Faithlife Sermons

The Danger of Distortion

Grace Alone: Galatians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Spirit fill me with YOUR power...

INTRODUCTION

I’m Tom…
We’ve been sick…
Couldn’t sleep, girls were up coughing…
Most important thing when you have flu is rest.
Frustrating not being able to focus on most important thing...
New Series… Grace Alone… Why?
Planting a church…
If we are going to be healthy...
We need to be aware of what our most important thing is…
We started off defining the church...
Clarity on what is being built
Season of foundation laying… what to build on…
The foundation... is the Gospel
Gospel = good news…
God came
Lived
Died
In our place
Did what we could not do
To save us from wrath
To reconcile us to him
Most important thing in the entire universe…
It’s what the christian builds their life on…

Not the front door you enter, it’s the foundation you live on…

If you aren’t on the foundation of the gospel you have left the building…

The gospel isn’t the diving board… its the pool…

Going thru Galatians... because it unapologetically promotes the supremacy of the Gospel
And NEVER moving on from it...
My prayer is that:
Restored Temecula will be a built on foundation of Gospel and nothing else…
NEVER move on from it…
Hopefully you have your bible… .

BACKGROUND & CONTEXT

Apostle Paul
Apostle… greek word “apostolos” = to be “sent”
2 types: “A” & “a”
Capital A
Taught by Jesus himself in the flesh…
Sent from Jesus himself… with a message… the gospel.
Lowercase a
Every other “sent one” since…
Weren’t taught the message directly from Jesus…
nor sent by Jesus himself…
But modern day apostles are really important...
they carry on the task of GUARDING and ADVANCING the gospel…
So Paul has the authority of being taught and sent by Jesus himself...
Church planting missionary
After he left a region he would supervise via letters until he could come visit again in person
That’s what the letter to the Galatians is…
Galatia is a region located in modern day Turkey…
So Paul writes this letter to the churches in that region
Timing = 15-20 years after Jesus was resurrected.

Pray

SCRIPTURE

1 Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—

Paul starts letter by saying who its from…
And gives his credentials as an Apostle…
sent from God himself…
Notice… Paul’s calling as an Apostle came from God not from man…
God’s calling for your life is always better that any calling you or anyone else can come up with…
Are you living out God’s call on your life? If not why not?

2 and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Paul gives a nice salutation…
Grace and peace to you…
Here comes the heat...

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

Really quick… In v.8 Paul pretty much dismantles mormonism…
Joseph Smith (founder of Mormonism) claims an angel appeared to him and told him what needed to be added to the Gospel.

8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

This is really confrontational...
Paul is angry...
He is basically saying…
You think you understand the Gospel but you don’t…
You think you understand what it means to follow God but you are completely wrong…
remember…
Paul is writing this to professing Christians…
To baptized believers…
How much do you enjoy it when people tell you you’re wrong?
Some more context… understand why he’s so angry
The first Christians were Jewish…
As the Gospel of Jesus spread non-jews (gentiles) started to receive and follow Jesus…
So the churches in Galatia were made up of Jews AND gentiles…
There were a group of teachers in Galatia that were insisting that…
In order to truly be accepted by God…
The gentiles needed to observe all the traditional Jewish laws…
dietary laws
Ceremonial law
And the mack daddy of them all… circumcision
Gospel means good news right…
Circumcision is NOT good news…
Those two things should never be associated
The false teachers were teaching The Gospel + Jewish tradition = salvation...
Paul is angry for two reasons:
The false teachers distorting the Gospel…
The Christian’s in Galatia are believing them…

1. THE DANGER OF DISTORTION

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
Adding to the Gospel…
adding to the finished work of Jesus…
Is a HUGE deal… here’s why…
You only add to things that are incomplete

2 TYPES OF PEOPLE… BURRITO... HOT SAUCE OR NOT… TACO BELL IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA…

INCOMPLETE… ADDING SALT TO A MEAL...

In the same way when you add SALT or HOT SAUCE it’s because the meal is lacking… its incomplete...
$50 Filet… add A1 steak sauce… waiter was like are you serious?
Might think… I’m just adding to the flavor…
Tell that to the chef…
You only add to things that are incomplete...
On the cross... just before he died… Jesus said “it is finished”...
He didn’t say “I almost did it.”
He didn’t come up short…
His work was not incomplete…
It lacked nothing...
So when we add to the Gospel we are making an accusation against God…
“Jesus, you failed”…
Nice try… good job…
But your blood wasn’t enough…
Your suffering wasn’t enough…
Your perfection in my place wasn’t enough to secure my salvation.
What I really need is my contribution...
RELATIONAL REJECTION
Adding to the Gospel isn’t primarily a theological issue…
It’s a relational issue…
The gospel is Jesus demonstrating his love for His bride…
Jesus’ WHOLE LIFE was spent crafting the perfect gift of love for his bride…
every minute… every second… every detail had a purpose.. its all for you.
Here’s why its offensive… Jesus gave all that he had… he gave himself.
Look back at v.6…

