Sermon notes: Galatians

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Sermon notes: Galatians Series, Number 19: Abraham believed God...

"About the time we commit ourselves to working at our knowledge of Scripture rather than waiting for it to be spoon-fed to us, we think we can dispense with the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit in the work, depending instead on our own method and wisdom—specifically the principles of hermeneutics and exegesis as passed down to us by the members of the Evangelical Theological Society. How easily we allow them to convince us that the error of the Apostolic Fathers and the medieval mystics in their approach to Scripture was that they were looking for some hidden meaning of Scripture and were not content to stick with Scripture’s plain sense; that everyone from Origin to Bernard of Clairvaux made the mistake of engaging in that boogeyman of scientific exegetes, the allegorical interpretation of Scripture. That had they been alive today and had they studied at our evangelical seminaries, they would have learned how to read the Bible for all it’s worth and thus would never have strayed into...


Sermon notes: Galatians Series, Number 18...

Paradoxically, a Christian is both right and wrong, holy and (wicked), an enemy of God and a child of God. These contradictions no person can harmonize who does not understand the true way of salvation. Under the papacy we were told to toil until the feeling of guilt had left us. But the authors of this deranged idea were frequently driven to despair in the hour of death. It would have happened to me, if Christ had not mercifully delivered me from this error.  - Martin Luther on Galatians 3:1-5

NOTE: This is number 18 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post...

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd
May 30, 2004; AM
Galatians Series No. 18

Having Begun by the Spirit, Are You Now Being Perfected by the Flesh?
Sermon Text: Galatians 3:1-5

This Lord’s Day, we turn to our eighteenth in a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians...


Sermon notes: Galatians Series, Number 17...

"How does Scripture describe faith, after all?

"The man who takes up his cross and follows Jesus; the faithful slave who has made all things ready for his master’s return; the virgins who are alert and whose lamps have been filled with oil; the slaves who work to add to their talents and have a return on his investment to show their master when he returns and asks them to give an account for what they have done in his absence; Jesus tells us that faith is shown by those who give him something to eat when he’s hungry; something to drink when he’s thirsty; those who invite him into their home when he is homeless or a foreigner; those who clothe him when he is naked; those who visit him when he is sick; and those who attend to his needs when he is in prison. In short, those who produce fruit."

NOTE: This is number 17 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post...


Sermon notes: Galatians Series, Number 16...

Now at this point many are tempted to think that the Apostle Paul is here talking about a sort of Eastern mysticism whereby we decrease and God increases; that as we lay down our lives, our wills, our personalities, our actions, God is pleased to fill us with Himself and to live through us His life, His will, His personality, and His actions. And to some degree this is true. As believers, we do die to ourselves and are made alive to Jesus Christ.

But that aliveness is not one that leads us away from our will, personality, and actions; instead it changes our will, personality, and actions so that, instead of sin being our master, God is the One who controls us. Yet His control is not away from life into the mist and ozone of self-negation, but towards life, true life, in which everything is clear; we have the Spirit of God dwelling in us, and He makes all things new; we are zealous for good works knowing that it is those good works to which we have been saved.

NOTE: This is number 16 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post...

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd
April 25, 2004; AM
Galatians Series No. 16

By Faith in the Son of God
Sermon Text: Galatians 2:20, 21

This Lord’s Day, we turn to our sixteenth in a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians...


Sermon notes: Galatians Series, Number 15...

We are always in danger of adding works to the process of salvation. Yes, those of us living in the post-Galatians world are still not entirely willing to give up on ourselves.

There are many Protestants who deny the congruent merit and the infused righteousness of the Roman Catholic Church, but turn into a work that faith in Jesus Christ which the Apostle Paul so clearly states is the instrument through which we have imputed to us the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

How easily faith itself may become a work; how easily faith becomes the one thing Jesus has not done, and cannot do, for us—the one thing we must do for ourselves.

NOTE: This is number 15 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post...

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd
March 28, 2004; AM
Galatians Series No. 15

For Through the Law I Died to the Law
Sermon Text: Galatians 2:15-19

This Lord’s Day, we turn to our fifteenth in a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians...


