to know that the graduate school of theology I went to was just this side of wacko liberal. I mean, we didn’t believe anything. And this young man. I don’t even remember his name, but I can see his face, he came back from Scotland, sitting under Torrance, and something happened to him. I mean, he started saying things that we thought were obscurantist, fundamentalist, Bible thumping kind of stuff. And he became a subject of derision. Uh, I didn’t laugh at him, but I called him off to the side one time and I said, something happened. Would you tell me what happened to you in Scotland? And he said he was sitting across from Torrance, one of the great scholars of that generation, uh, known all over the world. And, uh, he said I was sitting in his office and I said, I wasn’t even sure there was a God. And Torrance, he said almost came off his chair and pointed his finger at me and said, son, God is as real to me, as that chair you’re sitting on. He said I was taken aback and I began to check and I began to see, and all of a sudden the reality of the Christian faith convinced me. That happened to Paul. Paul said, I can’t do anything, but what I’m doing, woe to me, if I preach not the gospel. If I don’t tell you these truths, then I’m not serving God. He says in our text, I’m not serving Christ, I’m not as servant. He was absolutely convinced of God, his grace, his love, the truth as the chair that somebody sits in. You know, I’ve been doing this for a very long time and I don’t want to sound arrogant about this. I really don’t. Because I know, I know it’s a gift and that’s all it is. I know how I am not a scholar. I’m not smart. I know the things that I mess up. I know all of that, that’ll make me feel better for saying what I’m going to say. I’ve been doing this a long time, and this is true. Every word of it is true. I’ve read all the books that you’ve read or are thinking about reading. I’ve done all of the checking. I’ve been down roads, you’ll never have to go down. I’ve talked to people, you won’t have to talk to. I have checked and checked and checked and I am in a position to say right now, and you can run on my faith if you want to, for a while. You can’t do that forever, but this stuff is true. It’s really true. One time, I hate to even say this, I one time saw a flying saucer. No, I really did. I was a paper boy. I was 16 years old and I was doing collections one afternoon. And I looked up into the sky and this, and it was just a dot, came across the sky, followed by a jet airplane. And they came all the way across the sky and this dot went up. And went so fast, it disappeared. And the jet also, if you’re watching on television, if you’re in our television, I’m demonstrating this with my hands. And Jeremy, our producer says, Steve, this is radio. You can’t do that. But at any rate, and the jet plane turned and went straight up following this, whatever it was. And then when the thing went so fast, he couldn’t have any chance of ever catching it, the jet plane turned around. The next day in, um, in the newspaper, there was a small story on the second page about what had happened. And it happened just as I described it to you and then it disappeared and nobody ever talked about it, but I saw it. I mean, I was there. I stood in the street. I can picture myself standing there and I saw a flying saucer. I don’t care. And you’ll never convince me that I didn’t, because I did. Well, maybe not a flying saucer, but whatever it was, I saw it and nobody will change my mind. I saw Jesus. He’s real. And nobody will ever change my mind. You think about that. Amen.
And that of course was Steve Brown today teaching us from Galatians about the miraculous confrontation that changed Paul’s life forever. We’ll resume our tour of Galatians soon, but tomorrow it’s time again for Friday Q &A. That’s when our friend Pete Alwinson drops by the studio and together, Steven and Pete answer some genuinely challenging questions that folks like you have sent in. Always a good time. Please do join us. Well, if you’ve listened to Key Life for a while, you may have heard the title Three Free Sins. That’s the name of a book that Steve wrote many years ago. The book is about what Key Life itself is about, grace. If you ever feel frustrated with the religion that’s simply a failed sin management program, then you’re going to want this book. We’d love to introduce you to that book, through a free booklet. Get yours now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also request a booklet by emailing Steve@keylife.org. If you’re mailing us, send your request to
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