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  • Sep 17 / 2017
  • Comments Off on No Separation from the Love of God (Romans 8:28-39)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

No Separation from the Love of God (Romans 8:28-39)

Download Notes in a .MD file

No Separation from the Love of God

Romans 8:28-39 (Pastor Heo)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • Romans 8 opens with: No condemnation in Christ (v. 1)
  • Romans 8 closes with: No separation from the love of God

Romans 8 is the Christian’s proclamation of freedom in Christ

  1. Freedom from condemnation
  2. Freedom from defeat
  3. Freedom from discouragement
  4. Freedom from fear (today)
  • There is no judgment because we have the righteousness of God
  • There is no defeat because we have the Spirit of God
  • There is no frustration because we share the glory of God
  • There is no separation because we experience the love of God (v. 35)

v. 35 “35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”

v. 38-39 “38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

v. 28 “28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

What is important is: Do you love God?

If you love God: then you are “called according to His purpose” – AND in all things, he works for your good.

Just remember, because of our limitations in knowledge, wisdom, understanding, faith, we may many times feel like saying, “Everything is going AGAINST me!” – but actually, “Everything is OK with me.” This is due to my own limitation.

Example of Jacob:

Once he said, “Everything is going against me” – but actually, everything was going well with him.

  • Jacob thought his dearest son Joseph was killed by wild animals.
  • Another time, there was no food – famine – so he sent his 10 sons (except Benjamin) to Egypt for food. Only 9 returned (not Simeon).
  • Sometime later, there was no food again, so he had to send 9 sons – but they said, “We must take Benjamin! Or we cannot get food!”
  • Jacob said, “No! Why? Everything is against me! Joseph and Simeon are no more. Why are you taking my last, dearest son?” Jacob shouted like this.

But the truth was the opposite. Joseph was the Prime Minister in Egypt. And Simeon was with him, in the rich land of Egypt – filled with food. And they waited for their whole family to come.

We also can be like Jacob. So, we must be faithful to remember that GOD is faithful – not only with our words “God is good, all the time” – but also with our actions – our daily, practical lives.

“In ALL things, God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.”

The Golden Chain of God’s full salvation

v. 29-30

“29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

  1. Foreknew
  2. Predestined
  3. Called
  4. Justified
  5. Glorified

#1. Foreknowledge

God is infinite in wisdom, knowledge, understanding, nothing is hidden. But what does THIS mean?

Matt 7:22 “Jesus: ‘On that day, many will come to me and say to me, “Lord, we did much in your name” but I will say to them, “I never knew you.”‘”

Jesus saying “you are evildoers” means he knows what kind of person they are – but this “knew you” = have a personal relationship with you

The meaning of God’s “foreknowledge” = has a relationship, plan, purpose for you.

#2. Predestined

God ordained, determined, decided, in advance to save you and me – before we were born – even before the Creation of the world.

Eph 1:4-5 “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight, and God predestined us to be adopted as his sons and daughters through Jesus Christ in accordance with his good pleasure and purpose.”

#3. Calling

For an active relationship and communication, calling is very essential. You call your children, for example. This same God who called Moses, Abraham, etc, is still calling his people today.

There are TWO callings – and we must respond personally, individually by faith, not sight:

  1. Calling for salvation
    1. TO Christ
    2. OUT of this world – to be holy, separate, different from the world
  2. Calling for blessing
    1. INTO this world – to be a herald of Christ – a transformer of the world – we serve them with the message of the gospel

Are you hearing this calling? God is calling us all the time.

#4. Justification

5:1 “Since we have been justified by faith in Christ, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Justification = the act of God – where he declares (as highest judge) – “you are innocent & righteous” simply because you put your trust in Christ as Savior and Lord.

This is a declarative word of God – not an action in us.

#5. Glorification

(Wait… is that PAST tense? – but glorification comes in the FUTURE, right?)

In the Greek Bible, the tense is “Past Perfect” = ONCE, done, for all.

Are you Christians?

