Date: September 4, 2022
Speaker: Nate Winters
Scripture: Galatians 1:1-10
It’s good to see you all. I want to say, first off, way to turnout on a holiday weekend. You know, good to see you. It was Adam Settle who came to me and said, make sure that you say good morning. So good morning. Thanks, Adam for that, and beautiful day and just good to be here. You know, there are times, I seriously get swept up in worship over here. Not to take anything away from Pastor Trent. As the Lord is speaking to and through him, usually each week. But I get swept up in the song when George or one of his team members begins to read, I feel like that’s enough for me. Like I am so already overwhelmed that it’s like in Jesus name, amen. I just want to walk in the woods with the Lord. Yeah. So, yeah. Amen to that. So feeling a little bit of that right now. You know, have you ever had this said to you, or you’ve overheard it? Maybe you’ve said it yourself? Maybe you say, see it? Or say it regularly? Wasn’t that worship? Awesome. You heard that before? Like I have. I thought that before, but then what catches me at times is oh, what does God think? Because as God is here with us, and we pray and expect him to be present with us just constantly, first off, and as we’re gathered, here, he is here. Okay, so he is with us. But he also is hearing more than our singing. Do we realize this, that as we sing, he’s not just like one more of us, such that he’s could take any of the open seats here and experience what we expect, but that he knows every heart as I sing, he knows my heart. I’m not ready to say that my heart is awesome to him. But I am ready. Or at least I just desire to know how it is that he is receiving my heart in our hearts as we sing. That He loves us and wants us, all of us. Anyway, there’s just some of the stuff that’s going through my head, as I’m down here, sitting with my wife. All right. Now time to preach. So go ahead and throw out if you would put up the picture that we had, I want to show you this. Okay, all right now. There’s actually two pictures. This is this is the first one and this is meant. That’s me and my wife 30 years ago, 33 years ago, and we were falling in love. She snuck up behind me and jumped on my back as her mom took that picture. I just want to point out some things quickly. You’ll see that I have hair. You’ll see who the comic relief is, by the way in the relationship. Right? Yeah, good. I mean, please nod. Yeah. You’ll see who the spiritual one is in the relationship because I’m holding my Bible. I’m also holding the dandelion. For the life of me, I don’t know why, like, what is what is up with the dandelion, but it’s a little embarrassing, and I know that there are men in the church, you’re gonna let me hear about that later. Why are we Dude, why? Anyway, but I was in love. Okay, now, next picture, please. That is us doing a reenactment probably about what three years ago, and your mom is with just three of us. Where we are, is in a seven acre ecosystem that is adjacent to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Okay. We are there because we are reenacting there where I asked Kim to marry me. Okay. I asked her to marry me on February 26 1990. There was a lot of snow there. So picture that. It was about two feet of snow. We had hopped the fence. It was illegal. I was an employee at Calvin if I’d gotten caught, I lost my job, but I loved you. So we hopped that fence, and we went back to the very back corner there of that seven acres and there was like farm fields and stuff. I found that on the perimeter, and all of a sudden as we’re kind of walking back through is super quiet in the snow and it’s probably about midnight. Okay, so it’s dark. I didn’t have a flashlight. bungled it anyway. So we get back in there and someone screamed to this day, I’ve no idea who it was. She freaked out. Someone just screamed back there. I’m looking through the woods. I didn’t see anybody. You know, when the snow is on the ground, you can see a long way even at night. There’s no one back there. But someone screamed, and it freaked her out. She says, We need to get out of here. I said, Oh, okay. But I have a question to ask you first. She turns to me. She says, what? So I, I said, I’m going to get down on my knees to ask it. I got down on my knee. As I’m getting down on my knees, she falls over backwards. Like I’m talking like a tree, she did not sit down in the snow. It was a tree. Just perfectly backwards, always good thing. There was nothing there that she hit her head on. Over backwards. I pick her up, turn her around, brush all the snow off of her. Then, and then I said some things to her. This is where we’re going this morning with the sermon is that I said to her, and she is is my witness. You know, you’re the only one for me. One, Alot of other women in the world. But there’s not any other timberland barns. So I, I want you and you only one. She said yes. I had the ring on me. But remember, I didn’t have flashlight, pulled the ring out, you know, still oversized and had been cut down to fit her little finger. So you know, I’m like, oh, Lord, please help us now. She’s like, I can’t even see it. So then we’re running back to the parking lot to stand under the lights in the parking lot to see the ring anyway. One, this is where I’m going with this. One, we’re looking at Galatians chapter one, we’re gonna read verses 1 through 10. Really slow down in verses 6 to 10 today, but