Date: September 25, 2022
Speaker: Trent Thompson
Scripture: Galatians 2:1-10
Good morning. Good to hear you sing the praises of God, I love it when this sanctuary is filled with God’s praises than that sounds sweet deal. You got a Bible open to Galatians chapter two, we’re continuing in our series thing, the book of Galatians. If you’re new with us like the little summary here in just a second to kind of catch up, then we’re glad that you’re here with us today. So I have a confession for you. Thank you guys. I have a confession for you. Maybe you’re like me, I am someone who when I get a birthday card, I read it. Then I throw it in the recycling. I know it’s a it’s kind of a bad thing. So but don’t leave me alone here. Come join me in the bucket of shame. How many of you that’s what you do? Yeah. Okay. Can I tell you that after first service, I shared this, somebody came in and said, hey, I’ll do you one better. I know a couple who now he was telling on another couple. But he said on their anniversary, or birthdays, they just go to the store, read the cards, pick them out for each other, give them to each other, read them and put them back. away, I am off scot free. I mean, I’m good. Because I take it I read it. I you know, I have some sentimentality, like I read it, and I’m very thankful for, but I’m a person who doesn’t like clutter at all. So like, it goes away immediately, like, you know, so now let’s talk about the other end of the spectrum. Because some of you are the other way. I also had somebody come up to me and say, I got a card from my like, girlfriend and what fifth grade or whatever. Now, I’ve been married to that girl for 54 years, and I still have that card. And I’ll say, all right. How many of you have cards from your birthday and anniversary or something that you’ve had for more than five years that say more than five years? Wow, all right. I’m in the minority. How many of you something for 10 years, you have something from 10 years or more? Okay, I’m gonna double you up now. 20 years, 20 years, you got something 20 years ago, some of you are not 20 years old. Do not lie to me. Know how that is from when I was? You know, in my mom’s womb? No, you don’t? How many of you had some from 40 years ago, a card from Fortier well done, well done. Alright. So you know, there’s a time and a place for change, right. I’m a person who the reason I don’t keep stuff is because I am a person who does not like to keep things, I like to engage with things and change them. I’m a changed person, I like to change things like to make them better, I like to see them grow. That’s kind of how I’m wired. So I’m not really wired to preserve or to keep things the same way, all the time. But some of you are more wired that way. Both are good, right? There’s a time and a place for change. There’s a time and a place for seeking to make things new. But there’s also an importance in preservation. There’s an importance in preservation and some things need to be preserved. They’re not meant to be changed. They’re not meant to be added to. Chief among those things. My guess is, you know, where I’m going is the gospel of Jesus itself. That it is something to be preserved, not added to and not changed. As we come to Galatians, chapter two, that’s what we’re going to find Paul is going to argue the gospel is beautiful, good, great, God glorifying news. Because it’s so great and so good. There’s nothing that needs to be added to it. There’s nothing about it that needs to be changed. In fact, it needs to be guarded needs to be preserved, it needs to be kept. Right. So those of you my friends who are preservationist by nature, you get to help us do that. Right. So that’s what we’re going to see today in Galatians chapter two. Now, let me before we read the 10 verses that we’re going to look at today, Galatians, two verses one to 10. Let me remind you where we’ve been. So we started with an overview of Galatians. What we said is that it’s a book that’s really all about freedom. The freedom that is offered in the Gospel of Jesus and the gospel is this good news that starts with bad news, right? That we are in rebellion against God, all of humankind, is in a belt is in rebellion against our Creator, that He has created us in love. We have rebelled against him by not keeping ourselves faithful to Him. Being then trapped in that sin. We need someone to rescue us, someone to deliver us. What God has done is he sent Jesus his Son into the world, we live the perfect life, so that when he died, it wasn’t a penalty for his own sins, but rather he could pay the penalty for our sins, so that we could instead of facing death, which is what we deserve for our sins, we could be rescued from that the penalty was paid, no sufficient payment, Jesus death on the cross, then he didn’t stay dead even stay in the grave, which is what we just saying, you recognize we saying about the sufficiency of the cross? Oh, your cross, what you’ve done is more than enough the power of your blood is more than enough. But then we went on to sing about the resurrection of the king. Yes, he’s just saying the Gospels what you saying? You saying the beautiful good news that God declared the sacrifice of Jesus sufficient payment for your sins and for mine by raising Him from the dead. He is not dead. He is alive and being alive now. He says to the right hand of the Father, and all who Believe in Him, all who believe that your sin, my sin, that Jesus blood, His death on the cross is sufficient payment for that sin and believe that He rose from the dead to demonstrate the power of God over death and to defeat it once and for all and forever, will receive eternal life will be reconciled to God forever and live with him. So the best news anyone’s ever, ever heard.
This is the gospel. So what Paul argues in Galatians, is there’s a freedom that can be yours. It’s a three fold freedom, he says you can be free from death, which means you don’t have to be separated from God forever. If you believe the gospel, you can be free from not just death, but from the law, which means you’re free to not have to earn your right status with God, you don’t have to keep doing it over and over enough to get on that performance wheel, the hamster wheel you know, of like, I’m an earner, I’m gonna earn, earn, earn, I’m gonna do enough, I’m gonna do enough, I’m gonna do enough. You don’t have to do that anymore. You free from that, if you believe the gospel. Then he says not only those kinds of freedom, but there’s a third kind of freedom that it offers, and it’s freedom from sin. It doesn’t just mean the penalty of sin there. As we get further in the book, we’re gonna see in Galatians, five and six, he’s gonna say, you’re free from having to give way to your worst desires, which are still in you. Yes. Yeah, those desires you I don’t, I should not. I cannot follow those. Those are sinful, they’re wrong. They’re not good. I don’t want to follow them. He says the Gospel is powerful enough to bring the spirit of God into your life, so that when He comes, He transforms your desires even. So it’s power over death power over the law, power over sin. That’s, that’s kind of how we summarize the book. So we’re just examining that as we go. Then in chapter one, at the very beginning, what we found is that Paul argues, you might hear that good news as you read this whole book. You might think, hey, that’s great. The Gospel can give that kind of freedom. But surely, there’s other things that can give that kind of freedom to, maybe I can have it through my intellectual pursuits. Or maybe I can have it through a different worldview or a different religious system. Paul is really adamant. He says, there’s only one piece of good news, only one gospel that can set free, there’s not multiple, there’s not many ways to be set free, there’s, there’s one way to be set free. This way, the gospel is both exclusive and inclusive. It’s exclusive in that it says there is no other news, there is no other way. There is one way through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but it’s inclusive, in that it’s for all who believe. It’s not for a certain group of people with a certain intellectual mindset, or from a certain ethnic background, or from a certain socioeconomic status. He says it’s, it’s for all who would believe, which is greatness. So having that argued that if there’s only one gospel, then he went on in the rest of chapter one to say, and not only that, but he’s arguing for his own apostolic authority. As we’re going to see, I’m gonna give you a little history to a little background, there’s this group of people that have come to Galatian, what they’re arguing is that they represent the Apostles in Jerusalem, Peter, and James, and John, in particular, kind of the big three, if you will, that were the apostles of Jesus. They’re saying, Paul doesn’t have the same kind of a, we represent them Galatians. We’re telling you something that Paul is wrong, he doesn’t have as much authority. So Paul is actually arguing at the end of chapter one, about saying, I’m not a lesser apostle, I’m equal in authority to the other apostles to Peter and James, and John, because God has called me and set me apart from before I was born. For the work, which I’m doing, I am an apostle and equal authority. In order to help us understand as authority, what he did, and when we looked at last week, was that he didn’t just say, I’m equal in authority, he pointed out how the Gospel itself is full of authority and why you should believe it. So in other words, you might hear this is the only way to be set free, it can set free is the only way to be set free. He might say, well, what’s the evidence for that? And he talks about the gospel of divine origins, and its power to change and its power to convince people to pay a cost. That’s what we saw last week. So we all caught up, everybody. Good. All right, fantastic. So here’s what he’s gonna do this week. He’s gonna say not only am I equal in authority with these other apostles, in these first 10 verses of chapter two, what he’s gonna say is, and we’re not giving different messages, we’re united in our message. It’s not that they’re saying one thing. I’m saying another, we’re saying the same thing. The reason he’s doing that is because the people who have gone into Galatia and are stirring up trouble for the churches there are telling them that they represent Peter, James and John and Paul has a different message than Peter and James and John. So he’s gonna say that’s not true. And he’s going to say, we need to preserve the message that Peter, James, John and myself are all proclaiming to you. So that’s what we’re going to see today. As we look at Galatians chapter two, the Gospel needs to be the key word is preserved. Everybody say preserved, preserved, right, fantastic. So two questions we want to answer today. Why? And how? Why must the Gospel be preserved? And there’s a lot of answers to that question. This passage is gonna give us four answers to that question. Why must be preserved? And then how do we do it? And I don’t want to be just as simple as simple as I can be. There’s two reasons this text gives us one for wise and two house. Okay, so let’s read it together. Galatians, two, one to 10. Get your eyes on the text now, I think is JB Lightfoot. He’s a scholar, he calls this a grammatical train wreck these 10 verses, and he is not wrong. All right. So let’s read it. I’m going to kind of interrupt so forgive me if that messes you up, but get your finger like in the word and I’m going to kind of try and explain things as we go. So we can follow the flow of what is a particularly difficult kind of, there’s a lot of parents that differentiate speaking parents that have goals. They go Baba, Baba, and then they give this little parenthesis over and then they kind of go back over here, and then do another parenthesis over here. That’s pretty much what Paul’s about to do. All right. So walk with me through it. Let’s do it. Starting in verse one. He says, Then, after 14 years, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas taking Titus along with me, I went up because of a revelation and set before them, though privately. So here’s this first parenthetical thought, though privately before those who seemed influential. So in other words, he’s saying, I went up, and I’m gonna tell you in a few minutes, why he went up, he had another agenda. But during that visit to Jerusalem, he got a little side audience and he said, Hey, let’s just have a conversation, Peter, and James and John, about what we’re what we’re proclaiming, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. Okay. So he says, put it before them privately, those who seemed influential, then he says, The Gospel, that’s what he put before them, that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure that I was not running or have not run in vain, it’d be a big problem. If one set of apostles were saying one thing, and he was saying another. But even Titus, who was with me was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. Alright, pause, timeout. Let me make sure we understand circumcision here for a second. Now in the chapters to come. We’re going to talk about circumcision in more detail, because it’s going to be the Paul’s big argument about why these people are asking for circumcision to be followed. We’re not going to do all that today. Here’s what you need to know, for our purposes today. All right, circumcision is a covenant within the nation of Israel that God gave to them way back in Genesis 17. So he took Abram, and this is where he changes his name to Abraham. He says, I’m going to seal my covenant with you through an outward mark and outward indicator, and that indicator is going to be circumcision, it’s going to mark every Israelite male, right, every Jewish male. The reason I’m gonna ask you to do that, the reason I’m gonna have you do it is because I want there to be a physical indicator that you are set apart for me, you’re not supposed to be like the world, you’re supposed to be different than the world, you’re going to be set apart. This is going to be the indicator of that. So the question that has come into play for the church is okay, most of the church again, all the apostles, Jesus himself is Jewish. So the question becomes, is Jesus as he’s the fulfillment of the law, the Old Testament law for righteousness? Do we still need to keep certain parts of the law? Do we not? And we’re gonna get into that in detail, we’re going to talk about why do we still want to follow laws, like don’t murder and don’t steal? Why did those still hold weight over us? Why did they steal a right way to live? Yet, and yet, he’s going to say things like, you don’t need to include circumcision, this covenant for being right with God. Okay, so the thing you need to see here is that the question that’s being asked is, you got this group of people who have come to the Galatians. They said, I know that Paul told you that all you need is to believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead. Tthat through faith in Him, you can have eternal life, but I’m going to tell you both need to believe in Him. Also, you need to keep certain Old Testament laws in particular and Galatians. We’re gonna say circumcision, you need to receive that even those who are not Jewish Gentiles need to receive that. That’s Titus. Okay, you need to receive that. So in order to you need to keep that part of the law and also some feasts and festivals that you need to keep in chapter four, he’s going to talk about some of those. Okay? So what we need to understand is that they’re adding something to the cross for justification with God, everybody clear on that. That’s what you need to get for now. We’ll get into some of the nitty gritty of that more in the weeks to come. Alright, so here’s what he says them. Titus wasn’t forced to be circumcised yet because of false brothers. Look at how strongly he talks about them, because of false brothers secretly brought in who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that we might so that they might bring us into slavery. To them, we did not yield in submission, even for a moment. So the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you You see that word preserved there? Yes. He’s saying, we saw that the very Gospel itself was at stake in what was being argued. It wasn’t just a kind of like, well, I don’t know, maybe, maybe not. It was a clear No. If we accept this teaching, we have not preserved the truth, not preserved the gospel. So then verse six, and from those who seem to be influential, another parenthetical thought here, what they were making a difference to me, God shows no partiality. Those I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. In other words, what they said is, we’re preaching the same thing. You’re preaching Paul, you’re saying, Jesus, Jesus blood alone, we’re saying the same thing. We are not saying Jesus plus circumcision, Jesus plus, obedience to the law is what you need to be justified before God, same message. So he says, They added nothing to me. You got that? Cool. So then he goes on, and he says, verse seven, on the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, that’s Gentiles, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcise, that’s Jews.
Another parenthetical thought, for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised, worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles. So that parenthetical thought is just saying they saw good fruit, being born out of what I was doing the same as the fruit that was being born out of their work that they did, the gospel that they proclaimed, and when James and safest and John So there, he identifies who these influential apostles are, when James and see first and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceive the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, the right hand of fellowship is an indicator to say, yes, the Spirit is working through you. He’s working through us and we extend our right hands to one another. So we’re, we’re together, we’re united. Then he says, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised, so we have different parts of the mission, but it’s the same mission. Then verse 10, only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do. Alright, so as we look at these 10 verses, I want to give you four indicators of how of why the Gospel must be preserved that we see here. Then we’ll talk about two reasons, two ways. Sorry, how we do that. Alright, so the first reason why the Gospel must be preserved is because of this word that we saw in verse seven, the word entrustment. In trust me, did you see that? Paul says, When the apostles when Peter and James and John saw that I was entrusted with the gospel, to take it to the Gentiles, just as they were entrusted with the gospel, to take it to the the Jews, they extended the right hand to fellowship, they didn’t add anything to me. But that word interest me is key, because it implies something now we see that word in verse seven, but really is the thrust of his whole argument, right? Let me give you little historical background, I throw a map up here for you, I’m gonna hit faster than I did in the first service, because I lingered a little bit too long on it. Let me give you a little synopsis of Paul’s life after he came to believe in Jesus, if those errors are too small, never fear, right? You don’t need to see where everything goes. But here’s what I want to point out. So if you can read it, right there, kind of in the middle where that one line goes off to the Arabian Desert. Oh, you guys are awesome. Thank you team. Wish I had a laser pointer. So I should have that’s the Damascus right there. So Paul comes to faith. Then he goes, and he spent three years in the desert. Now, not many people know that. But he referenced it in Galatians. Chapter one is not written about in the book of Acts, he goes, and he spent three years in the desert. What most people what most scholars think, is that he was probably proclaiming the gospel there to people that were out in the middle of nowhere. But mostly what he’s doing is he’s spending three years talking to Jesus, three years getting equipped for what’s going to come. Now, let me just say, those of you who are younger and have a call upon your life, the gospel ministry, which is all of us are called to represent the gospel. But maybe there’s a particular kind of ministry God’s calling you to and sometimes if you’re young, you get antsy to be about that work. And can I just say, that man, if Paul needed three years to be prepared, it’s okay to take time to be prepared. You are not better equipped prior to your calling than Paul. It’s okay. Sometimes we want to run right into places of authority and run right into, like the work that we think we kind of almost deserve to get to do. And man friends, I just want to encourage you into Patience, patience, time with Jesus, whatever work God has for you to do, it will not be done apart from a deep and intimate relationship with Him. It will not happen so he spends those three years out there. He comes back. In Acts chapter nine, we hear about a 15 day visit that he gets says he goes down to Jerusalem so those arrows going down. He goes in he spends 15 days there. He’s conversing with the apostles. pattern of Paul’s life. People want to kill It doesn’t take long. Right? So in the act, chapter nine, verse 26, we hear man, they were coming after him. So the apostle, they get them out of Jerusalem and he goes way up to that northern part of the map there, that’s Tarsus, you may recognize that that’s Paul’s home. It’s where he’s from. He’s born and raised. There he goes, and he spends 13 more years there. 13 more years. Then after 13 years, the Apostles in Jerusalem are hearing about this awesome stuff that’s happening in this place called Antioch. So tin, can we highlight Antioch up there? So there’s Antioch there where you see that that’s the base of almost everything Paul does for the rest of his ministry. So Barnabas is set up by Barnabas is the man that read through Scripture. I love Barnabas, that guy is absolutely amazing. So he’s in Jerusalem, and the apostles Peter and James and John, they say, Hey, Barnabas, why don’t you go check out what’s going on, on up in Antioch? and Barnum says, the kind of guy that goes, Yeah, I’ll go, but he couldn’t care less about his own reputation or power. He’s like, You know what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna go get Paul. So we can do this together. So he, you say, a little circle that will purple circle arrow, he goes over to Tarsus, he gets Paul, he brings him back, and they ministered to the church in Antioch for a year together. So that’s why we find at the beginning of the passes that we just read, that what we hear is, after 14 years, I went up to Jerusalem. So 14 years after his conversion, Paul is in Antioch with Barnabas, and in Acts chapter 11, what we hear is there’s a famine in Jerusalem. And so the church in Antioch wants to send some money to help out the church there, so they can have food. And so in chapter 11, Paul and Barnabas head down to Jerusalem, and that at that point, he goes for this famine relief visit. But he takes that opportunity to have this private conversation that we just read about with Peter and James and John, he pulls them aside. He goes, Hey, I got a question for you. Is there anything that you would add to what I’m preaching? Am I running in vain? And they say, we add nothing to you. We don’t add anything to you. Now from there. And here’s, I’m telling you why this important in just a moment, right. So stick with me on the history because we’re doing great. All right. So here’s what happens. He goes back to Antioch. From there. In Acts 13, and 14, he goes on his first missionary journey. When he goes on that journey, he plants the churches that are in Galatia, in the cities of Derby, Lister, Iconium, he plants churches there, those are the churches he’s writing to in this book. After planting those in Acts 13, and 14, something really important happens in Acts 15, is a thing called the Jerusalem Council where they’re going to settle this circumcision issue once and for all. They’re hearing that different plot pockets and places are getting concerned about whether or not they need to have circumcision, in addition to the believing in the work of Jesus on the cross. So in Acts 15, they settle that issue and say, No, it’s the cross of Jesus alone that justifies and faith in that cross, not the works of the law, in particular circumcision. So you don’t Gentiles, you don’t need to be circumcised in order to be justified. Now, all that happens. The reason that’s important is because somewhere between Paul’s visit down to Jerusalem that he talks about here in Acts chapter 11, where he’s talking to Peter and James and John, and they’re agreeing, we are unified in our Gospel, and then going off in Acts 13, and 14, to tell the people of Galatia, about the gospel when they come to believe. Then he moves on back to Antioch. Then off on other journeys, some group of people have come from Jerusalem behind him, and are claiming to represent Peter and James and John and saying, you know, what, you do need to be circumcised. What Paul is saying is no, no, no, I talked with Peter and James and John, before these people ever came to you, and before I ever came to you, and we clarify that we are on the same page, that you do not need to add anything to the finished work of Jesus in order to be justified. But these people kind of trailing behind Paul had come and spread that false message. Paul does not have nice things to say about them here. All right, everybody follow the history? Yes. Here’s why that’s important. Because what Paul was clarifying his whole line of argument in these 10 verses is, I’m on the same page with Peter and James and John, and all of us recognize that the gospel is not a message that we have the authority to change. It is an interest payment, and what is an interest payment? Is something given to you by someone else that you are to care for. Does that make sense? So what he’s saying is, if I entrust you with something and it belongs to me, but I entrust it to you, do you have permission to change it? Do you have permission to add to it? Do you have permission to break it, to do whatever you want with it? No, you are given it for a purpose and a reason in trust me it implies guardianship and it implies a work then to be done with it. That’s what Paul is saying. And it’s his whole argument here in these 10 verses, so we we linger a little bit longer there. Because what I need you to understand is, everything else he’s going to say, really stems from that belief. This gospel is not mine to do with what I want. It has been trusted me by God, it goes back to what he said about being a thing of divine origin, not man made. So the first reason we have to preserve the gospel is because it’s been entrusted to us. Do you know that the moment that you believed in Jesus, you are entrusted with this thing called the gospel?
The most precious gift? I don’t know if when you were 16, your mom and dad bought you a brand new car? I don’t know if somebody in your life was wealthy. When they passed away in their will they left you a massive inheritance. I don’t know if a mom or dad handed on a business to you that you now run and that was given to you. Those are pretty, pretty big kinds of gifts. Yeah. Not a single one of those is even close to the gift you have been given in the Gospel of Jesus. You have been entrusted with something precious, and powerful, and rich, and deep and profound. What are you doing with it? Are you looking to change it? To add to it to shrink back from it? Or do you see it for what it is? The greatest gift you’ve ever received. It is precious, and it is in your hands? In your hands. So the second reason we have to preserve the gospel is not just because it’s a an entrustment. But because there’s a human impulse, this applies to you and to me to add to it. So here’s my fear is that this week, you’d hear this and you go, yeah, absolutely. We’re justified by the cross of Jesus, by His blood alone. I know that I believe that if you’ve been part of this church for long enough, I mean, maybe that’s new news to you. So let me just be gracious and gentle with your friends. You need to hear this. But some of us have been a part of this church or maybe other churches where we’ve heard this message a lot. So my fear is that you would go yep, I got it, I don’t look to anything else to be justified. But can I just tell you, that there are ways that the human impulse is to add to this good news. It is the human impulse is to add to it, and we can do it doctrinally. Or we can just do it subtly and pragmatically, we add to the Gospel. And the danger is that in doing that, we lose it. So imagine with me for a moment that this nice vase of red water represents the blood of Jesus, His finished work on the cross. What we do quite often is we go, you know, this is so beautiful, and it’s so good. But you know, what else? Probably to make sure we have baptism, I think you need that to be justified before God. Or doctrinally maybe speaking in tongues or perhaps need the Lord’s table? No, it may be pragmatically having my quiet time every day. I mean, I know that the blood of Jesus is sufficient, but from not having my quiet time, can I really be justified before God? Maybe it’s a certain political affiliation. That we say you can’t be a Christian unless you think this way. Maybe it’s nationalistic zeal. certain level of it’s gotta maybe we add that. Or maybe we would add on not just nationally, maybe certain way of thinking about justice and practicing justice. Every time we add something, what happens? You see, when we add to the Gospel, anything, any work required for justification, whether it be that we subtly slip into it in a pragmatic way, and how we function and live or think about others, or whether it be doctrinally that we embrace, yes, baptism is required for saving grace. Whichever it be, we haven’t just taken a good thing and added more good things on top of it. We’ve taken the good thing and by adding things on it, we’ve lost the good thing. If you add anything to the blood of Jesus, you do not have the blood of Jesus. I’m gonna tell you why in just a moment as we get into one of our future points, but I need you to see that you are not adding good upon God. Now, here’s the thing, everything I mentioned, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, having quiet time, practicing justice, having patriotism These are all good things. We agree. All those are good things. They are not justifying things, not one of those things can justify. When you start functioning like you need them in order to be justified or others must have them in order to be justified, you have begun to slip into the legalism that says there are works required for justification. Once you require works for justification, you don’t have the blood of Jesus, it stands alone, or it does not stand to make sense.
