Brookwood Church - Love God, Love People

Good News



Good News

JC Thompson |

In Galatians 1:11-24 we see Paul's personal testimony of the good news given to him by God.








Introduction (Galatians 1:11-24; C/R: 2 Corinthians 5:20)

 

  1. We are continuing our series entitled Living Free, which is a series covering the book of Galatians
  2. The purpose of the letter to the Galatians is that Christians are spiritually free, delivered from sin and bondage and the need to earn right standing before God, because of the finished work of Jesus.
  3. This is an important message today because people claim to be free to do whatever they like. Christians even believe that they can disobey God’s Word because God will forgive them out of His love for them.
  4. Our study will help us see that freedom is found in living by the Holy Spirit and not by unrestrained freedom or by religious legalism.
  5. Last week, Perry shared how to avoid turning away from the gospel and today we will continue where he left off.
  6. As Perry mentioned, the gospel was at stake and Paul was Christ’s representative, an apostle. He was frustrated that the Galatians were deceived by the Judaizers and it was his responsibility to clarify the gospel message.
  7. In our passage today, Paul does this by sharing his personal salvation experience with the Gospel.
  8. APP: Like Paul, we are to be ready to share the message of Christ, the Good News with those within our realm of influence.
  9. My title for today is Good News and our memory verse is from 2 Corinthians 5:20 (NLT) - So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

 

 

The Good News is…

 

  1. DIRECTLY from God (Galatians 1:13-14. C/R: Acts 9:1-19; 1 Corinthians 15:9;
    1 Timothy 1:13)

 

 

  1. Galatians 1:11-12 NLT   11 Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. 12 I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.
  2. Paul is making a statement that the gospel he is preaching is DIRECTLY from God.
  3. Paul did not receive the gospel in the same way that many had – by the teaching, reading, or writing. But He received it directly from Christ.
  4. Acts 9:3-6 (NLT) - 3As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
  5. Paul was given the gospel by a special revelation from Jesus Christ. It did not come from the apostles.
  6. This is important because the Judaizers claim against Paul was that he was not on the same level as the other apostles.
  7. In fact, they even made an assertion that Paul received it from the apostles.
  8. Paul had to share his story to rebuff the Judaizers that the gospel Paul shared was inferior to their gospel because he had to be taught it.
  9. This doesn’t mean that teaching, learning, or receiving the gospel is wrong, but people have a tendency to claim that invisible reception is more normative than visible transformation. But Paul goes on to confront this idea.
  10. Galatians 1:13-14(NLT) - 13 You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it. 14 I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors.
  11. Paul not only received the gospel by special revelation from Jesus, but previously he was trying to destroy the gospel.
  12. Paul was giving his best to overthrow the work of Christ and now he was preaching that very gospel!
  13. As we read last week in verse 11. You cannot please God and man. Paul’s conversion separated him from the Jews, from the Gentiles, and from the Christians. He had lost any affiliation with any group of human connection. But he gained affiliation with God and His family.
  14. Do you think Paul was bothered for himself or for others? He couldn’t have been bothered for himself, because Jesus revealed Himself. He knew the gospel was true! He was bothered for these Galatians. He did not want them to be led astray to trusting in human effort rather than God’s incredible grace.
  15. APP: Has God revealed Himself to you? How does it affect your relationship with others?

 

