Summary: Today many religions claim to be authentic belief systems, SO which is right. Recently we have witnessed the influence of Christianity being eroded from our society. In the name of tolerance, Christians told to yield to other beliefs. At the heart of t
Christianity faces a major dilemma. We face a grave threats.
This is by no means new
The apostle Paul (one who new Jesus) experienced a similiar attack from one of the churches he helped start
Church in Galatia (49 A.D.) modern Turkey). Paul himself was accused by Jewish Christians of watering down the Christian message ... making it more appealing to Gentiles (non-Jewish Christians. Paul preached that many of the religious laws observed by the Jews for centuries did not need to be followed. They claimed that non-Christians needed to become Jews first, before becoming Christians.
A dispute broke out between the two groups.
At the heart of the conflict is the question, "what is the basis for authentic Christian faith?"
The answer is: No one can be save but by the grace of God
1. The Real Deal (Gal 1:1-5)
Credetials reveal his authority
Authority comes from God (some were questioning his authority)
God’s plan to save us by Jesus death
saved to live for God (in this life and the next)\
This is the Christian message
2. There Can be Only One (Gal 1:6-10)
Some ppl preaching a different Gospel (different belief)
They said that faith in Jesus was not enough
there was something more
This undermined the truth of the gospel message (Good News)
that Christ’s death was sufficient
that his death was for ALL people (not just the Jews)
There are no additional requirements for salvation
Our sins are forgiven -- through faith in Jesus Christ
some assert that all religions are equally valid paths to God (in the name of tolerance)
for this reason people don’t like Christianity (we are not very inclusive, too strict -- intolerant)
As Paul points out, this is not the way it is meant to be -- yet at the same time, God does not have to accept human-made religions as a subsitute for faith in Jesus. He has provided away for ALL people to have a relationship with God (John 14:6)
A half truth, is in fact a lie ...
Well intentioned people may have their reasons for promoting their beliefs.
Over zealous Jewish Christians believing that their Old Testament practices were still necessary for all believers
In the process they perverted the truth for their own ends ... thus Galatian believers were lead astray from the truth.
They denied that the work of Jesus on the cross was sufficient for the forgiveness of sins.
There is a warning for us ... to make sure that what we hear being taught about God matches the truth in God’s word ... if it does not, then it is a perversion of that truth.
If if one of God’s angel’s preached a different gospel, that angel should be cursed.
2 Cor 11:14-15 Even the devil masquerades as the angel of light
If any angel or person (even himself) spread a false gospel they should be condemned for doing so.
The gospel never changes ... so we should have confidence in the message ... but we need to be wary of the messenger (anyone who promotes the gospel)
Don’t please people .. please God
Don’t do or believe something to please people ... If people are wrong about matters of faith, don’t be wrong with them
3. Who Said? (Gal 1:11-24)
Why should the Galatians have listened to Paul instead of these Jewish Christians?
Paul gives his credentials:
- message directly from Jesus Christ (Gal 1:12)
- had himself been an exemplary Jew (Gal :13-14)
- special conversion experience (Gal 1:15-16) cf Acts 9
- confirmed and accepted by the other apostles (Gal 1:18, 19)
Paul’s life is a perfect example of a life transformed
When people look at you, do they see someone transformed by God?
Are you easily sucked into belief’s other than the gospel?
Time to be set free
We need boldness, to reject any message that is not does not line up with the gospel message of Jesus
If it is not truth, then it is a lie
God is not about the business of confusion or deceptions