I want us to see this, just the oneness. Or if you want a more theological word, the singularity of the gospel of Jesus Christ, that there is just one gospel, there is just one gospel and accordance with a theme that we’re going to be looking at over these next months in Galatians. There’s only one gospel that frees us. Anything else that calls itself a gospel is going to come up empty for you. Just one gospel, that there is just one God, there is just one Jesus, there is just one gospel, that there is just one church, and that there is just one, I call it worship, but resolve to worship the one and only Lord. So that’s where we’re going this morning. I want for it to be worshipful in here, a lot of the Bible, either read or, you know, I’m gonna try to remember to, quote, I know the day is coming, by the way, when I’m going to be up here, have complete mind blank, and then I’m going to be rifling through to try to find the verse. Hopefully, that won’t happen this morning. Try to quote and try to read have a lot of Scripture. You don’t care as much about what I say you care about what he says though, right? Hopefully, you’re not coming back. You’re saying, Well, I’m not sure that I agree with that, when all I’ve done is just read from here. Right? Here’s your we want all of us to agree with this. So you can have a lot of this. It’s gonna be worshipful. Just one verse after another, perhaps can feel that way along the way. Then we’re going to make our way into communion.
All right, so are you in Galatians chapter one. I’m going to start reading in verse one. says, Paul and apostle, not from men, nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God, the Father who raised him from the dead. And all the brothers who are with me, I was quite a strong talk about a strong brotherhood. His team, like Luke and Silas Barnabas early on, Timothy, that list goes on to the churches of Galatia. Note that it’s not the church Galatia. We heard last week that you noticed churches in a region that he had either visited perhaps he hadn’t visited yet, but that he’s sending these to a region and that there were multiple local churches in this room. virgin Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself for our sins, to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Verse six, I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting who called you in the grace of Christ, and are turning to a different gospel. Not that there is another one. But there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. I’m astonished. I don’t know about you. I have personally ceased if I have for the most part maybe altogether, ceased to be astonished with what I’ve heard lately. By lately, I mean, the last maybe 5 10 years out and about as I make my way in life in America, I’m just not astonished anymore. I know that some come to me and they say, you know, can you believe that? Blah, blah, blah. That God said that that got done that this is coming our way. Can you believe that? Yeah, I can believe that. Just not astonished anymore. Until something very recently happened to me. I was attending a courtroom adoption hearing, I guess it is over the Dauphin County Courthouse, downtown Harrisburg. We’re there and I can remember that family and friends are gathered there. That the woman who is oversees all of Dauphin County Child Services, she’s sitting right here on my right. Then there were three other female social workers who kind of sat and wrapped around this way. Then the judge comes in, and it’s all rise and you know, we stand up, you know, be seated, we sit down. First thing out of his mouth. Dauphin County Courthouse. This is the day that the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. I about fell over. I mean, so much. So he asked me to pray at the end. I think I’ve prayed for like, 10 minutes. But but but before I stood up, and I said, Judge, I gotta tell you, you caught me off guard today. He says, hopefully in a good way. Yeah. I was astonished. Interesting, and ironic and sad. That what astonishes me in our culture right now is that kind of expression of goodness. What is astonishing to Paul here is that they’re abandoning that they’re deserting us or people who they’re doing something that was unexpected, but not just unexpected, something that was not rational. You’ve been introduced to the grace. Now these other folks have come in and they’re, they’re they’re wanting to blend and mix and say things that sounds so good. Then you in your tolerate the stuff and you’re deceived. may say no. I’m astonished. By the way He doesn’t say, I’m ashamed of you. He doesn’t say that. But he does say I marvel at you. So I’m astonished. I’m astonished. I’m astonished that you are so quickly deserting him. Well, who’s he is talking about God the Father there. So, looking forward to just sharing from Isaiah 46. Where it says, Remember the former things those have long ago I am God and there is no other. I am God and there is none like me, I make known the end from the beginning. From ancient times wood is still to come. I say my purpose will stand and I will do all that I please The only reason that anything gets done in the universe is because it pleases me to have it be done so we’re talking about sovereignty absolute I will do all that I please want to go ahead and show a video and here’s the thing about this video. If a real quiet in the sanctuary you can actually hear what’s happening.
