Date: October 2, 2022
Speaker: Trent Thompson
Scripture: Galatians 2:11-16
Good to see y’all. How’s everybody doing? All right, good. You’re like I don’t know how to answer. There’s a lot of us some of us are good. Some of us are not as good. But we are glad that you’re here. Galatians chapter two if you’ve got a Bible with you, we are going to be looking at verses 11 through 16 today and I have some friends joining me so girls come on up, but you welcome this team with me to the stage. A little more than that. That’s good. So I’m a person who likes visuals. I need to learn things visually. How many of you with me I like things beauty matters. That’s why you know and seeing things visually mountains why cowboys is are way better than eagles. Pretty uniforms versus puke green, ugly uniforms with wings on the helmet like they think they’re gonna fly. I don’t know what’s going on. All right, sorry. I just had to get it in. Alright, spread out a little bit more girls. Let’s do this. How many of you ever played the game telephone? Like were you whispering to your friends here and then they whisper and then at the end? You see how the message differs from how it began? Yes. Have we played this? Raise your hand if you played it? Okay, fantastic. How many of you have played dance telephone? Yeah, not so much. Have you? Alright, so these ladies by the way, trained dancers. All right, I have had to dance in front of a group of people. One of the one of the most like, Will you do anything for Jesus moments in my life was being a part of an interpretive dance drama. I have no business being in part of an interpretive dance drama, but I have done it. I am untrained and these ladies are trying so we’re gonna play a little game of dance telephone. So it’s gonna work as Miss Brin Romanacce here. Everyone say hi to Brin is going to do a little dance give me like two or three moves. Is that cool? All right, awesome. Only one person’s gonna look and at the end we’re gonna see how we do down here and see if we have kept in step with our moves. Alright, so let’s begin girls show us like you didn’t know that was coming? Okay, tell me tell me. I’m just kidding. Don’t don’t do. I thank this team for me. Thank this team for me. Thank you, girls. So did we succeed? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Did we succeed? Yeah, absolutely. Now, the hilarious part of this game is when you don’t succeed. All right, because it looks real different from beginning to end. But they did a great job of keeping in step with one another.
As we look at our text today, in Galatians, chapter two, what we’re going to find is that’s our theme. What does it mean to keep in step, not just with someone else that you’re watching do a dance step or a couple of dance steps. What does it mean to keep in step with this thing we’ve been talking about throughout Galatians called the gospel? What does it mean to live your life in such a way that you are Paul’s gonna say, keeping in step with what the gospel then implies for the rest of life. How many of you know the gospel is not just to save us, but it’s for every part of life, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of salvation, by grace through faith, in the perfect life, the atoning death. The powerful resurrection of Jesus is meant to be applied to how we think about our money, and how we think about our relationships and just every aspect of life. So learning how to keep in step with that gospel, day by day, moment by moment is what we call Christian maturity. Now, here’s the argument the Paul’s gonna make and I’m gonna read these six verses for us, here’s the arguement he is gonna make, when you don’t keep in step with the gospel. It’s not just that you kind of made a misstep. It’s that you’re actually denying the gospel with your actions. You say it with your words, I believe this, but with your actions you deny it? Of course, would we want to find ourselves in a place of denying the gospel, not with our words, or with our actions? Of course, the actions is the harder part. Would we all agree? It’s easy enough for us to all gather here today. I and a lot of us, I’m sure, not all of us, but a lot of us would say I believe in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, I believe in its atoning power. I believe in its redeeming work, I believe that he can save me and He alone can save me, a lot of us would say that. But of course, the journey to maturity for us is learning how to live every day, every part of life, so that we don’t deny that with the way that we live even while saying it with our words. So let’s look at Galatians chapter two, verses 11 through 16. The simple argument of Paul here today is we must keep in step with the gospel kind of like our ladies did a great job of keeping in step with one another. All right, let’s read these verses together. Verse 11, Chapter Two begins this way. But when Sisyphus came to Antioch, and remember, that’s Peter. I opposed him to his face. because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James he was eating with the Gentiles. But when they came, he drew back and separated himself fearing the circumcision party. The rest of the Jews acted hypocritically, along with him so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct, and here’s our key phrase was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to see first before them all, if you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile, and not like a Jew. How can you force Gentiles to live like Jews? We ourselves are Jews by birth, and not Gentile sinners. Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ. So we also have believed in Christ Jesus in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law. Because by works of the law, no one will be justified. That’s our text for today. What I want to do here in a moment, I just want to I want to walk you through it, highlight a few things for you. So we get our eyes in the text. Then I want to show you four ways that this text highlights that we can be out of step with the gospel. So it’s learning from the negative today, okay, the situation with Peter and Paul, where Paul confronts and we’ll kind of dive into what that exactly was, and why it was. Then from that, what we can derive is four ways that we can get out of step with the gospel. Now there are more ways that we can be out of step with the gospel than just these four. But our text today is going to highlight these four. So here’s what we’re going to see let me given to you now know, we’ll go one by one through them after we do our little walkthrough.
Alright, so the first is, we can be able to separate the gospel by practicing ethnic partiality, and ethnic partiality, I’ll explain what that means. Here. In a few moments, when we get out of step with the gospel by practicing ethnic partiality, we can be out of step with the gospel, by treating other Christians like second class Christians, we can be out of step with the gospel, because we fear men. We can be out of step with the gospel through hypocrisy. Those are the four that we’re going to see today that affected Peter and Paul in this moment. So let’s go back and get our eyes in the text. Just follow along with me. Let me make a couple points as we go. So in verse 11, says, But when Cephsd has came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. Now, let’s remember our history here. If you haven’t been with us, I’ll catch you up a little bit. Antioch is a city that’s a bit north of Jerusalem. Paul’s kind of base of operations is there, Peter comes from Jerusalem down south, which is the center of the church at this point, because it’s where the disciples lived and, and moved and where the church was first birthed. So he comes up here comes up to minister alongside Paul and Antioch. When he does, he and Paul have both remember last week, we said they have the same gospel. That gospel they have concluded is that no one can be justified before God, no one can be made right before God by the works of the law by doing stuff. It’s by faith that we’re justified with God. They both believe this. So what they come to then understand is that meant that certain aspects of the law, even though the law represented a moral life, and moral goodness, certain aspects of the law, like circumcision, or like certain feasts, were no longer operational. They were no longer required, because you can’t be justified through them. So Peter had begun to stop doing many of those things in one aspect for a while he’d stopped doing was he was not separating from Gentiles when he was eating, he was having table fellowship with them. He was eating with other believers who were Gentiles. Now, that’s against Jewish law, because of dietary restrictions around cleanliness and what it looks like to eat. There’s also this this general animosity among Jews towards Gentiles and from Gentiles towards Jews. That’s where ethnicity is going to come into play. There’s a strong ethnic element context to this text that we’re looking at today. So he had started eating with them and having no problem doing that, but then follow along as the story goes. Paul says I posed him to his face. Wouldn’t it be great if we all handled our problems that way? Paul gives us a little side nugget there, which reminds us how we’re supposed to handle our disagreements with one another, we’re supposed to go to one another. We’re supposed to come on, how great would it be if there was never another word of gossip spoken about someone outside their presence ever again, in our midst? It would revolutionize any church if that ever actually happened. The love would be tangible. I think we are good at that. I think we can become great at it. Go to one another when you have concerns. So I opposed him to his face, and then a strong was, isn’t it because he stood condemned. Now, you can imagine that Peter in this moment when he stopped eating with Gentiles because these Jewish Christians had come and they had said no, no, no, you have to keep the law. Ah, you can’t be eating with Gentiles. That he went backwards. He stopped doing what he was doing. Paul, rather than seeing it as well, Peter is just accommodating these other brothers, he doesn’t want to give offense doesn’t want to offend them doesn’t want to offend them. He’s going to try and figure out how to kind of live in the middle, maybe it’s a no, no, no, you stand condemned. What you’re doing is out of step with the gospel. It is a denial of the gospel. In fact, you say people are justified by grace through faith alone. Yet, you let these human categories cause you to separate from them. That isn’t just, you try not to offend. That is you denying the gospel Peter. Now, listen. He says before certain men came from James that means from Jerusalem, James is Jesus half brother, and he’s the head of the church in Jerusalem. He was eating with the Gentiles. But when they came, he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. So you see there that fear of man is the is the root cause of this, and we’re going to talk about why that puts us out of step with the gospel. Can we just have an honest moment, you don’t need to raise your hand. How many of you would say man, I really care what people think about me, and it dictates my actions. Far too often. Fear of man will lead you out of step with the gospel every time without exception. We’ll talk about why it’s out of step with the gospel. Then verse 13, and the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically, along with him. So our sin impacts those around us when they observe it doesn’t. Our sin impacts those who observe it. They’re tempted to be led. Now, I love this after I don’t love that Barnabas did this. But he says so that even Barnabas, wouldn’t it be great to be such a thoughtful and faithful follower of Jesus, that people are shocked when you go the wrong direction. That’s what Paul says, even even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy, that fear of man has led to hypocritical ways of operating. Hypocrisy is counter to the Gospels out of step with the gospel. Talk about why in a minute. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel. I said to see first before them all if you though a Jew, live like a Gentile, not like a god means there’s you’re not following the law. You’ve decided, Peter, that you are not going to be held captive by all these laws and regulations. You recognize that because Jesus has fulfilled the law, that in certain ways in certain aspects, you no longer need to keep those ceremonial laws. You don’t do that? Why are you saying that? They can’t come to the table with you, unless they do it. Unless they’re circumcised unless they keep the feasts unless they follow the purity rituals of the Old Testament. You don’t do that? Why are you making them? Do it? Do you see the problem? Yes. How can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews? We ourselves are Jews by birth, and not Gentile sinners. There, he’s recognizing this ethnic strife that exists. What he’s saying is Jews, one ethnic group and Gentiles, another ethnic group, they don’t get along. Jews when they look at Gentiles, they say, they do not have a standard of righteousness, they are unclean. They live in such a way that it defames God, that is against his purposes, then he recognizes that, but then we’ll look at the next sentence out of his mouth. Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the lawsuit almost names the prejudice of the Jew against the Gentile in order then to say, but could we all remember, please, that that prejudice is out of place? Because not a single one of us has been justified by the works of the law. Now, that’s a technical term here, and I need to explain it to you, you’re going to find this throughout the New Testament, this phrase works of the law gets talked about among scholars all the time, what, what exactly does that mean? Here’s what it means. works of the law means obeying all the commandments in the law in order to achieve your righteousness, obeying all the commands, so he says no one is justified by works of the law, no one can be justified by making a list of all the Old Testament commands, and then keeping them one by one. Now, we’ll find a little later, Paul’s argument in chapter three and four is going to be the law itself is not the problem. It represents a righteous standard. It’s just that you can never keep it. You don’t have the ability. So the standard of the law must be met. You just can’t do it. There’s only one who can and who has. That’s why faith alone justifies and not the works of the law. Okay, so we’ve walked through everybody kind of tracking there. Yes. All right, fantastic. So let’s then talk about these four ways that we can get out of step with the gospel that this text highlights for us.
The first is the context the very specific context. If we don’t and acknowledge the ethnic context and the strife and the tension here, then we’re missing the the key to biblical interpretation because the key to biblical interpretation one of the keys, one of the chief keys is context, context context, we don’t rip verses out of their context and make them mean whatever we want. We have to pay attention to historical context. So the difficulty here is framed inside of a historical context of ethnic strife between Jews and Gentiles. But of course, there’s no more ethnic strife anymore in our world. So we’re good. Here’s the thing that we’re going to see, this is such an area where we can get out of step with the gospel, because it is such an important area. Therefore it is one where the enemy loves to be at work, loves to be at work. So the specific context here of Jews and Gentiles now let me remind us what an ethnicity is, and why I use that term. I use it because it’s the most biblical term. The word ethnos is the Greek word in the New Testament, which means nation or people group. All right. It is not just a group of people with a certain skin color, it is often a group of people who share a skin color. But it is more than that. It is a group of people who share a skin color, a language and a history so that they have a shared set of values. Right? It is a group of people with shared language, shared experience and history so that you can have two groups people with the same skin color. So think Rwanda in the 90s, Hutus and Tutsis, same skin color, but different ethnos versus different ethnicities, because different languages, different history and experience. Follow that, okay. So when we think about ethnicity, when we think about partiality, between ethnicities being out of step with the gospel, here’s what we’re really saying. We’re saying that when I show favoritism towards my group, whether it be my group that looks like me, skin, color wise, or with my shared values, my shared language, when I show preference to them over against another set of Christians, and this is all within the family of Christ. Now, when I do that, it’s out of step with the gospel. Now, the first reason is our separate gospel, because it denies that salvation is by grace, grace through faith, when I say, you, in your ethnicity need to be more like me in my ethnicity, in order for me to accept you What have I just done, I’ve added to the Gospel, I’ve said, you need more to be accepted by me, then you need to be accepted by God Himself. God requires you to come to him through the blood of Jesus, and the blood of Jesus alone, and nothing shall be added to that. When I add something to it, I’ve with my actions, while I declare salvation is by grace through faith alone, what have I done with my actions? If I’m Peter, and I removed myself from table fellowship, which is an intimate relationship moment, I remove myself from fellowship with someone who’s of another ethnicity, because they don’t have my cultural background. What have I done? I’ve said, no, no, salvation is by grace through faith, I’ve said it, but with my actions, what I’ve declared is, it’s actually by worse. It’s actually by some human category. It’s a denial of the Gospel itself. Now, the second reason that this is so crucial, and now, I’m going to walk you from Genesis to Revelation, so buckle up, we’re gonna do a fast, it’s gonna be great. I want you to see that there are maybe this is not exhaustive. I was spending some time thinking about this last night, I hadn’t prepared it in my notes that I was thinking about this, I was thinking, what along with ethnicity are some of the key signposts in God’s redeeming work that he’s been that he uses to just highlight what he’s up to, in the power and the goodness of the gospel and the exceeding sinfulness of sin that requires us to need the gospel. I can only think of maybe four things, again, not exhaustive here that rise to the level of this marriage. Ethnicity, and probably something in the wealth family coming out of marriage would be the third. So sons and daughters, brothers and sisters become this thing that again, and again, become these physical manifestations of gospel. They demonstrate the gospel, right. Then the last one I could think of maybe, and it’s a little different would be kind of creation. He often speaks to the the idea of cities being cultivated and gardens and how they get cultivated as kind of signposts with the gospel. Think about it this way. God is telling a story in all of human history. Imagine like a road trip that you’re on. God is the one who’s orchestrated the map, the road trip and where the highways going, and all along the road all on the highway. What he’s doing is he’s put these signposts there to remind you where you’re headed, and to show you what he’s done to get you there. Does that make sense? So your you know, your Hey, anybody been down south recently? It’s in all the Bucky signs, right Bucky’s like 189 miles to Bucky’s Don’t stop. Wait for the Bucky’s wait for the Bucky’s wait for the Bucky’s and you’re gonna get one every 10 miles and you’re like, oh my goodness, but by the end you’re like I got to see Bucky’s. So as you’re going down the highway there are these signposts. Now, let me use marriage as the example because it’s an easy one to understand. Let me show you how ethnicity is just like it. So when we think about from Genesis to Revelation, how is marriage this signpost on this redeeming work of God that he’s doing? It’s highlighting God’s redeeming work? Well, you remember, in Genesis one and two, God creates male and female, and then he has them get married. The first wedding is in Genesis chapter two, Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they’re at the beginning of Scripture, we have a wedding. Why? Because God is creating something, this institution that we call marriage, which, by the way, is why we can’t change it or do whatever we want with it. God has made it created it. He’s at that moment, if we only at Genesis one and two, what we would say is, he did this in order to reveal what his nature is, like, he said, I’m going to make male in my image, I’m gonna make female in my image, they both represent something about me. They are diverse and different. Yet they both bear my image. So there’s a unity, because they share things in common. There’s a diversity, while our God is what diversity within Unity, isn’t he? Three in One, God, the Father, God, the Son, God, the Spirit. So marriage is this reminder of the nature of God, he’s put it in the world so that everyone would go, Oh, that shows me something about what God is like. But then he goes, I’m not done with marriage, I’m gonna keep using it. I’ve got a good idea. So then after now, again, we’re going way forward, okay. We follow marriage as this reminder of what God is like. Then we get to the New Testament, and the redeeming work of Christ has happened. He has been crucified and raised. Now what does God begin to tell us? Marriage is not just a representative of my very nature, it’s a representation of my redeeming work, because Christ treats the church as his bride. Therefore, he says, husbands, wives, you are to display through your marriages, the redeeming work of Christ, do you think he just decided after Jesus died and rose that he would use marriage that way? Here’s what I’m gonna use in the Old Testaments gonna be this, like placeholder about my nature and what what I’m like and create families and show something of my nature. Then when we get to the New Testament, under the New Covenant, I’m gonna Oh, I got a great idea all of a sudden, now all along, he had marriage in place to do something you with me? So we find in Ephesians, chapter five husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church. sacrifice himself for her, be the first to die be the first to sacrifice to give up your desires, so that she has what she needs and is more fully satisfied in Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands, respect your husband’s. Why, so that the world can see the way the church relates to Jesus and loves him and trusts him. He’s willing to follow him, where he leads on husbands and wives, wives live that way, the redeeming work of Jesus gets seen. Then where does the Scripture end? Revelation chapter 19, just three chapters before the end, we end with a wedding, the marriage supper of the Lamb. Which is why, by the way, our marriages will not exist in the new heaven and the new earth. I and Amanda will no longer have a marriage covenant. Once the new heaven and the new earth come, or if we die before that, marriage covenant ends, we will not be married when we’re in our glorified bodies. We’re raised, why not? Because it was a placeholder for something far better that’s coming. Now I love my wife, and our marriage is pretty astounding, and I’m so glad for it. But it does not compare to my true spouse who’s coming for me. Nor to hurt, your spouse is coming for her. We’ll win her and redeem her and wash her and glorify her. What our marriage is meant for, to display will be realized, once and for all.
You see the importance of marriage. It’s this road sign along the redeeming journey of God ethnicities just like it. Because from Genesis to Revelation, God keeps using ethnicity to highlight the power and goodness of the gospel. Let me show you how. I’m gonna be real quick here. God creates human beings by Genesis 11. We have the creation of ethnicities, what happens in Genesis 11, the Earth has been flooded. They’re building the Tower of Babel, God had given a command to subdue the earth and cultivate it to spread out and exercise dominion over it as his image bears and we hear in Genesis 11. Now after the flood, everyone has gathered to one spot is that obeying or disobeying the command of God, disobeying, we’ve just had a flood on the earth not too many generations before they decided it would be a good idea to build a really tall tower that makes a lot of sense. God says there not obeying, and they’re thinking they can thrive without me. So what does God do? He confuses their languages, there are ethnicities begin to come, and they spread out. So they begin to obey the command of God through His merciful discipline. Now, they spread out over time, those different languages become different cultural experiences, different shared experiences, and even different skin colors. They live in different places around the globe. So we have a full expression of ethnicity. Now, if we just stop there, you might look at Genesis chapter 11. And go, Well, maybe ethnicity is not a good thing. Maybe God wants one ethnicity, but because he had to judge people for their sin, He created these other ethnicities. Maybe what he’s going to do is he’s going to bring them all back to one ethnicity, he doesn’t actually like the diversity, he just wants one ethnicity, maybe that’s what he’s up to. That line of thought gets cut short in one chapter, Genesis chapter 12. Because we go one chapter forward, and he picks Abram, this is