Monday, January 24, 2011

Sermons January 23: Galatians 1:1-5


I've been writing out more of my sermons, even though I don't preach it word-for-word from what I write. It helps me wrestle out some of the thoughts more clearly. The evening sermon is still more of a short outline. I'll post it first, then the morning preaching guide.

I'm in Galatians.  Here are the audio links to the:

Morning Sermon on Galatians 1:3

Evening Sermon on Galatians 1:4-5

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: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen. ” (Galatians 1:1–5, NAS)

Evening Outline:

January 23 PM Galatians c1v4t5 FBC Almyra

Rescued from this age, the evil one, for that age, where He is and His glory is unconcealed

4 who agave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil 1age, according to the will of our God and Father,

5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen. [1]

I. Like the Galatians, we live in evil times—in fact, we live in the same “evil age” that the Galatians did: The age after Eden and before Paradise.

a. Evidence?

i. 53 million babies killed in the womb

ii. School shootings

iii. Government corruption

b. More evidence?

i. Religious apostasy

1. Predators in churches

2. Use of the church for personal riches

ii. Religious insanity

1. Date-setting apocalypse

2. Syncretism

II. We cannot get out of this on our own

a. We don’t always want to like we ought to want to

b. We don’t know how to anyway!

III. Jesus Christ came

a. First, to seek and save the lost

b. Second, though, to show us the way home


a. While we sojourn on this earth

b. Our residence is in heaven, our citizenship there

c. When there is a conflict, home should win in our hearts

V. The non-accident of the Gospel:

a. “Gave Himself up”

b. “According to the will of our God and Father”

c. There was no other plan from the foundation of the world

d. Christ’s sacrifice was not:

i. Plan B

ii. An Accident

iii. A tragedy

VI. The glory of God

a. “Forevermore”= “Age of Ages”

b. We have been rescued from the evil age to the age of ages

c. To worship and glorify God

Morning Preaching Guide:

Sunday AM January 23 Galatians 1:3

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: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen. ” (Galatians 1:1–5, NAS)

Highlight Verse 3: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Introductory material:

Now that I’ve been here as your pastor for a few months, and we’ve upped the lighting here on the platform so you can actually see me, it’s time to share a few, well, secrets with you about preachers.

These aren’t dark and dirty secrets or anything like that. I certainly wouldn’t want you to have to sit through all the dark and dirty secrets of preacher lives, and it’s not about how, secretly, while we won’t cancel church for the Superbowl, a lot of us really think it wouldn’t hurt.

Instead, this is just a few secrets about preaching itself. If you’ve listened closely over the years, you’ve realized that most sermons are the same. Really, they are. It’s not that we all pull from the same website, although all sermons should be coming from the same Source. But there are just some rampant similarities to every sermon you hear preached. Here’s how a sermon goes:

I. Introduction story, which is optional

II. Scripture passage

III. Prayer

IV. Preacher explains the text:

a. Who wrote it

b. Who read it

c. What happened

d. Why it happened

V. Preacher then explains the meaning behind the text

Note that Scripture has, in essence, unchanging meaning in each passage. The application of that meaning may change, but what God intended remains the same.

VI. Preacher now explains why that meaning matters to the current audience

VII. Preacher gives audience a list of application points related to why the meaning matters

VIII. Those application points are, really, these things:

a. Surrender to Christ as Lord

b. Live like you’ve surrendered to Christ as Lord

i. Alone

ii. At home

iii. At church

iv. At work

v. At everywhere else you ever go

That’s it.

So, to break up the monotony, I’m going to preach differently today. Let’s go backwards. Not backwards so far that we do the invitation now, unless there are folks that know, right now, that they need to publicly profess Christ, ask for baptism, ask for church membership, or otherwise share a decision with the church family. We’ll come back, though, to that, in case you come to one of those conclusions in the next little while.

We’re going to start with application.

I recognize that the little preaching primer I gave you was a little generic, but the application part is still highly relevant. The idea in preaching is help you find the specific applications of each text for yourself, because I can’t possibly know what 50-60 people each individually have to do in relation to the text. However, the applications I listed I know need to happen:

First of all, there is no place in Scripture that does not resound with the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. If you do more than pick out a few happy lines in the midst of the whole, you’ll constantly encounter that people go through life expected to be in fellowship with God, but not. That we were made to reflect His image, and that we’re marred, warped, like a damaged mirror reflecting Him. All of Scripture points us to Christ on the Cross and not in the tomb, paying for our sin, to bring us forgiveness. Surrendering to Christ as Lord is not merely a good choice or a nice thought, but necessary. Not to make this life easier, but to have any hope that the next one will be tolerable. Eternity is spent either in the presence of God’s love and holiness or His wrath. You can surrender now or wish you had then. And until you have, that’s really the application of everything in Scripture, that’s the answer to every question you put before God: surrender. If you try and practice Christian morality without Christ in you, you’ll get either a Pharisaic legalism or a cultural shifting morality, but you won’t be saved from your sins or at peace with God.

