Contributed on Feb 11, 2005
This sermon is an overview of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, The Magna Carta of Christian Liberty. In the coming weeks we shall exmine the letter more closely in order to glean as many jewels from it as we can.
Scripture Major Scott Stanger, of Benton, AK, wrote an email to his wife Ronda from Baghdad on January 30, the day of the election in Iraq. Major Stanger describes his day, which included mobs of Iraqis thanking him and the other American soldiers for enabling them to vote. This is a part of ...read more
Contributed on Feb 19, 2005
In this brief greeting to the Galatians Paul summarizes his authority and his gospel.
Scripture Throughout human history, every person at some time or another has wrestled with the basic question of the human heart: “How can I find true happiness? How can I obtain peace, tranquility, and freedom from fear?” Many solutions have been suggested. These include religion, rigorous ...read more
Contributed on Feb 25, 2005
In this section Paul uses a couple of key terms to help us understand what the gospel is. These are not the only terms that describe the gospel, but these are the ones Paul uses in this section.
Scripture Today we continue our study in Paul’s letter to the Galatians. I have previously expressed my view that Martin Luther’s Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians was extremely influential in Western Civilization. When the first English edition of Luther’s Commentary was ...read more
Contributed on Mar 4, 2005
Paul has already told his readers that his apostleship is from God. In this sermon he shows that his authority to speak, teach, preach and write was given to him by Jesus Christ himself.
Scripture Today we continue our study in Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Let us read Galatians 1:11-24: "11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by ...read more
Contributed on Mar 11, 2005
There is only one gospel! And that one and only gospel is the gospel of God’s grace. In Galatians 2:1-10 Paul explains that not only he but also his message was accepted and affirmed by the Jerusalem apostles.
Scripture Today we continue our study in Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Let us read Galatians 2:1-10: "1 Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach ...read more
Contributed on Mar 19, 2005
This sermon examines the controversy between the apostle Paul and the apostle Peter. We learn how Paul preserved the integrity of the gospel at a crucial point in the Early Church’s infancy.
Scripture A man was stranded on a deserted island in the Pacific for many years. One day a boat came sailing into view, and the man frantically waved and got the skipper’s attention. The boat landed on the beach, the skipper got out and greeted the stranded man. After a while the skipper ...read more
Contributed on Apr 1, 2005
The question before Paul, Peter, and indeed us is, "How can a condemned sinner be justified?" Paul’s answer to this crucial question is before us in this sermon.
Scripture Charlie Chaplin was a huge movie star in the silent-picture era. One of the by-products of his popularity was the look-alike contests that sprung up around the country. Contestants attempted to imitate Chaplin dressed as the “tramp” character he made popular in his films. Even the ...read more
Contributed on Apr 8, 2005
In Galatians 3:1-5 the apostle Paul defends the doctrine of justification by faith from personal experience.
Scripture Someone recently sent me the following story. . . . After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went ...read more
Contributed on Apr 22, 2005
Paul turns to Abraham to show that he too was justified before God by faith and not by works.
Scripture When asked about Christianity, actress Sophia Loren was reported as saying several years ago in the USA Today, “I’m not a practicant, but I pray. I read the Bible. It’s the most beautiful book ever written. I should go to heaven; otherwise it’s not nice. I haven’t done anything wrong. ...read more
Contributed on Apr 30, 2005
How do we find the approval of God? How do we come into a right relationship with God? How can we enter the favor and fellowship of God? The passage before us answers these questions, plainly and unequivocally
Scripture Some time ago The Wisconsin State Journal surveyed Vice Presidents and Personnel Directors of the nation’s largest corporations for their most unusual experiences interviewing prospective employees. Their stories included the following: • A job applicant who challenged the ...read more
Contributed on May 6, 2005
Let’s avoid the mistakes the Judaizers made and focus our thoughts on Paul’s history lesson in Galatians 3:15-22. We will observe the solid, historical fact of justification by faith alone in contrast to the perilous fiction of justification by works.
