Summary: Paul is going to bring out the big guns today and use his life as a prime example of why the Galatian believers should trust his message.
Dance Lessons: Transformation Time
Pastor Jefferson M. Williams
Chenoa Baptist Church
We all love a good transformation story. Whether it’s
* Ebenezer Scrooge’s overnight transformation from a miserable miser to a joy-filled giver
* The Grinch’s heart growing three sizes after experiencing the love of Cindi-Lou Who.
Clark Kent taking off his glasses and becoming Superman
Bruce Banner turning into the Incredible Hulk
Or how about the make-over shows that turn your slob of a husband into a stylish hunk or weight loss journeys that show the different 200 pounds can make.
Those are amazing and I love to hear those stories but the best transformation stories are spiritual in nature.
When I was in cub scouts, my father was the Pack Master. After another cub scout tried to throw my brother off a second story stair case, my dad expelled him from the Cub Scouts.
I actually ended up going to high school with that kid and he was in trouble all the time.
My dad always felt guilty about his decision and wondered whatever became of Jimmy.
I was able to give him good news several years ago when I found him on Facebook. Jimmy…was…a….pastor and now is a professor. Just like me!
My dad was overjoyed when her heard this news and it was obvious to both of us that something pretty amazing had happened in Tommy’s life.
That’s what the Gospel does - it transforms us from the inside out. It makes us new - new eyes, new ears, new heart:
Becoming a Christian is not like joining a club it's more like like a caterpillar into a butterfly.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor 5:17)
Paul is going to bring out the big guns today and use his life as a prime example of why the Galatian believers should trust his message.
So far, we’ve seen Paul assert his authority as an apostle in the introduction of this letter. Usually, Paul would then move on to thanksgiving and prayer for the church he was writing to but not so with Galatians.
In the verses we studied last week, Paul expressing his astonishment at these believers for so quickly deserting the true Gospel. He goes so far as to say that the people that were throwing these baby believers into confusion by perverting the Gospel should be damned to eternal destruction!
Paul is writing to remind them that they are free to dance to the rhythm of grace, freedom, and joy and remember,
“Those who dance are thought crazy by those who can not hear the music.”
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Turn to Galatians 1.
Where did the Gospel come from?
The false teachers (Judiazers) that had come behind Paul and Barnabas were questioning Paul’s authority as an apostle and accusing him of making up this Gospel of free grace:
“Gather round everyone. We heard that this Paul fellow came to your region and taught you about Jesus. Now, he claims to be an apostle but we are from Jerusalem and can tell you without hesitation he was not one of the twelve. He just declared himself to an apostle out of the blue. He’s a fraud.”
To this, Paul began his letter:
“Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead…” (Gal 1:1-2a)
Paul was not commissioned by a committee or by one of the leaders of the church (Peter or James), but Wass directly commissioned as an apostle by Jesus Christ when he encountered him on the Damascus road.
The false teachers continued:
“He’s a fake apostle and he came here preaching a watered-down version of the Gospel. Where did he even get these ideas? Obviously, he learned them from the apostles in Jerusalem but then modified the message in order to win more converts.
Here’s the simple truth - you must put your faith in Christ. That is true. But you must also be circumcised, follow the Old Testament dietary laws, and all of the Mosaic covenant rules. In other words, you have to become Jewish before you can become a Christian.”
This caused great confusion among these new believers and they didn’t know what, or who, to believe.
Paul is going to respond by showing the source of the Gospel he preached and then using his own life story to prove that this message is from God Himself.
Let’s start in verse 11:
“I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11-12)