So just that’s watching and listen check this out hi she is not resting on a foot she’s hovering in midair. It’s awesome that’s a ruby throated hummingbird. Probably a female but it might be a juvenile. Just suspended, it says a job 12 in his and is the life of every creature and the breadth of all mankind. Do you see as she is just hovering there, you know Kim just lean that against our feeder two weeks ago in our backyard, and caught that. As she is just hovering Do you see the hand of God? In His hand is the life of every creature.
The breath of all mankind says in Acts 17, the God who made the world and everything in it is Lord of heaven and earth, and does not live in temples built by hands and is not served by human hands as if he needed anything. Because he himself gives all men and women life and breath and everything else want us to see one God, just one God went to hear him talk from the first person. I am God and there is no other. I am God and there is none like me.
So I’m astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ. So let’s go ahead and show II Corinthians 11 For for you get that up on the screen and read that not to say that this is a bizarre verse But I’ll tell you what, it caught me up. I’m reading I’m clipping through II Corinthians one time. I came across this verse and say wait a second. What? For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus? You mean there are other Jesus’s much in the same way that Paul says okay, there are other gospels? No, not really. There is no other gospel but you’re acting as though there is same way with Jesus here in Second Corinthians left for if someone comes and proclaims another quote Jesus than the one we proclaimed. Or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received. Or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted. You put up with it readily and not what you are patient when you should not be patient. You are deceived. You are tolerant. When you should not be tolerant. There is such a thing as Other Jesus’s that get presented from time to time, in one way or another, may not get labeled Jesus upfront. That scripture says that it can come our way. When it does, are we ready? Not readily enough putting up with it. But are we ready to see the difference between Jesus in quotes? Jesus, the man who is Jesus, the man who is at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me right now? Do we see the difference? Or do we let it kind of just roll off the back? And forget about it or put up with it? Heaven forbid, readily enough.
Okay, so one, Jesus. But is it the Jesus who is in Hebrews one three, by the way, Jesus is described, and here’s the Jesus we’re talking about. Jesus is described as the radiance of God’s glory, and the exact representation or the exact imprint of his nature, that Jesus, there is only one, there is only one of that man in the universe. He’s the one we want. He’s the one who wants us, but he’s the one we want. So, let’s be careful, sometimes we you know, you hear stuff, you know, how’s it come our way you hear stuff like, Well, the Bible isn’t really inerrant. Better watch out. There’s some judgment coming your way, not from me. But from the Lord. or Now, the Old Testament is no longer valid. We say in our puffed up, pumped up, intellect, you know that scripture equates with grasshopper. Or we want to say something to the effect of, Well, God. God is a loving God. So he would never do fill in the blank because he’s a loving God. So often, I find that the way that that kind of a comment differs from the actual gospel and default, differs from the actual man, Jesus Christ Himself is that Jesus is a man with more than one attribute. Because yes, he loves. But he’s also holy, and he’s a God of order. He’s got a pieces of God of faithfulness. He’s got to truthfulness he got of grace, you got it from Mercy, he’s got more than one attribute. There are times even when he gets angry. You’ve heard about wrath of God. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him. One True God, worship. God died alone, who called you in the grace of Christ, one Christ, there is only one savior, one Jesus, and that you’re turning to a different gospel. The gospel says in John 14:6 for is that Jesus said, For I’m the way the truth and the life, no man or woman comes on to me, or it comes down to the Father except through me. You can’t get to the Father God except through Jesus Christ one way, one way only. Says then, in first, John 5, verses 11 and 12. I love this, these two verses, because it’s so cut and dry. It’s so crystal clear. Where it says, This is the testimony, God has given us eternal life. His life is in His Son, He who has the Son has life, He who does not have the Son of God does not have life. Now, you cannot be more clear as to the way to God than that. So I love it. Just love that. You’re thankful for being that beautifully simple with a guy. So the gospel, and by the way, what what, what do we mean when we say the gospel?