The second application point is this: live like it. For many of us, we hear the “live like it” as a command to attempt the moral behavior of a Christian, the outward practices of a Christian, and the spiritual appearance of Christianity. Now, there are, truly, morals, practices, and spiritual habits that are characteristic of followers of Christ.

Yet that’s not truly where the application of Scripture begins. You can attempt to control behavior, but the work of God’s Holy Spirit begins in our hearts. No more than you’ll eat dinner today by smearing it on your skin, but rather you put it inside you and allow it to nourish and work from the inside out, spiritual application is the same way. We strive to behave, but first we must allow ourselves to be changed.

We are not supposed to be earning God’s favor. Rather we are living up to His gift of favor to us. Since His gift to us is greater than we will earn, we have a better attitude about our obedience. We are not short-tempered with our fellow Christians, we are not angry towards the lost. These attitudes are replaced by encouraging others in growth and lovingly sharing the truth of the Gospel with our lost neighbors, near and far. We will worship humbly with our whole hearts, and dedicate ourselves to serving the Lord with gladness rather than burden.


Galatians 1:3-> Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I. Grace: this is the word for unmerited favor at the hands of a greater party. It’s an unearned effort on the part of someone with more power, authority, and strength to strengthen and support a weaker party. It’s used 155 times in the NT, by nearly every author of the New Testament. In the Greek-speaking world, this was what you sought from a ruler when you were in a bind.

a. It’s also related to the Greek word for joy

b. And the word that we translate as “spiritual gifts”

II. Peace: Remember those angels talking to that batch of night sheep watchmen? “Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased”(LK 2:14). Peace. Not peace just in the sense of not at war, but peace in the sense of good relationships, right relations. Peace, not the “we avoid each other to get along” but “we can’t wait to be together” relationship.

III. To you: or in you (it’s a dative). Importantly for us, we need to see that this is one of the places that proper English fails Bible translators these days. “You” isn’t the right translation here. “Y’all” or even “All y’all” is the right word, because, you see, English lacks a difference in you-singular and you-plural. It’s all just you. Us Southern folks, though, have this down: we can tell if you mean one person or lots of folks: am I addressing “you” or “y’all”?

a. This is to y’all.

b. It’s to the church together. We need to understand that, while Paul may hope that the church would be left alone by the world, he’s not wishing for peace with everyone around them. He’s calling on the church together to be at peace with each other.

c. He’s pointing out that grace is a part of the whole church, is a gift to the entirety of the family of God. You don’t get more than the person next to you or the person in that other church over there. You get all you need, and they get all they need. He’s pointing the Galatians to the truth that all of them need grace, even the holiest of them.

IV. From God our Father

a. Our Father: Great or small, the same God is above every one of us. We may be older children or younger, smarter or not, but we’re all still one step behind: He is still the Father.

b. From God: what Jesus died to bring us is the grace and peace that is a gift from the Creator God of the Universe. Our relationship is not with a portion of who God is, but is with all of God.

c. And the Lord Jesus Christ (see above)

V. In all, this is a normal greeting from Paul in his letters. Here are some facts to gather from it:

a. The letter is to the saved ones in Galatian churches: “Our Father” shows us that

b. Paul is emphasizing God’s grace to them

Why does this matter to us?

To remind us that we are in need of God’s grace and peace as well. The consistent repetition of this greeting in almost all of Paul’s letters shows that no matter the church, the people need to remember God’s grace and peace. Need to experience those things, to live in light of those.

Live in light of knowing you are not earning God’s favor, but rather already have it.

Your neighbors in the church already have it. They didn’t need more than you did, either. They needed Christ to die for their sins. So did you. So bickering and envy and judging your neighbor’s worthiness to know God is out.

Your neighbors out of the church need to accept it. Most of them don’t know, though, that the church isn’t after them to change their behavior, but rather to see their hearts change to be like Christ. Will you tell them?

Will you extend grace to the people around you? Your family? Your friends? Your enemies? God has extended it to you, and if grace and peace are in your heart, they’ll show through into your actions.

Those actions will include being a part of the body of Christ, committed to a church that serves God.

We’ll live in the joy of knowing peace with God.

Do you have that peace? Do you have the relationship with God? You need that. You cannot earn it or make it happen any way other than His way.

Do you have that peace with others? Do you have God’s people in your life? You need them.

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