July 14, 2019

Conflict for the Gospel

Passage: Galatians 2:1-5
Service Type:

Bible Text: Galatians 2:1-5 | Preacher: Pastor Robert Altman | Series: Truth of the Gospel | Conflict for the Gospel
Galatians 2:1-5
Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
One writer once wrote is 99.9 % good enough?
If things only work correctly 99.9% of the time…

12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily.

114,500 mismatched pairs of shoes will be shipped/year.

18,322 pieces of mail will be mishandled/hour.

2,000,000 documents will be lost by the IRS this year.

2.5 million books will be shipped with the wrong covers.

Two planes landed at Chicago’s O’Hare airport will be unsafe every day.

315 entries in Webster’s Dictionary will be misspelled.

20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions will be written this year.

880,000 credit cards in circulation will turn out to have incorrect

cardholder information on their magnetic strips.

103,260 income tax returns will be processed incorrectly during the year.

5.5 million cases of soft drinks produced will be flat.

291 pacemaker operations will be performed incorrectly.

3056 copies of tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal will be missing one of the three sections.

The Precise Gospel
The Gospel (Good News) of God is precise message. It is rooted and grounded in the Trinity. That is the Triune God (Father, Son, and Spirit) willed that sinful man be saved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ the incarnate Son of God. God made reconciliation of fallen man possible. But it doesn’t stop there. He did not leave the possibility of salvation on the shoulders of man. The heart of man is exceedingly wicked, our sin is exceedingly sinful, our works are rotten before God, and we are like sheep gone astray turning to our own wicked ways. Because of the totally depravity of man The Holy Spirit draws us to salvation. We cannot say, accurately, that “I decided to get saved”. But we can say “God drew me to salvation by His Holy Spirit”. God goes even further in sanctifying us and sealing making us vessels of mercy prepared for glory. The gospel work is a work of God from which we benefit fully. We are not business partners in salvation with God. We have not added to or funded the work of salvation, sanctification, or preservation. All the benefit for our salvation is 100% to God’s credit (glory). We cannot boast in anything but the cross of Christ. Our singing, praying, giving, serving, and fellowship are all rooted in our acceptance before God in Jesus Christ. Through the work of God in salvation we get the joy and God gets the glory.

One Drop Water Downs the Gospel
The smallest degree of “man centeredness” in the gospel alters the trajectory of a Christ center life God exalting life.  False doctrine can very easily arise from good intentions. Yet we do not teach good intentions, but the good news of God. He has redeemed man in spite of man. Paul says while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. When we lean to the left or right of the precise word of God we fall off into liberalism or legalism. Both which are founded on good intentions. Both promise a more profound walk with God. Legalism says I will make you purer, while liberalism says I will make you freer. Neither can add to our purity or liberty. Only the teaching and preaching Jesus Christ can make one pure and free. The New Testament writers place their full focus on the life of Christ and how His life brings us into new life. They teach spiritual transformation through the life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and intercessory ministry of Jesus Christ. If you find self-reformation in the bible you inserted it through your own interpretation, and mind you such an interpretation of scripture is to glorify self and not Christ. One drop of man centeredness waters down the gospel and therefore waters down a complete and radically life altering worship experience. Let us ask forgiveness daily for where we make our spiritual life about us, and not the grace of God that has given us abundant life.
The issue with the Galatians
Last week we spent time explaining the issue with the Galatians. They were being led astray by teachers from Jerusalem claiming a better spiritual pedigree than Paul. These teachers taught another gospel which is no gospel at all. They taught circumcision, ceremonial law, and observation of Holydays as part of the gospel. This made the cross of Christ of no effect. Paul told the church to let these teachers be accursed (devoted to perdition, doomed, or damned). What was at stake in the churches of Galatia was the very life blood of the gospel. If qualifications were mandated to enter into Jewish life before salvation could be experienced the gospel would be lost. This brings us to chapter two of Galatians.

 Revelation to Jerusalem (1-10)
Paul was in the Christian way of life for Fourteen years when he received a revelation he should go to Jerusalem and communicated with the leaders there the gospel he was entrusted to preach. Paul is again separating himself from the false teachers. Paul was not sent or summonsed to Jerusalem by man, but sent by God to keep the church unified on the subject of gospel clarity and authority. The meeting with the apostles at Jerusalem led to them recognizing the grace of God in Paul, extending the right hand of fellowship, and sent Paul on his way to continue in the gospel. The recounting of these events was verifiable. They happened at a certain time at a certain place among certain people agreeing on and covering certain topics. Paul laid a major blow against the false teachers and their false accusations against him. But most importantly Paul was furthering his agenda to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ clearly and completely to the Galatian people.
Precision Brings us to Conflict (11-21)
Paul loved the gospel more than friendship or fellowship. True friendship and fellowship flows from the truth of God’s word and is bound together by its principles. What unfolds in this specific portion of scripture is a face to face encounter when Paul saw Peter was causing division in the church and diminishing the gospel. Peter may have felt that it was necessary or his motives may have been rooted in good intentions, but none of it changed the fact that the gospel was jeopardized and the unity of the church endangered by the decision of the apostle Peter to please the Judaizers and remove himself from fellowship with the gentiles. Peter, maybe unknowingly, was reinforcing bad doctrine. Paul was having none of it and address Peter face to face. There are several things I want to point out from this text which I believe to be beneficial to the church this morning.

Paul was brought to Conflict because of the Gospel.

This was not a conflict of a pet peeve. This was not an issue culturally or socially. This was not a preference issue. This was a gospel issue. We must be mindful to only enter gospel centered Christ exalting conflicts. If you are walking the tight rope of biblical precision you will run head long into issues that jeopardize the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul’s motives were not based on his emotion or his personality to be a person of conflict. He wanted the gospel to be clear and power and not watered down by legalism or elitism.

We each should be willing to address Gospel Conflict

There are more occasions than not that a faithful member of the church has more knowledge of gospel related conflict in the church than the pastor. When you see a sin that effects the gospel it is your duty to biblically handle the offense by going to the person or persons directly. If the person will not hear you take another with you and finally bring it to the leadership’s attention. Fires in the church are to be put at as a team effort starting with you. No conflict is not easy nor fun. There is always the risk of losing the person as a friend or member of the church. Gospel precision brings us into dangerous positions at times. Part of the precision is not to avoid these issues leaning to the left or right of the issues we can fall into legalism or liberalism.

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