THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 2-2-03
LESSON TITLE: TO THE CHURCHES OF GALATIA: "CHAPTER 2: PUTTING AWAY THE OLD LAW"
Thank you for joining us this morning for the Living Word Program. A work of our Lord committed to studying His Will and to doing things in His Way. As always, it is our hope and prayer that everything we do together will be edifying to each of us, but ultimately it is our goal to glorify God, the Almighty! Let me encourage each of us to do our part this morning in making this time together profitable in His sight. Now, let's talk to the Father in prayer!
I would like to take a moment and thank all of you viewers for your continued interest and support of this program. In fact, recently we have had a very good response from many of you for Free Bible Correspondence Courses, as well as free transcripts, tracts, and various others items. We thank you for your interest in God's Word and it is our continued commitment to you to present the whole counsel of God, which is able to save our souls and provide us the reward of Heaven. Please continue to contact us with your spiritual needs, so that together we may all come to a better knowledge and understanding of God's Word. May God bless you all according to His Will.
Our first hymn of the morning is focused on the great sacrifice which Jesus Christ our savior made for each and everyone of us. I hope you all will join with the congregation and lift up your voice in praise to God as we sing together, "Alas and Did My Savior Bleed."
(SONG # 1)
Sometimes we forget just how blessed we are to be able to have our own copies of God's Word. The whole Bible is such a wonderful gift from God, which provides us with all the knowledge that we need from Him. Even the Old Testament is so profitable for our learning. In fact, it was Paul who said, "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope," Romans 15:4.
One great and encouraging passage which is found in the Old Testament is Psalms 16:11. There David gave us several things to think about, concerning our Wondrous God. In that verse we read, "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Notice the many area's of instruction covered here in this one short verse.
First, we are reminded that God shows us the way to live in His holy book. How wonderful it is to have a guide that gives us the answers, as to how we should act and what we should say. What greater guide could we have today than that which is from the creator Himself!
The second thing David reminded us of is that God is with us. How exciting it is to know that we are never alone and that God will always be by our side. Furthermore, notice that this presence of God brings us joy. What greater joy can we experience, as followers of God, than to know that God is always there for us - helping us, caring for us, providing for us and protecting us.
The final thing mentioned by David is concerning our reward, if we are found faithful. We have been promised that we will live with God forever, because of the hope we have through Christ Jesus. What greater promise could we have than eternal life. Especially, when that eternal life is promised in an eternal paradise!
As you see, truly the things of old are very profitable to those who desire to please God today. We can learn so much from the lives of others who have gone on before. Sometimes the lessons are positive in the fact that we follow the example of those who have been pleasing to God. However, sometimes the examples are negative, in that we can learn not to make the same mistakes that others have made as followers of God in the past. May we all learn to study God's Word more often, so that we can learn the things which He would have us to do.
Today we will be continuing our series on the book of Galatians. Our specific message of the day is entitled, "Chapter 2: Putting Away the Old Law." So please stay with us this morning, and after our next song together I will return with this study from God's Word. For now, won't you return with the congregation to our songs of praise? Let's all join together in the next song of the day, it's name, "Be Not Dismayed!"
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
Thank you so much for continuing with us this morning as we now have the opportunity to go back to God's Word and to see more of what it has to say to us through these inspired writers in order that we might be better Christians and followers before our God.
We've been having a good study together, I think, in the book of Galatians and in fact we've been able now to look at an introduction to the book as well as looking at the first chapter, and today we'll be looking at the second chapter which will primarily be focusing on the concept that we are no longer justified by the old law, but we really must back up into the first chapter somewhat to be able to understand really what was taking place and some of the things that Paul was addressing here in the second chapter of this letter to the church of Galatia or churches of Galatia.
In fact, if you go back to around verse 11 you see here that basically Paul is making an example, or really a description of the cause that he had to follow Christ. You might also notice in verse 12 that he specifically says that "he did not receive his call from man nor was he taught it." But if you'll notice in verse 12, it says, "it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ." You and I remember that, of course, Paul being a Jew, a very staunch supporter of Judaism, one who went out and persecuted the church and imprisoned Christians and even held the garments at times of those who were killing Christians. We know that Paul was, at that time being Saul, was an individual who very much was against Christ. But now because of the revelation, he says. We remember there that the road to Damascus where he was approached by the Lord himself as he called out, "What Lord, what must I do?" He went into the city as he was commanded and then Ananias told him to "arise and be baptized and wash away your sins." From that point on, he was a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was one who was striving to do what Christ had said in relationship to the Father, the same Father that Paul had followed before, but now through the son Jesus who had actually lived and existed and who now made Himself revealed unto Paul that he might be a follower of Him.
