January 10th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day
Preparing for the Lord's Day
No Other Gospel: A Study of Galatians
Everyone is born a legalist. That is to say, everyone has a natural tendency to view acceptance and reward as the just fruits of our proper action. This instinct can be useful and helpful in this world. Children who behave and study are rewarded with acceptance and good grades. Employees who follow protocols and work hard are often rewarded with greater job security or even a raise. This obedience/reward scheme has its benefits. It is good to have a system that provides a means of rewarding desired behavior and talent. For example, it is good for everyone when the best surgeons are well rewarded for their work. Our community does not want to be left sloppy or lazy surgeons to fix our broken backs or remove our cancerous tumors. Therefore, we reward those who perform well.
However, our obedience/reward scheme is misguided when it is applied as a starting point for a relationship. Parents love and seek the best for their children, not after their children prove their obedience but from the moment of their birth. It is all of grace that a mother and a father will serve their child. Something is lacking when a family bases love and acceptance in performance. Rather a child needs a foundation of care to move forward in fruitful behavior. They must begin with the foundational truth that they are loved prior to any performance.
When it comes to our relationship with God, we are tempted to base it upon our ability to perform his law. Yet sin has so infected our behavior that we could do nothing to deserve God’s acceptance and reward. The way that our relationship with God must begin is by his gracious and unmerited acceptance of us through Christ. The gospel is the foundation, the beginning, of our relationship with God. As we begin our sermon series through the book of Galatians we see that Paul begins with the gospel. The Galatians were being wooed to a false gospel of works. However, what Paul explains is that to receive the reward of God’s acceptance we must begin with the gospel alone. To come prepared for the sermon, take time this week to read and to meditate upon Galatians 1:1-5, Acts 9:1-30, Romans 11:13, Ephesians 1:3-6, and Westminster Confession of Faith 11.3.
As we gather to worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit this Lord’s day, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Hymn of Praise “Praise to the Lord the Almighty,” the Acclamation of Praise, “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less,” and the Hymn of Response “Come, Christians, Join to Sing.” We will hear from the Sanctuary Choir during the Offertory Anthem (11:00), "If You Search With All Your Heart."
Let us come to worship this Sunday prepared to hear God’s Word, to receive it in faith, to love and treasure it in our hearts, and to practice it in our lives that we may continue to glorify and enjoy Him!
Text: Galatians 1:1-5
Title: Beginning with the Gospel
- Every Christian Must Recognize the Gospel’s Authority (vv.1-2)
- Every Christian Must Receive the Gospel’s Message (vv.3-4a)
- Every Christian Must Rejoice in the Gospel’s Purpose (vv. 4b-5)