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Become As I Am!, Part 6

Become as I Am!

Part 6

 

Text: Galatians 4:12-20

 

 

Introduction/Review:

 

I. The Galatians’ previous attitude toward Paul signified their acceptance of Christ and the gospel. vv. 12b-14

 

II. The Galatians’ present attitude toward Paul signified their possible rejection of Christ and the gospel. vv. 15-16

 

III. The Judaizer’s attitude toward the Galatians signified their zeal to be praised and honored. v. 17

 

Lesson:

 

IV. Paul’s attitude toward the Galatians signified his zeal to proclaim the gospel in order to form Christ in his hearers. vv. 18-20

 

A.       Paul’s Commendable Zeal, v. 18

 

What is the “good” that Paul was zealous for?

 

B.       Paul’s Honorable Motive, v. 19

 

“As we mature in the Christian life, the goal is not to move beyond the gospel but to grow deeper in it” (Michael Horton, “Law and Gospel,” in Modern Reformation, March/April 2011).

 

Reflection:

 

1. The mark of a truly authentic gospel-driven ministry is whether it labors to see Christ formed in people.

 

“If ministers wish to do anything, let them labour to form Christ, not to form themselves, in their hearers (John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, vol. 21, p. 132).

 

“What are distinguishing Scripture evidences of a work of the Spirit of God?… When the operation is such as to raise their esteem of that Jesus who was born of the Virgin and was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem, and seems more to confirm and establish their minds in the truth of what the gospel declares to us of his being the Son of God and the Savior of men, that is a sure sign that it is from the Spirit of God” (Jonathan Edwards, “The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God,” in Sermons that Shaped America, p. 83).

 

“…though I had fasted, watched and prayed, and received the Sacrament so long, yet I never knew what true religion was, till God sent me that excellent treatise by the hands of my never-to-be-forgotten friend. At my first reading it, I wondered what the author meant by saying, ‘That some falsely placed religion in going to church, doing hurt to no one, being constant in the duties of the closet, and now and then reaching out their hands to give alms to their poor neighbors.’ ‘Alas!’ thought I, ‘if this be not true religion, what is?’ God soon showed me; for in reading a few lines further, that ‘true religion was union of the soul with God, and Christ formed within us,’ a ray of Divine light was instantaneously darted in upon my soul, and from that moment, but not till then, did I know that I must be a new creature” (George Whitefield’s Journals, pp. 46-47).

 

© John Fonville

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