It was Billy Graham now many years ago, obviously, before his passing, and he had come with something that he called Steps to peace with God. There were four steps I remember in I couldn’t I can’t tell you all four. I also know that there has been what has been called in years past either the Roman road or the Romans Road, something to that effect, and I want to say there’s four steps in that also. So what I like to do to talk about out the essential ingredients of the gospel is just quickly, you know, kind of a blend of those four approaches. First one I take from steps to peace with God, where Billy Graham went back and he referenced John 10:10 and 11, where it says The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, but I came, Jesus said, I came that they might have life and have it abundantly. I’m the Good Shepherd, the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Life, Life that starts now, by the way, not just eternal, not just when you go to heaven, but life that starts now characterized as abundantly as abundant. Okay? So that’s, that’s, that’s first. That’s number one. The problem though, is that you can’t get there. You can’t experience that life. The reason for that is because you are a sinner. All of you, and me included. The reason I know that is because in Romans back to Romans wrote Roman road 3:23, it says, For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. You can’t have abundant life, sorry, you’re a sinner. You’re not a sinner, because you’ve sinned, you’ve sinned, because you were born a sinner. You’re a sinner. But hold on, because Jesus Christ has done something about that he is the only one and his work has been finished. Again, John 14:6, he says, I am the Way, the Truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father. But by me. He says. Then finally, the fourth ingredient, if you will. And I remember my I had a prof in seminary who made this easy to make this clear, says not enough to know the gospel, you got to decide. You got to decide whether or not to appropriate it for yourself. You got to decide whether or not to repent of your sin, and place your faith in Jesus Christ. So it says in Romans 10:9, that if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart. Believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. Will you place your faith as the gospel? Okay.
So those essential, those essential ingredients want us to see, by the way, it can we get first Peter 3:18 up there. As you go through scripture, and you get asked the question, well, what is the most condensed expression or text in Scripture that gives you the whole picture of the gospel? You may have a favorite or you may have other ideas, awesome, wonderful. This is the one at least currently, that is my favorite, that communicates all the gospel in one verse, For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous, that’s him for the unrighteous that’s us, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. Okay, thanks for that. The gospel of Jesus Christ, and keep reading. So I’m astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ, and are turning to a different gospel. Not that there is another one. But there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. They want to trouble us. If we could get let’s get the Ephesians four passage up there. If we could just read through this There is one body and one spirit with a capital S. That’s talking about the Holy Spirit of God. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you are called to the one hope that belongs to your call. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, whose overall and through all and in all. That’s enough right there. Is want to say Praise God. For the oneness, the singularity of his person, a singularity of the gospel that Jesus has done the work.
Yes, so it would have been like a month ago. I’m riding on a Friday night with some of my officers in downtown Harrisburg, and we got a call that a man had had a seizure. So we went up there fast, you know, because it was a long way from the base where we were and, and, and I’m telling you it is it is fun to do about 70, 75 mile an hour and 2nd Street, up into uptown and to, you know, lights and sirens. That’s that’s a rush. But we got there. He had regained consciousness, we had been told why we went so fast, we’ve been told that he had fallen, and then was unconscious and unresponsive. So that’s why we were making our way there as fast as we were. So we run up the steps. I’m first through the door because my officers still grabbing the defibrillator, or whatever. So as I come into the home, I look up and I see that the guy has regained consciousness, so he’s gonna be okay. He’s wobbly, and he couldn’t remember his birthday or anything like that. So you know, he still needs attention, the EMT has not arrived yet. So he, he, we helped him down the stairs and under the couch. Now, here’s the scene. There’s a couch right here. We put him on that couch beside a young woman who looked like she was about eight months pregnant. She’s on the other side of him. Then there’s two little ones sitting on a couch here with a TV over there. They’re watching cartoons while this is happening. Then in comes this woman, who is this young man’s mom, and grandmother to the two little ones here, okay. There’s a lot going on, and it’s still pretty tense. She’s feeling this. So she sits down, and it gets a little quiet. You know, the EMTs now have arrived and you know, they’re checking out and you ask, ask quietly asking a few questions. I look around, and over the doorway that leads back into the kitchen, I see this plaque and on it, it says just Philippians 4:13 Philippians 4:13. So I see that I look around and look at this woman who’s you know, she’s the homeowner, she’s she’s the one in charge. I just said I can do all things through Him. She looks at me Philippians 4:32 all things through Him. Know what she did that she’s sitting right here. She reaches over the top of one of those little kiddos, and she just she goes like this to me. Like she’s reaching out toward me. So I’m like, held out my hand and held her hand and we’re just standing there. He’s police officer, you know, her son is you know what’s happened to him. She just holding my hand her skin color was a lot darker than mine. It didn’t even register. Brother and sister holding the hands and I’m telling you is nothing inappropriate. nothing untoward. Just almost worshiping, it’s going to be okay. It’s gonna be all right. One body that’s what we just read. I don’t remember name. May not ever see her again, until Heaven. Do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Keep reading says in verse eight. But even if we or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. That strong language just biblically speaking, very strong language there, let him be accursed. In other words, you know the word anathema, gets used there. It’s an abomination to God to mix up the gospel to convolute it to add to it, that’s what the Galatians are going to be, at least in danger of if they have not begun to do so already. We’re gonna find that out in the balance of the book. Let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received Let him be accursed. an abomination or, and it’s some Old Testament language carries over into the New Testament devoted to destruction to my glory. It take a person who messes up the gospel intentionally, and I’m going to devote that person to distraction. That’s how seriously God takes it. Pastor Trent mentioned that last week while you get to the book of Galatians, some strong language. Here is some of it. Then finally, verse 10, for am I now, am I now seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I trying to please man, if I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ, years ago, and there was a man as Dr. Murray Harris. There was an initial in there, I forgot what it was. He was retiring from faculty at the Seminary where Trent and I had both been, and also Pastor Dan. It was a big deal, because this guy was regarded as one of the foremost Greek scholars in the world. They asked him in the chapel had probably 500 guys there. They asked him in the chapel, you know, his their very last appearance on the platform there. Before he went back, I guess, to New Zealand, where he was from. Dr. Harris, if there’s one thing you could say to the American church, before you leave, what would it be? Nobody said. He said this. He said, in the New Testament, the word that often gets translated as servant, that is the word do last does not mean servant. It means slave.