  1. #2 – DESIGNATED for sinners (Galatians 1:15-17. C/R: Acts 9:15-16; Romans 5:17; Titus 3:4-6)
  2. Galatians 1:15-16a (NLT) - 15 But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by His marvelous grace. Then it pleased Him 16 to reveal His Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles.
  3. We see two movements of God toward Paul. The first is “before I was born”
  4. What does this mean? Somebody tell me. Wait for crowd response.
  5. It means God chose Paul before he was born. But the second part is another movement of God toward Paul.
  6. Meaning after he was chosen, it pleased God to reveal Jesus to me.
  7. Now some of you astute readers might be asking the question, If God chose Paul, why did God wait and allow the persecution of the church at the hands of Saul? Why didn’t He save him immediately? Why didn’t God prevent those sins?
  8. We have a couple of clues from Scripture. Acts 9:15-16 (NLT)15 But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is My chosen instrument to take My message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. 16 And I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
  9. Paul had a mission given by Christ through Ananias, to preach to the Gentiles, kings and also to the Jews. And to suffer.
  10. We have another clue in 1 Timothy 1:13a,16 (NLT) - 13 even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted His people. But God had mercy on me… so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of His great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in Him and receive eternal life.”
  11. Paul was saved at that time to show me, to show you that you are not too far from God to believe in Christ and have eternal life.
  12. Paul did not deserve God’s grace. He was an enemy of God.
  13. Have you tried to earn your way to God, Paul did. Have you murdered or led to the murder of someone, Paul did. Have you waged war against God and His gospel, Paul did. And he received mercy.
  14. Why would God call Paul? Because of His grace.
  15. I love this quote from Martin Luther on this verse in Scripture. He says, “"Did God call me on account of my holy life? Or on account of my pharisaical religion? Or on account of my prayers, fastings, and works? Never. Well, then, it is certain God did not call me on account of my blasphemies, persecutions, oppressions. What prompted Him to call me? His grace alone."
  16. The Good News is for sinners. Paul was not only sharing that message with the Gentiles. He is that message.
  17. It does not matter what your country or origin, your economic status, your proclivity to sin, your intellect or lack thereof, God’s grace is for you.
  18. APP: Do you truly believe that God’s grace is enough? That is for you?
  19. Then what happened? Paul did what God told him to do. Immediately.
  20. Galatians 1:16b-17(NLT) - When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being. 17 Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus.
  21. Paul did not consult with anyone, he went to work. He went to preach. He went to share the Good News.
  22. This is to directly refute the idea that Paul was a student of the apostles. He was not. He was a student of Christ.
  23. Paul not only did not get forgiveness of his sins, he also got all of the spiritual blessings that come from faith in Christ.
  24. He immediately began to use his gifts.
  25. A saved Christian is a serving Christian. Not to earn any standing with God, but to share the Good News and the blessings we have been given.
  26. If you are a sinner saved by grace, service must overflow out of you. You do not have to get prepared. You have to obey.
  27. APP: Where are you serving? Where are you giving? Where are you obeying God?

 

  1. #3 A Display of God’s glory (Galatians 1:18-24. C/R: Ephesians 1:5-6; 1 Peter 2:9-12; 2 Timothy 4:17-19)
  2. Galatians 1:18-20 – “18 Then three years later I went to Jerusalem to get to know Peter, and I stayed with him for fifteen days. 19 The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I declare before God that what I am writing to you is not a lie.
  3. Then Paul shares that he did meet with the apostle Peter. 3 years after his conversion, for 15 days. And he met with one other apostle, James.
  4. This was to correct the storyline that the Judaizers were sharing with the Galatians that Paul learned from the apostles.
  5. Paul had already been doing ministry for 3 years before he got “to know” Peter.
  6. This “get to know” mostly likely means that they were sharing their stories with one another.
  7. Paul then has to swear by an oath that his story is true. Why? Because the Galatians had given up the gospel that Paul had shared for the gospel of the Judaizers, a false gospel.
  8. If someone like Paul who shared the gospel personally with the Galatians, who no doubt was passionate, intelligent, and had a real encounter with Christ was deserted by the Galatians, why do we think we won’t be deserted by people?
  9. 2 Timothy 4:17-18 (NLT) 17 But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And He rescued me from certain death.18 Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into His heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.
  10. Paul knew that God had him on a mission and even when he was abandoned by those he invested his life into, he knew God would continue to sustain him.
  11. Paul understood what was at stake, the glory of God.
  12. Galatians 1:20-24 (NLT) - 21 After that visit I went north into the provinces of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And still the churches in Christ that are in Judea didn’t know me personally. 23 All they knew was that people were saying, “The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy!” 24 And they praised God because of me.
  13. After the visit with Peter, he left, on his own to preach. Paul is outlining his journey not to share his biography, but to show that he was not a follower of an apostle.
  14. Then by his preaching, he won the trust of the churches. Even churches who had not actually met him. They trusted him because he pointed to the gospel of Christ.
  15. They glorified God because of this.
  16. They knew Paul’s story, they knew the gospel, and they glorified God because of that.
  17. APP: Are you experiencing the joy of the glory of God? Are people glorifying God because of you?
Read More