from you, I’m going to make a people group, an ethnicity, a nation, an ethnos. Then you say, Okay, so he’s choosing one, maybe that’s what he’s about. Then the very next words out of our Lord’s mouth are in order that you might be a blessing to all the nations. So immediately, if we think, Oh, well, ethnicity only exists because of sin. He goes, No, no, I’ve got a plan. It was merciful discipline that was needed, but also my purposes were working behind it and underneath it. Now, fast forward to Acts chapter two, we’re skipping a lot in the midst of the Old Testament. What happens in Acts chapter two, the holy spirit is sent into the world. Jesus died, he has been raised, and we might go, Well, is there any purpose for ethnicity that’s left? Is there a redeeming, there’s something about the redeeming work of Jesus that is going to be displayed through it? The answer, of course, is Yeah. Here’s the beauty of Acts, chapter two, we have the disciples gathered, the Holy Spirit descends on them, and they begin to preach the gospel. Now there are people from all these different what ethnoses who are gathered in Jerusalem, and they preach the gospel, and 3000 believe, when they preach all these people have different languages, because that’s part of an ethnicity. And when they have these different languages, Peter and James and John and the others, Phillip and the rest of the crew, Andrew, they don’t speak. They’re either speaking Hebrew or Aramaic. There’s kind of a debate over what was the common language, but let’s just say Hebrew, for now. They’re speaking Hebrew. They don’t know any other languages. These other people speak other languages, God could have done one of two things in that moment, he could have had them share the gospel in Hebrew, and made everybody else understand it in Hebrew. And that would have been an indicator that God was saying, yes, yes, I’m bringing everybody calm towards one ethnicity. But that’s not what happens isn’t. What does God do? He causes these Hebrew speaking Jewish men to speak languages, they don’t know. So that everyone receives the gospel, in what language? There’s, what is God saying? I am getting people from every ethnicity, I am going after every group. Then, if that’s not enough, go to Ephesians chapter two are texts like this one in Galatians chapter two that we just looked at, what does what happens here, Paul, in preaching the gospel says, you want to know one of the most powerful demonstrations of the of the demonstration. So one of the most powerful demonstrations of the goodness of the gospel and the power of the gospel, the dividing wall of hostility has been broken down between Jews and Gentiles. The fact that these two different ethnicities can be one in Christ with all their ethnic distinctiveness, and yet one together in their mutual affection for one another, in their deference to one another, in their care for one another. When that happens, it testifies to the redeeming power of God in a way that you can’t get any other way.
That’s Ephesians two. Now let’s go to the end of the story, we end with a marriage in Revelation 19. All right before that, what happens in Revelation five and Revelation seven, the Lamb who was slain is counted worthy of praise and Revelation five, why? Because by your blood, you have redeemed people from every watt eth nos. From every ethnos, you have redeemed and this is your design at your plan. It has been working from the beginning to the end. Then in Revelation chapter seven, the Lamb who was slain and is worthy to redeem people from every blood from every tribe and tongue and nation now gathers them around the throne of the Father, and they bow down and worship and there is a sea of worship, declaring the words of God and it’s not in one language. It’s in every language. Our God has created ethnicity because he says one can hold my glory, I want them all. I have made them and I am creating my glory, getting my glory through them. No friends, trying to stay not too fired up here, right? I need you to see this reason it’s out of step with the gospel. When we show partiality, which means I give you in my ethnic group, preferential treatment, preferential opportunities, more voice, when I give that to you, and deny it to someone else, from another ethnic group. When I require of you from another ethnic group, a standard that I do not require of myself or others in my ethnic group of righteousness, or purity will require you to step outside of your culture and your way, in order to be more like me to relate to me, when I require that of you for fellowship with me, I have denied the gospel with my actions, even while I might speak it with my words. It’s tragic. Because this beautiful thing that God made to display the gospel. Like I said, there aren’t that many of these signposts that are just so evidently, from the beginning to the end of the biblical story, where he’s going this is I made this to show you what I’m doing. When you don’t practice it, when you don’t see it. When you harbor ethnocentrism, or racist attitudes, or when you think about the other as lesser than you, when you don’t have a spacious heart that has room for the other. You have made the gospel, unclear to everyone around watching. Do you see it in the scriptures? Man, I’m not making this up, right? Hope you see it. Test me on it, go back. Read beginning to end. This afternoon. I’m sure you can do. So listen. Now let me show you what partiality looks like because I need to I need to broaden out. That’s the specific context.
But you can just as well say the second way that we can get out of step with the gospel is when we treat any believer and not across ethnic boundaries. But anyone who’s any other believer when I treat them as a second class Christian, because they’re not like me, or they don’t have it some worldly category that I inhabit, right? So male, female, poor, rich, right? In any sort of category, educated uneducated, right? When I take any category and use it to say, you have to be more like me before I will relate to you, that becomes a denial of the gospel. I’m out of step with the gospel. Let me give me a couple of texts that are good reminders. Then we’ve got to hit our last couple of points here. So listen, Romans chapter two. So what we’re asking now is what does it look like? Whether it be in the category of ethnicity or whether it be in the category of any other thing for me to show partiality to treat someone as better than another. So a couple places in the text to look, Romans two nine to 11 says this says there will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek. In other words, both are going to be subjected to judgment for evil, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good. The Jew first and also the Greek for God shows no what’s the word there? partiality. In other words, God is not saying Jews, you get a free pass, but Gentiles, you’re gonna be judged. God is not saying Gentiles, I’m not going to bless you with good things, when you are honoring me and obeying me, but I’ll do that for Jews. When they honor Me and obey me. He says, I don’t show partiality. Regardless of in this case, that text is ethnicity, Jews and Gentiles. So, what does it look like to show partiality if in my mind or in my heart, I harbored a belief that I, maybe my group, but maybe means just specifically, when I consider myself more worthy of God’s blessings, and less deserving of His judgment than someone else. The second example of partiality is First Timothy 5:21. Let’s look at that real quick. First Timothy 5:21. You got it. You can throw it up on the screen . First Timothy 5:21 says this says in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels, I charge you to keep these rules without pre judging, doing nothing from partiality. So in that text, what Paul is doing is he’s making those two ideas of pre judging and being partial to someone. He’s using those as parallel ideas. So what we can learn is part of the content of what it means to be partial or to practice partiality is to pre judge someone. So I see this along age lines all the time in the church, it’s the presumption that because someone is young, they will make the wrong choice. If I pre judge someone, act as if they for certain will do something or make a misstep or make a mistake before that’s actually happened. If I treat them as that that presumption itself is partiality. That’s what he’s saying. It’s wrong. We deal with people in their actions, not the presumption of what they might do. Friends of us who are a little bit older and have had some few years, can I tell you, we need to not do that to the younger generation, shall we not please. Recognize that yes, they need to grow in wisdom, they need to listen to their elders, all these things are good and right because they help grow in wisdom. But to presume that someone who is young will act in error is false and wrong. Last one, in the most famous texts on partiality in the Bible is James to one. There I’ll just summarize it for you. James is saying, you have a rich guy who shows up at dinner you got a poor guy who shows up at dinner and you say to the poor guy go sit in the in the worst seat said of the rich guy sit in the good seat. He says that is sinful and wicked. Why? Because what you’re doing is you’re saying I’m going to I’m going to sort of give good things to the person who can give good things back to me. Rather than give good things impartially, as God has given me opportunity to anyone who’s in front of me who has a brother or sister in the Lord, regardless of whether they can do anything for me, or not. All those demonstrations of partiality become denials of the gospel. We need to see the weight of that, yes, not just that. It’s like I kind of made a misstep there. But rather we go no, I’ve denied the gospel with my actions. Now, with Tommy I’ve left let’s let’s combine these last two into one fear of man. Is denial. The gospel and hypocrisy is a denial of the gospel. Why is the fear of man a denial of the gospel? The reason is because the gospel is first and foremost, not about the salvation of people. It’s about the glory of God. God saves people because it glorifies Him, we should be very glad for him. God is determined to save people because he gains glory from it. That’s his motive. That’s his operating mode of operating. So when he does that, and we receive salvation as a result of it, but then we fear men, what are we doing? We’re