That is the one thing I would want to leave for the American church. Joyful, surrendered relationship where I would never be harmed. I would never be abused. just full of love and glorious use. wherein I am not so much a servant as I am a slave. That’s what Paul’s saying, I want that that’s what I’m working for. That’s the approval I’m looking toward. That’s my resolve. Am I now trying to win the approval of men or of God? Or am I trying to please man, if I’m still trying to please men, would not be a servant slash slave of Christ. I wouldn’t. It’s either or says the II Corinthians 5:15. He died for all that those who live. He died for all that those who live which isn’t all died for all, but he died for all so that those who live would no longer live for themselves. But for him who died for them, and was raised again. II Corinthians 5:15. David puts it this way. In Psalm 27. He says one thing, I mean, just revel in the singularity here, a oneness. One thing I have asked from the Lord that I shall seek, that I may dwell on the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in his temple, to behold the beauty of the lights all I want. I got to slip this in there because it’s just such a, it touched me and I enjoy classic literature.
I was reading a book by Anthony Trollope Victorian literature, and he was describing a woman, a young woman. He does it in one sentence, in a way that just just cuts right to who’s in the beauty of who she was talking about the difference between what is pretty and what is beautiful. He said, this human her name was Eleanor Harding in the book, he says, You might pass Eleanor Harding on the street without notice. But you could not pass an evening with her without losing your heart. That’s awesome. Like guys, like take notes like you know some derivatives of that, you know, you might want to use that in your near future. Beauty and David is saying, I, there is one thing, one beauty that I want to hold forever and just be consumed by and it’s to behold the beauty of the Lord. One resolve, headed toward Christ. Keep in mind that in John 21, when God or when Jesus is in sense reacquainted. There’s a reunion between he and Peter. And he says, Peter, do you love me? He doesn’t say to Peter, Peter, do you love people? Peter, do you have a heart for men? Peter, do you have you know, this or that entertaining? What’s your vision? Peter, do you love me? If you can answer that in the affirmative, you push him three times, answer that in the affirmative. Then feed my sheep. But the question is not Peter, do you love sheep? It’s Peter, do you love me? That’s the business that I want to be about business I want for all of us to be about.
Let’s make our way into communion. Do you see how this this text, there is no other gospel just bridges us right into communion. There’s a there’s two verses in Psalm 62. Psalm 62, one and two, and it says this, my soul finds rest in God alone. My salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. My soul finds rest in God alone. Could ask the communion servers to come on up. As they do, just mentioned this to you. That just like we were talking about a moment ago, in II Corinthians 5. It says about Paul writes about Jesus and He died for all that those who lived that lets us know that. Not everyone. Including not everyone in this room right now is yet hopefully saved. Not everyone is saved. So at this church, because we want to go ahead and be faithful to Scripture and to please the Lord, we ask that if you are not yet in that saving, or that’s yeah, that’s saving relationship with Jesus Christ, that you let the elements pass you by and not partake. We don’t want to see a drink with Scripture calls judgment upon yourself, we want to see you face something that is going to be difficult when you’re face to face with God one day for having done that. Now, that said, Perhaps you’re feeling right now like, Hey, I’m at a point where I actually want to, I want that. I want that relationship. I want to give my life to Christ, because I see that he’s given his life for me, I want to repent of my sin. I want to live for him, I want to live in the power of the Holy Spirit of God, and see my life change all together, not just my life, not just the things that happened to me, but my heart, and the ways that I feel the things I think about and the way I think about them. If you’re at a point like that, please know this, all you have to do is just say Yes, Lord. Like in the privacy of your own heart, and I’m gonna give you just a moment in a moment to do this. But in the moment and that moment that privacy, just communicate. Yes, Lord, I want that. There gonna be people up here afterwards prayer team, and they would love to interact with you and just talk through with you a little bit more as to what that means what has occurred, and now what, okay, so they’re going to be up here, unable to do that. Until that time comes though, let’s go ahead and let these pass. What we’re going to do now is, I’m going to go ahead and read the first half of the I Corinthians text, and then I’m going to pray. I tell you what, here’s here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m gonna read, and then I’m gonna give us a time of quiet, then I’m going to pray, and then we’re going to have the elements. Okay, so let me read first, just first piece of I Corinthians 11, where it says, For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed, took bread. When He had given thanks, He broke it. So let’s just take these moments now. Go before the Lord pray. Privacy of your own heart and commune within there.