Galatians Day 8: Not more will power…More of God’s Power!

1117398599_b86f47800aDoes anyone else have a problem with will power or am I the only one? Have you ever tried to not eat an oreo that was staring you down? Have you ever said, “I’m not going to do it this time. I’m not going to do it this time. I’m not going to do it this time” and then walk into the situation and do the thing that you said you wouldn’t. We all have this problem!

The judaizers who had lead the Galatians astray were telling them that Jesus plus the good work of keeping the law is the way that they could be right with God. If that is true then we are in serious trouble, because we have to do that on our own. We have to use our will power. Thankfully, Paul obliterates this arguement in todays text.

16    Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

This is the best news we can receive. If it were up to us to fully keep the rules to be right with God then none of us have a shot. But everyone exhibits faith in something. The person that fully leans into Christ’s death and ressurection to be right with God will be justified.

17    But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

This is an understandable question. Since we’re justified by faith, does that mean we stop sinning? No. Then does this justification make the one who justifies us an enabler of our sin? Paul says, “May it never be!”

Why not Paul?

18    For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

When we sin after we get saved it is us doing that and not God, so God is not the author of sin. In fact, God does something totally opposite after we have been justified. Look at verse 19…

19    For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.20    I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.21    I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Galatians 2:16–21)

When we are justified by Faith in Christ that is when Christ enables us to live in a way that glorifies Him. I’m crucified with Christ and I’m still alive. It’s not me that is alive by myself- Christ now lives in me and helps me to make right choices by changing my character from the inside.

If I could be saved, and if I could live rightly outside of Christ’s death and indwelling power then Christ’s death was for nothing.

Thankfully those who are in Christ have Christ helping us not only to be saved, but to also live to glorify God! Ask Him to help you live for Him today!

Galatians Day 4- Not Man Made

medium_5653503758Have you ever seen an incredible sunset? What about a moutainscape that just took your breath away? My wife is from Boise, Idaho, and so when we go there every year usually during the summer. A couple of times we’ve gone to McCall, Idaho- this incredible moutain town- and the drive from Boise to McCall is incredible. There are mountain scapes, and scenic rivers. It’s so beautiful, especially to this south Florida guy whose drives down our interstate are all billboards and trees on either side. My point is, some things are so beautiful it’s obvious that man didn’t make it. Whenever I see those sights I am  in awe of what God did with His Words in Creation.

It is obvious with creation, but it’s also obvious with the Gospel!

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me. (Galatians 1:10–24)

In today’s text Paul makes 2 arguments.

1. The Gospel isn’t a man made message.
“The gospel which was preached of me is not after man…”
Paul goes over his history with the Galatians. He spoke of how he received the revelation of the gospel from Christ Himself, and how that He did not confer with any men to try to come up with this message.

2. The Gospel finds its’ source in Jesus Christ.
“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood…”

Paul says that God had an incredible plan for his life to share this incredible message with Him so that He could share it with those who he used to despise. Incredible!

Why are these arguments so important?
If the Gospel comes from God, is about God, and should glorify God then I don’t have a right to change that message.

How do we change the message?

  • When we keep it to ourselves we are saying it’s not for everyone.
  • When we try to earn it by good works, we’re saying the Gospel is not enough.
  • When we add something other than Jesus to the gospel it becomes another gospel.

Today, Pray that God will give you the opportunity to share His meessage with someone!

Devotion: Jesus >Me

Devotion: Jesus >Me
Hebrews 3:1–6

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

  • Jesus and Moses had something in common. They accomplished the calling that God the Father had called them to.

For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after…

Moses is the house. Jesus built the house.
We are the house. God built the house.

What is the house? Well- It’s a picture. A picture of what some have called “the household of faith.” God is building this house- this group of people who believe in and follow Him.

But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Hebrews 3:1–6)

The point is just like the builder is greater than the house, Jesus is greater than the household of faith that He is building. Jesus is greater than us!

Application:
There are some men and women of faith who have been greatly used by God, but they’re not Jesus. There have been lots of Moses’ and still are. There have been great leaders who trusted in God and were used by him. Sometimes we are still tempted to make too big of a deal over people. It may be the “celebrity pastor” or the guy at your work that has had a huge impact on you. We’ve got to keep your eyes on Jesus more than on men.

You and I exist for Jesus. He does not exist for us. How do you know if you are tending to believe that God exists for you?
– How many of your prayers are requests only?
– Do you pray only when you’re in crisis or need something?
– Do you tend to ask God what He wants in your decisions or do you just ask God to bless the decisions that you are making?

The answer to these questions has too often been wrong in my life. I exist for Him because He is greater than me.

Heavenly Father,
Please help me not make a bigger deal about me, or other men than I do for you. I confess to you this morning that You are greater than anything! I am so thankful for Your Son and the house that you have built and are building. I love you! Amen.

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