Today’s sermon easily could have been two sermons but the relationship between the two points is so close I though it best to group them together.
The two points are points of contrast. The first in verses 8-11 is a contrast between Gospel Religion and Worldly Religion and the other point, in verses 12-20, is a contrast between Gospel Ministry and Worldly Ministry.
It’s important to be able to identify the contrasts in religion and ministry, essential even. If we can’t tell the difference between what is based upon the gospel and what is worldly then, as Paul says, there’s good reason to be “fearful for you.”
One time someone asked me to explain the gospel to them and, in retrospect, I didn’t do the best job. I rightly told them all about how we are sinners in need of rescuing, that we can’t save ourselves because we are more sinful than we realize, etc. and that if we believe in Christ we can be forgiven.
But I didn’t go much beyond that and as a result I only shared half of the gospel. The other half is that once forgiven of our sins we become the children of God.
Being forgiven is good news, but the really good news is that we become the children of God.
Christians are Children of God both legally, and experientially. In God’s eyes the adoption papers have been signed and our status as His children is a done deal. Legally we are His children but it goes beyond that. He gives us His Spirit so we can experientially know we belong to Him, too.
This message has seven points. That’s a lot but most of them I’ll go through quickly.
Last week we focused on the gospel being the key to both justification and sanctification. If we are having difficulty with anger the Christian solution isn’t to try harder to not to be angry it’s to refocus on Jesus Christ Crucified. Just like Christ is the key to our initial salvation, He is also the key to our continued growing.
We grow by focusing on what He’s done for us and who we are in Him. We continue to live by faith, trusting in God’s declaration that in his eyes those who trust in Him have the righteous of Jesus credited to their account.
And if you have Jesus’ righteousness credited to your account there isn’t any need to credit more. You have all that is necessary. The Galatians, although saved by grace, were trying to maintain their salvation by keeping the law. Paul says of this in verse 3 “Are you so foolish? After beginning by the Spirit, are you now finishing by the flesh?” And verse 10… ”For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse…”
Paul’s point is that there is no middle ground. We either live by faith or we live by works. We either trust in the law and our own righteousness or we trust in the righteousness of Jesus. Period.
Now, at this point a logical question arises. But what about the law?
The blessing we receive is more than just forgiveness. It’s more than just having our sins wiped away. We have received the Spirit! In God’s eyes we are seen as perfectly righteous and we stay that way. We have been declared righteous and as proof, God himself dwells in us. We aren’t saved by grace only to go on trying to maintain our status by doing good works. To live that way is foolishness.
The gospel is for salvation but it is also for continued growing through the Spirit. Trusting in Jesus Christ crucified is for all of life and the means God uses for our sanctification, the process of us becoming what God declares us to be.
"Imagine that your house were burning down but your whole family had escaped, and I said to you: Let me show you how much I love you! and ran into the house and died. What a tragic and pointless waste of a life, you would probably think. But now imagine that your house was on fire and one of your children was still in there, and I said to you: Let me show you how much I love you!, ran into the flames, and saved your child but perished myself. You would think: Look at how much that man loved us."
If we could save ourselves then Christ died for nothing. When we add to what Christ did, requiring this or that of ourselves or of others, we make a mockery of Christ's work on the Cross. We treat Christ's death as if it had no effect.
But Christ's death did accomplish something for those that believe in Him. Christ's death is the guarantee of our salvation and it means everything to us. And it teaches us how to go on living for him, serving him, not trying to repay him, but in an earnest attempt to please Him.
This is how we live out the gospel. Peter needed to be reminded of this way of life and may we not be too proud to admit that we need reminded too.
The leadership of KCBC has decided it will be best to take a little break from Thursday Night Bible Study and Sunday School this summer. Attendance usually decreases over the summer as we try to fulfill our family obligations, travel, etc. and which makes maintaining continuity difficult.
Here are some of the benefits and activities we plan to do instead...