Our final glorification is to be like Christ perfectly.

v. 29 “29 For those God foreknew he also predestined *to be conformed to the image of his Son*, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”


  1. Foreknowledge
  2. Predestination
  3. Calling
  4. Justification
  5. Glorification

Question: How far, from first to last? How long does it take to cover ALL steps? (God is not bound by time.)

  • In our experience, this process covers from ETERNITY PAST to ETERNITY FUTURE.
  • On God’s part, all five are INSTANTANEOUS – immediate and perfect at once.

This doctrine, “Predestination” is a GREAT mystery, but true and real.

  1. Point: Predestination applies only to the SAVED people. Nowhere does it say that “God predestined some to be eternally condemned.” – Predestination only applies to the Children of God. And this should make us humble, not proud. This should make us not doubt our salvation – but provide the ground for the Assurance of Salvation. Because this is not “you and me” – but GOD who initiates our salvation.
  2. Another point: This is not a source for debate, but rather a grounds for praise and worship to God.
  3. Last point: If we really believe this doctrine, “predestination” still DOES NOT excuse us from preaching the gospel. Rather, we must preach with GREAT responsibility for the lost. We must be very careful to understand the full heart of God in this case.


William Carey – the father of modern missions (British missionary to India)


  • “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.”

At that time, his heart was burning for world missions. Before going to India, in his 20s, there was a very important meeting – many of the members were church elders. In this meeting, he stood up and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we must DO world mission – we must send MORE missionaries abroad – please SEND ME!”

At that time, the Chairman said, “Hey! Sit down! You don’t know, God is Almighty, Omnipotent, can do ALL things. If God wants to save them, he can save them even if you do not go. But if God does not want them to be saved, he will not save them EVEN IF you go.'”

They understood only the “doctrine” of Predestination – but not the HEART of God.

Predestination means “God wants to save those he wants to save THROUGH OUR WITNESS.”

In the Bible, who uses this term “predestination”? Paul. (In Romans, in Ephesians)

This man who made the doctrine of Predestination clear confessed: 1 Cor 9:16 “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel of salvation. Even though I preach, I have nothing to boast. I’m forced to preach the gospel.'”

This is a REAL understanding of the Doctrine of Predestination.

This is the last review:

  1. Foreknowledge
  2. Predestination
  3. Calling
  4. Justification
  5. Glorification

If we believe this full course of our salvation, then we can SHOUT five things (with questions):

These are all rhetorical questions (spoken for emphasis): “Who knows” = “nobody knows”

1. (v. 31) If God is for us, who can be against us?


2. (v. 32) -how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

HE WILL GIVE US ALL THINGS – (what does he spare if he did not spare his own Son)

  • Phil 4:9 “My God will graciously meet all your needs”
  • Ps 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want”

3. (v. 33) Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?


(But, actually, others may accuse us, even I can accuse myself – Satan always accuses us, prosecuting us – BUT all accusations against us are rejected and dismissed by God because HE has chosen us. For God to accuse us, it would mean his salvation job was a failure. Jesus already paid all penalties on the cross)

4. (v. 34) Who then is the one who condemns?


v. 1 “There is now no longer any condemnation in Christ” – there are 4 points:

  1. Jesus died for us
  2. Jesus rose for us
  3. Jesus is still alive for us
  4. This same Jesus is interceding for us at the right hand of God (dual intercession):
    1. Holy Spirit also intercedes for us (v. 28) and
    2. Christ intercedes for us at the right hand of God
      1. Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, Christ is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he lives to intercede for them.”

5. (v. 35-39) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are **more than conquerors** through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • “I’m a Super Conqueror in Christ.”
  • “We are more than conquerors.”

In Christ,

  1. We are COMPLETELY victorious – because Christ paid the penalty and we enjoy his righteousness.
  2. We have freedom from defeat because Christ lives in us and we have his life.
  3. We have freedom from discouragement because Christ is coming soon and we will reign with him.
  4. We have freedom from fear because Christ is interceding for us and we cannot be separated from the Love of God.
  • Romans 8 opens: NO condemnation
  • Romans 8 closes: NO separation

“If God is for you, who can be against you?”

