Summary: A sermon on Galatians 1:13-24 based on sharing our story in Jesus Christ (Material adapted from Scot McKnight in NIV Application Commentary, New Testament, Galatians)
Sermon for 5/27/2007
Galatians 1:13-24 Memorial Day
A. Tomorrow is Memorial Day. We honor and remember those who have died fighting for the United States and for the cause of freedom.
B. Our sign out front is in honor of Memorial Day. Had a young lady ask a few questions about the sign. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
C. In our day we can say pretty much the same thing. Not everyone can go into the military but for those who do we can say with gratitude in our hearts that we owe much to our service men and women. When we look at this for Memorial Day we can also say that we owe much (we being the many) to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice (the few). We enjoy the fruits of their sacrifice.
D. Get back to Memorial Day at the end of this sermon.
A. Read Galatians 1:13-24.
B. Last week I mentioned it and I often refer to it that the best way in our day to share our faith is to share our story of what Jesus Christ has done for us.
C. We can give many evidences and many arguments for the truth of the gospel and the New Testament but in our day that is not as effective as it once was. This is the Information Age and there are many sources and many individuals who have mounds of information backing up their ideas and their philosophies. Our children and young people are bombarded every day with many different messages on many different topics. For every proposal there is a counter proposal, for every thesis there is an anti thesis.
D. How do we win people for Jesus Christ? It is by what we say, but what we do and by whom we reflect. A life that has been changed by Jesus Christ, a walking talking testimony for Christ, is the best way to win people in our day. However, how many times do people see that today?
E. We don’t have to have an ability to craft clever arguments and quote Greek to let people know about Jesus. All we have to have is a testimony about what Jesus did for us. If we know Christ as your Lord and Savior, we can witness.
F. This is what Paul did. Yes, he debated and reasoned with Jews and Gentiles. But we see that two times in Acts and throughout his letters he talks about what happened to him before and after his conversion to Christ. He shared his personal life story with people.
G. Our mission is to share our lives with whom we can. But what should I share? How can I share? What should I focus on?
Thesis: Paul gives us several thoughts on how to share our lives, our testimony with people.
1. Find an angle for our stories.
A. In this Scripture Paul is just giving part of his life story. He could have said a whole lot more. However, his main purpose in this letter is to show his independence from the Jewish faith and his direct revelation from Jesus Christ. That is his angle.
B. What is your main angle? I remember in college we had to give our personal testimonies. My main angle was the Jesus Christ drew me to himself by offering his friendship. This seems to be a main theme in my life. But what about your life?
C. What needs did Jesus Christ fill in your life?
C. When sharing our lives we need to hear other people’s stories and then when we are allowed to share our story we need to apply it to people’s needs.
D. We could talk about how our past has prepared us for our present ministry and life. We could talk about our own spiritual development. We could talk about circumstances and changes that have made significant impacts upon our lives.
2. All stories are different.
A. Paul here is sharing his story. Everyone’s story is different. Most people’s stories will be very different from Paul’s. Think about the life of Saul, later Paul. His story is not a measure for my story.
B. Now everyone goes through the plan of salvation, belief, confession, repentance, baptism. But how we got there and what we do after that is usually very different.
C. Most people’s stories are not as dramatic as Paul’s. Most people’s stories are much more gradual than Paul’s.
D. God has given different stories to reach different people. Who better to reach an alcoholic than another alcoholic. Who better to reach a homosexual than another homosexual. My story doesn’t include these two things, so I am thankful for many different stories.