Connecting Belief and Action

Galatians: No Other Gospel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  45:45
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The truly free life of the acquitted (justified/righteous) is all Christ-earned and Christ-empowerd.

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Jesus used parables to apply principles to his audience. Today we’re going to dive into the text that many consider the central theme of the Book of Galatians. We’re going to do this via illustration, Parable and Living Principles.
Lord willing, I am not going to impress you with anything humanly clever, but we will all appreciate that the Word of God is absolutely relevant to Chase County 2023.
Transition: The illustration and Parable require us to understand the setting.

Who, Where, What

The Actors

Simon/Cephas/Petros (Peter)
I - Saul/Paul
we - Paul (plus any of the other characters)
Jews/the circumcision party (including Peter and those who came from James)
Gentiles (people raised in non-Jewish families)

The Place

Antioch (so that we will be able to compare to other maps, notice how the island of Cyprus points directly) was south of Paul’s hometown of Tarsus, but was the launching point for his missionary journeys into the region known as Galatia.
Galatia is modern Day Turkey. These people were more Asian in their thinking than either the Romans or the Hebrews.
If you were watching the news this week, you may have heard of a devastating earthquake on the Turkey/Syria border. This place ripped from the headlines is exactly where today’s Scripture event happened
Transition: Galatians 2 involves people, places and conflicts that are just as real as the news you may have seen on television or your phone. What exactly is the conflict that Paul calls out?

Questionable Conduct (v.14)

1. Paul’s reason for raising this issue is not just what Cephas/Peter did in Antioch, but what the “rest of the Jews” thought was acceptable behavior.
2. This word for conduct only appears hear in the entire NT. It is a compound word meaning “to do rightly
3. Since they thought their behavior was correct, they assumed that everybody else needed to comply with their opinion.
4. Apparently Peter did not agree with them, because he had been eating with the Gentiles when he didn’t think anyone was watching. (v.12)
5. Acts 10 tells of a vision Peter had received at Cornelius’ house that contradicted the certain men from James.
Acts 10:28 ESV:2016
28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.
Transition: Presumably Paul knew that Peter had been told the last part of that verse, and yet, rather than promote that view, he was bowing to peer pressure about the first part of that verse. This tension reveals...

The Result of Conduct - Conflict (v.11)

While the word “conflict” does not appear in the text, I think that 1 word summarizes these words that are in the text opposed, condemned, fear, hypocritically, astray, not in step with truth

Tacos or Brisket?

Perhaps this illustration came into my mind because I was working on this message on Tuesday
Imagine if you traveled to south Texas and found a great Taco joint. You are enjoying tacos with the locals when another Kansan appears and you begin to act like you suddenly no longer like tacos and only eat Brisket sandwiches on buns made with Kansas wheat.
Eating Tacos then acting like you don’t like tacos is the hypocrisy in vv.12-13
In v.11 Paul says he addressed this face to face with the very “Pillar” who endorsed his ministry in the previous paragraph.
in vv.14-15 Paul exposes the hypocrisy with a comparison similar to… If we were raised on wheat rolls and smoked brisket, yet we have freedom to eat tacos. Why are you forcing Mexicans to reject Tacos and only eat BBQ Beef?
Eating Tacos or BBQ Beef in NO WAY makes you more or less of a Christ Follower!
Transition: Just as diet has no bearing on your obedience, being Gentile or Jewish had no bearing on whom God accepts.

Basis of Justification - Belief (v.16)

A Parable

In the beginning the Triune God created a perfect world. Since I am only 1 person I would like to invite Axel and Oakley to come help me. Axel represents Jesus and Oakley represents the Holy Spirit. The Triune God hung the earth in space and said “it is Good”
Then the Triune God created mankind. Chuck Maggard, David Anderson and Jeff Harshman will represent humanity in the Garden. Before they could taste of the tree of Life they sinned and were banished from God’s presence. God took care of them and allowed them to feast on his creation [3 men go to bowl of orange slices], but they were distant from God
Over time these men had children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews, [invite Zeke, Van, & Austin to join the 3 men] enjoying the orange slices.
In Genesis 12 God chose Abraham and made a promise to give him offspring who would eventually enjoy His kingdom as he originally intended it. Abraham collects lots of orange slices and goes to a promised land [Trinity takes Jeff (with bag of orange slices)to stage right]. Although Abraham doesn’t have any children, God promises him descendants so [Luke H. Isaac & Henry H] join Jeff.
Abraham dies leaving his descendants with the promise and Chuck and David die as well with their children outside of the promise and None of the 3 getting to the Kingdom before death. But Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. [let’s thank Jeff (Abraham) David and Chuck as they enter their rest(go sit down)].
God gives the Jews a set of instructions (10 commandments) and says, “If you keep these perfectly you will live.” But none of them can do it perfectly so, although they are closer than the other humans, they still do not reach the kingdom.
Meanwhile Zeke becomes powerful outside of Israel and becomes the King of Babylon. He sends an Army and makes all the Jews his servants. [Zeke go get all the “harshmans” and bring them to your side.]
After a while the Holy Spirit tells Nehemiah and Ezra to take the Jews back to Jerusalem and serve God and He will send a Messiah to get them to the Kingdom one day. So the Holy Spirit takes Isaac and Henry back to the Promised Land, but Luke stays in Babylon. [Luke is obeying God, but he is doing it over here where he learns a new language and culture. Isaac and Henry return to Israel and reclaim their original Hebrew language that they had before Babylon took them away.]
Eventually God sends Jesus (Axel) to earth as Messiah. He is crucified [Axel lays down]. The Holy Spirit (Oakley) raises him from the dead. The Holy Spirit asks Isaac “Do you believe the Jesus who died and was resurrected is the Messiah? He says “yes” and is granted the kingdom. When the Holy Spirit asks Henry (who is also a Jew living in the promised land) he says “no” and doesn’t get the kingdom.
On the day of Pentecost The Holy Spirit asks the Jew who is living among the Greeks in a different language and culture, “Do you believe the Jesus who died and was resurrected is the Messiah? He says “yes” and is granted the kingdom
Austin (a Jewish Proselyte) realizes something is happening and that the Jews are closer to the kingdom than his people, so he joins them. Philip explains the Law to the Eunuch and the Holy Spirit asks ““Do you believe the Jesus who died and was resurrected is the Messiah? He says “yes” and is granted the kingdom”.
Let’s recount where we are: Van is not a Jew and doesn’t believe Jesus is Messiah (no kingdom). Zeke is not a Jew but he DOES believe Jesus is Messiah (kingdom). Austin is not a Jew, but he proselytized to Judaism, and then believed Jesus is Messiah (kingdom), though not a descendent of Jeff. Luke is a Jew (descendant of Jeff AND believes Jesus is Messiah, although he lives in Mexico and eats Tacos and is in kingdom). Isaac is a Jew and believes Jesus is Messiah (Kingdom) Henry, although the descends from Jeff, does not believe Jesus is Messiah (no Kingdom).
Enter Lauren & Annabella. They both are Jews and believe Jesus is Messiah (Kingdom). Lauren represents Paul so she takes her kingdom and tries to share it Van. Annabella represents Peter and she is trying to convince Henry to believe Jesus is Messiah.
Even though Annabella (Peter) is nice to Van and wants to share her kingdom with him, Austin, Luke and Isaac bully her into telling Van that he has to come over to the Jew side before she can share her kingdom with him. Lauren (Paul) says, “Everyone who has some kingdom, lift it high! There are some Jews who do and some Jews who do not, There are some Gentiles who do and some Gentiles who do not. It doesn’t matter if they are over here or over there, Everybody who has kingdom was given it by the Holy Spirit by believing Jesus is Messiah!”
Henry on that side, and Van on this side both need someone to ask them if they believe Jesus is Messiah. Paul is saying in this middle section, Everyone can get Kingdom right where they are!


The point of the Parable is, “It no longer matters if you are a Harshman or not, It doesn’t matter if you obey the commands, what matters is
Galatians 2:16 (ESV:2016)
16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ...
Transition: Once we have been acquitted of sin, How are we to live among others?

Result of Acquittal - Righteous Life (v.20)

Whatever generates us sustains us! There are too many people who suffer from bait and switch thinking. We admit that we cannot save ourselves and need outside help, but after we are safe we try to take credit for remaining safe.
I’m not real pleased with the way v.17 is translated in the translation we read this morning. All other translations use the word seeking where the ESV uses endeavor. Maybe I’m wrong, but the word endeavor to me communicates initiative and effort.
While some religious people may be striving toward justification. I think most of us are wandering or flailing when Jesus spots us and initiates our rescue. Retelling the story such that His rescue is in any way diminished by our contribution is NOT the Gospel Paul is trying to defend.

Death to law-based effort

Paul states “I have been crucified”
If an autopsy reveals 2 bullets to the brain. It is almost certain that we can rule out the victim as the cause of the 2nd bullet.
2. Our death to the law (v.19) is also something that happens to us.
3. The beauty of the Christian Gospel is that when one is justified in Christ (v.17), His death becomes our death.
4. We read in
Romans 7:4 ESV:2016
4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.

Alive to Christ-based righteousness, faith, grace & life

the life I now live.
Not only do we see in in Gal 2:20-21, but the verse we just started in Romans goes on to say: that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.
We must be attentive that the life of Grace given to us by God’s good grace does NOT get transformed into any opportunity for us to demand of others what God does not.
Transition: The Galatian church had been led astray by a high-expectation group. Peter allowed his fear of this same group to withdraw his kindness in Antioch.


Do I hold the red and gold of the kingdom? Have you believed in the death and resurrection of Christ so that the Holy Spirit has baptized you into the kingdom and promised you eternal life?
How did I receive this gift? Was it my forefathers? Was it my obedience of the commands? Was it my surgery or the diet I observe?
Is there anything I am expecting of others, that God doesn’t expect of them? Am I loving my neighbors and explaining the truth so that they can respond in Faith to the Gospel?
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