Sermon notes: Galatians Series, Number 14...

...the second any man is justified outside of grace, by a work—whether that work is circumcision, or a good deed that calls forth from God something called congruent merit, or a work of repentance, or a work of mustering up or guarding faith, or a work of choice that God meets halfway with faith (most of which, it must be acknowledged, comes from Him but some of which must come from us); to the degree that any man is justified outside of or in addition to God’s grace, we are under the Law and must fulfill every one of its infinite number of conditions.

In other words, we are lost eternally, without God and without hope in the world.

Why?

Because God in His infinite mercy has decreed that “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”

So we read in the Heidelberg Catechism:

Question 60: How are you righteous before God?

Answer: Only by true faith in Jesus Christ. In spite of the fact that my conscience accuses me that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, and have not kept any one of them, and that I am still ever prone to all that is evil, nevertheless, God, without any merit of my own, out of pure grace, grants me the benefits of the perfect expiation of Christ, imputing to me his righteousness and holiness as if I had never committed a single sin or had ever been sinful, having fulfilled myself all the obedience which Christ has carried out for me, if only I accept such favor with a trusting heart.

NOTE: This is number 14 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post...


Sermon notes: Galatians Series, Number 13...

Peter was trembling at the thought of offending the old guard in Jerusalem, and of having to face down their delegates just arrived in Antioch, so he caved.

He gave up God’s special revelations spoken of so clearly in Acts 10, and he gave up his immediate past practice there in Antioch—a practice he had followed with what we can suppose was joyful abandon until the day they arrived—and instead, put on airs and became a racist.

But really, “racist” is not nearly serious enough to address what Peter did because it was not simply a matter of Peter’s prejudice for his own kind and uncharitable condemnation of other people groups; in this case, what was at stake was not simply human prejudice, but the wideness of God’s mercy.

NOTE: This is number 13 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post...


Sermon notes: Galatians Series, Number 12...

As I said last week, we have a tendency to want to clasp the theological truths of this precious book of Galtians to our hearts—that by the works of the law no man is saved, but only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and His work alone—while despising the method the Holy Spirit used to clarify and solidify that truth within the Church.

NOTE: This is number 12 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post.

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd/Clearnote Church, Bloomington

February 8, 2004; AM

Galatians Series No. 12

Fearing the Party of the Circumcision

Sermon Text: Galatians 2:11-14

This Lord’s Day, we turn to our twelfth in a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians...


Sermon notes: Galatians Series, Number 11...

How good it is that neither the Apostle to the Gentiles, nor the Apostles to the Jews there in the Jerusalem church, sought to issue a compromise in order to allow the false prophets (or the more rigorous among the believers) to save face. No, instead it was a clean break with the past:

Verse 9: and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

* G. K. Chesterton On Arguments:

People generally quarrel because they cannot argue.

* * *

There are two kinds of peacemakers in the modern world; and they are both, though in various ways, a nuisance. The first peacemaker is the man who goes about saying that he agrees with everybody. He confuses everybody. The second peacemaker is the man who goes about saying that everybody agrees with him. He enrages everybody. Between the two of them they produce a hundred times more disputes and distractions than we poor pugnacious people would ever have thought of in our lives.

NOTE: This is number 11 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post.

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd/Clearnote Church, Bloomington

February 1, 2004; AM
Galatians Series No. 11
The Right Hand of Fellowship II
Sermon Text: Galatians 2:1-10

This Lord’s Day, we turn to our eleventh in a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians...


Sermon notes: Galatians Series, Number 10...

We must recognize that we have not been saved to a life of sanctified hedonism, but to taking up our cross with our Master, doing the works He has done. We have been saved with a purpose behind our salvation, and that purpose is always to remember the poor. We have been saved from works-righteousness to the gratitude and love-righteousness that is at the center of our hearts due to our union with Christ, our becoming one with and in Christ.

