Summary: 3 0f 13 sermons from Galatians, dealing with the exclusivity of the Gospel of Jesus to all other forms of "salvation", particularly Free Masonry.
No other gospel
Galatians Series / Part 4 / Sunday August 20th, 2006
Intro: A few weeks ago we took a family vacation out to the Raystown area; a few of us toured the Lincoln Caverns. The guide took us down 120 feet into the earth and turned out all the lights. It was intense darkness. You could not see your own hand in front of your face. He told us that a person left in those conditions for even a few months, would become irreversibly blind. Even if returned to daylight you would remain blind. True darkness takes away our vision. It was truly an odd feeling. He told us how a second cave was discovered when Myron Dunlavy, Jr crawled through a sink hole on the property. The hole is about 18 inches round and about 25 yards long. It opens up into the cave now called Whisper Rocks.
The Bible illustrates the opposite as being true for mankind: that we are born into darkness and must find a way out.
Colossians 1:13 “he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,”
Paul is going to navigate us through a narrow passage way, one many feel is too narrow to pass through. In deed it is a narrow passage. But one that is necessarily narrow. It is the only way out of the darkness.
The Galatians had listened to Paul and accepted the Gospel Message (essentially the Map-quest set of directions to leave darkness and enter into the Light of God.) But they allowed false teachers into the church. These teachers began to cloud the truth, they began to add to the gospel message, they began teaching that a person must become a Jew and follow after the Old Testament Law for salvation.
Text: Galatians 1:6-9 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”
Paul is writing to people who had already accepted the Message of Salvation through Jesus Christ. They were “Born again” they were believers in Jesus. They had accepted a very small looking lie, a very reasonable, seemingly beneficial lie. This “little” lie actually threatened their salvation.
I. If you miss the Gospel you miss God
a. A different gospel is really no gospel at all
1) Paul isn’t splitting hairs here. He isn’t talking about the subtle nuances of the truth.
2) To get the Gospel of Jesus wrong is to miss, loose or forfeit eternal life.
3) It’s that serious!
4) So when we read this let’s not think that Paul is some over zealous “spaz”
• Changing / Adding too / Subtracting from / Deleting anything from the “Gospel of Christ” completely destroys its effectiveness in the person’s life.
True Christians don’t agree on all matters.
Doctrine is very important, but it is only the matrix for understanding and pursuing God.
Life doesn’t come in the form of doctrine.
It isn’t hard to find Christians who will argue day and night over doctrine.
Jesus confronted the Jews for thinking that the Scriptures brought them life.
Jesus made it clear that the Scriptures pointed to Him. Jesus is the point.
John 5:37-47 “And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form; 38nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
b. Some beliefs have eternal consequences and others don’t
Absolutes: The Scriptures are Inspired by God / There is only One True God / In the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ / Man Willingly Fell to Sin / Every Person Can Have Restored Fellowship with God Through ’Salvation’
Interpretations: “Let me tell you what this means” statements. A lot of these in end times doctrines.
Subjective Opinions/Personal preferences/Feelings/Cultural Norms. music/color/style
• All true Christians will agree on the “absolutes” but that’s about it.
• Some Christians put all of these into the “Absolute” category.
• At the other end of the spectrum are people who say that “nothing really matters” and nothing can be placed into the “absolutes” category.