Monday, March 19, 2012

Preaching the Book of Galatians to Yourself – Chapter Two

Guest post by BJ Stockman

Chapter Two
  • I will entrust myself to others and seek the encouragement and correction of other Christians.  I will seek godly counsel and community, so that I do not live in self-deception and the error of hyper-individualism.  (2:1-2)
  • I recognize that there will be some in the church who will seek to bring me back into bondage to man-made tradition and legalisms, and I will not submit to them even for a moment.  My aim is not primarily to preserve my own personal freedom and liberty, but so that the Gospel will remain with those around me and not be compromised by man-made religious traditions. (2:3-5)
  • I will not be awed by the reputation of ministers of the gospel.  I will strive to honor them, but since God has no partiality, I will not give an improper amount of affection to them or treat them like a celebrity. (2:6)
  • I will not have a narrow view of God’s work in the world thinking that his Gospel must work in the same way it does in my context.  God works through Peter’s and Paul’s alike, and within the circumcised and uncircumcised alike.  I recognize that the Gospel will effectually work through different kinds of men and women in different kinds of contexts.  I will seek to have Gospel-shaped humility in contextualizing the Gospel and Gospel-shaped integrity in the content of the Gospel.  (2:7-9)
  • I will strive to remember the poor in everything that I do.  The grace and freedom of the Gospel launches me into compassion for the poor it does not exempt me from it.  (2:10)
  • I am not surprised that Paul opposed Peter publicly to his face or that Peter stood condemned because he compromised the Gospel—the core of our faith.  I will not be a person saturated with negativity nor be on a crusade of doctrinal head-hunting, but I will be a person who recognizes that when church leaders compromise the Gospel they deserve rebuke. (2:11)
  • I recognize that if men of God like Peter fear men, I will be prone to fear men too.  I repent of the fear of man in my life and desire the Spirit to work in my heart the joy of fearing of God.  (2:12)
  • Gospel denial is not merely doctrinal, but practical.  I will strive to live out the practical implications of the Gospel in community, and not just understand the doctrinal principles in my head. (2:12-13)
  • I recognize that even if my sphere of influence is small my actions influence other people in either adorning the Gospel or in bringing shame to the Gospel. (2:13)
  • I will be straightforward about the truth of the Gospel.  I will live a life that not only assumes the Gospel but makes much of it.  (2:14)
  • In Paul’s rebuke of Peter I see that justification by faith alone in Christ alone is critical to the content of the Gospel, because Paul essentially says the same thing three times:
    • I am not justified by works of the law, but through faith in Jesus.
    • I have believed in Jesus, the Messiah, and therefore I am justified by faith not by the works of the law.
    • No human being can be justified before God by doing the works of the Law. (2:16-17)
  • I understand that Gospel-repetition is central to Gospel-fidelity.  Therefore I will review the Gospel consistently in my life, and strive to preach the Gospel to myself everyday. (2:16-17)
  • I believe that justification is God’s objective legal pronouncement over my life where he declares me righteous in Christ Jesus.  My standing before God is not determined by my life and actions, but my standing before God is determined by Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.  The future verdict at the final judgment when I meet God face to face has already been pronounced over my life in the present because of the person and work of Jesus on my behalf.  I have been justified by faith in Jesus’ work not my own works.  (2:16-17)
  • I am saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.  His work on my behalf saves me.  My religious strivings and religious associations do not save me.  I recognize that law is not the way to a mature Christian life, but that Jesus is the way to a mature Christian life. (2:16-17)
  • Though I am justified apart from works of the law Jesus is not a minister of sin.  Therefore I will not sin so that grace may abound. (2:17)
  • I have died to the law for the purpose of living to Christ.  Therefore I live for Jesus not for law.  I will live by faith not by works. (2:18-19)
  • I died with Christ at His crucifixion, and was raised with Him in His resurrection.  Therefore I am dead to law and Jesus is alive in me.  I will live life, all of life, by faith in Jesus who loves me and gave Himself for me. My Christian life is built on an internal relationship with the resurrected Jesus not on service to a written code of external law. (2:20).
  • I refuse to nullify the grace of God by attempting to earn righteousness by law-keeping.  I recognize that when I attempt to be righteous by my own efforts I am saying that Jesus died for no purpose.  My righteousness is in Jesus alone.  By faith I receive the righteousness that God has freely given me in the work of Jesus. (2:21)

No comments: