Date: November 20, 2022
Speaker: Dan Spino
Scripture: Galatians 4:8-20
Good morning church family. All right, just doing the check. My name is Dan Spino, and I’m one of the pastors on staff here. It is good to be worshiping with you. It’s good to be just singing God’s praises. It’s good to be in the house of the Lord looking at his word. We’re going to continue in our time of worship. Now we’ve been worshiping through through song we were worshiping through prayer, we’ve been worshiping through silence in the beginning, they’re reading our hearts. Now we’re going to we’re going to turn to to God’s Word in Galatians. I know George just prayed for us, I want to, I want to pray again, it just helps ready my heart and maybe even help ready your hearts to receive what God might have for us today. So let me pray for us. Father in heaven, we we marvel at how wonderful you are. And that you would think it upon your kindness, to call us to you through the blood of Jesus, as the Holy Spirit’s at work in our lives. We thank you for that precious gifts of salvation. And now I ask that you would leave us here that you would be speaking let me get out of your way this broken vessel I lay myself down before you I ask that you would ready our hearts for what you might have for us that you might speak the words that are yours, me allowed to say the words that are not me, you let loud force just fall away, that you would become more known in our lives for your glory and your glory alone. Amen.
All right. Team back there. We got a little bit of feedback. Once you guys heard that, but I’ll keep going. If I need to do anything you let me know. I’m going to start our time off here just sharing a little bit of a story from Stephanie and I’s lives. Stephanie, my wife Stephanie, down here. We we’ve been in this are for about seven years. Prior to being here. We spent two years in Chicago. It was our second time through Chicago. We’re not fans of Chicago. Just putting that out there. If you love Chicago, I apologize. Terry Allison, if you’re listening I’m sorry, brothers from the Chicago area I believe. But anyways, we went back we were there again for two more years. Our second time through we were excited. We found a condo in downtown Libertyville. It’s a suburb of Chicago. It’s on the north side of the north side of Chicago. We love living in town. We live in downtown Mechanicsburg right now. We love being a part of a town being a part of the community. So we’re so excited to be in Libertyville was awesome. Then we went into our space. We loved our neighbors, we had amazing neighbors, but we actually we had two issues with with our condo. The first is the landlord, who has his own law practice. Good luck filing complaints with him. What we didn’t know at the time was that there was like this odd smell, I can’t describe it, I’m gonna try it. It’s like an old damp, rotten wood type smell. I don’t even know that that’s accurate. It was just, it was bad. You didn’t really notice it. When you went into the space. It was more like it kind of joined you as you left the space. So like, I’m sitting there in a client meeting with all my clients or consulting at the time, sitting with a client. I’m like, What’s that smell? Oh, it’s me. Like I became the stinky kid. Oh, no, a suitcase smell on my clothes smell. I mean, like, we we go to visit my family in Buffalo. We’d like wash our clothes because like they’re just so awful. Like I was we almost threw our suitcases away. That was just, you know, a piece of it. Like there it was just you know, dark, damp, just just not a great living experience. Then like the landlord really did not make things any better. Really. I mean, like, there was a time where the hood vent, you know, over the stove, they went out and like, I’m one of those guys that like, I don’t actually know what I’m doing. But I’m too stupid to know that I don’t know what I’m doing. So like, I’ll do any projects. I’m like, you know, if I get in trouble, like, there’s at least three people you can call or YouTube or something. Right? Well, we’ll figure it out. Somehow in that journey, though, the landlord found out that I was doing this and they sent me this like legal document like a cease and desist. Like we had to pay for an electrician to come actually two electricians. The other guy just sat there and watched what we pay them to watch. I mean, like we were trying to make the place better and we got punished. Or like no, don’t do that. It was awful. It was dark, smelly and bad landlords. So when our lease was up, praise God for leases when our lease was up. Do you think we renewed our lease? Somebody said yes. Paul has something to say to you brother. We’re gonna get there. Then. So we did it so we moved to Gurney north part of town little further north to another condo and it was the exact opposite of that experience except for the neighbors with another amazing set of neighbors. They were great. But in every way this living space was different. There’s so full of life. We’re on the second floor. We weren’t on the first floor. It wasn’t damp and wet and smelly. We had large windows light came in, we could make the space our own. The landlord was a friend. I mean, we could text chill, we talked her on the phone, we had a communal garden that we started with our neighbor. We had bonfires out in the park, it was awesome. The best part of all, the landlord allowed us to have a dog. So cool. That is when Lottie our pet Miniature Schnauzer came into her life. She’s still my my puppy. She’s eight years old, I think today are somewhere around. Anyway, it’s been eight years since we’ve had it and all in this amazing living experience. Now, when that lease came up, do you think that we thought about moving back to the first condo? Of course not. Why is that? Because once we had experienced the abundant life of the second condo, why would we ever return to that first place? Again? That’s the question that Paul has for us and those in the Galatian churches only, instead of a condo Paul is writing about the truth. capital T, truth. Truth is the key piece of our text today. What I hope we all take away from this part of this letter that Paul has been working through we’ve been working through Galatians what Paul’s been building to and throughout this whole letter is that let the power of the gospel truth change your life permanently.
