Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gospel Meditations from Galatians Pt. 2

For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother. (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.
Galatians 1:11-24 (ESV)

As I did a post about a few weeks ago, we are currently going through a study in the book of Galatians at Northland.  This week we were in the above passage.  The sermon was preached by Dr. Sam Horn, president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary and previous administrator at Northland.  I'm going share with you all what he preached...it was a great blessing.

What does Paul say about the gospel?

It's authority derives from it's source:
  • It was not received from men (1:11).
  • It came God (1:12).
The power behind a pure gospels is seen in it's affect:
  • The gospel turned Paul from a devout and zealous Jew, a hater and destroyer of Christers, to a Christ proclaimer (1:13 & 14).  He probably considered himself to be on level with Elijah, destroying the prophets of Baal.  To him these people [Christians] were preaching falsely, and turning people away from the truth...they had to be stopped.
  • The very thing he once persecuted he now followed.  His focus switches to God..."But when he [God]..." (1:15).  The power of God in the lives of people...what great things it can do!
  • He did not need to consult with anyone, for God had spoken to him directly (1:16).
The proclamation of the gospel must be at the center of our lives!

What do I do with all this?
  • We must value the gospel above all else!
  • Display the gospel to all nations!
  • We must protect the purity of the gospel at all cost!
    • Paul was willing even to defend it against his friend (2:11-14).
    • There will be times where we will have to do this as well.
Let us be overwhelmed by the power of the gospel to change lives!  Never get over this...

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