I like what it goes on to say around verse 15 of chapter 1 because there it says basically that it had pleased God to separate Paul, to pull him out and to really bring him from his mother's womb and allow him to be called for a purpose, called into grace. In other words, Paul said that "it was God that chose me and has given me the privilege to come out of Judaism and to follow something that is greater and something even far better."
And then in verses 16-17, you'll notice that he again clarifies why he was called, "that He might reveal His son in me that I might preach Him among the Gentiles." In other words, Paul being a good Jew was now being called as an individual who would go unto all the Gentiles, all the heathen nations, all those who for the most part really didn't know God the Father that well, nor the son and who needed to be taught, a lot of times really from scratch. If you'll notice there even in verse 17, he clarifies again that "he was not taught these things, nor did he see the apostles, but after the revelation..." in verses 17 it says that "he went out into Arabia and returned again to Damascus."
So it was God that taught Paul the things that he knew. In fact, for three years it seems that he was busy about this revelation that God was giving him, that God was revealing that he might know the Will of the Lord directly, because even in verse 18 it says there that "even after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter and remained with him fifteen days." It seems before this point that Paul really didn't have much exposure to anyone else and "besides Peter," it says here in verse 19 that "only James, the brother of Jesus, is the only other apostle or individual that he really connected with," in relationship to the things of Christ. Here again, Paul trying to make the point that what he knew, he knew from God directly. Peter, James or no one else had to tell him. Why? Because God chose him. God revealed it to him. Therefore, since Christ Himself revealed the things that Paul knew, inspired him, then certainly those who heard what Paul had to say believed and followed according to the Will of God.
So now again we see that he went out, he revealed these things. He was in the desert for years, in fact, for three years before he returned into Jerusalem, as we are told. But then in chapter 2, we begin seeing once again a concept of a return to Jerusalem. But notice the passage of time in verse 1 of chapter 2. He says, "Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabus and also took Saul with me." Some fourteen years now had passed since the first time that he went and had evidently been with Peter and others and had been able to talk with James and to maybe confirm that he had been taught by God and they were able themselves to see that . Some fourteen years later, after they were able to continue their work in different areas, in different regions, he now returns with Barnabus, Barnabus the one that we knew who accompanied him on missionary journeys as well as at times the one mentioned here, Titus. And again, if you'll notice it was done all according to revelation, verse 2 tells us, "that he went up because of revelation and communicated to them the gospel which he preached among the Gentiles."
It seems like here the first emphasis in chapter is the idea that Paul received it from the Lord. He was revealed it. He took years to learn it and then fourteen years later, it seems he now has to return to Jerusalem and to confirm to those who should know that he had been called to go to the Gentiles. Why was this necessary? Because as we will see it continue to unfold in this chapter, there were those of the circumcision, those who were previously of the Jewish faith, as Paul, those who were still holding on in many ways to the old law and who were really were feeling that because they were Jews they were somehow better than Gentiles or others who might come to know Christ, even to the point that they were imposing many of the old rituals and fleshly things on the Gentiles before they would even treat them as Christians. Well we again then see that Paul begins to defend the gospel. He begins to say, "Look, it is Jesus, the one who lived, died, was buried and rose on the third day. It is that same Jesus who called me to go to the Gentiles." I believe the point being made here obviously is that Jesus called him to go to the Gentiles, thus, that proves that Jesus came to save all man, just as we read in the Great Commission, "to go to all the world, to every creature, to all nations, to anyone who hears and responds and believes and obeys can be a child of God." Paul was trying to now give this message to people who should have well known it as followers in Christ but somehow he could see or saw a need to do this by the revelation and to remind these individuals that truly God chose also those of the faith who might be even of previous ideas or concepts or those who may have been pagans or outside of Christ and never even knew what Judaism was all about, that all men once again could hear and follow God.