- Use some of the extra time to plan and build excitement/momentum for when we restart weekly Bible Study and Sunday School
- Allow for extra fellowship time before church starting at 9:15 a.m.
- Use available time for home visits from Pastor Tim and Aletha during the week
- Give the students and teachers a much needed break
- Have a couple extra potlucks on Sunday June 10th and July 15th
We will have Sunday School for the next couple weeks but not on May 27th. We will restart on Sunday, Sept 2, the first Sunday after the campout. We will also take a break from Thursday Night Bible Study starting starting immediately and resuming Thursday, August 30th. Men's breakfast will continue to meet as we normally do.
Please be praying with us that we will use the extra time wisely, especially for increased fellowship and for building excitement when we restart.
Sometimes we act like act a little crazy refusing to unite with our brothers and sisters in Christ. It's crazy because there's so much that could be accomplished if we were more united and we didn't let our petty differences get in the way.
In Galatia, Gospel unity was at stake but it wasn't something that happened all of a sudden. Fourteen years went by before Paul went up to Jerusalem to confront Peter and the others. He had been busy ministering to the Gentiles while Peter and others had been busy ministering to the Jews in Jerusalem but what was occurring behind his back threatened to tear the church in two.
So, this was a critical meeting for the church, the consequences of which we still see today.
Let's look more closely at why he went, what was at stake, and what was the outcome...
Listen to more...
Here's what's coming up...
- Long Scraggy Workday - May 5th, 2018, 9:00 A.M. (As much time as you can give). For details or questions call, if possible RSVP so we know how much food to cook. 303-838-7770
- Joyful Soles Dance: The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe - May 5th at 2:00 & 7:00 p.m. May 6th at 3:00 p.m @ Colorado's Finest High School of Choice
- IdRaHaJe Chuck Wagon Cookout - May 12th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- 2018 KCBC Campout - August 24 & 25
"Paul's Testimony of Amazing Grace"
The other day I heard of a man who was sharing his testimony with some friends, telling how God had sought him and found him. How God had loved him, called him, saved him, delivered him, cleansed him, and healed him. It was a tremendous testimony to the glory of God.
After the meeting, one rather legalistic friend took him aside and said, “You know, I appreciate all that you said about what God did for you, but you didn’t mention anything about your part in it. Salvation is really part us and part God, and you should have mentioned something about your part.”
“Oh,” the man said, “I apologize. I’m sorry. I really should have mentioned that. My part was running away, and God’s part was running after me until he found me.”
I think many of us should be able to relate to this story. I'm sure the apostle Paul could. He spent his whole life pretending to be righteous, thinking he was near God when he was actually running in the opposite direction.
Paul has an amazing testimony and he shares it boldly in this section. But he doesn't share it to draw attention to himself. Paul's not the focus, God is.
In this text we see two basic reasons for Paul sharing his testimony: 1) to refute false claims and 2) to display God's amazing grace.
Occasionally, we watch a sermon from the Internet during Thursday night Bible Study. Here are a couple that we have watched recently. The first one features Ravi Zacharias & Dr. Vince Vitale and an address they gave at Google's headquarters. The second one is a very inspiring sermon giving by John Piper: "If Anyone Loves Me He Will Keep My Word." Here are the links...
Do you believe the true gospel? Does it matter? Paul wants us to know that it does matter. He wasn't us to know that there are such things as false gospels and it's possible to know what they are so we can avoid being "cursed" by them.
In this first sermon on Galatians we want to answer three questions. 1) What is Paul so worked up about? 2) What gives Paul the right so speak? And 3) What does Paul say about the true gospel?
Don't forget, this Sunday, April 22nd, we will have our potluck after worship. See you there!
Starting this Sunday we will begin a new Sermon Series on the book of Galatians called "Gospel A to Z: Living out the Implications of the Gospel." The gospel isn't just a one-time thing you believe in order to "get saved." It is for all of life, from A to Z. Galatians teaches that the gospel is the key to happy marriages, to getting along with others, to ending racial divisions. It's the key to experiencing true joy and freedom!
