Gospel Freedom – Part 1 The Danger of a Twisted Gospel Galatians 1:1-2:10 July 9th, 2017
I. Every LETTER has a BACKSTORY. (Acts 13:13-14:28)
A. PRESSURE from the JUDAIZERS. (1:1-10; Acts 15:1)
B. “DESERTING the ONE…” (1:6)
C. …by “PERVERTING the GOSPEL.” (1:7)
Galatians is a letter written into a very specific situation. In order to correctly grasp what the letter is saying you have to start with the context into which it is written. Things are happening in these churches that are enslaving people instead of setting them free. And the problem boils down to the way they understand and perceive the “gospel”.
1. When has someone really challenged what you believe to be true in the Bible…I mean really made you question what you thought before? What was that life for you?
2. Paul says that perverting the gospel is a way of deserting Jesus. What is the gospel in your own words? What impact does it have in your day to day life?
3. Read 1:8-9. What is your reaction to Paul’s words? How do we stay faithful to the gospel today when people try to distort it?
II. Paul’s Story: The gospel REVEALED from JESUS. (1:11-2:10)
A. A COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED man. (1:13-16)
B. TAUGHT by God not MAN. (1:16-24)
C. VALIDATED by the APOSTLES. (2:1-10)
Paul’s language is strong throughout this section. His gospel was completely given to Him by God. And as such is authoritative and powerful. Even the apostles could see that what He was teaching was the truth. And there was always the credibility that comes from a completely transformed life…
4. Paul went off to the desert by himself for at least 3 years. What do you think happened during that time?
5. Read 2:2. When have you wondered if you were wasting your time in your walk with Jesus? How did you resolve the issue?
6. Describe Paul’s relationship to the other apostles. What is interesting about that?
III. What they LOSE with a TWISTED gospel. (1:6-7)
A. RESCUE from this PRESENT evil age. (1:4)
B. The FREEDOM that comes from GRACE. (2:4)
When a pilot makes a decision to fly just a degree or two off course for a few minutes, not much will happen. But keep that heading for an extended period of time and it’s the difference between arriving in London or in South Africa. Paul wants them to get the gospel right, cause if they don’t it begins to destroy everything He has tried to teach.
7. What does it mean that Jesus gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from “this present evil age”? How does the gospel rescue us from the present evil age right now? (Read 2 Peter 1:3-4 – does this help you answer this question?)
8. Titus wasn’t circumcised. Why is that important? What is the role that outer rituals do play in our faith?
IV. SIGNS that POINT to a twisted gospel. (Mt. 7:15-20)
A. OBSESSION with the APPROVAL of others. (1:10,22, 2:1-6; Mt. 6:1)
B. Outward CONFORMITY without inward CHANGE. (2:4-5; Mt. 15:7-9; Rom. 12:2)
C. FORGETTING the POOR. (2:10; Prov. 14:31, 19:17)
So how do we know if we are getting the gospel right? Galatians (the whole letter) will point us in the right direction, but there are some clues here in our text. These are warning signs that might help us to realize that what we are teaching is a perverted gospel and not the life transforming truth of Jesus.
9. How does the gospel counteract things like seeking approval, outward criteria for faith, and neglecting the poor?
10.Why the emphasis on remembering the poor? What do those who are needy bring to us who are seeking to follow Jesus?