Now, the next thing we see here is that we don’t just have to preserve it, because the human impulse is to add to it, but also because real lives are in the balance. Now you notice in verse three, that he said, verse two, and three, so they took Titus along with him for this little visit. Most scholars think the reason for that is because he wanted in this conversation to keep in front of Peter and James and John and himself, that real people are going to be impacted by the decision we’re about to make. There’s a real man named Titus. He will really, he really needs to know how to be right with God. If you tell me that circumcision is required, in addition to believing in Jesus, then that’s going to impact him. We need to keep that in front of us. What do the apostles discern and decide, they say, no, no. pauses, they added nothing to me. Titus was not forced or required to be circumcised, they clarified that it is the cross of Jesus and the cross of Jesus alone, that could justify Titus, and everyone else who would come to him. So friends, the thing I would say, that’s a great reminder from this text for us, is that you and I need to strain and, and be diligent to keep relationship with people who do not believe in or love Jesus. Because we need to remember that the message that we’ve been entrusted impacts real people, it is not a subject for, for, it’s not fodder for debate. It’s not meant to be first and foremost, this philosophical issue that we wrestle with over and kind of pick apart and, and debate over. That’s not what the gospel is, first and foremost, the gospel is saving work. The gospel is a declaration of good news to everyone. We have to keep that in front of us real people, real people are impacted. That’s why it has to be preserved. Because if we lose the gospel, we lose real people. If your heart was Reading First John, with my kids, that’s where we are in the scriptures in our nighttime reading, or reading. Just remind that again, we read it and then Alright, tell me something you learned taught me something you’re taking away. It’s the other day one of my kids said, it was just so simple. In First John, they said, I can’t say that I love God, if I don’t love people. That’s exactly right. Because the love of God transforms our hearts so that we love people. We love one another as brothers and sisters in the Lord, and we love our neighbor. I’m fooling myself. If that love is not in me, real people are impacted by the preservation of the gospel. That’s why do we have to keep it and preserve it, and not be fooled into thinking we’re being more loving by losing it, or by changing and adapting it to make it more palatable, more comfortable for people that’s not loving anybody realized or impacted by the gospel?
Then the last thing we see is because there’s no freedom without it now, he said, in these harsh words he has for these brothers, and we’ve got to preserve the gospel. Because without preserving the gospel, there’s no freedom it goes to the real lives being impacted. But let’s think about how does adding anything to the gospel cause us to be enslaved? He says that these false brothers in other words they had these were not true brothers. They came in with false motives. They wanted to spy out the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, in order to do what what did he say, to enslave us, to enslave us? So what he’s saying is, and he says, We didn’t yield to them for even a second, for not a minute, why not? Because it wouldn’t have been the gospel wouldn’t have been preserved if we did yield to them. So we didn’t yield for even a second, he says, but let’s think about what does it mean that they’re trying to enslave Paul and Peter and James and John and Titus and us? Why does adding to the gospel amount to people trying to enslave those that they are declaring the addition of the gospel to let’s think about the three types of freedom we talked about, and I’m gonna add a fourth to it. If the gospel is able to have freedom from death, the thing you need to recognize friends, is that it gives freedom from death based upon faith in the finished work of Jesus. Then if I add something to it, I’m not saying I have faith and it adds on to morphine. It’s like faith in Jesus that I’m adding also faith in this whatever thing that I’m adding to it. The second, I take some of my faith and place it over here, I’ve got less of it over here. The second, I don’t have all of it over here on the finished work of Jesus, I don’t have any of it on the finished work of Jesus, I have taken away its ability to rob death of its victory. I am still enslaved to death, because I haven’t put the full weight of all the faith over here. So I’m still enslaved to death. Why am I still enslaved to the law, if I add anything to the finished work of Jesus on the cross, because the second I take anything that I do and say, You know what, it’s really Jesus plus, this, plus this thing that I do. The second I do that I have put myself right back in their performance trap. All I’ve done is say, and Paul’s gonna say this later, if you say, I gotta have one piece of work, in addition to jeez, then you better do them all. You’re gonna have to do every work of the law, every single thing. So two things happen. You say it’s Jesus, plus whatever this work is that I’m adding to it, you can never do that work well enough to actually justify yourself. It requires you to do all the other works as well. So the second I do one thing false. I recognize, I’ve come up short. If I’m putting wait for justification here, and here, now I’m on the performance cycle. I’m saying, I’ve got to earn it. I got to keep going, and I can’t do it well enough, and I’ve got to do it better. Can I remind you, when you first trusted in Jesus, do you remember what a freeing feeling it was? Do you remember what it was like? All of a sudden, you didn’t have to keep performing for God. people remember what that was like? Remember how a weight is lifted off your shoulders, and all this and you’re you’re you’re telling me that if I believe in him, I am loved and it will never be taken from me. You telling me that I will begin to believe that who he made me as exactly who he intended me to be? Are you telling me that when I mess up, it doesn’t dent my identity, even one bit, my identity still intact, and He lovingly disciplines and corrects me and, and moves me forward. He’s gonna make me change and different. But it didn’t touch who I am at my depth at my core, because that is that is established in Jesus. It never goes away. Do you remember the freedom of that? We lose sight of that we start adding stuff and we forget that we’re just enslaving ourselves to that cycle all over again, friends, if you’ve never heard that, can I just tell you there’s an identity available to you and Jesus, that will change everything. Their performance trap goes away. You are Love. You’re rooted in that love, you’re established in it, it never leaves you it never forsakes you. He will stay with you. If everyone else leaves you. He will not phrase cut as good news. As just true. It just is it’s true. But if you add anything, now you’re on the performance cycle and you’re still enslaved to the law. That last con is enslaved to sin. The reason you’re now if you add anything to the cross and say I need this plus this, the second you do that you’re still enslaved, because the Spirit of God has not taken up residence in you. What we’re going to find in Galatians, five and six. Look, Paul is going to be adamant that there is a right way for Christians to live. There are right things for us to do. They’re just not for our justification. Yes, be baptized. Yes. Take the Lord’s Supper. Yes. Have your quiet Yes. All these things? Yes, yes, yes. But none of them are to justify you. None of them can make you write without that has to happen first. So if that hasn’t happened, then you don’t have the spirit in what he’s going to say is the Spirit is the one who teaches you how to live Galatians five and six, we’re gonna see the importance of the Spirit of God guiding and leading and directing us. So if the spirit isn’t there, you’re still enslaved to those worst desires that you have. The ones you’re like, I don’t want to do that anymore. But when the Spirit takes up residence, he changes our desires. He shapes our lives, He guides us and he leads us away from sin. We have power over it now. We’re not subject to those temptations to follow our lowest and worst desires. But we are able to put them to death through the power of the Spirit. Praise God. The last kind of slavery that you are in is if you add anything else to the cross, whoever it is that is telling you and teaching you that you need to add that just like the Galatians were being told By the Judaizers is kind of the name we give to them, you’re enslaved to the people that you’re listening to. What they’re really doing is trying to exercise power and authority, they’re trying to gain influence for themselves. Anyone who adds something to the cross of Jesus is trying to gain power over you. They’re trying to gain a following. They’re trying to gain prestige, trying to gain money trying to gain something. But when they add to the cross of Jesus, they’re making him less sufficient in order to make themselves necessary. That is wicked, and it is evil. That’s exactly what they’re doing. When you follow that pathway, you then become enslaved to the people that you’re listening to. You become enslaved to that punishment, you become enslaved to that teacher, you become slave to that leader. We are to be slaves of only one. His name is Jesus. Now let’s let’s do it. I said, these are very simple. Let’s do these last two, how those are the why’s that this text gives? Why must we preserve the gospel? Let’s talk about how. Again, I mean, do not make it complex. Okay. Number one, is you resolve in your heart and in your mind, to keep the gospel and not add anything to it. Do you see what he said, in the middle of our text there when he says we determined not to yield to them for even a minute, what he’s saying is, we had already determined that we would never add anything to the finished work of Jesus. So when someone came and said, you need to add something to the finished work of Jesus, they immediately recognized it and said, No, we refuse to do it. You need to determine in your mind and heart today to never add anything to the gospel. Never add anything to the justifying work of the Cross of Jesus.
