January 17th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day
Preparing for the Lord's Day
Why is Paul so upset in his letter to the Galatians? It was a common form, in first-century letter writing, to offer some type of thanksgiving or compliment to the recipient. If one investigates Paul’s other epistles, he will find that Paul follows this convention. However, in Galatians, he skips with the initial gestures and goes right to his complaint. The Galatian churches had received the gospel by God’s gracious call, but they were quickly abandoning the gospel of free grace to follow after a false gospel of law. Like the Israelites who began to worship the golden calf when Moses lingered on Mount Sinai, so too are the Galatians who quickly turned from the gospel following their salvation.
This addition of the law to the gospel is no small matter. Rather in Paul’s estimation, it is a complete rejection of the gospel. For there is some in the nature of the gospel that is so exclusive that to add anything to it is to fundamentally change its character. If one were to add the requirement of circumcision to the gospel, it is no longer the gospel. If one were to add the requirement of ritual, or deeds, or prayers to the gospel it would so fundamentally change the character of the gospel to make it no gospel at all.
This exclusive nature of the gospel is why Paul begins his letter with such abruptness. He wants to make the point as clear as possible: If anything is added to the gospel of free grace in Christ, it is no longer the gospel. To come prepared for the sermon, take time this week to read and to meditate upon Galatians 1:6-10, Exodus 32:7-10, Matthew 6:24, Romans 11:6, Galatians 1:12, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8, and Westminster Confession of Faith 10.2.
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 “To God be the Glory,” the Acclamation of Praise, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us,” and the Hymn of Response “Love Divine, All Love Excelling.” For the Prelude (11:00), we will hear from Noah Caldwell who will be playing the organ, "Trio." The Offertory Anthem (8:00) the Sanctuary Choir will sing, "O Great God," and (11:00) we will hear from the String Quartet (Elizabeth Matney-Violin I, Peggy Bettcher-Violin II, Christopher Matney-Viola, and Jonathan Matney-Cello), "Meditation."
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 1:6-10
Title: No Other Gospel
- The Nature of Grace is Exclusive (vv. 6-7)
- The Nature of Revelation is Exclusive (vv. 8-9)
- The Nature of Service is Exclusive (v. 10)
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