You’ve been there. You’ve done that. Remember.
OCTOBER 29, 2020
You’ve been there. You’ve done that. Remember. 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 it to 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. We’re looking Paul’s comments in Galatians 3:1-9. A lot of lies had been believed, by the Galatians and Paul is not altogether pleased with those lies and he’s telling the Galatians, for heaven’s sake, remember. And as we’ve looked at what he says in those first nine verses, he said, don’t forget the Cross and Jesus at the very center of everything. Don’t forget where he found you. Don’t forget the logical nature of the meta-narrative you have accepted. And then he says something else, you can be deceived by forgetting your own experience, Galatians 3:4-5.
Did you (hear it comes) experience so many things in vain– if it really isn’t vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith.
I’m gonna talk about scripture, probably next week as we continue looking at these verses in the third chapter of Galatians. And I don’t want you to think that I think that Christianity is just a religion of experience. It’s not, we talked about how you gotta use your mind and that you need to love God with all of your mind. Somebody said to John Wesley, sometimes God can do without your book learning. And Wesley said, God can do without your ignorance too. And, you know, there is a sense in which the Christian faith is cerebral. It’s a meta-narrative. It hangs together. It’s right. It’s logical. And once you see that truth, you can unsee it. But there is another side of that, and it’s very important. And sometimes scholars dismiss this, experience, absolute experience. That’s what was going on in the Old Testament. When the people of God were called to make a pile of stones by the Jordan. And when your children ask you about those stones, tell them what God did. As you read through the Psalms, you find the Psalmist is constantly reminding God’s people, of God’s faithfulness. Of what he’s done in the past, of where he found them and how he led them, the experience of God’s people. In Philippians 1:6, Paul says,
He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion.
Now that is a wonderful promise because what God starts, he always finishes. And I sometimes tell people, think about what God has done for you. If he’s done anything, he’s going to bring it to completion. That’s an absolute promise given by God himself. And so it’s important than what we have experienced, becomes a reality in our lives. And that’s what Paul is saying to these Galatians, remember, make memorials. Remember what happened to you. Remember. You remember the time you thought you were going to die and you didn’t? You remember when you thought you were going to fall and somehow God protected you. Do you remember how God intervened in your life, when you thought you couldn’t stop drinking or smoking or doing drugs. The time you couldn’t make the mortgage, but you did. I mean, my wife and I sometimes look at the costs of college and university training in our grandchildren. And we think back in the days when both of our daughters were in college and we didn’t have two dimes to rub together, but they’re out, they’re walking with Christ, they owe nobody anything for going to college, cause we paid it all. And I remember thinking, I can’t do this. There is no way that on a pastor’s salary, I can pay these bills, but we did. I see that happening, all the time. And if I sit and I’m an old guy, if I sit and remember, I’m not big nostalgia, I think that’s like going into a bakery when you’re on a diet, you can’t eat those donuts or that cake. And nostalgia’s kinda like that, man, you can’t go back. The river has changed, every time you step out and step back in and it’s a different river. But I’ve always said, when I’m old and I am now, I’m going to pause and I’m going to think about the past and I’m going to remember God’s faithfulness in our lives. I remember how scared we were when we heard that Jennifer, our newborn baby, our younger daughter was really sick and the doctor said if you know how to pray, pray. And I didn’t. And, I met some people shortly before that and they prayed and God intervened. And I remember what I felt that morning when the doctor said this is miraculous, everything is normal. And I don’t know how that happened. Oh man. I remember that. I remember the church that was dying and nobody gave it any hope and God brought awakening. And you could sense God’s presence in the services of that church. I remember we had never had a missions program and we decided we were going to have a world missions conference. And the problem was that none of us had ever been to a missions conference. So we didn’t know what we were doing, but we decided we were going to do it. I called a missionary statesman in Korea, and I said, Dr. Moffitt, somebody told me you love Jesus and believe the Bible. And if you do in fact love Jesus, and believe the Bible, I’ll send you some money. Dead silence on the other end of the line. And Dr. Sam Moffitt said, that’s the strangest phone call I ever received. And in the pause, the silence after I said that, I said, not only that, if you’ll give me some names of some other missionaries that love Jesus and believe the Bible I’ll send them some money too. That was so, and God provided and the church grew and things changed. And I changed. I could, you know, if I start going down this road, I’m gonna, all I’m going to do is tell you about memories, but those experiences are very important. Part of my job when I was a seminary professor was to tell the students the truth about the church. So many of our students were being chewed up. And so I taught a course on politics and how to deal with conflict in the church and how to be strong and all of that sort of thing. And in order to do that, I had to be really honest about some of the bad stuff these students were going to face when they got in a church. We’re a bunch of porcupines trying to hug each other in the storm. And sometimes it’s really hard, so I told them the bad stuff and I said to them, listen, if it gets so bad, raise your hand and I’ll tell you the good stuff. I’ll tell you my memories and why I’m so glad I was able to serve all those years. And I remember one, one class when I was, man it was scary. I even brought in another pastor to talk about his experiences. And the young man in the front row raised his hand and he said, Dr. Brown, it’s time. So, I put everything aside and I began to talk about the people in the church and their love, the lady who wouldn’t speak up in a meeting, but made cookies for me and told me she was praying for me. The brother who stood with me when everybody was so critical. And then I began to remember and to talk about all of those experiences and you know what happened? And I’m not an emotional person. I got teary eyed. And I said to this students, I’ve got to stop this, this is getting too heavy. And I don’t like to go here. What was happening? God was happening. God’s done that in your life too. He’s given you experiences. And sometimes you forget, in the, in the lives that we live that are so busy with so much stuff. We forget what God has done. He who began a good work in you. Say to God, Lord, I heard Steve say on a broadcast that I need to remember stuff that I may have forgotten. So, would you for, would you fix my rememberer, would you call it to mind those places where you intervened, where you changed things, where you changed me and then get out of the way and be still. That’s kind of what Paul was saying to the church at Galatia. He was saying, he was saying don’t believe all of these lies. And one of the ways you hang tough with the truth is to remember what God has done in your life. Build a pile of memorial stones. Go there and sit and remember. It’ll make a difference. Hey. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. We will continue this journey through Galatians soon, but next week, Steve has invited pastor Zach Van Dyke to join us again. Don’t miss that. And tomorrow it’s Friday Q & A. That’s when Steve and our friend, Pete Alwinson answered the thorny theological questions you’ve sent in, so if you had to name one single issue that constantly hounds you, what would it be? Well for a lot of believers, it would be guilt, but here’s some great news. Jesus’ death paid the debt for all our sins. That means guilt can actually lead us back to Christ to find true and lasting forgiveness. Steve wrote about this in a mini-book called Feeling Guilty? Grace for Your Mistakes. And you can get that mini-book for free, right now, by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an email to Steve@keylife.org to ask for that mini-book. By mail, send your request to
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