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 14 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Men’s Traditions VS. God’s Truth (Matthew 15:1-20)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Men’s Traditions VS. God’s Truth (Matthew 15:1-20)



Sermon Notes

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Men’s Tradition VS. God’s Truth

Matthew 15:1-20 (Pastor Heo)

Clean and Unclean

15:1-20pp — Mk 7:1-23

1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” 3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ 6 he is not to ‘honor his father ‘ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 ” ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'” 10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’ “12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” 13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” 15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’ “


The Bible says: Truth and Grace came through Jesus Christ. Our Lord’s great concerns are truth and love. In the first part, Jesus is teaching Truth and exposing human hypocrisy. During his time on earth, the main enemy was not the Roman government, but the religious teachers. The Pharisees attacked Jesus with many questions (chp 9: “Why do they not fast?”, chp 12: “Why do they break the Sabbath law?”, chp 15: “Why do they break the tradition of the elders?”)

Today, they want to accuse Jesus of breaking their traditions and culture. (These guys came all the way FROM Jerusalem to accuse him.)

Up to this time, 100s of laws and traditions had been added to the Law (630+ laws in the Old Testament alone – but they also added ON TOP of these – one tradition or law was washing hands before eating).

They thought: “If something is ‘unclean’ – then its ‘uncleanness’ is infectious/transferable – so, if I touch this, or even if it touches me, I will be ‘unclean’ and anyone I touch or who touches me will also be ‘unclean’~! Ahh!~”

The Gentiles were physically, morally, spiritually ‘unclean’ to the Jews at that time. So, they didn’t partake in food with them. Also, the Jews not only ceremonially washed their hands, but EVERYTHING else too! They thought “If I wash my hands, then I’m physically AND spiritually clean enough to approach God and talk to him and be near him. But if I don’t wash, I can’t talk to God.”

mishina = traditions that are more important than the original Law of Moses.

They said to Jesus, “Why do your disciples break the mishina?” They meant, “Why do YOU break the mishina?”

To you, to us, which is more important? Man’s truth (traditions) or God’s truth (commands).

Jesus replied: “Why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?”

corba = a gift devoted to God (v. 6)

They nullify the Word of God for the sake of their traditions.

They said to Jesus, “YOU! are breaking the commands of GOD!” (because to them, mishina was equal to the commands of God).

Jesus said to them, “Not I, but YOU are breaking the commands of God!” (because their traditions were stepping on the commands of God).

Example: corba = a gift devoted to God

If a Jew wanted to escape some financial responsibilities (gifts, help for friends or family, etc), he would just say, “Oh! I can’t pay, sorry! ALL my money and property is ‘corba!’ For God only! Sorry!~~~”

In doing this, they are losing the power of God’s Word in their lives, missing God’s blessing, and avoiding the growth of their own character. ‘Corba’ would allow them to disobey God and disrespect parents.

Man’s traditions = to obey men and gain power and respect – deals with ritual – deals with the outward appearance – robs people of the power of the Word of God.

Even now, there are MANY evangelical “traditions” that are practiced and performed as just as authoritative as the Word of God.

v. 7-9

Are you worshiping God truly? Honestly? In vain?

Jesus called them “hypocrites”!

Greek = “actors” – spiritual pretenders “I’m so close to God, but all YOU guys are sinners!” Don’t worship for our own outward appearance. If we claim to worship him while our hearts are far from him, it is meaningless, nothing.

It is not enough to “act religious” or “study religion” or even “read the Bible.” We must RESPOND to God personally.

Yes, it’s EASY to talk about worship.

Worship (William Temple): “To quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind by the truth of God, to enliven the heart with the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.”

Jesus continues his teaching:

v. 10-11

What did you eat this morning? (French toast)

Uncleanness (defilement) is not an external matter – like washing your hands, or keeping the “Sabbath” – but keeping the heart.