So Paul wants us to let the power of the gospel truth, change your life permanently. We’re going to continue in our series ring collations chapter four. We’re in verses eight through 12. If you remember, Trent started this chapter last week, verses one through seven, we’re going to come pick it up here and eight, we’re going to read through Chapter 20. If you don’t have your Bible, we’ll have the words up on the screen. But let me just tell you bring your Bible I know we offer the words and it’s really great. But get the Bible in your hand whether it be a book, digital, whatever, that just have the word of God in your hand. There’s something about the tactile, tangibleness of being able to just have a mark it up whatever you need to do things that you can see. But anyways is Galatians four, eight through 20. Let me read for us these words from our from our brother, Paul, formally, when you did not know God, you were enslaved those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principals of the world whose sleeves you want to be once more? You observe days and months and seasons and years? I’m afraid I have labored over you in vain. Brothers, I entreat you become as I am, for I also had become as you are, you did me no wrong. You knew that it was because of a bodily element that I preached the gospel to you at first. And though my condition was a trial to you, you did not score it or despise me, but receive me as an angel of God is Christ Jesus, what then has become of your blessedness, For I testify to you if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. Have I then become your enemy, by telling you the truth. They make much of you but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out. They they that you make much of them. It’s not always good to be made much for good purpose. And not only when I am present with you, My little children for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you. I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone for I am perplexed by you.
This part of our letter that we’re looking at today connects all the way back to Galatians. chapter one, verses six through seven was verses that we read several weeks ago. In there, Paul says, I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him, God the Father, 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. In a way since then, and up to this point, Paul has been trying to parse out the difference between what those false teachers are teaching and a right understanding of the gospel. To this point, he took them through his own conversion and calling story The two are wrapped up together. He’s converted and he’s called at the same time through Jesus, the importance of saved by grace alone through faith alone, and understanding of the law and from from what we read last week how through faith alone, we become heirs and Sons of God the Father, but now he turns back to his brothers and Sisters across the various churches across Galatia. In a loving and truth filled way calls them out for their misunderstanding. He returns back to what he started back in chapter one and six or seven. What he wants is for the power of the gospel truth to change your lives permanently will be we see is that in this in this texture eight through 20, what we see is first in verses eight through 11, Paul is contrasting their new life with their old and questioning, why would they want to go back to that? He says, but now that you have come to know God, or whether it be known by God, how can you turn back again and 12 through 15, Paul reminds them of the circumstances of how he came to them, and their personal relationship they had with each other. It wasn’t under the best circumstances. Paul said I had an element that I came to you but but you treated me like a messenger of God, like an angel, messenger of God is Christ representative willing to go to great lengths to care for him. Then in verse 16, that’s the key verse in the section he says, Have I then become your enemy. By telling you the truth. In 17, to 20, he points out how these false teachers he, you know, he just started saying, they, they, they just just goes right at them. They these false teachers are trying to make a name for themselves. Remember, as Paul who said earlier, if I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of God. Yet that’s what these teachers are doing. He then wraps up this segment of this letter and affirm and loving my little children. I wish I could be present with you and change my tone. I am perplexed by you. Know, though, that he says he changed his tone, not the content of his message. That’s important. You see, the content of this letter to the churches of Galatia is all about truth, capital T truth. This is the truth that offers the freedom that we’ve been talking about throughout this series over the last several weeks. I’ve stated he essentially says to them unto us today, let the power of the gospel of truth, change your life, permanently. Let it be a fixture. So this then leads us to our first point, the importance of truth. The thrust of this passage is the truth. We see that in verse 16. He’s referring to capital T, truth, the one indisputable, never shaking, standing for all time, truth. Nothing will ever change this truth, nothing will ever move this truth.
So what then is this truth? Well, Paul has been dripping it in and throughout his letter in several places. He’s been working this through the whole time. Chapter one, verses three through five. It says, Grace to you and peace from God our Father in the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, to deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will have our God and Father To Him be the to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. And chapter two, verse 16, he says, 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. And then chapter two, verse 20, says, I have been crucified with Christ. It’s no longer I who live for Christ who lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith and the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself to me. In chapter three, verse 26, it says, For in Christ Jesus, you are all sons of God through faith. As we read, last read chapter four, four through seven, he says, But when the fullness of time had come, God, the Father sent forth his Son, born of woman born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoptions as sons. Because your sons God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our heart, crying, Abba father, so you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son than an heir through God, and he wasn’t done, and then he continues in for verse nine, he says, but now that you’ve come to know God, or rather be known by God, this is a brief summary of the truth. Did you hear that message? That is the gospel truth, and it’s utterly transformative. So let me summarize and expand just a little bit on what Paul has been saying throughout this letter of Galatians. Because we all need to hear the truth. We need to hear it more and for and where are we just saying the truth? We just think three songs is proclaiming the truth of the gospel. And now here we are again. So let’s let’s just hear the truth again. This is what Paul essentially says throughout this letter, he says humanity was lost in sin. Our very nature was sin stained at its core. We were enslaved to the elementary principles of this world, in this present evil age, in a way, these elementary principles owned us we were slaves to them. That’s what he’s saying there. And our relationship with our Heavenly Father was broken, we were lost, doomed, destined for death. But at the appointed time, God the Father sent forth his Son, Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man to redeem us to purchase us back. To be redeemed is a market term, there was a transaction we were bought at the expense of God Himself. Our father paid the price that was due for our sins, He sent His Son to die on our behalf the death we deserve to die. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, not only were we redeemed, but we were justified, we were made right with our Heavenly Father, the Father adopted us as His very sons and daughters. If we are now adopted as sons and daughters, then we are heirs along with His Son, Jesus. This is all through faith, believing and trusting in God, the Father, and God, the Son, and our lives are transformed, our very nature is changed. It’s as if we’re born again. While that alone is enough, like if that doesn’t get you up out of bed in the morning, I don’t know what will. But if that alone, that there is more, there’s still more, not only are we heirs, and had been redeemed and had been justified, God, the Father sent the Spirit of his Son, the Holy Spirit, to lead us and guide us. In fact, it is his very holy spirit that does all of this transformational work in us. Daily now the spirit is alive in us, crying out helping us to embrace our identity as sons and daughters of God, the Father, reminding us of this restored, intimate relationship we have with our Heavenly Father. It’s no longer I who live but Christ lives in me through the Holy Spirit. This is what Paul has been saying throughout this letter. This is who you are, when you place your faith in Jesus, you are a son or daughter in air, I adopted by God the Father, no longer on equal status with those that are enslaved to this world, but alive with the Holy Spirit inside of you. Amen. That should stir us That’s truth. Now, there’s more that Paul says, as well throughout this whole letter that’s helpful, right? He these are things that we’ve been talking about, the law doesn’t have a claim on us anymore. You don’t need to be a Jew to be a Christian. Paul speaks is one who has authority from Jesus himself, and so on. But this is the gospel truth that is available to these brothers and sisters in the Galatian churches. And it’s available to us here today.
