Summary: In every church, you will find the good, the bad and the ugly: Meaningful Mentors (good), False Followers (bad), and Hurtful Hypocrites (ugly). Which one are you?
GREAT GRACE AND FREEDOM #4: MEANINGFUL MENTORS,
FALSE FOLLOWERS AND HURTFUL HYPOCRITES
INTRO TO TOPIC: The Book of Galatians was written by the Apostle Paul to the churches in the Roman Province of Galatia. His purpose in writing was to confront legalism in the church, and to teach the Good News about God’s grace and freedom in Christ.
• In Chapter One, Paul introduced us to himself, telling us his testimony, also in Acts.
THE BIG IDEA: In every church, you will find the good, the bad and the ugly: Meaningful Mentors (good), False Followers (bad), and Hurtful Hypocrites (ugly). Which one are you?
1. MEANINGFUL MENTORS:
“1 Then fourteen years later I went back to Jerusalem again, this time with Barnabas; and Titus came along, too. 2 I went there because God revealed to me that I should go. While I was there I talked privately with the leaders of the church. I wanted them to understand what I had been preaching to the Gentiles. I wanted to make sure they did not disagree, or my ministry would have been useless. 3 And they did agree. They did not even demand that my companion Titus be circumcised, though he was a Gentile.” (Gal. 2:1-3 NLT).
• Paul tells us how he went to Jerusalem to share his teaching with the Apostles.
• Here we are introduced to two of Paul’s partners in ministry: Barnabas and Titus.
• We first meet Barnabas in Acts 4:34-37: “For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means "Son of Encouragement").” (v. 36, NLT).
• Barnabas was the first person to accept Paul and mentor him: “When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They thought he was only pretending to be a believer! Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus. Barnabas also told them what the Lord had said to Saul and how he boldly preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus” (Acts 9:26-27, NLT).
• Everywhere you see Barnabas in Acts, you see him encouraging and mentoring people.
• We need people like this in the church who will pour into other people’s lives!
• We need to love and accept one another, and help each other to grow in the Lord.
• Titus was a Gentile believer who Paul led to the Lord (Titus 1:4).
• Barnabas poured his life into Paul, and Paul poured his life into Titus and many others.
• PERSONAL TESTIMONY: Of those who have mentored me: Jerrold Lewis, Dave Koop, Dan Hope, Steve Witmer (my old pastor who’s coming for a visit next week).
• If you’re a mature believer, who are you mentoring? And if you’re a new believer, who will you let mentor you? Discuss home groups, youth group, Overcomers 12-step, etc.
2. FALSE FOLLOWERS:
“4 Even that question wouldn't have come up except for some so-called Christians there -- false ones, really -- who came to spy on us and see our freedom in Christ Jesus. They wanted to force us, like slaves, to follow their Jewish regulations. 5 But we refused to listen to them for a single moment. We wanted to preserve the truth of the Good News for you. (Gal. 2:4-5, NLT).
• Hopefully this isn’t a news flash for you: Not everyone who goes to church is a Christian!
• There are false followers in every church who will try to get believers into bondage.
STORY FROM JESUS: “Here is another story Jesus told: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. 25 But that night as everyone slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat. 26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. 27 The farmer's servants came and told him, 'Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds!' 28 'An enemy has done it!' the farmer exclaimed."'Shall we pull out the weeds?' they asked. 29 He replied, 'No, you'll hurt the wheat if you do. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds and burn them and to put the wheat in the barn.” (Matt. 25:24-30).
• We don’t always know who is a genuine believer or a false follower…
• It’s not our job to judge – that’s God’s job.
MORE MEANINGFUL MENTORS: PREACHING PARTNERS
“6 And the leaders of the church who were there had nothing to add to what I was preaching. (By the way, their reputation as great leaders made no difference to me, for God has no favorites.) 7 They saw that God had given me the responsibility of preaching the Good News to the Gentiles, just as he had given Peter the responsibility of preaching to the Jews. 8 For the same God who worked through Peter for the benefit of the Jews worked through me for the benefit of the Gentiles. 9 In fact, James, Peter, and John, who were known as pillars of the church, recognized the gift God had given me, and they accepted Barnabas and me as their co-workers. They encouraged us to keep preaching to the Gentiles, while they continued their work with the Jews. 10 The only thing they suggested was that we remember to help the poor, and I have certainly been eager to do that.” (Gal. 2:6-10, NLT).