But I want you to notice also in around verses 3-5 as he confirms the gospel that he even uses some examples. He talks here about how Titus was almost confused and almost felt himself a need to be circumcised so that the Jews might accept him in some way. Then what Paul basically is trying to do is to convince them and show them again that these things are contrary, that these things are not what God had wanted at all, and that really the Jews were once again binding under the old law, not the new law, but the old law, the law of Moses.
You might notice in verse 7 what Paul there is talking about to the Galatians as he says, "But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me as the gospel as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter..." it says, "for he who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me towards the Gentiles." He says here that Peter had been called to the Jews just as I had been called to the Gentiles.
Then down in verse 10, he goes on to say that "They desired only that I should remember the poor as I had already been doing and they finally extended to me the right hand of fellowship." In other words, they finally there in verse 9 said, "Okay, we will fellowship you because Jesus called you to the Gentiles just as He called Peter to the Jews."
But then as we begin to see in verse 11 that really the problem was not completely solved, that really that there was a much deeper problem or at the heart and it wasn't just with the average Christian, as we might say or the average member, but even Peter himself seemed to have a real problem with being prejudice against those who were Gentiles in the past. In fact, if you'll notice in verse 11, Paul tells us what he had to do to Peter, at least before Peter, when he found him there or met him in Antioch. It says there, "Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed." To be blamed about what? To be blamed because he himself was separating himself as one of the circumcision with those others of the circumcision. In other words, Peter was hanging around with the Jews. He had a click of Jews and because he didn't want to have them maybe look at him as being bad because he associated with Gentiles, he was giving into peer pressure and he was treating individuals in a way that was ungodly. He was treating them because they were Gentiles as they were not even Christians although they had done the very same thing as he to respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Now Paul, what did he do? He withstood him face to face and straightforward told him the truth in what he should do. In fact, in verse 14, he addresses him and says that "when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, 'if you being a Jew live in the manner of Gentiles and not as Jews, then why do you compel Gentiles to live as a Jew?'" In other words, if you live like Gentiles in some ways and you're a Jew, then why do you cause the Gentiles to need to be like the Jews? The point again being, as we continue in the context, is the fact that because we are not justified by the works of the old law. Who better to know that than Paul? Paul was a staunch supporter of the old law and now under Christ Jesus he understood that these things had been put aside.
Verse 16 says that "Faith in Jesus Christ is now what will save an individual, not the works of the law or the fleshly things." He says, "We are not justified by those things," there again in verse 16, "but rather it is faith in Christ Jesus that justifies us." Oh how wonderful it is to know that today for you and I and everyone, no matter who we are, no matter what culture we are from, no matter what color our skin is, no matter what language we speak, all men can come to Christ Jesus equally and be accepted by Him.
But I might ask the question, "How many are guilty like Peter? How many of us are prejudice at times and we allow the law and the things that really we like or think or want to somehow be put in as doctrine when really the truth is they are not." Well obviously, I would believe that Peter corrected his problem and we all need to do the same that are caught up in such temptations ourselves, those who give into the same ideas and concepts and really don't treat others as they should be treated equal in Christ Jesus.
If you'll notice there in verse 20, a beautiful verse that we've no doubt read many times, Paul then clarifies boldly before them his stance before Jesus. He says, "I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." Paul here uses a beautiful example and in the context I hope you see what he is talking about. He says, "I died to the old man. I died to Judaism. I no longer am bound by the fleshly things of Judaism. But..." he says, "now in Christ Jesus by faith, dying to the old, I now live in Jesus through faith and have the opportunity to know that Christ has not died in vain," and that's what verse 21 says. He says there that "Peter and others almost made Christ to die in vain because Christ died so all could be equal and come to the throne of Jesus, but yet Peter and others would have them to follow the old things that were under or really not as good as those things found and sealed through the blood of Jesus Christ."
Brethren, as we look in this book, in this great chapter, and we see here great evidences that are ours, we must follow Christ Jesus and the gospel, the one true gospel. May we always do only those things and stand for those things that are according to His Will and may we never impose on others the ideas and concepts that we claim are doctrine when really they are not confirmed for us in the Bible. Always do what God says and you will never go wrong.
(SONG # 3 - "I Stand Amazed!")
Again, let me thank you for putting God first and choosing to give this time to Him. It is always a pleasure to have you with us. We invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to worshiping God in His way!
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May we all never forget the importance of or the significance of the Old Testament. However, let's all learn to accept that God's Will today is greater than ever before, and is encompassed in the New Law through Christ Jesus!