Thus it is that in the recording of the conclusions of the Council of Jerusalem found in Acts 15 and here, both of which make it clear that circumcision is to be denied any place in the Gospel (because “by works of righteousness will no man be saved”), we also find, seamlessly woven into the text, commands for specific acts of holiness:

NOTE: This is number 10 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post.

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd/Clearnote Church, Bloomington

January 25, 2004; AM
Galatians Series No. 10
The Right Hand of Fellowship
Sermon Text: Galatians 2:1-10

This Lord’s Day, we turn to our tenth in a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians...


Sermon notes: Galatians Series, Number 9...

Note that God does not simply predestine the salvation of men, but also the means of their hearing that salvation message—namely, the preaching of Jesus Christ by men set apart to this work. Both the end and the means are the decree of God.

Today we like to think that so long as we know God’s ends, His purposes and goals, we ourselves are free to choose the tools as we like. So there is a tendency in the church today to denigrate the call of preaching, and to lift up the call of evangelistic Bible study leaders working out of their homes and dorm rooms; and gifted women Bible expositors who can be franchised across the country and whose evangelistic message can be broadcast through books and radio waves and study guides and videotapes far more effectively than the rather limited reach of a preacher of the Gospel speaking in the pulpit of a local church.

Surely our goal is not so much to contravene God’s divine purpose as as it is to assist the Holy Spirit’s efficiency. This is the great idol of the evangelical age, that the call of God to men to preach His Gospel, and the purpose of God in loving his Bride, the Church, and the promise of God of sanctification through the officers of that Church loving and exhorting and disciplining those sheep under their care are all rather dated methods for our own so-very-sophisticated age.

NOTE: This is number 8 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post.

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd/Clearnote Church, Bloomington

January 4, 2004; AM
Galatians Series No. 9
They Were Glorifying God Because of Me
Sermon Text: Galatians 1:11-24

This Lord’s Day, we turn to our ninth in a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians...


Sermon notes: Galatians Series, Number 8...

So, ask yourself—or rather, ask the Holy Spirit—what possible benefit you might receive from His use of the family relationship of "brothers" as His form of address of groups of Christians, many of whom not only did not share the same blood relationship, but also did not share the same ethnic or racial background? What might this teach you?

Well, for both men and women, it teaches us that we are a part of a new family—and one, not of our own choosing, but of the Holy Spirit’s election. No longer is our identity to be taken from our own cultural heritage, but rather from the call of God to the Church of Jesus Christ, within which we are all fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters of one another. What a tender designation to comfort the hearts of those who have grown up in homes permeated by strife, families abandoned by mothers and fathers who cared more about their own pleasure than the wellbeing of their offspring.

God has called us to Himself and, by that call, made us members of His Own Household, the Church. And within the Church, we are not Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but we are all one in Christ—brothers of God’s household.

NOTE: This is number 8 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post.

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd

December 28, 2003; AM
Galatians Series No. 8
For I Would Have You Know, Brethren
Sermon Text: Galatians 1:11-24

This Lord’s Day, we turn to our eighth in a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians...


Sermon notes: Galatians Number 7...

NOTE: This is number 7 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post.

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd

December 14, 2003; AM
Galatians Series No. 7
Am I Now Striving To Please Men? II
Sermon Text: Galatians 1:6-10 

This Lord’s Day, we turn to our seventh in a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians. And this week, again, we turn to verses six through ten...


Sermon notes: Galatians Number 6...

Yes, there was a day when they sang, “Nothing in my hands I bring, but simply to the Cross I cling,” and meant it; but their soul grew weary of looking to God for all their needs; they tired of counting their richest gain loss and pouring contempt on all their pride; and so their hearts became fertile soil for false preachers and fake prophets who held out to them the vision of things more glorious than the simplicity of the Gospel.

True, not a message that denied the Gospel—that would be too crass and require too radical a movement from the Cross where they had first seen the light. There are not many who, having fallen in love with their Savior, are ready to spurn Him.

