You didn’t choose him. He chose you.
AUGUST 31, 2020
You didn’t choose him. He chose you. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Key Life is all about God’s radical grace, grace that has dirt under its fingernails and laugh lines on its face. If you want the Bible to be a book of rules, you may want to stop listening now, but if you’re hungry for the truth, that’ll make you free. Welcome to Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. If you’re just joining us, we’re pretty much at the beginning of a fairly long study on the book of Galatians. It’s a wonderful book by the way, because it’s the book you go to when you’ve messed up. It’s the book you go to when you think that Jesus has had it with you, it’s the book you go to when you just don’t want to do this anymore. It is a wonderful statement of freedom and forgiveness and redemption and what it’s based on. Bottom line, if you get this, you get the book of Galatians. It doesn’t have a thing to do with you. It’s not your goodness, you’re not good enough. It’s not your faithfulness, you’re not faithful enough. It’s not your purity, you’re not pure enough. It’s all Jesus and the imputed righteousness of Christ. And what Paul is doing in this latter is that some people, twits by the way, had made their way into the church at Galatia. And they had cut his legs off. They had preached a different gospel, they said, and you can still hear it sometimes. They said, this grace thing is okay, but don’t go overboard with it. And there’s some things that you need to know, and that absolutely made Paul livid. And so this book is written in response to that, which was happening in Galatia. And in the midst of it, oh my, in the midst of it, the gospel is as pure and clear. How could you go back? Paul said, after this kind of salvation, how could you. So, if you want to be reminded of God’s grace and we have to be reminded often, or we’ll get discouraged, study the book of Galatians. Let’s as is our practice. Let’s pray. And then we’ll get down in the book of Galatians. Father, as we come into your presence, we’re thankful that you keep repeating yourself. You keep reminding us that you love us, that we’re forgiven, that we’re yours, that it’s okay. Father, thank you for doing that, cause we’re slow learners sometimes. Thank you for reminding us that you’re there and that you’re sufficient. You know the people who are listening to this broadcast this day, the hard places and the soft places. Remind us that you’re the God of our tears and the God of our laughter. Remind us to always run to you and to lean on you and lean on you hard. And then father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches, forgive him his sins because they’re many. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. If you have your Bible open it to the first chapter of Galatians, by the way, I hope your pastor’s sermon this weekend was as good as my pastor’s serman. We’re going to read starting at the sixth verse of the first chapter of Galatians, where Paul writes,
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel–
oh, man, we do that don’t we?
not that there’s another gospel, but there are some who trouble you who want to pervert the gospel. 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. As we’ve said before, now we say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ. For I would have, you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. How I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal. I feel his son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not confirm with flesh and blood, nor did I go to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and again I returned to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. For I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.
Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was not known by site in the churches of Christ in Judea. They only heard it said, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.
Now, in case you have to have it pointed out to you. That’s the apostle Paul defending himself. Sometimes you do that, you know. There are those who are very spiritual and very Christian and very pure who say that’s God’s business. I never defend myself. Well, sometimes you need to, sometimes you need to say that’s a lie and I’m not going to allow you to lie about me. So many pastors are operating under the belief that if they are godly, they will never defend themselves. And I teach students most of the time, that’s a good practice. But some of the time you simply have to say, let me tell you the truth because you obviously don’t know it. And so the apostle Paul is defending himself here. The people were coming in to Galatia and they were saying bad things about it. And it was all a lie. And that would have been okay. Paul wouldn’t have liked that, I know Paul, I mean, he’s a friend of mine. He wouldn’t have liked that a bit, but he probably wouldn’t have said so much, but what they were doing is that they were perverting the gospel of Christ. You know that that makes me angry too. I see it all the time when preachers and leaders and people that should know better. Even me sometimes, put a heavy burden on God’s people and tell them that if they really love Jesus, they would do this and this and this. And they try. And when they can’t do it, they leave. That makes me angry. I was just talking into a very close friend of mine. And, uh, when she was a teenager, uh, a lady that she looked up to in the church who was working with the youth, got pregnant, ended up marrying. And once, uh, once people counted up the months, they realized she had gotten pregnant before she got married. And they kicked her out of the church. That’s not the gospel, as my friend was telling me that this morning, I found myself just boiling up with anger and thinking, what are we doing? That’s what Paul was saying, in the first chapter of Galatians. The gospel was being perverted. And as he defends himself and as we check that out and we started the last time we were studying in Galatians. We looked at the ways that Paul was affirming the reality of who he was, an apostle, a solid follower of Christ, a servant of Christ. And he was saying that’s because, and we saw then, he was confronted. Listen, I’m not a volunteer. That’s Galatians 1:11-12,
I have you know, brothers, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I didn’t receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
In other words, Paul was just going about his business. And Jesus showed. Was that your experience? Yeah, it was mine, you know, I was doing fine and I really was, and then it was him. I didn’t choose him. I didn’t chase him. What’s that old sexist comment? I chased him and chased him and chased him until he finally caught me. Uh, I, I didn’t chase him. I didn’t. I didn’t go to him and plead, it just was. And, uh, confronted, Paul said, I didn’t make this up. God did this. And when you know, that happened to you too, you’ll know the reality of the one you belong to, he came to you first. He loved you first. He reached out to you first. And you think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, setting the table for us in our tour of Galatians. Today reading and teaching from Galatians 1:6-24. It’s going to be a great week. Please be sure to join us again tomorrow. Well, as Steve just shared, sometimes believers turn up their noses, when other sin. As if you know, they don’t have any problems. And when I say believers, of course, I mean us. We all do it, putting up a front, acting like we have it all together, but we don’t. And that pretending doesn’t help a bit. Steve spoke about this in a sermon called When Believing is Hard and Pretending Doesn’t Work. It’s a powerful and important message. So get your copy of the sermon on a CD for free. Right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also request the CD by emailing Steve@keylife.org. If you’re mailing us, send your request to
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