  • Holiness begins in the heart.
  • Sin begins in the heart.

Jeremiah: “The heart is deceitful above all things, beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

Anything we are doing begins from our hearts. This is the center of our attitudes, passions, desires, and actions.

v. 12-14

Blind leading the blind (Pharisees).

This idea that people were not unclean because of food (or hand washing) was REVOLUTIONARY to the Jews.

Even in our daily lives, we must not offend others because of food – BUT we must also not BE offended by others because of food. Do you eat dogs? Cats? Rabbits? Bison (yummy)? Elk? Cockroaches? Deer?

Eating or not is not a matter of religion, but a matter of health, culture, or habit.

Jesus declares in Mark 7:19 “ALL foods are clean before God.”

Romans “The man who eats everything must not look down on the man who does not eat. Also, the man who does not eat, must not criticize the one who eats. Why? Because God has accepted BOTH. Only God can judge his heart, and only before his own Master he stands or falls.”

Don’t condemn or call “unclean” those who eat.

Romans 14:17 “The Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but a matter of peace, and joy, and holiness.”


v. 15-20

  • In the mouth -> stomach -> out of the body
  • Out of the mouth <- from the heart

Evil actions from the evil heart (v. 19):

  1. murder – take a person’s God-given life
  2. adultery – have sex with someone other than a person’s God-given spouse
  3. sexual immorality – having sex in a different manner than a God-glorifying and ordained manner
  4. theft – taking something not yours – not given by God
  5. false testimony – lying about something against someone else created by God
  6. slander – badmouthing another person created by God

Sometimes Peter spoke as the spokesman for the disciples. So, Jesus patiently reiterated his message.

Sin in a man’s heart is what makes him unclean.

What is the heart? The center of the man’s passions, dreams, hopes, desires.

It is clear why we sin: it is a matter of the heart.

When we become Christians, Jesus makes us TOTALLY different from the inside-out and he will continue the changing process IF we ask. He will change our hearts, intentions, desires, and actions from the inside out.

It is up to us to help with outward actions, yes, that’s true and good – giving, going to the Bible study, helping and serving. Wow! Great! Nice job! Essential parts of a Christian life. BUT these are NOT religion themselves. This is a path, a means toward true religion.

True religion is inward, not outward – an attitude toward God and others.

IF outward expression was true religion, it would be very misleading and deceiving. Someone may have a perfect, spotless, beautiful “religious” life and may yet be FILLED with bitterness, anger, cursing.

Yes, we know, blessed are the PURE in heart, for they will SEE God. Why? Because God sees YOUR heart. If you heart is pure, He reveals himself to you, you can see him.

It is with the heart that we are saved and are purified and are justified.

We worship God from the heart, sing from the heart, dance, serve, glorify God, give, help from the heart.

May God bless all of us, especially our hearts: the CENTER of who we are and what we are doing.

Let’s pray.

  • May 17 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Grace Triumphs Over Legalism (Galatians 2)
Galatians: Justified by Faith, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Grace Triumphs Over Legalism (Galatians 2)


05.17.2014 Pastor Brian

Sermon Notes

<Download Sermon Notes in a .RTF file>

Grace Triumphs Over Legalism
Galatians 2 (Pastor Brian)

Paul Accepted by the Apostles
1 Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain. 3 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 4 [This matter arose] because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. 5 We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you. 6 As for those who seemed to be important–whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance–those men added nothing to my message. 7 On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews. 8 For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9 James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

Paul Opposes Peter
11 When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12 Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. 14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? 15 “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. 17 “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Galatians 2:20 is a good memory verse FYI.

In the last study, we looked at the reason why Galatians was written. Paul had founded churches in Galatia, and they had seen miracles, experienced the Holy Spirit, and had great joy, etc.

There are two theories regarding who this letter was addressed to:

  1. North central Asia minor
  2. Southern Asia

These were under the Roman jurisdiction.

