First of all, I apologize for the lesser audio quality. My digital voice recorder disappeared off of my desk this week, so I had to use my cell phone voice-notes app to record this. So, it's an open microphone on the whole church instead of a clip-on mic. There's a good bit of background that you'd need a professional to filter. Let me know if this qualifies as "better than nothing" or as "don't bother" so I know how to proceed until my voice recorder comes back.
“But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you. But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. ” (Galatians 2:4–9, NAS)
I. No place for secret agendas
a. There should be no secrecy in the body of Christ
i. There are times for confidentiality:
2. Personal problems
1. Secret business actions
2. Secret plans by the preacher
b. We should be willing to allow our intentions and desires to be known
i. Even if we think they are silly
ii. It is better to deal with open truth
II. No time to yield the truth
a. While we must take the time to determine the truth
b. The Truth is found in the Word of God
c. When someone undermines the truth it must not go un-addressed
III. No regard for reputations
a. Truth is truth—
i. It does not matter who moves away from it-
1. Notable apostates
ii. It also does not matter who actually supports it
b. The most important issue is what the Lord Jesus Christ has said
IV. How does this matter to us?
a. We are not the only followers of Christ in this world
i. We need to:
1. Fellowship for our own sake
2. Work together to accomplish God’s commands
3. We need to determine who we can work with and not work with
ii. We must:
1. Filter our own influences
2. Be wary of bad influences
b. Prosperity gospel
b. We must look to our church and the decisions we make as a church
c. Where do we stand?
i. If truth isn’t important, what is?
ii. We have one thing to hold on tightly: the Truth of Christ
d. If you have no truth, what do you have?
“They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do. ” (Galatians 2:10, NAS)
I. This is not a command of works to be done:
a. How do we know?
b. Asked---not commanded
c. Paul is also eager, not hesitant, to do this.
II. Who are “The Poor”?
a. Those without money (duh.)
b. Effectively, those without the means to provide for their needs
c. Why are they in this situation?
i. Willful religious poverty (but see 2 Thessa 3:10)
ii. Persecution (See John 9)
d. Most likely: these poor are in that situation because of being ostracized for their choice to follow Christ.
III. Paul is eager to do this:
a. He’s already thought of this—note the also
b. The presence of agreement: they asked the very thing he’d already thought of doing
IV. How about us?
a. Are there poor for us?
i. Certainly there are the financially poor---
ii. There are those who have given themselves and hope of wealth for the service of the Gospel
1. Your pastor is NOT one of them
3. Pastors in diverse situations:
a. Many foreign nations
b. Some frontier parts of the US
iii. How can we remember them?
2. Financial support
3. Personal effort
b. Support for the persecuted