I'm really excited to be starting this series and learning with you. See you Sunday, Lord willing! ~ Pastor Tim
One of the problems with people is that we tend to think we have more time than we really do. As we get older we tend to realize that time is getting short. Maybe that's why studies show the older people get the more likely you are to believe in God, to pray and to go to church.
Young people need to remember their Creator but so do older people. Our problem is that we fail to find true joy because we do not sufficiently remember our Creator.
Listen to more.
Lately, I've been thinking of verses that teach about the church and I've found that there are a lot of them! I'm learning that they teach us many things from how much Christ loves the church to how the members of his church is supposed to behave. So many good things to ponder.
If you're a Facebook user you'll notice that I've started posting daily verses about the Church to help us think more deeply about what Scripture says about the church. Check them out. You don't have to be a Facebook member to view the page. Here's a verse to get you started...
Ephesians 2:19-20 CSB "So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone."
Isn't it awesome that the church is built upon such a solid foundation as Jesus Christ, himself? The church is sure to survive!
On Palm Sunday we said the goal of Psalm 118 is “to encourage us to be more thankful to the Lord for his faithful love” because the psalm begins and ends with, “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his faithful love endures forever.”
On Resurrection Sunday, it is also appropriate that we take time to give thanks to God for the wonderful gift he has given us in his Son Jesus. God’s faithful love for us is clearly seen in his only Son who was sent to die for us to take upon himself what we deserve. But God’s love for us is even more apparent on Resurrection Sunday when God raised Jesus from the dead.
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead means that he conquered death for us. Paul calls Jesus’ victory over death “the first fruits” because after that first harvest, another harvest will follow and those who believe in Jesus will share in Jesus’ victory over that last enemy, death. On the last day we will all rise from the dead praising God that His faithful love endures forever.
More specifically, the goal of our text is to urge us to rejoice on the Lord’s day. Our Sunday observances may frequently be lethargic, without joy, indifferent—it’s just another day. If we go to church we may go more out of duty, or to see our friends, but where is the joy and gladness for Jesus? Our text urges us to rejoice on the Lord’s day because on that day God acted to save King Jesus from death.
Don’t miss out on the opportunities this weekend to praise, worship, and celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. KCBC will be having a Good Friday Service this Friday at 5:30 p.m. Then, Sunday morning we will have a special breakfast at 8:30 a.m. All are welcome and we encourage you to invite guests. Finally, at 10 a.m. we will continue our formal worship at 10 a.m. See you soon!
Loma is in a high desert valley, located on the far western side of Colorado between the Utah border and the city of Grand Junction. Loma is not really a town, but has a mini-mart gas station, post office, and elementary school. Most people drive the short distance to Fruita or Grand Junction for just about everything. The church sanctuary was built in 1909, with indoor plumbing coming in 1965 when the fellowship hall, kitchen, and bathrooms were added.
Pray for the church congregation as we desire to grow in faith. Pray that we will impact and influence our relational worlds for Christ through how we live our lives for Him. Pray for our many ministries, including yearly Vacation Bible School, weekly After School Bible Club, Youth Group, and men/women ministries. Pray for Kristin and me as we help lead this localized body of believers, striving to continually point people to The Gospel of Jesus Christ – in and through all things.
How often do we thank God for saving Jesus from death and, with him, for saving us from death? It’s probably something, especially this time of year, that we should think about more than we do and, fortunately, it’s something Psalm 118 can help us with.
This whole Psalm points to Christ and specifically it points to his entrance into Jerusalem before He died. It’s goal is to encourage us to be more thankful to the Lord for his faithful love because it was by his faithful love that he saved the life of the of the king in the Psalm from certain death, and with him, he also saved the lives of his people.