Most scholars believe the letter was written to the Southern Asians – this seems to fit well with Paul’s criticism of them. They’d received the HS, experienced the power of the gospel, but when Paul and Barnabas left, the Judaizers came in to tell them “Hey, you guys gotta follow the LAW man!”

God had overruled this many times and Paul had shown it. But the Judaizers came in to discredit Paul and say, “Look, Paul ain’t really a Jesus guy. He’s a faker.”

BUT, we are disciples of Jesus, saved by faith and grace, not the LAW (of Moses, not the Law of the Romans). Faith in Christ brings freedom and liberty and grace.

Chapter 2:

In defending himself as an apostle, Paul talks about a meeting in Jerusalem with Titus and Barnabas – where he was able to tell the gospel he preached. While there, some of the Jews tried to convince Titus to be circumcised to “be REALLY REALLY REALLY saved.” Paul refused with gusto.

The question posed was: Do Gentiles have to follow the Law of Moses in order to truly be saved? The Law began with the covenant. The sons of Moses were circumcised and he handed down the covenant to the people. John the Baptist was circumcised. Jesus was also circumcised on the 8th day according to custom.

But it’s important to understand this in relation with the gospel. Physical circumcision is not required. Remember Cornelius in Acts 10-11, where they were granted repentance and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They didn’t need to be circumcised BEFORE receiving the HS. They responded with faith in their hearts and the HS fell upon them, just like at Pentecost.

Acts 15 – there was a letter sent by the apostles and elders, expounded by Paul in most of his letter to the churches – that said physical circumcision was not necessary. However, in Colossians, Paul talks about how faith in Christ and repentance toward God brings about a dramatic conversion where we are made to be NEW creations – and the OLD man is cut off and thrown out. This is the experience of spiritual circumcision.

Acts – Paul went to Derby and met Timothy (half Jew/ half Greek). Paul wanted to take Timothy on the journey with him – so he circumcised Timothy for the sake of the Jews in the area (because they knew his father was a Greek). He did this for speed, to get into the synagogues and not create a big fuss among the Jews – this was NOT for salvation purposes.

Paul was “under” some of the other church leaders, but Paul attests that they didn’t add anything or correct his gospel. Paul recognized Peter’s apostleship to the Jews, and his own to the Gentiles.

  1. Peter went to the Jews.
  2. Paul to the Gentiles – but he always went to the Jews FIRST to preach. When rejected, then he went to the Gentiles – which is what the Lord had appointed him for anyway.

Galatians 2:11~

Paul opposed Peter to his face. Why? He was afraid of the Circumcised Cliche of Jewish Christians. Even Barnabas was led astray in this way. They both separated themselves from eating and fellowshiping with the Gentile Christians.

See, the Judaizers were trying to say, “Yo, Paul is LESS than the other apostles – especially Peter.”

But here we can see that Paul is on level standing (perhaps even higher) than Peter.

This falling away from fellowship with the Gentiles came gradually, but others eventually noticed and followed as well. This falling away was troubling for the grace of God. For people are saved by GRACE, not by works.

Acts 15:1 some men came from Judea to Antioch and were teaching – “Yo, if you ain’t circumcised, you ain’t really saved.” So, we can see this trouble.

But still, among the Gentiles there were miracles, and the acts and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

But then the Circumcision Cliche (Pharisees and all) said, “Hey, hey, you gots to be cut to be saved.”

But Paul said, “The Holy Spirit made no distinction between us (Jews) and them (Gentiles). Now, why are you putting a burden (yoke) on them that even we and our fathers couldn’t bear? NO, it is through GRACE we are saved, just as they are.”

James (leader of the Counsel) agreed with Peter (this was during the time of Cornelius) and they set up 5 regulations that Gentile Christians must follow:

  1. No food sacrificed to idols…..
  2. No sexual immorality……

However, after Peter had worked hard to convince the others that Gentiles were good to go if they believed, then perhaps Fear of Man issues started to cause him to go back on what he’d originally believed. He surrendered to the idea that “mmm, maybe circumcision is a good thing…?”

