Tuesday, November 11, 2014

4 Great tires 4 life

Galatians 1:1-5 "Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen."

Anytime you get fresh tires on your car, the performance and the ability of the vehicle to stay on the road dramatically improves. The road of life needs 4 great tires if we are to navigate the perilous pot holes and obstacles we encounter as believers in Jesus Christ. Paul's letter to the Galatians is all about presenting in the clearest way possible the implications of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Facing a crisis that entailed a near wholesale compromise of the Gospel by the Galatians, Paul sets forth his most aggressive letter in urging the Galatian Christians to stay true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Today's post is aimed at setting out in short order the 4 great tires of life. As we take a quick drive through the Book of Galatians, our main point of application will be: You and I need 4 great tires to stay on the road of life into eternity to the right destination. What are the tires of which I speak? Let's discover. First of all....

God is in control. Galatians 1:1-5
As we saw in the opening text of today's post, Paul was acknowledging that God through Jesus Christ had called Him to be an apostle. In Galatians 1:4 he states that all of this was made possible by "the will of God". Do you believe God is in control? Such a belief affirms what we call "God's Sovereignty". God's Sovereignty refers to His comprehensive control over all people, places and times. God uses other secondary methods in accomplishing His will such as the choices of human beings, events and history. Whenever you and I are facing uncertainty or dealing with incredible difficulties like what Paul was facing here in Galatians, affirming the Sovereignty of God can be a great comfort. Passages such as Romans 11:36 reminds us: "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to Him be the glory forever and ever, amen." So the first great tire for keeping life on the road for God is understanding that God is Sovereign or in control. Let's consider the second great tire for life, namely....

Jesus. Galatians 2:20; 3:13-14; 6:14
As Paul was urging his readers to stay focused on the Lord, he repeatedly affirmed the Person and work of Jesus Christ. In Galatians 2:20 he writes: "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, wholoved me and gave Himself up for me." Without Jesus Christ, life as we know it could not exist. There would be no hope. No salvation. Nothing. Galatians 3:13-14 gives us one of the clearest summaries of what Jesus achieved: "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on tree”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." When Paul closed out his letter, he ended with the focus clearly on Jesus Christ in Galatians 6:14 "But may it never be that I would boast,except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." So far we have two incredible tires for keeping life on the road of life into the right destination to eternity: God is in control and Jesus Christ. Now let's consider the third Great tire for life...

The Bible. Galatians 3:8, 22-23
Paul writes in Galatians 3:8 "The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.” Think about this: where we would be without the Bible? God is the talking God who reveals His Power and Presence in creation, His Person in Jesus Christ and His Personal will in the scriptures. Without the Bible, we have no light for the path (Psalm 119:105); no understanding of how to follow the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6) and no ability to know God's will for our lives. Without the scriptures, no one could experience salvation. (Romans 10:17). Scripture is so necessary for living a life for the glory of God. We read these words in Galatians 3:22-23 "But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed." 
So far we have seen that we need four great tires to stay on the road of life into eternity: God is in control, Jesus and the Bible. Now lets consider one more of the these "four great tires"...

The Gospel. Galatians 1:9; 2:16-19; 3:6
My question to you dear reader is this: have you by grace through faith received Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord? Paul's central concern about the Gospel touches upon how a person is reconciled to God. Galatians 1:9 states:  "As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!" If we don't get the Gospel right, we won't get anything right. The Gospel is clearly presented in the Bible, about Jesus Christ and made possible by the Sovereignty of God. We must not merely assert these truths as intellectual facts, but as articles of faith embraced by faith in our hearts. The Gospel not only reminds us of Jesus' achievement - but Jesus' achievement for you and me. Consider Galatians 2:16 "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified." The central truth of the Gospel is that by means saving faith, Jesus Christ's righteousness is credited to the sinner by God. Galatians 3:6 states: "Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness." This truth, called "justification by faith", is in the words of the Great Reformer Martin Luther: "The one article upon which the church stands or falls". If we get the gospel wrong, we get it all wrong, and thus we will be headed down the wrong road.

Closing thoughts:
Today's post was all about presenting four great tires for life. Our main point of application was: You and I need 4 great tires to stay on the road of life into the right eternal destination. The four great tires for life we considered were:
1. God is in control
2. Jesus
3. The Bible
4. The Gospel.

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