You’re stuck with me…deal with it.
MARCH 18, 2021
You’re stuck with me…deal with it. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
God’s 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. We’re looking at freedom and we’re going down a list, that was given and us by Paul in the fifth chapter of Galatians. And once we finish what freedom isn’t, we’re going to dig in to the fruit of the Spirit. And we’re going to see some really good stuff about that and the fruit of what isn’t the Spirit. But if you’ve been listening, we have seen that freedom is not licensed. And then yesterday we talked about freedom is not independence, it’s Galatians 5:13 through 15.
But you were called to freedom, brothers. But through love, be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in a word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
When you bite and you devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another. Now, note Paul, doesn’t say, if you do that, you’re going to lose your salvation. He’s been saying you can’t for the whole book. He isn’t saying, if you do it wrong, man, you are in such trouble and God will say I’m through with you. No, no, no, no. You got to get that straight at the beginning, but he is saying this, that we are so connected to each other and we are so free that those two things go together. And so freedom is not independence. I’m a part of a denomination that is very connected, but very free. I was in another denomination. And the church that I served was also in that denomination and we all changed denominations together. Sometime when I have a lot of time, I’ll tell you that story. That was a scary time. I got a 100% vote on the part of my congregation to leave the denomination. And let me tell ya, in that congregation and you couldn’t get out 100% vote on the resurrection of Christ. I mean, they just didn’t agree. But boy, on this one thing, we all agreed and you know why? Because we wanted to be free. Now we didn’t want to not be connected. And so we became a part of a denomination where there’s real connection. There is real discipline. There is real being a part of other churches and not a lone ranger church, but that was always in the new denomination, left up to the particular church and what they decided to do. In other words, if we wanted to leave that a nomination, all we had to do was leave. There were no legal, constitutional restraints to keep us there. And that’s the reason we stayed, because we were free and we were also connected. And that’s what Paul is saying. You can’t do this by yourself in I Corinthians 8:13, well, 12 and 13, it says.
Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is the cause of my brothers falling, I will not eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.
Now that’s not like the 10 Commandments. Paul is talking about a reality and a principle that we’re talking about here. He’s telling him about the fact that you’re free, but you’re connected, that we belong to each other because, and I’ve said it a thousand times.
Everybody who belongs to Jesus, belongs to everybody who belongs to Jesus.
There should be no lone rangers in the body of Christ. And I want you to know, if the Bible would give me permission. I would be one. By the way, just so you know, as I’m recording this, I’ve gotten the vaccine for them virus. I don’t have to wear this stupid mask anymore, but I’ve decided that I’m gonna wear it, because people look at you funny if you don’t. I’ve also decided to do what I’ve always done, and you know what that is? Social distancing, I like that idea, in fact I would be a monk, if they wouldn’t let me take my wife. Social distance is a good thing, but not a Biblical thing. That’s why the worship on the internet doesn’t do it. That’s why looking at a screen, isn’t the same thing as looking into the eyes of a real person. That’s why, when you can’t hug somebody, who’s your brother and sister in Christ, it doesn’t work, because we’re free, but we are also connected. And then Paul laying that kind of thing out, begins to give you some specifics on it. You know, I need to be a cheerleader for you. I mean, even if I don’t like what you’re doing, I need to be your cheerleader. I need to not say, are you crazy? You can’t do that. I need to say you go, bro, I need to stay in with, I need to take your commitments and make the my commitments. I need to take your pain and make it my pain. I need to take the things you love and love them. I need to take the things that drive you nuts and they should drive me nuts. Why is that? Because we’re free, but we are also connected. It’s a free country. I’m a free person. I’ll do what I want to do. And then dear friend, other people get hurt and wounded by the exercise of our freedom. And at that point, it’s no longer Biblical freedom. Now that doesn’t mean that sometimes people don’t get hurt. Sometimes speaking truth will cause hurt inadvertently. But once you recognize what Paul is saying here about being connected, you’ll learn to be very careful. Not too long ago I was speaking at a conference and was criticized. Now listen I tell you the bad things that I do. Give me permission to tell you sometimes when I do the right thing. Okay? But anyway, I was speaking at this conference, and that morning, the pastor had told me about a particular man in the congregation who was going through a really, really tough time. And after I finished one of the evening sessions of my teaching, he came up to me and he was angry and he said things to me you ought not say to anybody, certainly not a clergyman. No respect for the clergy. I mean, he just went after me, but I knew his story. And generally when people do that, I can say things and the Bible gives me permission. I’m not going to let you talk to me that way, dummy. I’m a child of God created in the image of God and you don’t have the right to disabuse me that way, disrespect me that way. That’s my normal. I wrote a book on Christian boldness one time and you can still get it, No More Mr. Nice Guy. So don’t, don’t let the teaching like this, get to you. But with that understood, we’re talking about being connected and being free. I was free to do that with that, man. What he said to me was not good. And it was abusive. You know what I said to him? I appreciate your honesty and I’m going to pray about it. And, and I just want you to know that I’m proud of you, that you were willing to say that to me. And I love that you did. It was a lie. I didn’t feel that at all, but I said it. And when I said it, I meant it,.You know what happened? That man came to me at the end of the conference and he said to me, Steve, I want to thank you for not saying to me what I deserved. Oh my, I was so glad. And that night before I went to bed, I knelt down and I said, Lord, you proud of me? Did I do good or what? And God said, if you hadn’t done good, I’d still love you. Yeah, that was a good thing, don’t stop, you’re getting better. And then he hugged me, the way I had an effect hugged that particular man. The point is this, you’re free, you’re really free. But don’t forget that you’re connected. And within the context of the freedom that we all share, there are certain things that naturally happen. And if they don’t, get on your knees and repent. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown wrapping up another week of teaching from the book of Galatians. We’ll resume our guided tour soon, but all next week, Steve’s invited our favorite megachurch Pastor Zach Van Dyke to teach again, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves because tomorrow of course is Friday Q&A. The time when Steve and our friend Pete Alwinson tackle the challenging questions that folks like you have sent in. Well, as you know, Easter is fast approaching and often Easter can bring some challenging questions with it. Why did Jesus have to die? Couldn’t there have been another way? If Jesus had lived to a ripe old age, wouldn’t he have had time to teach us more? Well, Steve has actually addressed those very questions in a sermon called Why Jesus Had to Die. We’d love to send you that sermon on a CD, for free. So get it right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an email to Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. By mail, send your request to
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