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting HIM who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—

Adding to the Gospel isn’t primarily rejecting God’s actions… its rejecting God’s love.
Because his who life was an act of love for you…
Distorting the Gospel is saying Jesus YOU are not enough...
In your opinion What does God think about you?
Disappointed in you…
Tolerates you…
Angry with you…
Frustrated with you…
Annoyed by you…
Whatever your answer is whether its “+” or “-”
If you were to spend the next year of your life caring and providing for orphan children in mexico… gave money, time, moved there etc.
DO YOU THINK THAT WOULD HAVE AN AFFECT ON GOD’S OPINION?
If you think so… or when you think so...
You are guilty of adding to the Gospel just like the Galatians… moved on from it… or you don’t know it...
The truth of Gospel is that we are saved by grace…
You cannot earn it…
God offers you the perfect record of Jesus..
IF you trust in the Gospel…
that means that when God looks at you he cannot be more pleased!!!
Because you are clothed in the PERFECT righteousness of Jesus…
Jesus’ righteousness lacks nothing…
IT IS NOT incomplete

SUNRISE IN THE MORNING SO BEAUTIFUL… TAKES YOUR BREATH AWAY… STOP AND STARE... LACKS NOTHING...

ALMOST A YEAR AGO EBONY AND I WERE IN PARIS… LOURVE… MASTERPIECES...THEY LACKED NOTHING…

JESUS’ perfect life in your place…
His substitutionary death in your place…
Is a masterpiece… ITS FLAWLESS… it makes the mona lisa look like garbage...
Jesus’ entire life… culminating in his brutal death… was God’s masterpiece…
And he painted for you…
And it lacks nothing…
You can’t add to that…
You can’t add to the Gospel
You can’t earn it
You can’t even contribute…
The only part you and I play is to receive what we do not deserve… that’s it.
If you trust in the truth of the Gospel…
There is nothing you could ever do to get God to approve of you more… or less.
When God looks at you He has 1 of 2 responses…
The christian… sees beloved son or daughter…
clothed in the perfection of Jesus given to you by Grace Alone…
Or he sees someone who thinks they can buy the approval of the God of the universe with their performance…
That’s religion… God HATES religion… it makes Him really angry…
The Gospel is NOT a meal or a painting that God needs your help to complete…
It’s a masterpiece that HE offers... as a gift of grace…
It takes perfection to be in right standing with the PERFECT God of the universe…
It’s takes living a masterpiece…
Unless you’re perfect… Jesus is your only hope…
The danger in distorting the Gospel… adding to it…
Is that in doing so… you are trusting in your imperfection…
Instead of Jesus’ masterpiece…
Adding to the Gospel means your faith is in your performance and not Jesus’...
That is dangerous!

IT’S NOT THE AMOUNT OF FAITH THAT SAVES YOU… ITS THE OBJECT OF YOUR FAITH… PARACHUTE VS. RED BULL

Faith = what you trust in…
Adding to Gospel means your trust is in your performance…
You can have as much faith in your performance as you want…
But it’s not the amount of faith you have that saves you…
It’s the object of your faith…
It’s what you put your trust in…
Paul is writing this letter to Christians who were being deceived that God’s masterpiece needed to be added to.
Paul loved these people… so he lovingly and firmly rebuked them…
He called them to repent of their sin of being religious and trying to add to the Gospel…
...to stop putting their faith In their performance...
And put it back in Jesus’ performance in their place…
That is the ongoing… every day… rhythm of life for the Christian…
Recognizing what you are trusting in…
And putting your trust back in Jesus…
That’s repentance…
Repentance is not “I’m sorry for this.”
It’s “I’m stopping this… right now.”
I believe that God is calling each of us to 2 things tonight…
REPENTANCE & RECEIVING HIS GRACE
Repentance means to change directions…
Repentance isn’t just saying I’m sorry…
It’s means to stop sinning…
I believe there is something in your life that God wants you to stop…
I also believe that He wants you to receive the grace he has for you…
That covers your sin…
He has painted a masterpiece for you…
The perfect life of Jesus...
The perfection of Jesus can cover your sin…
The death of jesus in your place can pay the debt of your sin...
God offers that to you today… and every day...
It’s by grace alone…
There is nothing you can do to earn it…
Nothing you could ever possibly add to it…
That is the good news of the Gospel...
Repent tonight & experience the most satisfying thing in the universe… God’s unending Grace…
PRAY
Not make same mistake as the Galatians…
Distorting the Gospel
Not be deceived into believing a false Gospel…
Some people need to repent in the area of calling…
They aren’t living out God’s call on their life…
We would NEVER MOVE ON from the Gospel...
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