You failed? Welcome to the club.
OCTOBER 15, 2020
You failed? Welcome to the club. Let’s talk on Key Life.
Grace changes everything. How we love, work, live, lead, marry, parent, evangelize, purchase and worship. This is Key Life with practical Bible teaching to get you home with radical freedom, infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open to the second chapter of Galatians, and we’re looking at something very radical and paradoxical statements that Paul teaches in these verses, the second part of the second chapter of Galatians that help us understand the Gospel. We have seen in Galatians 2:15-16, that to qualify is to disqualify. Statement number two is, to succeed is to fail. Paul came to that place in his life, you remember Romans seven, when he said what he shouldn’t have said, and he confessed what he shouldn’t have confessed. And he brought up an issue, he shouldn’t have brought up. He cried out,
Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death?
You know what your failure is for?, it’s to bring you to the end of yourself. Don’t you hate it? I hate it. Every time I make a fool out of myself, every time I say something really dumb, every time I pretend that I’m something I’m not and God wacks me up side the head with a two by four, every time that happens, I begin to see the reality, when you fail and you know it, then you’re in a place to succeed. That’s what Jesus was talking about, when he talked about the kind of people he came for, he didn’t come for the good, the successful, the rich, the powerful, he came for the failures and everybody is, and when you realize it, then dear friend, that is the gospel. Let me give you another radical statement. To stand is to fall, Galatians 2:16b,
Even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law.
In other words, he says, I’m the man, I’m Jewish. I’m chosen, I was so good at it.,You wouldn’t believe it. I am, I, but I fell off my horse, and was blinded. And when I fell for the first time in my life, I began to stand. Now we’re getting down to the central thrust of the book of Galatians, and that thrust is the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ alone. And when you add something to it, anything, I don’t care what it is, if you add baptism to it, if you add Bible reading to it, descipleship to it, you mess with the Gospel, because the gospel is salvation by faith in Christ, period. Justification, theologians define justification this way.
Justification is that gracious act of God, whereby, on the basis solely of Christ’s accomplished mediatorial work, God declares the sinner just, and the sinner accepts this benefit with a believing heart.
True, just a little obtuse. The Greek word, by the way for justification is an antonym and the exact opposite is condemnation. To be justified is to no longer be condemned, Romans 8:1,
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
I think I’ve told you the story about a lady who came to me and who 19 years before had an affair. And I knew her husband, so I didn’t do anything dumb. Sometimes those kinds of things, secrets need to be revealed and sometimes not. But I said, look, I want you to do something. I want you to tell your husband. And she said, are you crazy? We’ll go through a divorce. And what kind of a witness will that be? I said, no, go tell him. Just, just go tell him. And I saw her a couple of days later, and she was like a little girl. I mean, I mean, the years had peeled away. She was almost dancing, when she walked. And I said, I knew what he had said. I said, what did your husband say when you told him? She said, he said, I knew 19 years ago, I was just waiting for a time, when you would come and tell me. She failed. She fell. And once she acknowledged that, she stood strong. That’s a good explanation for what happens in the area of justification. But with one exception, God says I’ve known you from the foundation of the earth. You have never surprised me, not even once. There is, please check, no perspiration on my forehead. Please know that you haven’t said anything or done anything that I didn’t already know. And once you see that, once you understand it, then you are justified, by the one thing that can justify you, and that is the blood of my son Jesus Christ. I’ve probably told you, when you’re old, you have redundancy to repeat stories, about the man who got to heaven. And he said, and he was glad to be at the gate, but Peter was standing there and Peter said, you know, don’t you, that you have to have a thousand points to get in this place? And the man said, nobody ever told me that before. And Peter said, well, you do. And what have you done to earn those thousand points? And the man was not a half bad, man. He’d done a lot of good stuff. So he began to tell him, he said, you know, I always tithed when I was a young man, when I got older, I was giving some 25% of my income. I was supporting missionaries all over the world. I had a solid marriage. I never cheated. I was a good father. My kids are old walking with Christ. Two of them are missionaries and one is a preacher and the other is a doctor, so he can pay the bills. He said, I was an elder in my church and I was not a rock thrower at our pastor, I held up his arms and prayed for him and I encouraged him. He said I was at the church when the doors were open. And in fact, when we build our church, I brought my hammer and saw and did a lot of the work myself. I have been a banker for all these years and I’ve given low income loans when people needed it and I’ve helped them, and sometimes out of my own pocket. And then he looked at Peter and said, how am I doing? And Peter said, well, that’s a half a point. What else if you done? And he said, my God have mercy. Peter said, you got it. Come on in. That’s it. That’s justification. It’s the opposite of condemnation. So many, and by the way, I really have a low opinion of human nature, yours and mine, I’m better than you are, cause I’m ordained. But, I have a little opinion of my human nature too. And, but when I feel condemned, that’s almost blasphemous, because the scripture is so clear. We’ll see it later. Galatians 2:20,
I live by faith in this land of a God, who loved me and gave me, gave himself for me.
To stand is to fall, and to fall is to stand. Now that’s an unbelievable concept. Now let me give you another one and we’re running out of time, so we’ll talk about it more tomorrow. This is the fourth one, to build is to destroy. Galatians 2:18,
But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor.
What’s Paul saying? Paul’s simply saying if I, what is it they say about insanity, is to keep doing the same thing, expecting a different result, over and over and over again. That’s what Paul’s saying. If I do that, that’s dumb. If I try to build up on my goodness and purity, which was really something else I did better than, than hardly any of my contemporaries. I shined in terms of the law, but if I keep trying to do that, I make myself a transgressor. So to build on something that’s on sand. To build something that isn’t going to be able to house anybody, at a house that will leak and fall apart, to keep on building on those things is really, really dumb. So the issue is to build, when you build that way, is to destroy the reality of what God has given. Go there. You think about that. Amen.
Steve, Steve Brown there leading us through Galatians chapter two, justification by faith in Christ alone, simple concept, but we still sometimes get that wrong. We’ll have more from Galatians next week, but tomorrow it’s time again for Friday Q & A. Of course that’s when our friend Pete Alwinson comes by and together, he and Steve answered some really challenging questions. On tap for tomorrow, why does God choose some and not others? Now, I know you, you want to hear that answer, so be sure to join us. Well recently on Steve Brown Etc, we spoke with one of my favorite authors, John Eldredge, his newest book talks about caring for our souls, about what to do when we feel burned out or empty. Have you experienced any of that lately?, maybe through most of this year. Yeah. Yeah, me too. That’s why we’d like to send you that whole conversation on CD for free. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you’re mailing us, send your request to
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