Paul weaves his letter to this point where we find ourselves in the text today. From here, from this point in the letter kind of forward, he sets a precedent more personally and directly to these Galatian. Brothers and sisters. He’s building a case, and he’ll continue to do so throughout the rest of this letter. In our tax, specifically, Paul essentially says, since this is true, since this is the truth, since our very identity, our very nature has been change, since we have been born again, if you will, and it’s no longer I who live since since we had been known by God. Why then, would you ever want to go back to the way things were? To the things that are weak, worthless, elementary principles of the world that are enslaving? Why would you go back to the smelly dark condo with a terrible landlord? That’s what the world offers us. The problem for us is that while the Spirit indwells us we’re still here in this world and our flesh. There may be no two more diametrically opposed things in our lives than the spirit and the flesh. Now Paul is going to speak to this in a couple of weeks we’ll get there in his letter, he’s going to talk to this very thing. But but that is the root of what’s going on here the fickleness of our flesh, which is easily led astray and is in opposition to the truth. If I could paraphrase these verses I just read so I feel like looking at eight through 20 Just doing like a little bit of a paraphrase I’m no Eugene Peterson but this is the best I got. Paul says essentially at one time you used to be a little leave without hope in this world, but then God the father called you to himself, you were known by God. This is an intimate word to be known by God. It’s, it’s highly relational. It is bound up with relationship. In that calling you got swept up in your airness. Paul says, I know I was there I preached to you, I came to you not under the best of circumstances, yet you treated me so well, so much that you would have taken out your eyes and given them to me. We had such affection for each other. I was like a father to you. You came to understand the blessing of being an heir. You came to understand that the law is not what says, but it is through faith alone. But then some people came in and confused you. They entice you with weak, worthless elementary principles a world who slays you have become once more and they stirred up confusion about me. In so doing, I became your enemy because I spoke truth to you. Understand that I love you, brothers and sisters, that’s why I’m writing to you. I can relate to you, Paul’s would say I can relate to you. There was a time when we were gathered in Jerusalem that some false brothers came in and tried to stir up trouble and tried to bring us into slavery similar to what you’ve experienced. You saw that in Galatians 24:35. Even Peter himself when he came to town to visit to Antioch was confused on these matters of the law and embracing faith. I had to have a conversation with him about this. I understand what you’re going through. But just as I did not shrink back, just as I never stopped believing and preaching the gospel of grace, I want the same for you. I wish I was with you. So we could talk in person instead of through this letter. I’m really confused as to what happened to my children whom I love. Why would you ever want to go back to those things in the way that life brought that way of life that brought death? You see in his teachings, Paul was pointing them to God, these false teachers were pointing them to themselves. Paul says, I’m here, I’m not here to please man, if I were, I would not be a servant of God. What happened is as if we’re back to the beginning, again, you are children. Then God called and God called you. Now I’m in labor pains. Again, as you return back to what you’re like as a child. It says, if you have to go back to this childlike state again and remind you of the truth, starting all over again, what happened? Why would you want to return to that? As we’ve been reading over the last few weeks, they’re falling back into the works of the law instead of the blessing of the gospel of grace. That’s what’s going on here. There is confusion about truth. Question is why?
Perhaps this is the question for us as well. Why after having tasted and seen how good the gospel is, would you ever shrink back in your faith? Why after having understood the new life in Christ, why would you want to go backwards? You see, the power of the gospel, Truth has the power to change your life. It’s not power that you can conjure up yourself. It’s not power that you possess. It’s the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you the power that gospel truth can change your life has the power to set you free from your past and all that clings to you. It speaks to every moment, every instance of your life, there’s nothing that the truth of the gospel does not speak to. However, rather than fully embracing this truth. We try to squeeze the gospel into our life, instead of our life into the gospel. It says if the gospel truth is not enough for us each day, there should be something like palpably different about our lives because of the gospel. We want our conveniences. We want our preferences, we protect ourselves, we want our pride. You see there is power in the Gospel that I just I just