putting their opinion, above God’s opinion. We’re saying I care more about what they think, than about what God has commanded, or what God would have me do. The second I do that, what have I done? I’ve stripped God of glory, and given it to some person that is out of step with the gospel. Last thing is that hypocrisy, so that fear of man which by the way, fear of man will always lead you in hypocrisy. Over time, and without exception, you will be hypocritical if you fear people and their perspective of you. Can I just say the remedy? The remedy is the Gospel itself. Because if you want to not fear what others think about you, and move forward and what’s right, regardless of what others may say, if you want to do that, you have to rehearse again and again, the love of God for you. It’s not until you know what Romans 8:31 through 39 says, Nothing can separate you from the love of God. He who did not he who did not spare His own Son, we gave him up first all how we not also with Him graciously give us all things. When you know the richness and the depth of the love of God expressed for you in Christ Jesus. What it does is it’s meant to rob you of the fear of people because nothing can take you not tribulation, or distress, or sword or nakedness or famine. Paul says, none of those things can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus. The implied question then is therefore what should you be afraid of? The answer is nothing. Because you are in Him, He is yours. Your hands. Now also say there there’s probably no way to actually get over fear of man, other than disappointing someone for the sake of gospel faithfulness and finding out on the other side of it that you’re actually okay. That it didn’t kill you. That you made it. You may have lost a friend may have lost a close friend may have been deeply wounded, but you’re still alive and kicking. You still belong to Him. Honestly, there I think I’ve gone through enough of those kinds of rounds of things that I’ll just tell you practically I don’t know that there’s any way to get past fear of man until someone really doesn’t like what you do. They really don’t want to be your friend anymore. Then they’re not. You realize you’re okay. That maybe I just pragmatically To be honest, I don’t know many other ways through it other than that. Then it leads you into hypocrisy. The reason of course, the hypocrisy is out of step with the gospel is because you’re saying one thing and doing another and you’re holding two standards. You’re saying this group of people gets one standard, and this group gets another? That’s out of step with the gospel? Because the message of the gospel is there’s one standard for everyone. It’s receiving through faith, the atoning work of Jesus. Hope we’re clear about the gospel here, are we clear about the gospel? Let’s just be clear, that is it. Nothing else. So friends, we’re going to come to the table, in fact, serve as you can come up, come on, up. As we come to the table, even as they’re making their way down now, just want to say to you this, as we receive God’s Word, the day that the call to us is to not be out of step with the gospel is to do what the ladies did for us is to see what the gospel does and to mirror it. To bring it home in every area of life. As you do friends, there’s, there’s joy, and there’s life, and there’s hope, and there’s fullness. Now we come to the table of the Lord. It’s fitting that we do today, because as we take these elements, we are partaking of the very thing we’re talking about. This is the demonstration of the gospel to us, the the body and the blood of Jesus represented in these elements is the thing that was given to set us free. Can I just tell you, when you walk in this, you can be free from the fear of man, you can be free from hypocrisy, you can be free from those ethnic biases that take hold of our heart and mind. You can be free as you bring yourself underneath the finished work of Jesus. So now friends, if you’re here, and you’re not a follower of Jesus, just let these elements pass by because again, we’re talking about actions and words. Every one of us is going to partake of these elements, they were going to do that as an action, which declares the gospel, which says, I believe, I believe that Jesus death and resurrection has brought eternal life for all who have faith. If that’s not you, just use this as a moment to ponder, consider where you are in life. We would we would certainly say to you, we believe God is wanting to draw you to Himself. All who are you don’t need to be a member of this church. If you have faith in Jesus, this table is for you. If you have given your life to Him and declared Righteousness through faith, this table is open to you. And so we’ll invite you then to come now. As we’re instructed to do, we’ll examine ourselves while we hold the elements and then we’ll all partake together in just a few moments. So servers if you’ve come.