Summary: The gospel is God-made and God-revealed, is a gospel of grace, and should not be added to with works-righteousness.
Intro- no other gospel
1. God-made object (1:11,12)
• Truth about God can only be revealed not deduced or calculated
• Jesus is God’s self-revelation (Hebrews 1:1-3)
• Why should Paul want to reiterate this?
2. Gamekeeper turned fisher (1:13-24)
• Paul’s previous anti-Christian zeal is an evidence of the divine original of his conversion (13-15)
• Glorious But!- God’s calling is from the womb (cf. David, Jeremiah, John the Baptist & Ephesians 1)
• The Gospel is historic not mythic- look at precise details of verse 18-21 (names, numbers, places)
• Paul’s startling volte-face is cause for rejoicing
• Is there anybody we know we think is ‘unturnable’?
3. Spies like us (2:1-5)
• He will often do this through well meaning brothers, or through less benign sources (“false brothers”, v4).
• We must resist false teaching, even to the point of curtness- “not for a moment” (5).
• In what ways can we even now become enslaved to legalistic mindsets?
4. Each to his own or to the others (2:6-10)
• God can use anybody, ranging from Paul to the boy with the loaves and two fishes (6,7).
• One brotherhood, different callings (7-9).
• Social gospel: material needs are important (10; cf James 2:15,16).
• Why is social gospel so important?
5. Clash of the Titans, Grace versus Law (2:11-16)
• Not first time poor old Peter has been rebuked for his stance (“Get behind me, Satan!”).
• Fear of men affects even the bravest (again, compare the servant girl in the courtyard).
• Hypocrisy is infectious (13).
• Sometimes open rebuke is most appropriate (14); sometimes a private word is better (2:2). How do we discern which situation requires which tack?
• Faith is universally accessible; law-keeping only available to Jews, and even they couldn’t manage it!
• Thank God for the wonderful equality that is in His grace, that His grace shows no favouritism.
Conclusion- Gospel, no more, no less
1. From God
2. Can turn anyone 180 degrees
3. Beware the fifth column
4. Different mission fields
5. Grace to all