No, a more sophisticated method is required; we must not make the cost of apostasy so steep. Much wiser to make the abandonment of the Gospel a matter of degrees: Work in a little (just a smidgen) of pride at the beginning; lead the sheep over by the chasm where they can see the view and take in the glorious vista of freedom from the boundaries of their own provincial pasture; lead them to believe that they can spread their wings and fly and get them to dream dreams of swooping over the craggy cliffs on wings of pride...

NOTE: This is number 6 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post.

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd

December 7, 2003; AM
Galatians Series No. 6

Am I Now Striving To Please Men?
Sermon Text: Galatians 1:6-10

This Lord’s Day, we turn to our sixth in a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians. And this week, we turn to verses six through ten...


Sermon notes: Galatians Number 5...

NOTE: This is number 5 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post.

"That He might rescue us from this present evil age..." (Galatians 1:4)

While it is true that those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will, at some date, be rescued from this evil age by death or the Second Coming of our Lord, we are not here speaking of being rescued by death or Christ’s Return, much less of a rapture of Christians snapped by God from their suffering—enticing though that may be. Rather, we are here speaking of the rescue all Christians receive, moment by moment, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, decade by decade—the lifelong rescue that God’s Holy Spirit does in us through His sanctifying work whereby we are made holy as God is holy. This is the method of our rescue.

And this theme is prominent in Scripture; that the people of God are rescued from this evil age here and now through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. We are changed, made new, set apart from the evil world as God’s holy, God’s peculiar, God’s separate people.

In other words, when we believe in Jesus Christ, we are not plucked out of the war, the fight, the bloody contest, but rather we are saved for or to that bloody contest.

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd

November 30, 2003; AM
Galatians Series No. 5
That He Might Rescue Us From This Present Evil Age
Sermon Text: Galatians 1:3-5 


Sermon notes: Galatians Number 4...

NOTE: This is number 4 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post.

"What must we do, then, seeing that we are truly dead in our trespasses and sins?

We must turn away from, we must forsake, all self-help schemes, whether they are found in education, psychology, Dr. Phil or Dr. Laura, or the more natural ones of marriage and family, and work. If we are a content wife or happy mother or devoted husband, we are still dead in our trespasses and sins—only slightly happier than the next corpse. This is not to disparage the joys and blessings of marriage and family life, but only to recognize that one can go to hell after a good marriage as well as one can go to hell after a bad one."

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd (now Clearnote Church, Bloomington)

November 16, 2003; AM

Galatians Series No. 4

Who Gave Himself for Our Sins

Sermon Text: Galatians 1:1-5 

This Lord’s Day, we turn to our fourth in a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians...


Sermon notes: Galatians Number 3...

NOTE: This is number 3 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post.

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd (now Clearnote Church, Bloomington)

November 9, 2003; AM

Galatians Series No. 3

Grace to You and Peace

Sermon Text: Galatians 1:1-5

This Lord’s Day, we have our third in a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians. And for this, our third week, we will read the entire introduction to this book, verses one through five.

* Galatians 1:1-5 This is the Word of God, eternally true...


Sermon notes: Galatians Number 2...

NOTE: This is number 2 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post.

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd (now Clearnote Church, Bloomington)

November 2, 2003; AM

Galatians Series No. 2

"To the Churches of Galatia"

Sermon Text: Galatians 1:12 

This Lord’s Day, we have our second in a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians...


Sermon notes: Galatians Number 1...

NOTE: This is number 1 in a series on Galatians. If this is your first time reading sermon notes here, please take time to read a helpful explanation at the bottom of this post.

From the Pulpit of Church of the Good Shepherd (now Clearnote Church, Bloomington)

October 26, 2003; AM

Galatians Series No. 1

"Paul, an Apostle"

Sermon Text: Galatians 1:1, 2

This Lord’s Day, we begin a series of sermons on the New Testament book of Galatians. And for this, our first week, we will read the first two verses of the introduction of this book, verses through five. Please turn with me, then, to Galatians chapter one, verse one.

* Galatians 1:1, 2 This is the Word of God, eternally true.

Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: Galatians 1:1, 2, NAS95...