Monday, January 25, 2010

No Other Gospel

Part 2 of a series through Galatians

Text: Galatians 1:6-10

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul writes that justification (being declared innocent of sin/righteous by God) is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. This is the gospel (good news) he preached.

In this passage, Paul presents two convictions we should have about the gospel.
  1. There is only one gospel (vv. 6-7a). To change the gospel is to create a false gospel.
  2. There is nothing more important than the gospel (vv. 8-9). The church's greatest danger is not the anti-gospel outside the church; it is the counterfeit gospel inside the church.
Therefore, we must share the gospel, whether it is popular or not (v. 10).

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Grace in Galatia

Part 1 of a series through Galatians

Text: Galatians 1:1-5

Here is a quick introduction to the book of Galatians:
  • AUTHOR: Paul the apostle.
  • RECIPIENTS: Probably churches in southern Galatia (present-day Turkey) that Paul founded on his first missionary journey (Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe; see Acts 13-14).
  • PROBLEM: False teachers (Judaizers) were promoting a faith plus works gospel. They were saying that Gentile believers had to be circumcised.
  • PURPOSE: To show that justification is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Who was Paul?
  • A former persecutor (Gal. 1:13)
  • A former Pharisee (Gal. 1:14)
  • An apostle sent by Jesus Christ to preach the gospel to the Gentiles.
The gospel is not about what we do for God; it is about what God has done for us.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Dying to Live

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels" (Mark 8:34-38).

Three demands of discipleship:
  1. You must deny yourself (v. 34b). "Denying yourself" means that you decide to exchange your will for God's will.
  2. You must take up your cross (v. 34c). "Taking up your cross" means that you are willing to make any sacrifice for Christ.
  3. You must follow Jesus (v. 34d). "Following Jesus" means that you are committed to imitating Christ's example and obeying His teaching.
Three benefits of discipleship:
  1. You will have real life (v. 35).
  2. You will not be disappointed in the end (vv. 36-37).
  3. You will not be ashamed when you stand before Jesus (v. 38).
Following Jesus can be difficult, but all who choose this path will be greatly rewarded in the end.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Serve Like Jesus

The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him (John 13:2-5).

Why did Jesus was His followers' feet?
  1. Because He loved them (John 13:1)
  2. Because He was focused on the needs of others (Mark 10:45)
  3. Because He understood that true greatness comes from serving others (Mark 10:43).
Followers of Christ should serve as He did:
  • With the right motivation: Serve others because of love.
  • With the right attitude: Serve others with humility.
  • With the right knowledge: Serve others to achieve true greatness.
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