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Cornerstone Community Church

Living in Line with the Gospel

Intro:  To become a Christian you must…  If you are a Christian you must…

Big Idea: To live in line with the gospel is live in humble confident community.

Context:  Paul is writing to a group of churches he planted that are in danger from false teachers seeking to undermine him.  These false teachers are presenting a false gospel.

I. False Gospels divide thru false pride (v. 1-16).  Paul presents 3 corruptions of the gospel.

-         See-saw w/idol as pivot.  “I must be/have…”  Fear vs. Pride (Galatians 5:15)

-         1st, Rituals aren’t necessary for salvation (v.1-10). False brothers spied on their freedom.

-         Shift: God => man due to Antiochas Epiphanes (death penalty).  Paul as liberal!

-         Did not give in”- We must not budge an inch on issues of the gospel.  Sign NOT reality.

-         14 years after converting, he went to Jerusalem after a vision, not a summons (Acts 11).

-         He brought Titus, a Greek, to see if the other Apostles would accept him.

Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”  Acts 15 (NIV)

-         Adding rituals to the work of Christ creates a false gospel (baptism, tongues).  Ill. BCC

-         Jesus taught the other Apostles the same gospel!  Nothing added to Paul’s message.

-         2nd, Cultural practices don’t keep us saved (v. 11-14).  Ceremonial laws govern worship.

-         Peter kept the food laws, not out of conviction, but out of fear! Not in line (vs. 14).

-         Warning: if Peter & Barnabas can take a wrong turn, so can we.

-         Do not confuse culture with the gospel.  Tried to make them Jewish.  Ill. African Queen

-         Taboos: rock music, pool, movies, mixed swimming, make-up  Ill. SBC

-         Extra-biblical demands: home schooling, Republican, marriage/kids, PCA uniform

-         Paul got in Peter’s face- public rebuke for hypocrisy: not living in line with the gospel.

20 Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning. 1 Timothy 5 (NIV)

-         3rd, Obedience can’t justify us (v. 15-16).  3x- NOT justified, accepted, by the Law!

-         Focus on obedience makes 2nd class Christians, violating the gospel.  Ill. divorce

-         God does not love us more if we obey, or less if we don’t.  App. Prayer

“The Christian has been set free from the law in the sense that his acceptance before God depends entirely on God’s grace in the death of Jesus Christ received by faith.”  John Stott

Transition: False gospels tap create pride, dividing the body of Christ.  God opposes us.

II. The gospel builds community thru humble confidence (v. 17-21).

-         Justification is by faith in Jesus the Messiah.  What believers have & Christ offers nons.

-         We are lawbreakers, and continue to be lawbreakers.  No hope in ourselves, only Jesus.

-         We are justified in Christ, or in union with Christ.  By faith all He did, we did as well.

-         I have been crucified with Christ.”  My condemnation for sin took place in Jesus’ death.

-         Christ fulfills circumcision by removing the deadness of our hearts.  Breaks power of sin.

-         Christ fulfills the ceremonial law by purifying sinful hearts to worship.

-         Christ fulfilled the moral law so we can be declared righteous in God’s sight (Luther).

“I must hearken to the Gospel, which teaches me, not what I ought to do (for that is the proper office of the Law), but what Jesus Christ the Son of God has done for me: that he suffered and died to deliver me from sin and death.  … This is the truth of the gospel.  It is also the principle article of all Christian doctrine, wherein the knowledge of all godliness consists.  Most necessary it is, therefore, that we should know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.”  Martin Luther

-          Christ lives in me.”  There is a new power in me, Jesus Himself, to change how I live.

-         I live by faith in the Son of God” instead of the demands of the flesh, or the Law.

“So then I live in the flesh, but not of or after the flesh, but by the faith of the Son of God.”  Martin Luther

-         Who loved me & gave Himself for me”.  Keller => humility & security: tension!

“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me.  This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time.  It undermines both swaggering and sniveling.”  Tim Keller

-         Humble, we don’t need to judge & criticize other people.  Only Jesus saves us & them.

-         Confident, we don’t fear rejection by God or others when we fail (Bonar).

-         Jesus is not a pivot for fear & pride, but a foundation for humble, confident obedience.

-         Jesus is the foundation for community: accepted in Him => accept like Him (Gal. 5:6).

“Terror accomplishes no real obedience. … But the free pardon of the cross uproots sin, and withers all its branches.  Only the certainty of love, forgiving love, can do this.”  Horatio Bonar

Conclusion:  The gospel is not just something we believe- but something that also shapes how we live.  False gospels produce pride, dividing the church over matters of ritual, culture and law-keeping.  To live in line with the gospel is to for the gospel to transform how we treat one another- graciously because Christ’s work for us is the basis of all relationships in the church.

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