don’t know that we have fully realized yet and I wish I could better articulate it for you. The problem is this like it’s not something you could put in words. It’s not like a feeling I think both are present. It’s just utterly spiritual, alive inside Have you been stuck in this message for the last few days just trying to find the right words to communicate this to you? I don’t know that I’m even doing it yet. If the Gospel is true, since the Gospel is true, this place should look and feel different. are gathered experience should look and feel different. The conversation out in the lobby should look different. When we leave here life should be different. Every moment of every day we should live as transformed. errs of the Most High King who now shares a father with us. Are you guys awake? Did you hear that? Heirs of the Most High King Jesus. There’s nobody hire every knee every is going to bow before him and we’re an air of that kingship. We share a father. Why would you ever shrink back? Instead, our face can become manufactured. Perhaps at times we try too hard or too little we we play Christianity we we say the right answer is you know, we do church. But we can’t fabricate this power from this truth. Or we try to little, we’re just lazy. We don’t even take our faith seriously. You just kind of put it on the shelf. I’ll pick it back up again Sunday morning. It’s just there, but not fully realize. We set our lives up trying to protect this version of belief, whatever it may be. In her daily devotional book that she wrote Susan Spurgeon, it’s called free grace and dying love Susan Spurgeon, wife of Charles Spurgeon. This is what she wrote. She says, Dear Master, if your will concerning me be my sanctification. Why is that will not done more absolutely in me. Can it be that I am unconsciously cherishing something in my heart that hinders the work of Your Holy Spirit? So the blessing you have designed for me does not reach me? Because the way is barred by a will not hold the yield to yours? Or have I been satisfying myself with mere empty desires, after conformity to Christ, indulging in poor feeble longings in which there was so much halfhearted in this that the Spirit of God was grieved, and would not reveal His power. She continues, oh, Lord, hitting me. And pardon me. Awake my soul to an earnest sense of the solemn responsibility involved in belonging to you and bearing your name. Rouse and me, Lord, a joyful eagerness to become all that you wish me to be. Fill me with that mighty influence which works in us both to will and to do of Your good pleasure. Yes, chasin me, afflict me if nothing else will serve to make me a partaker of your holiness, whatever you need to do God, draw me back to you. This truth has a power to transform yet, as Susan says, we’re often led astray. This then leads to a second point, what leads us to wandering from the truth, what leads us to shrink back in our faith. I’m astonished Paul says that you are so quickly deserting the God the Father, who called you in the grace of Christ, and turning to a different gospel. What is his different gospel? Well, Paul tells us about these teachers in verse 17. Here he says, they are trying to make a name for themselves. These teachers, he just says they want these believers to make much of them, the teachers and not of God, not the gospel, but of them. They want to be worshipped. And earlier in verses nine through 10, we see what they’re offering a turning back, like a turning back to life before Grace entered in costly grace, not cheap grace, a turning back to principles that are weak and worthless elementary of this world and slaving instead of freeing these are all Paul’s words and slaving instead of freeing that type of ceremonial worship as an act of, of salvation. Let me read this list again. But instead of thinking from those foolish Galatians, listen to where and how we might apply this to our present time and even think to yourself if any of this resonates, you see, these believers are making much of these men, instead of making much of God. These believers are worshipping these false teachers, these believers are turning back to life before Grace entered in costly grace, not cheap grace, we’re going to talk about that in a brief moment. Turning back to principles that are weak and worthless elementary of this world, enslaving instead of freeing, and these believers are performing a type of ceremonial worship, in which they go through the motions each time they gather to feel good about themselves. Friends, it’s not last that we do worship with excellence here, the George and the team. They’re amazing, gifted musicians. My hope is that you don’t just come here and just sing songs because they sound good. They make you feel good. That’s not what George is trying to lead us in. I know his heart. He loves the Lord and He wants you to love the Lord. Listen to the words that we say and sing out of the overflow of your heart. That’s what it means to worship well. I am hoping that perhaps a few of us are feeling a little convicted here I’m I’m sure that we can see some crossover from this letter to the Galatian churches into our day and age today. As I thought through this, perhaps We might categorize what leads us astray into three categories that we need to pay attention to.
These are three things that lead us away from the Truth. Number one, things that we add to the gospel. Now, can you think of things that maybe you might add or maybe you know what something that somebody is adding to the Gospel, ways in which we lose sight of the main thing, the truth. Often these things can be be good and themselves, serving, both in the church and outside, giving, attending worship, reading your Bible, joining a group or ministry, baptism. Now, any of these things are good, but all of them start from a relationship with God, none of them can save and save you in themselves. Don’t confuse living in light of the gospel in your life for works that you think earn salvation. Since what we tend to add to the Gospel, often good things they can get really confusing. I get it. The best test is to do a heart check. You really have to go back to your motives. Why are you doing any of these things? Why am I attending worship because I want to look good and earn favor, or am I coming here because I want to worship God the Father. Two different motives. Both get you in this place, though. During this past week, a large group of our students Junior and Senior High students participated in spirit week. Our brothers, Pastor Quay and Pastor Russ led our students through the spiritual disciplines throughout the week, unless you think it was just like some, some remote activity, what they’re driving towards, I know these, they want these students to just love the Lord with their whole mind, heart, soul, straight their whole being. That’s what this whole week was focused on. Each day, they took a spiritual discipline and were given a challenge. I got to say with somebody and ninth graders from our life group yesterday during breakfast, they’ve been fasting for the past 24 hours, and we’re gathering to break the fast. Two of them fasted from food, and the other facet from YouTube and another social media app which I am forgetting. If you I apologize for service, if you’re here, I’m sorry, you know who you are. I apologize. I forgot to where you told me you’re fasting from brother. But as we were talking, I asked them about their experience and they know me well enough to know that I’m not gonna ask her if his questions I asked them, How do they draw closer to God their father through these last 24 hours. Their responses were awesome. As they got hungry, or had the urge to watch a YouTube video, they turned to God and prayer and Scripture memorization. You see, the act of fasting isn’t what was important. It’s that rhythm of going deeper in their relationship with their Heavenly Father through prayer in His Word, that’s important, but but fasting in and of itself would not save these boys, these men of God and training. God wants our hearts, not our actions. We respond to God in our relationship with Him through actions, but the relationship has to come first. There’s nothing we need to add to the gospel truth, it is sufficient in itself. Second thing is there’s things that we take away from the gospel. Christianity Today published an article in September with the top five heresies or were false belief among American evangelicals. The article is based on the state of theology report by Ligonier Ministries, that’s that’s the source of their other data. The article starts out with the core overarching issue that’s plaguing our churches. You remember who the audience was evangelicals, around a quarter of Evangelicals believe the Bible is not literally true. A quarter. That’s one in four. Look around this room. That’s a lot of people that don’t believe the Bible is literally true. If the stats kind of play themselves out. That in itself is enough and should break our hearts. The moment we take the veracity out of the Bible, all kinds of gospel truth can just be altered. In fact, one of the researchers said, this view makes it easy for individuals to accept biblical teaching that they resonate with, while simultaneously rejecting any biblical teaching that’s out of step with their own personal views, and broader cultural values. This is the world we live in. Some of these respondents claimed to be our brothers and sisters in Christ. The top five this is what they were it was Jesus isn’t the only way to God. Jesus was created by God. Jesus is not God. The Holy Spirit is not a personal being. Humans aren’t sinful by nature. I hope you see. I hope you see the inherent problem with all of these, especially given the premise that these came from given tokens. We must never friends never compromise on who who Jesus is the only way truth and light No one comes to the Father except through Him. He has eternally existed alongside the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is in fact, 100% God and 100% Man, the Holy Spirit is a person He grieves. He speaks he cries hearts. Because of Adam, we inherit the guilt of sin from birth. Our natures are in fact tainted by sin, changed through faith but by nature originally tainted by sin. Any one of these is a sermon in itself. That’s as much as I will say about these but I just want to make sure you don’t hear these top five and wonder what’s right or wrong about them. They’re all wrong. Maybe not part of the top five I would like to include just a few more things that I’ve heard. There’s a there’s a pred prevailing lie in some circles, that hell isn’t real. We actually live our lives.
Number two, we actually live our lives as this sins don’t matter. We have lost our hatred for sin. The third one I’d add is we act as if Grace is cheap, not costly. In his book discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer says about costly grace, He says, it is costly, because it calls to discipleship. It is grace, because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it cost people their lives. It is grace, because it thereby makes them live. It is costly because it condemned sin. It is grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, grace is costly, because it was costly to God, because it costs God the life of God’s Son, you were bought with a price. Because nothing can be cheap to us, which is costly to God. Above all, it is grace. Because the life of God’s son was not too costly for God to give in order to make us live. God did indeed give him up for us. Costly grace is the incarnation of God. Friends don’t start to drift away from the truth. Don’t let the gospel lose its richness and impact in your lives. Don’t add or take away anything from the beauty of the gospel. But there’s one more category that gets in the way of truth. That is things that we just idolize. Now I have a list for you this list is by no means exhaustive, but here are a few of the idols in our lives that lead us to wandering away from the truth. Spouses, kids, sports, jobs, money, sex, friends, social media accounts, technology, success, fame, bitterness, anger, pride, and worst of all, self. Instead of adding or taking away from the gospel idols, take our worship away from God, perhaps we add them to our worship. It’s It’s God and money. These idols, get a hold of our heart and drive us away from the gospel and our true worship of God. We need to examine our hearts and see if we’re making anything, even good things. Some of the things on this list are good things. But when we make those ultimate things, we exchange it for the promise of the gospel. So then, how then do we live? But the power of the gospel of truth, change your life permanently and take this truth seriously. There is nothing in your life that the gospel of truth is not the answer for in some way. It’s the foundational truth for all of life. It has the power to set you free and to live and rest in God there’s there’s nothing no no joy, no sorrow, no grief, no happiness, note nothing that the gospel does not speak to. So then you have to ask yourself, is this true sufficient for all i need in life? I mean, you do realize that there are that people have died for the gospel truth like Paul and Peter story like it doesn’t end well. Even to this day, there are people all over the world that are suffering and dying for this gospel truth. When you put your hands to the plow, you don’t look back that former life it’s not as good as you remember it being. Perhaps we need to leave live with just a little more urgency in our lives when it comes So living out our faith, make it a habit to embrace and rehearse the gospel to yourself daily, constantly with friends alone, sing the gospel, pray the gospel, fight for the gospel, defend the gospel. Listen, if you are a follower of Christ, if you are a son, and daughter of God the Father, if you’ve been known by God, then the gospel of truth is incredibly empowering and freeing to you. There is nothing like it in all the world. Because you are now in air, there’s so much more to come for you. The Holy Spirit is just a down like a down payment, like an inheritance yet to come. Don’t fall back again to those things of the world, those weak and worthless things that tempt you away. Don’t add to it. Don’t take away from this yours, and make this gospel truth, your ultimate thing. Don’t let the fleeting passions and and daily bickering distract you? It’s all about the gospel truth. How I just I long I longed for a stirring inside of you that the Holy Spirit was just stir inside of you. This importance of the gospel truth? No, man, no woman can can do it for you. It has to be the spirit. But you have to ready your heart to want to receive it. Do you want to receive this truth? If so how will it impact how you live? Because it should be different?
I can’t I can’t put into words, friends. Remember one time Nate was up here. Like he kind of was there too. He’s like, it’s fun. I like to push up there something like Yeah, it’s like, it’s just, it’s very like it’s not. It’s not emotional. It’s emotional. In a way. It’s not rational. But it’s rational. It’s all spiritual, it’s newness inside, if you step into it, live it, it should be different and life altering. We’re about to enter our Advent series or Advent season, excuse me, during a series, but it’s our Advent season. Now, it’s not lost on me that we just heard about how these Galatians were worshiping their calendars. That’s not what our Advent season is like. It’s not a month long celebration so that we can earn salvation in some way. That’s that’s not what this is about. Rather, it’s a month long celebration, a readying of our hearts for what has happened many years ago. God the Son, Jesus took on flesh, entered into this world and write it our broke relationship with our Heavenly Father. He conquered sin and death. He showed us the model for godly living in his kingdom, he gave us His Holy Spirit as became the first fruits of the resurrection, all by taking on flesh and coming in this world in the most humble way. We have become known by God the Father. That is gospel truth. Look forward to the gospel at work in your life without turning back to who you were before you were known by God and let it transform you let it utterly completely and holy transform you and then live in that truth every day. Let me pray.
Father, as I said, in first service, I’m saying again, I just, I feel like my words have failed. They’re just not there. They’re not enough. There’s, there’s something that you’re stirring, that we just can’t quite articulate. Because it’s it’s all from you. You know, my brothers and sisters in here, individually, one on one, you know them all. So well. Father, I want to ask that you would give them what they need, you would take away what they need, that you would, if you have to bring discipline on their life, if it’s pain and suffering, you’re calling them to as, as Susan Spurgeon mentioned in her letter, if that’s what you’re calling them, to, to draw them, then may you do it. If it’s joy, if it’s silence, whatever it might be, may you give what we need to hunger and thirst for you more. Help us to take this truth seriously. To not just leave here and leave it but every moment of every day to remember, we are in air. Our Nature has been transformed. We have the Holy Spirit inside of us, and where we fall and fail the Holy Spirit’s crying out on our behalf. Also that we can say Father we thank you for that truth and may transform us permanently and fixedly. In our lives for your glory and your glory alone Amen.