Topic: Galatians - Keep in Step With the Spirit Passage: Galatians 2:1–2:14
A Recap from Sunday’s Sermon
Preaching Text: Galatians 2:1-14
"Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we are free at last!" These famous words were shouted from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to bring Martin Luther King's famous I Have a Dream speech to a stirring climax. King argued that 100 years have passed since Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and yet African Americans had not experienced the freedom promised by it. In the same way, Jesus' death and resurrection has set Christians free but that freedom is threatened any time the gospel is distorted by others. In order to preserve the gospel, we must KNOW, DEFEND, and SHARE the right to rest in gospel freedom.
In the span of 14 verses, Paul must defend the gospel twice! The first threat comes from outside the church as false brothers were seeking to add external behavior (the law) to internal belief (faith) in order to be saved. But Paul KNOWS and DEFENDS the one gospel (v. 4-5). We too must be able to recognize when anyone is trying to add anything (even good things like experiences of the Holy Spirit, worship styles, theological stances) to the finished work of Christ as being necessary to being a "real Christian."
The second threat comes from inside the church as Peter withdraws from eating with Gentiles due to social pressure and racial, nationalistic pride. Paul confronts Peter's behavior as not being in step with the gospel, which is for ALL people. God shows no partiality; therefore, we must not either. Jesus has set you free to love people like Christ and his Spirit emboldens us to SHARE the ONE gospel with ALL people.
Taking it Home: Who is someone who is difficult for you to love? Pray and ask God to help you love him/her as he loves you. Ask for an opportunity to share with them the right to rest in gospel freedom that is available through faith in Jesus.