How did Peter react to Paul’s confrontation?

He loved him and accepted his criticism. In his letters he even addressed how Paul spoke to him. He clearly regards Paul as a brother, respects Paul’s guidance, and regards Paul’s writings as Scripture.

Paul stood alone when others were led astray, he had to rebuke a respected brother in Christ, but his courage was motivated by faithfulness – to Jesus and to the gospel.

He was courageous.
Peter was humble. He didn’t hold a grudge, and he recognized Paul’s wisdom.

Paul’s rebuke was motivated by love, love for his brother, love for Christ, and love for others (those he taught). “Love one another, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil for evil but with good…so that you may inherit a blessing.”

This all illustrates the power of Christ – how it turns a persecutor (Paul) and the persecuted (Peter) into co-workers. And the gospel can help those in conflict with one another to love and work together.

JB Philips:

If Paul had said, (v. 15-end)

If I try to rebuild the Law, then I remake myself a sinner.

Under the Law I died, and I’m no longer under its demands. I may consider that I died on the cross with Christ. The body I live in is not my old life, but the new life of Christ in me.

I refuse to make useless the grace of God by trying to get back under that old Law.

If we could be justified by the Law, then what’s the point of Jesus’ sacrifice?

A life crucified with Christ. (We can’t actually, physically do so) but spiritually we can. All of us, baptized into Christ, have been buried with him in baptism. And as he has been raised, so we are raised into newness of life.

We know that our old self was crucified to sin, our old bodies done away with, so that we are not slaves to sin.

We also know that as Christ was raised from dead, death has no power over him, even so, we are dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

  1. RECOGNIZE: your death with Christ
  2. RECOGNIZE: your resurrection with Him

And continually recognize this in your life.

In baptism by immersion, you go down under the water (as if being buried in the earth), and are raised again (as if being resurrected).

The Code of Justice in the EU:

Has forced Google to de-activate searches for private citizens who don’t want some things found.

A Spaniard brought this out – he HAD been in debt, but now is not – but he is still found in Google Searches.

Forbes “The EU’s right to be forgotten clashes with the US’s right to know.”

Will this cause another giant type of firewall like China? People, young and immature have done and posted stupid things online that can now NEVER be unposted.

But, interestingly, this “right to be forgotten” is a part of the gospel. Your sins will be forgotten.

Isaiah “I, even I, blot out your sins for my own sake and remember them NO MORE.”

Jeremiah 31:34 “No longer will they teach their neighbor and say ‘Know the Lord’ for they will know me, for I will forgive their sins and remember them NO MORE.”

Amazing that God is omniscient (all-knowing), yet he CHOOSES to forget all our sins when we believe in Christ. In this way, we are justified by faith in Christ.

Derick Prince: “Justified = Just as if I’d… never sinned.”

This is the truth Paul is fighting for.

“The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me.” To go back to the Law would be to go back to WRATH. Now we live under GRACE.

Let’s pray.

  • May 04 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Galatians Sermon Art
Backgrounds, Resources

Galatians Sermon Art

Here’s a collection of the sermon art I created for Pastor Brian’s series on Galatians. Click any image to download a larger copy.


(1280 x 1024 (for projector))

Inspiration and Resources

I used a generic tapestry texture as the background – as if it were Paul’s actual letter. Then, I copied out the entire first chapter of Galatians and put in on the tapestry in the Sherlock Holmes font.

I also wanted to create an effect as if a giant stamp that said “Justified” were pressed into the paper – as if someone were looking at everyone’s “life papers” and marking them as “Justified” or “Condemned.” I used the Old Stamper font for this part. I also added some splotches of blood to show that Jesus’ blood is what ultimately justifies.

  • May 04 / 2014
  • Comments Off on The Christian’s Magna Carta (Galatians 1:1-24)
Galatians: Justified by Faith, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Christian’s Magna Carta (Galatians 1:1-24)



Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

1 Paul, an apostle–sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead– 2 and all the brothers with me, To the churches in Galatia: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

No Other Gospel
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Paul Called by God
11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus. 18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles–only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. 21 Later I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.


The Magna Carta of Christian Liberty.
Magna Carta? = “The Great Charter”

  • established in 13th century in medieval England – signed by King John & the barons (leaders under the king, ruling England under a feudal system).
  • This Magna Carta is one of the most important documents in medieval England. The US Constitution is based partly upon it.

King John had all authority in England. So then why agree to this document that gave privileges to the people? At that time, England owned land in France and the king relied on the barons to provide money and men to defend those lands in France.

As long as they were successful abroad, the barons were happy to give money and men to the wars. But, King John wasn’t that successful. The barons weren’t happy about that. But King John insisted upon more and more men and money.

The King used to consult with the barons before raising the taxes and demanding men. John didn’t do that. Eventually the barons rebelled and took over the city of London.

This could have led to a great civil war in England. John realized he had to do something and signed this charter – it gave promises and privileges to the people and stopped his abuse of power.

This was a great charter for the people in England.

The letter the Galatians is a great charter for the people of heaven (including us and all Christians).

Martin Luther called this letter his betrothed – his Katy Van Vora. He considered this letter as precious as his wife.

Luther also loved the letter of Romans – he was a monk in a monastery, and was troubled greatly by the first chapter of Romans – speaking of the righteousness of God as being revealed from heaven. Many priests thought this was God’s wrath against sinners. Luther confessed he was angry with God because of this verse. He thought the gospel was an extension of the Law – that God was still an angry God, Jesus was just a more righteous Moses.

Luther struggled with this for a long time, but God revealed later that the righteousness was not an active righteousness that we must do and get – but a passive righteousness that God bestows upon unrighteous sinners. To those who are guilty, simply by believing in the person, death, atonement, resurrection of Jesus, God declared us to be righteous. “It’s as if God has given us a robe of righteousness.”

This changed everything for Luther – that God wasn’t angry, but that he received him as a son.

Similarly, he continued his study in the book of Galatians – God declares those who are guilty to be free from guilt. Jesus takes his righteousness and gives it to us as our righteousness (”The Great Exchange”). So this is a “Great Charter” for us as Christians (and sinners).

“Your blood has washed away our sins, Jesus, thank you.”

It’s our understanding of this and growth in the knowledge of this that helps us to persevere and grow in the Christian life.

Now, who are the Galatians?

Paul and Barnabas.
Paul – immediately after his conversion, began preaching all over. After numerous threats to his life, he went to Damascus, and kept preaching.


While Paul and Barnabas were in Antioch, they were called to go on a missionary journey (the First Journey – Acts 13:14).
Recap: Acts 13:14 – on the Sabbath, they entered the synagogue and the rulers invited them to bring a word of encouragement. Paul began to remind them of the history of Israel – how they were chosen through Abraham – God had led them through Egypt – led them out of Egypt, into the land of Canaan – God gave them judges up to the time of Samuel – they asked for a king, received King Saul, then King David. “From David’s line, a Messiah (ruler) would come – and in due time, Jesus, born of a virgin came to redeem those under the Law.” It is Jesus he’s preaching.

John the Baptist came first, preparing the way, that they all should look to the One to come after.

Paul later shows how the leaders rejected Jesus, didn’t accept him as their Messiah – “but God raised him from the dead according to many promises in the Scriptures” (Psalm 2, Psalm 16:10) – This together with other promises were seen to be fulfilled in Christ.

Paul gives this history and says, “I want you to know that through Jesus, the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed. Everyone is proclaimed justified and free from guilt from everything.” The Law was not enough to cleanse from guilt (only expose it) – but the Grace of God, through belief in Jesus IS sufficient to cleanse from guilt.

Paul said, “Take care that what the prophets say does not happen to you – ‘Look you scoffers, you mockers, I’m going to do something among you that you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you.’”

The “God worshipers” – non-Jews – had at that time joined with the Jews and listened with the Jews in the synagogues. Many of the Jews and these “God worshiping” Gentiles received Jesus and Paul and Barnabas were invited back to preach again the second Sabbath. Pretty much the whole city turned up, but the few Jews who didn’t believe stood up and poisoned the minds of the others and caused the leaders to expel the two of them from Antioch. They brushed off the dust from their sandals – to show that they were not guilty of neglecting to share the gospel – and the continued on.

(These are the cities of Galatia)


After Antioch, they went to Iconia. They preached in the synagogues. Some believed and received it joyfully. Others rejected it and poisoned the minds of the people against them. Paul and Barnabas stayed there for a time and God showed his power through them with signs and wonders. Eventually, they had to flee because of the plot to kill them.


Next, Lystra. Here, Paul saw a man, lame from birth – who had FAITH. He said, “Stand up” and he did – “WOAH!” The people thought Paul and Barnabas were gods – or at least angels – and tried to worship them. They denied it, and tore their clothes and said, “Stop this! Turn AWAY from your idolatry and to the living God!” These people were pagans with no religious background – so he couldn’t show them Jesus in the Scriptures. So, he rather pointed them toward the Providence of God – this is the God they are preaching. For a time, the people believed. But again the Jews from the neighboring towns came and stood up the people. (Just shows how fickle people are. One minute listening and loving it, the next, stoning him and dragging him out of the city.)


The two then went on to Derby – many people believed. Then, they backtracked to all of their previous cities. They established churches, and appointed elders and told them they’d have to suffer hardships for the Kingdom of God. They knew Paul had risked his life to bring the good news of the gospel to them. They’d seen the power of God, received the Holy Spirit, and HOPEFULLY been established firmly.

Unfortunately, the Jews had been continually trying to get the people away from Jesus and back toward Moses and the Law of Moses. They would come into the churches and say, “Yeah, good for you, believe in Jesus BUT you better get circumcised as well…”

Some came from Jerusalem – without the authority of the church in Jerusalem – and said that the new believers would all have to adhere to the Law of Moses.

Paul and Barnabas said:


Jesus + nothing else saves you.

The Gentiles did not need to be circumcised, did not need to follow the Law, just stay away from strangled food, food with blood in its veins, food sacrificed to idols, and sexual immorality.

Peter was one of the main guys who testified during this time – remember he’d already been sent to the house of Cornelius the Gentile and they received the Holy Spirit and were shown to be fully accepted just as the Jews. Peter presented this to the church in Jerusalem and James led the church to agree and accept it. (Interesting that later Peter kind of backslides from this testimony and Paul must confront him.)

Interesting that throughout these towns, the Jews had gone in to these towns and churches and said basically, “Yeah, Paul ain’t nothing. We are the TRUE apostles. You guys better get back to the Law of Moses, yo!”

Paul begins his letter here by saying “Hey guys! Remember me? APOSTLE. Not by men but through the revelation of Christ.”

Remember that Christ himself – the Risen Christ – had given Paul the revelation, the mission, the apostleship, and so on. So, Paul emphasizes that right from the beginning. And Paul emphasizes that there are “other brothers” with him who recognize his apostleship. He continues that he is astounded that the churches had listened so easily, so readily to those Jews who would twist and pervert the gospel. Paul is so worked up that he basically cursed them (twice!). “Look guys, I’m not trying to please men, but God. If I were trying to please men, I wouldn’t be a witness of Christ.” So, why you going back to that powerless/pointless Law? That’s just a step along the way to revealing the truth of JESUS. He’s the substance. Don’t go backward…

Later in the epistle, he shows through argument and demonstrations that it is ONLY by faith that they are saved and justified. They need to continue to believe in Christ. And you know what? If you love Jesus, you WILL fulfill the Law – almost unconsciously – because the Law IS love for Jesus.

As we continue through Galatians, let’s pray that God will open our eyes to see what God has done and accomplished through Jesus.

Martin Luther has said we need to continue to remember and refresh our minds about the “beautiful basics” of the gospel – FAITH IN CHRIST.

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen