The Gospel: Earnestly contend for the faith Sermon

This is a brief outline of the sermon notes (not verbatim with the audio sermon)  from a Sermon preached at Living Hope by Gary Crous on Sunday January 11, 2015. You can listen to the audio Sermon Here or by clicking the Internet Archive logo hereunder.

THE GOSPEL: EARNESTLY CONTEND FOR THE FAITH

(GALATIANS 1; JUDE 3)Internet Archive

A brief recap from last week’s sermon: Our Resolve for 2015

1. “walking epistles known and read of all men” (2 Cor. 3:12)

2. The Great Commission (Matt. 28:19,20) – Might I add “Go and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

3. Formula 4 (Acts 2:42). “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. [Be reminded and prayerfully examine yourself as we will be coming around the Lord’s table which is an act of worship that shows Christ’s death until He comes again].

4. A “model” Church (1 Thessalonians 1:7) as ensamples to all that believe. We do not want to be a holy huddle up on the hill, but we want “to be the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid” (Matthew 5:14).

5. Living a life of Holiness (Hebrew 12:14). “We are to follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” There is a huge responsibility upon us as to how we conduct our lives.

6. How to not “left your first love” (Revelation 2:4). The Gospel of Christ is about abiding in Christ as we heard last week from John 15:1-8; He must be our First Love.

We were reminded that all these are covered in being a “good and faithful servant” (Our proof text coming from Matthew 25:14-30).

We then saw that Our Resolve for 2015 will be FAITHFULNESS! So want to hear the words: “Well done good and faithful servant … enter!” Might I add, not only for 2015, but until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved (Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13).

This is the race, a lifestyle – it is not how you start, but how you finish. Philippians 3:14 reads: I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

NOW, we get onto this weeks Sermon titled: THE GOSPEL: EARNESTLY CONTEND FOR THE FAITH

GALATIANS 1:1-24 (READ)

1  Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
2  And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:
3  Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
4  Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
5  To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
11  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
13  For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
14  And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
15  But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
16  To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
17  Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
18  Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
19  But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.
20  Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.
21  Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;
22  And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:
23  But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.
24  And they glorified God in me.

1. Location – v. 2

2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:

All those with him and the churches of Galatia [a large area in Asia Minor boarded on the north by Ilithynia and Pontus, on the east by Cappadocia, on the south by Phamphlia and Cilicia, and on the west by Phrygia and Pisidia] – these people were initially Gallic or Celtic who settled there in the 3rd Century BC following their invasion of the Balkans in 279 BC into Asia Minor and it finally became a Roman province under the Roman Empire. Paul penned this epistle sometime between 40-60 AD, possibly in 53 AD. Galatia of the New Testament is initially the Gauls of the east. To set the geographical location, this area is present day Turkey a Muslim nation dominated by Islam. The churches of Galatia in Paul’s day are probably underground churches and not out there in the open today, but this epistle also finds application for us in our lives in Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal and further afield.

2. Revelation – vv. 11,12

11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

This Gospel was by the Revelation of Jesus Christ. The Gospel preached by Paul was not after man, received of man, or taught of man. It was by the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

If we are born again has God revealed the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives by a divine revelation.

3. Salvation – vv. 15,16

15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

When it pleased God and called Paul by grace, it was not by his own devises. It was a work of God. God revealed His Son Jesus in him.

Salvation is as per Ephesians 2:8,9 as we read:

8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

In 1 Corinthians 2:1,2 Paul says he came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. He also says Woe unto me if I preach not the gospel. (1 Cor. 9:16)

4. Proclamation – vv. 6-10

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Expound upon the true Gospel that is grace by faith, not as some were preaching a pervert gospel of keeping the Mosaic Law.

There were those coming in and preaching a different Gospel. [JUDE 3 – “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation [my emphasis a salvation they all knew], it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” There weren’t many types of salvation, it was a common salvation that they knew; and the faith was delivered (made known/revealed) once unto the saints. {Elaborate}

The word “pervert” which is a verb is to distort or corrupt the original course, meaning, or state of something and it can lead (someone) away from what is considered natural or acceptable.

Paul says, if I am a man pleaser then I should not be the servant of Christ.

5. Glorification – vv. 23,24

23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.
24 And they glorified God in me.

God is glorified in me. Does people see Christ-likeness in your life so that they glorify God in you?

How do we contend for the faith once delivered to all the saints? We will look at fifteen imperatives (commands) of this faith:

I · Do the Word – Jesus said My mother and my brethren are these which hear the Word of God, and do it (Luke 8:21). In Matthew 12:49 Jesus made it abundantly clear who His disciples were when He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said Behold my mother and my brethren! In verse 50 He said: For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, sister, and mother.

II · Be in unity – 1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you: but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

We are commanded to speak the same thing. Let us look at the word “Theology” – it is made up of two Greek words: theos = God; logos = word. Theology is therefore God’s Word, “The study of the nature of God and religious belief.”

  • Same mind – 1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. – We are warned in James 1:8 A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. [I pray and hope there are no double-minded people in this assembly]
  • Same judgment – 1 Corinthians 2:14,15 (14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (15) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

III · Keep the unity of the Spirit – Ephesians 4:3-7 (3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (4) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (7) But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Carry on in Ephesians 4:11-16 (11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, making increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

IV · Be active in the ministry of reconciliation – 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (18) And all things are of God who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given unto us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

  • We are representing the Kingdom of God as Jesus preached, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 3:2) and in Mark 1:15 Jesus said, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
  • C.H. Spurgeon said: “Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor.”

V · Peace, holiness and righteousness – In Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. And in 2 Corinthians 5:20 “… we might receive the righteousness of God.”

VI · Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. – Matthew 5:48.

VII · Study [the Word of God] to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

VIII · Make disciples – not Christians – and teach them. – Matthew 28:19,20.

IX · Preach the gospel one to another. – Romans 1:15 ~ So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

X · Be Holy Spirit lead and walk in the spirit and not after the flesh. – Galatians 5:16 ~ This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

XI · Love one another so the world will know we are Christ’s disciples. – John 13:35.

XII · Let your light shine before all men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16.

XIII · Preach the Gospel to the heathen world. – Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8. Be a witness for our Lord Jesus Christ.

XIV · Contend for Truth and reprove all works of darkness – Ephesians 5:11 ~ And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

21  Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
22  Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? ~ 1 Corinthians 10:21,22

XV · Pray, pray and pray some more! – This is communication with God. Make sure our prayers are according to God’s will – (14) And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. (15) And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. – 1 John 5:14,15.

CHALLENGE

Do YOU resolve to contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

  • When we do His will – we are His disciples.
  • When we do His will – He hears us.
  • When we do His will – He grows His Church.
  • When we do His will – He is Glorified.

So let us hold to the five Solas:

  1. Sola Gratia (Grace Alone) [Acronym G.R.A.C.E. – God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense]
  2. Sola Fide (Faith Alone) [Acronym F.A.I.T.H. – Forsaking All I Trust Him]
  3. Solus Christus (Christ Alone)
  4. Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)
  5. Soli Deo Gloria (To the Glory of God Alone)

Amen.

%d bloggers like this: