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Summary: God’s greatest concern is that we take full advantage of what Christ did for us.

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Text: Galatians 2:20-21

Title: God’s greatest concern

The title of this message is “God’s greatest concern!”

Now God is concerned about a lot of things. What concerns you concerns him! I believe God is concerned about the economy, education, issues of morality, the war in Iraq and crime, (I seem to recall he gave a speech on that one time. It had 10 points!) But what is his greatest concern!

Is there someone out there who is qualified to tell us what God’s greatest concern is?

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing.” (Galatians 2:20-21)

Could the Apostle Paul be qualified to know what God greatest concern might be?

V21 describes God’s greatest concern

God’s greatest concern is that people are not taking full advantage of what Christ has done for them!

1.There are those who have set aside what Christ has done for them

When we get to heaven there may be a storage container full of stuff for each of us and God may say that it’s all the things I wanted to give you on earth but you never took advantage of my offer.

2.There are those who are trying to gain what Christ has done for them somewhere else. (The Law)

3.There are those who know nothing of what Christ has done for them. (Christ died for nothing)

Christ’s death means absolutely nothing for most of the world.

We already said that the Apostle Paul was the most qualified to know what God’s greatest concern is.

The Apostle Paul was also a person who took full advantage of what Christ had done for him.

As soon as God put something in Paul’s storage container in heaven Paul withdrew it.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

The Apostle Paul took full advantage of what Christ had done for him.

I’d like to highlight 4 areas from our text that Paul fully took advantage of concerning Christ. (all 4 are found in verse 20)

As we look at these 4 areas let’s ask ourselves

1. Have we set aside what Christ offers to us in this area?

2. Are we trying to gain the same thing somewhere else?

3. Do we know nothing of what Christ offers in this area?

4.Have we taken full advantage of what Christ offers us in each of these areas?

1.The first area that Paul took full advantage of was in the area of Christ’s love

How do we know Paul took full advantage of Christ’s love?

He personalizes Christ’s Love. “Who loved me!”

Illustration: Nursing home… Jesus loves you! I hope so!

I dare say that many of us would answer the same way.

God loves the world but I hope he loves me.

God is greatly concerned when we are not sure of his love for me. God is love.The Bible tells us God loves me.God constantly shows his love for me

2. The second area that Paul took full advantage of was in the area of Christ’s laying down his life

a.Again he takes full advantage of Christ laying down his life by personalizing it. “who gave himself for me.”

Again we can generalize it. Jesus died for the sins of the world.

The greater news is that he died for my sins too!

Lots of people know that Christ laid down his life but they don’t know what that means for them.

Paul knew exactly what Christ laying down his life meant for him.

It was God’s way of making Paul right with him!

Notice that Paul took full advantage of Christ laying down his life for him by beginning verse 20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live.”

What happened to Christ on the cross also happened to me.He was crucified. I was crucified!

We are saved by our identification with Christ!

The 2 ordinances of the church

Holy communion = Christ died for me

Water Baptism = I was crucified with Christ!

In order to have Christ in me now I must see myself in him then!

Paul also took full advantage of Christ laying down his life for him by seeing it as an opportunity to have a new start.

Practical victory over sin =going from death to life

3. The next area that Paul took full advantage of is Christ’s life.

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