Good afternoon Church,
I hope you are doing well today,
Last week, we concluded our series on Galatians. As we’ve seen in this book, Paul has proclaimed the one true Gospel that he received from our Lord Jesus Christ himself. As he has done this, he has undermined the false gospel which false teachers had brought into the Galatian church. The question which I want to ask us as we conclude our study in Galatians is: what gospel are we believing? Has this true Gospel really gripped us? Or have we been gripped by the false gospel that the Galatians were believing? Has this epistle fallen on deaf ears or is it bearing fruit in our lives?
In Galatians 6:12-13, Paul shows us what being in the grips of this false gospel looks like. In the actions and motives of these false teachers we see the fruit of believing this gospel of man.
- The gospel of man produces people who delight to exalt themselves. They want to make a good show in the eyes of man. They use other people to build themselves up. They ultimately end up consuming and devouring one another.
- The gospel of man produces people who live in hypocrisy. There is no power in this false gospel to transform hearts. They don’t love God’s law; all their apparent obedience only covers a heart that is full of all kinds of evil.
- The gospel of man produces people who refuse to pay the cost that following Jesus brings in their lives.
In Galatians 6:14-17, we see what being gripped by the gospel of grace looks like. In the words and actions of Paul we see the fruit of a man who has been transformed by the Gospel of grace.
- The gospel of grace produces people who exalt the Cross of Jesus Christ (vs. 14a). They know that outside of the cross they deserve nothing but condemnation and slavery. Everything they have, they have been given through faith in the cross of Christ. It is through the cross they have been justified by God, called his sons and daughters, and given an eternal inheritance.
- The gospel of grace produces people who have been transformed from the inside out. They have been crucified to the world and live as new creations in Christ (vs. 14b-15). They walk by the Spirit and don’t live to gratify the flesh with its desires. They are full of the fruit of the Spirit and seek to build others up in love.
- The gospel of grace produces people who embrace the cost that following Jesus brings into their lives. Jesus gave everything for them on the cross. Now, as his followers, they give themselves for him no matter the cost. They know that as they suffer with him, they will reign with him. They take up their cross daily and follow him (vs. 17).
My prayer is simply that we would put away all self-exaltation, hypocrisy and avoiding the cost that Jesus brings into our lives. This is the path that leads to destruction. May we be people who boast in the Cross, who live as new creations and who embrace the cost of following Jesus. This is the path to life.
Pastor, Friendship Baptist Church