Scripture Allen Dale Golding tells the story about when he and his wife were missionaries in the Philippines. They vacationed in Baguio City in the mountains of Northern Luzon. While there, they visited the St. Louis Silver School, where silversmiths are trained. They admired exquisite ...read more
Contributed on May 11, 2005
In this sermon, we learn about what we were under the law and what are in Christ.
Scripture Becoming a Christian was for me a great liberation. At nineteen years of age, the Holy Spirit started convicting me of my sin. I became acutely aware that I was breaking God’s law. Finally, when God gave me new life in Jesus Christ, I was set free. This is what the apostle Paul ...read more
Contributed on May 20, 2005
Paul’s sequence of thought in this sermon may be summarized as follows: "Once we were slaves. Now we are sons. How, then, can we turn back to slavery?"
Scripture In the 1998 Disney movie Parent Trap, identical twins who were separated at birth by their parents’ divorce accidentally meet 11 years later at summer camp. Together the twins plan to switch identities, so each can meet the respective parent she’s never known and try to bring their ...read more
Contributed on May 26, 2005
In this personal section of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, Paul first appeals to them, then he fondly remembers their loving acceptance of him, and finally he reminds them of his attitude towards them.
Scripture We are working our way Sunday by Sunday through the apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians. One of the advantages of this approach is that we cover the whole counsel of God—at least as it is revealed in this portion of God’s Word to us. By studying books of the Bible, or large sections ...read more
Contributed on Jun 3, 2005
Paul’s teaching against salvation by works is brought to a climax here in Galatians 4:21-31. Paul breaks his discussion into three sections. First, Paul gives historical facts. Second, he gives spiritual truths. And third, he gives us some practical appli
Scripture When my children, Lauren and Jon, were little they had a book titled Are You My Mother? Here is how that story begins: A mother bird sat on her egg. The egg jumped. “Oh, oh!” said the mother bird. “My baby will soon be here! He will want to eat. “I must get something for my ...read more
Contributed on Jun 10, 2005
In Galatians 5:1-6, the apostle Paul continues his passionate plea for freedom. So, he begins with the thesis concerning our freedom, and then continues with four consequences of embracing works.
Scripture About seventy years ago a poor prospector named Jakobus Jonker worked tirelessly searching for fortune on his small farm in South Africa. After a typical, sudden, frightening thunderstorm, Jakobus walked out onto his land to see if the rain washed up anything. Eventually, he came ...read more
Contributed on Jul 8, 2005
This is the second part of a message dealing with freedom in Christ. Having discussed the consequences of embracing works, Paul now concludes this section by asking some questions of those who have "fallen away from grace."
Scripture “Paul’s doctrine of grace is dangerous!” cried the false teachers in Galatia. “It replaces law with license. Why, if we do away with our rules and abandon our high standards, the churches will fall apart.” Those first century false teachers, known as Judaizers or legalists, were not ...read more
Contributed on Jul 12, 2005
In this sermon we notice a restatement of our freedom in Christ. Then, we shall notice some limitations on our freedom. Finally, we shall observe some guidelines for our balance.
Scripture The pastor had heard the story so many times that listening to it again evoked a strange mixture of anger and despair. Although the names, dates, and places had changed, the story’s theme remained the same: one of his parishioners, Phil, had caused another Christian to stumble. This ...read more
Contributed on Jul 22, 2005
In this sermon, we explore how we are to live by the Spirit.
Scripture The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Galatians because they were drifting away from a proper understanding of the gospel. After the apostle Paul had started a number of churches in the region of Galatia, some false teachers—known as Judaizers—came after him and began teaching another ...read more
Contributed on Aug 5, 2005
The legalists wanted to subject the Galatian Christians to circumcision (as a means of earning favor with God), so Paul addresses the issue one last time by relating it to the work of Christ on the cross and his own ministry.
Scripture It was Paul’s custom, after dictating a letter to an amanuensis, which is a secretary, to take a pen and write his own farewell. His standard signature was, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you” (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:28; 2 Thessalonians 3:17-18). But Paul is so concerned ...read more