"It ainít over ítil itís over."
This is probably the single most famous quote from baseball legend Yogi Berra. Itís simple but elegant and must have come to him in a rare moment of linguistic clarity, because he is much better known as the master of confusion and doublespeak like this:
"This is like deja vu all over again."
"You can observe a lot just by watching."
"Youíve got to be very careful if you donít know where youíre going, because you might not get there."
"I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early."
"Baseball is 90% mental -- the other half is physical."
"A nickel isnít worth a dime today."
"It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much."
"If you come to a fork in the road, take it."
"If the fans donít come out to the ball park, you canít stop them."
"It ainít the heat; itís the humility."
"You should always go to other peopleís funerals; otherwise, they wonít come to yours."
"I didnít really say everything I said."
Yogiís not the only guy to ever get confused though. It can be a confusing world out there, even the most important things in life can be confusing. The whole point of Paulís letter to the Galatians was to clear up some confusion that was the result of false teaching that was going on in their churches.
In our text today Paul begins to wind up His argument about what God really wants from us and the nature of our relationship with Jesus. As he does that He gives us three central truths to help us cut through the confusion. If we can have clarity about these things, I believe the cloud of confusion will begin to subside.
Interrogative: So what are those three things?
Transition: Well Iíve got a What a Who and a Which. Letís begin with the What. The First thing we need to be clear about is...
1. What Counts
v. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
The false teachers were teaching that lotís of things counted, specifically the requirements of the Old Testament Law, especially those outward things that helped to establish Jewish identity. Paul cuts through the confusion and says the only thing that counts is faith,and that faith, if it is genuine,will express itself outwardly.Not in merely symbolic ways, but in practical ways, in loving ways.
A surgical procedure doesnít matter, a dress code doesnít matter, a special diet doesnít matter, only faith matters.
Yes, when that faith expresses itself through love, some of those externals may need to change, and weíll look at that in a few moments, but those externals are not the main thing, the only thing that matters is a life changing faith in Christ.
Specifically it is trusting that the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross is sufficient to pay for all your sins, it is understanding that there is nothing you can do to add to what Christ has done, that your behaivior can never merit Godís favor. Faith is understanding that and then humbly accepting the offer of salvation.
Does a change take place in your life and behavior when you reach out in faith? Always. Does that change earn salvation? Never. Why? Because Faith is what counts, Faith is the only thing that counts.
Secondly, if we are to cut through the
- All Sermons on Grace
- Text Illustrations on Grace
- Video Illustrations on Grace
- PowerPoint Template on Grace
- Scripture on Grace
Join the discussion