Then the second thing that he says is not just okay, well, I have to be determined, I have to be vigilant and determined not to add anything to it. But in addition, the second thing that he does in order to preserve it is he says, I’m going to preserve it by telling others about it. Now, did you notice in verse seven through 10, what does he say we were entrusted with the gospel to the Gentiles, Peter, and James and John are entrusted with it to the Jews, and we are going to tell it to others. Then it’s going to bear fruit. Even give us a specific example of a kind of fruit, verse 10, when he says, they told me to make sure that we care for the poor, and I was eager to do that. Now, just quickly, let’s ask what how is that not adding something to the gospel? They said, Don’t you don’t need to add circumcision? But we do want you to care for the port? Where are they just adding that? In? The reason that we say no, absolutely is because they’re not doing not caring for the poor, to justify themselves before God. They’re doing what we just talked about, there are right ways for Christians to live, because we are justified. One of the key things that indicates that we have the Spirit of God in us is that we care about those who are in need. We care about people in need, he says, That’s the natural outflow of believing the Gospel, you don’t care for the poor to get justified. But you care for the poor, because you are justified. This is I want you to care for the voices. Absolutely. That’s what we want to do. But friends, here’s the thing I want you to really see today is that there is this temptation when we use words like preserve, and protect, and guard that we think of it as this huddling up and hiding something away. You do not preserve the gospel by keeping it to yourself. I make sure that you hear that you do not preserve the gospel by saying, I’m gonna huddle up over here and keep it to myself. You preserve the gospel by telling it to others, because the more people who believe it, the more people who are proclaiming it, and the more people who are proclaiming it, the more people to go, no, no, I will not add anything to the finished work of Jesus, the gospel doesn’t get watered down through sharing. It gets, it gets lifted up through sharing. So friends, I want to encourage you, you’ve got to be speaking the gospel. You’ve got to be telling people the good news of justification by grace through faith alone in the finished work of Jesus is the best news that’s ever been in existence or ever will be in existence. The more we share it with others, the more we preserve it. Preservation is active, not passive. It’s active, not passive. Now, friends, as we think about this, here’s what here’s what I will encourage you as we think about preserving the gospel, ultimately, and it wasn’t in our specific text today. But ultimately, we want to preserve the gospel, because it glorifies Jesus, because it glorifies Jesus. The second we add anything to it, we detract from his glory. The second we say Jesus plus anything, we make him less efficient. We don’t want to do that. As an example of this. Think about Revelation chapter four and chapter five. In Revelation chapter four, there are these amazing creatures surrounding the throne of God and this throne is described as being full of lightnings, lightning and peals of thunder and surrounded by a rainbow that looks like an emerald. And there’s a sea of glass extending from it. Then there are these four creatures whose existence seems to be solely to surround the throne of God and never stopped saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, and then his 24 Elders around them. They are declaring whenever those creatures cry, Holy, Holy, Holy, which they were told, they never stopped doing. The elders bowed down and throw their crowns at the feet of God. They declare Worthy are you Jersey glory, and honor and power, for by you, all of the universe was created and everything in it, then you think that’s amazing scene of worship. But look at what happens in the very next chapter. In chapter five, there’s a scroll set of scores that can’t be opened, and have the seals on him. John is disturbed, because the purposes of God are not able to be unleashed, is what are we going to do? Then someone shows up on the scene, the Lamb who was slain, and those sink for living creatures, and those same elders who had just been declaring the holiness of God, and His worthiness? Because he’s the creator, begin to sing praises to Jesus in the presence of God. Who is the Lamb who was slain at the right beside the throne of God, it says, They declared him worthy, Are you worthy? Are you to open the scrolls? Because by your blood, that you’re worthy is the Lamb who was what? slain? What made them worthy?
The blood? Not the blood plus the blood? Worthy are you receive glory and honor and worship and power and wisdom. For fire your blood, you redeemed people from among every group, from among every tribe, and nation. See, friends, what we’re seeing there is the worship of God and the worship of Jesus together. Why is Jesus worthy of the same worship that God is worthy of, because He is the Lamb who was slain, don’t add to the blood of Jesus. It is sufficient, and we preserve the gospel, we preserve the glory of God and the person of Jesus Christ. Let’s pray together and then let’s worship Him with the host of heaven, shall we? Are Jesus you are magnificent, perfect in all your ways, everything about you completely righteous, you are creator, you are Redeemer, and we adore you. We would not dream even for a minute King Jesus to believe that anything we could ever do, would add to your blood, the power of it, the saving power of the sufficiency of it, and to guard us against it help us to preserve the gospel and to do it by entrusting it to others. We’ve been entrusted with it now we want to take it forward and share it with others. So that you can Jesus we get all the glory and the praise that we would say, as we sing now to you hear our praises, you are worthy to receive glory, honor, wisdom, power, because you have purchased people from among every tribe, for your great glory through your sufficient blood. We love you. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.