Crucified With Christ
Topic: Galatians - Keep in Step With the Spirit Passage: Galatians 2:15–2:21
A Recap from Sunday’s Sermon
Guest Preacher, Jay Haug
Preaching Text: Galatians 2:15-21
Passion is the gift of God given to every human, and it is an unmistakable mark of his presence. We see it in active children, in parents who dream about what their children could become, in artists, musicians and entrepreneurs and in the elderly who pray for missionaries around the world. Irenaeus said, "The glory of God is man fully alive."
But we have an enemy who despises God's glory and therefore wants to "steal, kill and destroy" our passion. He does it by stealing it early in life in a "slaughter of the innocents" or by distorting it through our former nature, causing us to doubt God's plan, his word and his provision. One of the results of the enemy's work is addiction, which claims to offer passion but actually kills it over time.
Paul was such a man. The enemy distorted his love for the law into self-righteousness, a desire to control others, to even persecute and murder them. But the martyrdom of Stephen showed Paul there was another way. It is divine connection with Jesus that saves us. No matter what we have done, Jesus offers us a way up and a way out. Therefore we regard tough times for what they are: merely the groundwork for a "God who raises the dead." (2 Corinthians 1:9)
The gospel shows us how Jesus works, that he comes to perpetrators and victims alike and offers us new life. Paul knew from experience that Jesus does not wait for us to be better, but "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) Jesus came to Paul and empowered him to let go of his selfish, controlling lifestyle for one that allowed Jesus to shine through in loving, sacrificial service to others. Will you give him your passion, whether it is submerged in pain or out of control with addictions and character defects? For if you will come to him, he will meet you there take you as you are and transform this brokenness into something beautiful, a resurrected life you could never imagine. (1 Corinthians 2:9)