Galatians 2:1-10 & Me, Me, Me Pt.2

We are now homeowners. And I am terrified. Not at the expense. Not at signing an endless amount of paperwork. Not at the massive amount of debt that we are now committed to. Not at all the painting that needs to be done. Not at the work of moving. No these things may cause stress, but they are not the source of my fear. I deeply long to communicate to the world that my ultimate treasure is in God, that heaven is my home, that my happiness flows from above, that I am not banking on this life. Bethany and I happened to find a large home in our price range; a home we hope to grow into, but still much more home than we needed. My fear is that when people see such a large home (realize large is relative) they will think that:

1) I love my Jesus because I believe that He gives me good things such as this house

2) I love the things of this world and Jesus is just a nice thing to tack on, like an insurance policy.

3) That following Jesus and prosperity are synonymous or that following Jesus does not involve sacrificial living.

It terrifies me to think that I might shame the gospel. So I must fight. At all cost I must seek ways to communicate that I am not living for my house, or my car, or my iPod. I want to give more than I have received. I want to sacrifice. And I pray that my heart does not grow fond of painted wood and the glory of man.

The gospel I love is bigger than any comforts, joys, or pleasures in this life. In all of my living I hope to put the gospel first. To put its proclamation above all that I may desire. I hope I have not run in vain (Gal. 2:2). I pray I yield not to a false gospel (2:5). I desire that I always remember the poor (2:10).

Galatians 1:11-24 & Me, Me, Me

When is it alright to be about me, me, me (agent smith)? Ever?

Is there a way that I could be about me so that is it not about me at all?

This is dangerously fragile ice we are walking on here. Pride is a viper:

Pride is the worst viper in the heart; it is the first sin that ever entered into the universe, lies lowest of all in the foundation of the whole building of sin, and is the most secret, deceitful, and unsearchable in its ways of working, of any lusts whatever. It is ready to mix with everything; and nothing is so hateful to God, contrary to the spirit of the gospel, or of so dangerous consequence; and there is no one sin that does so much let in the devil into the hearts of the saints, and expose them to his delusions. I have seen it in many instances, and that in eminent saints. The devil has come in at this door presently after some eminent experience and extraordinary communion with God, and has woefully deluded and led them astray, till God has mercifully opened their eyes and delivered them; and they themselves have afterwards been made sensible that it was pride that betrayed them.  – Jonathan Edwards

So is Paul prideful in this passage? Does this sound like the Paul who would write in this same letter “far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…”(Gal. 6:14)?

Think of it like this, what could be so precious to Paul that would cause him to tread such treacherous ground? What treasured truth was in danger that Paul would risk going so close the edge of a dangerous precipice?

Is it his hair, his style, his camel, his friends?

Galatians 1:6-10 & Imitations


Imitations are rarely funny.

Sam’s Choice Cola vs. Coca Cola – not funny.

Great Value chocolate cookies vs. Oreos – not funny

Dollar store soldiers vs. GI Joes – not funny

Splenda sweet tea vs. sugar sweet tea – seriously not funny

Yesterday the TV was left on while Bethany and I were jostling around the house doing some chores. When I returned to the living room Dogma was on. It was the scene where they have decided to replace the crucifix with a friendlier icon. They then reveal buddy Jesus.

Buddy Jesus vs. crucified and risen Jesus – intolerably not funny.

Does this sound similar to flannel graph Jesus?

The gospel is not a thing, it is a He. So if we manipulate the gospel in order to make it more palatable we tell Jesus, “Sorry ‘buddy’, you needed a makeover. That image went out two millennia ago. The blood, the cross, the shame – not ‘cool’.”

To change the gospel you must change a GOD who says he is immutable (doesn’t change). How crazy is it when the creature tells the creator what image is now “in’ for deity, and that if He could match that image He really would sell better to the masses?

Some imitations are simply not funny.

Others are intolerable.

This one is intolerable. Any perversion of the gospel is not a matter of taste or opinion. It is a matter of the glory of God. Settle for no substitutes.

Galatians 1:1-5 & Spaghettios Revisited

Spaghettios – they are a staple for my sermon illustrations. Here is yet another instance demonstrating the spiritual nature of the you remember when there were only two basic food groups? Fruity Pebbles and Spaghettios. Of course there are substitutes; you may exchange the Pebbles for Frosted Flakes, Cap’n Crunch, or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. And if not Spaghettios, you surely were addicted to beef raviolis (there is no way that is beef), chicken fingers (don’t chickens have large talons), or mac and cheese.

Anyway, you ate a lot of them. You thought it blasphemy when you were first introduced to the pagan symbol known as the food pyramid! you ate so much that your mom loudly proclaimed “if you eat any more of those, you are going to turn into a Spaghettio!” did she think this would work as a deterrent? What could be more spectacular than being a giant Spaghettio? You could roll everywhere you wanted to go. Imagine the publicity.

We become what we worship. It’s why boys wear capes and girls like to dress up like beauty queens.

I listened to Mark Driscoll talk about preaching for 2hours and 17 minutes on Friday. It was great. I bundled up a bunch of brush in my back yard; he was still coming though my ear buds. I took the dogs for a walk, they were panting, Mark was still going. I did some laundry, it was folded, not mark.

One of the things he mentioned was how theology should lead to doxology, and then onto biography.

Theology = theos (God) + logos (speech, expression) or words about God.

Doxology = doxa (to glory or praise) + logos or praise/worship toward God

Biography = bio (life) + graphia (record, account) or the story of your life

So as we go through Galatians, as you read scripture, or when you hear biblical preaching, those very words about God need to affect your heart resulting in praise. And because you become what you worship, these very words of God will change your life (biography).

This is why reading the bible primarily as a book about God is infinitely superior to reading it as a rule book/field manual. With a rule book I can only change what I am doing. By seeing and worshiping a glorious God I am changed (2 Cor. 3:18). It is infinitely superior because God is infinitely more glorious than my works (and this is key to what the book of Galatians is all about).

Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8), way better than Spaghettios