Justified By Faith And Faith Alone

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Justification By Faith

Galatians 2:11-21

What is justification? First, justification is the opposite of condemnation!

In the Webster dictionary, justifying is an action that is conformable to law.

In law, justifying is showing in court why a defendant did what he or she was charged with doing.

In God’s Law, Justification is the judicial act of God, by which He pardons “all” sin of those that place their “Faith” in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What are the facts?

God declares every believer righteous, on the basis of the blood shed by Jesus Christ!

The most simple meaning of “justification” is “to be declared righteous”!

The justification of each believer is a gift of “God’s Grace”!

Rom 3:24 Being “justified freely by his grace” through the redemption “that is in Christ Jesus”:

Justification can come only by “Faith”!

Rom 5:1 Therefore being “justified by faith”, we have peace with God “through our Lord Jesus Christ”:

Justification is only possible through the blood Christ Jesus shed on the Cross!

Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now “justified by his blood”, we shall be “saved from wrath through him”.

Justification has nothing to do with keeping man-made Laws!

Rom 3:20 Therefore “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified” in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

The greatest thing we realize as Christians is the truth that we are justified by God and not by something we can do ourselves!

One of the biggest problems we have in any Church is that so many drift away from the truth.

In this lesson we will deal with some of the problems that are in every Church.

Let’s continue to see the truth of God’s Grace.

*****Gal 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

We will first see that every believer that becomes a backslider must be confronted.

Before Peter had come to the Church in Antioch we know that there had already been that first council in Jerusalem and the direction of the Church was already laid out by all the Apostles and James the half-brother of the Lord.

Act 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
Act 15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
Act 15:30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:
Act 15:31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.

It was after all these things that Peter came to the Church in Antioch of Syria.

Antioch of Syria was a great Church and was made up mostly of Gentiles but there were also many Jews.

It was from this great Church of Antioch of Syria where missionaries were first sent out into the uttermost part of this world in obedience to the Words of Jesus Christ.

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

It was therefore extremely important that the message that would be going out to the world would be comprised of the entire truth of the “Gospel”.

This incident with Peter is not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament.

This incident also indicates that Peter may have been trying to seek a compromise with those so-called Judaizers.

It is also important for us all to see that the Apostle Paul stood on equal ground with all the other Apostles.

Every new Church was to be established by the “Grace of God” and not by any authority handed down from Jerusalem.

Peter certainly did not intend to hinder the growth of Body of Christ but his actions would certainly do so and Paul confronted him face to face.

Paul did not go to the other leaders.

Paul did not write some new epistle about Peter.

Paul went straight to Peter and confronted him face to face.

Sometimes compromise is the right thing to do to bring peace and harmony but there can never be any compromise when it comes to salvation!

There can be no compromise with false teaching and our own actions must be according to the truth of God.

What had Peter done?

*****Gal 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

Now we may not know why the Apostle Peter came to Antioch but God has a purpose behind everything that happens.

When Peter had gotten to Antioch, he had had no problem eating and being in fellowship with those Gentile believers.

We already know that James believed the same as Paul but in Jerusalem many legalistic Jews clinged to the Laws of Moses as the basis of their own salvation and in their zeal wanted all believers to do the same as they.

These men had come from the Church in Jerusalem but they had not been sent by James nor any of the Church elders!

Salvation comes by the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”!

The “Gospel of Jesus Christ” stands alone as the only means of salvation and cannot be added to other religious beliefs!

The word religion means actually external service.

Godliness is about saving the Soul!

When those Judaizers saw Peter in fellowship with all those Gentiles they must have confronted Peter and he then yielded to them.

To the Jew it was sin to fellowship with Gentiles!

What does God say?

Pro 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

Peter had just got caught in a snare of the Devil!

When Peter withdrew himself from the Gentiles, then the Church of Antioch was split between a gospel of works, versus the “Gospel of Grace”.

Every time a Pastor compromises with legalistic believers or with any false doctrine he then becomes a people-pleaser and the Church will begin to suffer and fail!

Paul did not blame those that held to false doctrine, Paul blamed the Apostle Peter.

Paul loved Peter enough to straighten him out on the truth of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul loved the Church enough to not see it fail in his lifetime!

Paul had more zeal for the “Gospel of Grace” than he had ever been zealous for Judaism.

God had more than one purpose for the Apostle Paul!

Before Paul confronted Peter, this split of the Church in Antioch became so volatile that even Barnabas got caught up in it.

*****Gal 2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

That word dissembled means: to be concealed under a false appearance or disguise.

Peter had become a hypocrite and all the Jews in the Church joined with him and also became hypocrites!

What we should realize is, that all those in a leadership position in the Church have a tremendous responsibility before the other Church members and any visitors.

We should also realize that when we say we are Christian, the world will judge us by our actions.

All the world truly hates the hypocrite!

A legalistic point of view was just about to shut the doors of the first Gentile Church!

Barnabas did not play an active part in this hypocrisy but he did get caught off guard and he began witnessing his Church fall apart.

Barnabas was reaching a point to where he was going to have to choose a side to save some part of his Church.

So what had Peter done that that had caused these things?

*****Gal 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

1) Peter had become a hypocrite.

Peter had taught the truth but his life was teaching something else altogether.

2) Peter had become a people-pleaser.

Even though Peter knew better, he had followed the crowd simply because they had put much pressure on him to do so.

3) Peter had respect for some above some others.

We must live our lives according to the truth of the “Gospel of Grace”!

The “Gospel” declares that God loves all people the same:

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The Gospel declares that God is no respecter of persons and even Peter knew this:

Act 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

The “Gospel” declares that we are to please God and if that pleases mankind then great but if that does not please mankind then it is a problem that man has and not God!

1Th 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

Paul said to Peter, “Peter, you do not even try to keep the Laws of Moses yourself, why in the world would you compel these Gentiles to do these things”.

You see Peter also knew about those dietary laws of Moses.

Act 10:13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
Act 10:14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
Act 10:15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common”.

These things teach us that even Peter was not infallible and would not have made a good Pope as some in the Catholic Church believe he did.

In reality there has never been a man that was infallible.

Only the Lord Jesus Christ was the sinless Son of God!

The Apostle Peter was a sinner saved by the “Grace of God”, just like the Apostle Paul and just like we all are that know the Lord Jesus Christ on a personal level!

If you think you cannot be led astray by some false doctrine, then when you hear any such thing you must remember we are only saved by the “Grace of God”.

This is still God’s plan and God will never change His plan!

It is only the Living God who can justify any of us!

*****Gal 2:15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

**Paul reminded these Galatians that he was also a Jew. Paul was a Jew by birth and bloodline.

**Paul reminded these Galatians how the Jews felt about themselves. The Jews considered themselves righteous by the acts of their religion which was Judaism.

The Jews considered Jehovah to be the God of the Jews but not the God of the Gentiles.

**Paul reminded these Galatians that these same Jews considered all Gentiles to be “rank sinners” unworthy of salvation.

**Then Paul reminded these Galatians that salvation did not come by bloodline. Salvation comes to all, whosoever, the same way.

Salvation comes by “Faith” but that “Faith” must be in Jesus Christ!

Every Jew that had come to Jesus Christ had to admit that their religion, their rituals, their obedience to the Law, and their works could not save them!

In fact everyone of any and all religions must admit this same thing!

1) No one is justified and made acceptable to God by any works of their own or any law that they try to keep!

What is the question?

By what means can man, God’s creation, stand before our Righteous God?

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

What are the facts? Mankind can only be justified by faith!

Not just any faith but by the faith on the works of Jesus Christ!

If there were such a law or group of laws that man could live by to become justified, then we already know that there is no one who can keep even the Laws of Moses all their life without breaking one or more of those laws.

What is the result? We all come short of the Glory of God!

What did God say to Moses?

Exo 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
Exo 33:21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
Exo 33:22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

The truth is that every thing that lives in God’s presence must be perfect and complete!

For man to justify themselves they must do at least one of these 3 things.

a) Man can only deny that he or she broke God’s Law.

b) Man can only say they had the right to break God’s Law.

c) Man can only deny knowledge of God’s Law.

What is the truth?

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

To serve a perfect God then we ourselves must be perfect and mankind simply does not have that ability to do this.

Psa 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Is their some sort of work or some law to be kept to overcome these things? God says no!

An imperfect being can never obtain perfection it’s own!

No matter what we as humans do to learn perfection, we will always come up short and there will always the thought that we can do better so we can be better!

This is a false hope!

When we believe that our salvation is dependent on some work that we can do, or some law that we can keep, we will soon realize that we are hopelessly lost forever and we will know that we have need of a Savior!

Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

2) A person is justified by “Faith” of Jesus Christ and He alone.

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Notice that we can only be “Justified” by the Faith of Jesus Christ.

**It was Jesus Christ who did the impossible!

2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, “who knew no sin”; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

It was Jesus Christ who kept all the Laws, who did all the works and He was “faithful” to do all these things for our salvation!

Justification does not mean we have been made righteous!

Justification means we will be treated as righteous because Jesus Christ was faithful to do what none of us could do!

Justification is necessary because we all have sinned and come up short of the Glory of God!

1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

**God can only justify the believer who accepts this truth of His Son Jesus Christ!

God loves each of us so much that He came to this Earth Himself, in the form of Jesus Christ, in order to “Justify” us all who would believe!

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God is willing to justify each of us because Jesus Christ was faithful to obey His Father!

2Co 5:19 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.

Jesus Christ came into this world to conquer death because He knew we did not have that ability!

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

What is the truth?

All those that truly believe in the work of Jesus Christ to obtain our salvation are counted as righteous enough to stand before our righteous God!

Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

What are the facts?

The fact is that God the Father, loves God the Son so much that He will justify any human being who honors His only begotten Son!

We can only stand before God if we stand in the righteousness of His Son Jesus Christ!

What are the facts?

Faith in Jesus Christ is God’s righteousness and the only righteousness that can make each believer acceptable to God!

Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

And no one will ever be misled by Jesus Christ!

*****Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
Gal 2:18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

We must first realize why we are sinners. We are not sinners because because we sin!

We sin because we are sinners!

Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Rom 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

The question stated in this verse is, Can Jesus Christ be making us to be even greater sinners by trusting in Him rather than trusting the Laws of Moses?

The answer is—God forbids this to happen!

Does trusting in Christ Jesus make it easy for us to break the law by knowing we will always be forgiven? We are foolish to think in this way!

Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Rom 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Then shall we continue in sin knowing that God has more “Grace” than He does “Wrath”?

Again God forbids this also!

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

We must realize that “Justification” cannot come by keeping any law.

Those that make there own selves righteous by laws are sinners!

Laws can only show us how we fail!

At the same time we cannot reject the laws!

The Law still has it’s place in the plan of God just as much as “Faith”!

Every “Born Again” child of God brought to Him by the “Faith” of Jesus Christ, will then seek to please God.

We cannot please God by if we are always at odds with the laws of this world.

We must only remain at odds with all those things that go against the Word of God!

Rom 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

We must all them live according to the ways of Jesus Christ!

2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
2Co 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Living in the ways of Jesus is living in the ways of God!

*****Gal 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

How can we truly live for God? God must become the controlling principle of our lives!

**1) We must die to the law.

The purpose of the Law is to show us that we are sinners.

The purpose of the Law is to show us just how far short we are of becoming righteous and perfect.

The purpose of the Law is to show us that we stand no chance of ever being accepted by a Holy God!

The Law condemns us to death!

Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: “which is the second death”.

The only hope of Salvation is to die to the Law.

And there is no hope in self-righteousness!

**2) We must be crucified with Christ Jesus.

*****Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

This can only take place when we truly believe that Jesus Christ bore all our sin and actually died a sure death on Calvary’s Cross!

This is the “Faith” that we must have!

If we are not identified with Christ Jesus then we cannot be saved!

Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

God can count us as already being punished only because He has accepted the death of His Son!

Our security lies in our “Faith”!

**3) We must live for God.

We must surrender ourselves to the work that God has placed before us!

We must allow Jesus Christ to live in our heart!

We cannot be in charge of our own life we must allow Christ Jesus full control of our life!

Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

We must allow Jesus Christ to live through our body!

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

**4) We must trust in the “Grace of God”!

*****Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

To “frustrate” the “Grace of God” means we can make the “Grace of God” useless.

Frustrate means to set aside, make void, or make ineffective.

When we frustrate the “Grace of God” we have done away with the Love of God!

When we frustrate the “Grace of God” we have made the death of Jesus Christ meaningless!

God’s Grace and God’s Love are one and the same!

Faith is the key to a loving relationship with our God!

Being found in Jesus Christ is being found in His righteousness which is our only means of pleasing God!

Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Most of us try to schedule Jesus into a small part of our lives and when we do this we have missed the purpose of the Cross!

The cross that Jesus bore was not made for carrying!

The cross that Jesus Christ bore for us was made for dying!

Mar 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

There is no pride in the weight of our own cross and the burdens we try to carry.

The purpose of the cross was to teach us to die to our own selves!

This is why Jesus spoke these words:

Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Jesus Christ carried all our burdens of sin to His death on the cross.

To be “Justified” we must die to ourselves and live a New Life through Jesus Christ!

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Stand For The Truth

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The Stand For The Truth

Book of Galatians 2:1-10

What is taking a stand? To take a stand with the Lord is to continue in your “Faith” unchanged by what others say!

Taking a stand on the Word of God means taking the Word of God literal.

Literal means that that words and the sentences of the Scripture are understood in their normal meaning or as in a normal conversation.

For instance:

Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

It would be normal to understand that the Messiah would be born of a virgin, not just some young maiden.

Mic 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

It would be normal to understand that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.

Isa 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

It would be normal to understand that the Messiah would appear to be as any normal man of Jewish descent.

Psa 22:8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

It would be normal to understand that the Messiah would be the sacrifice that was to be offered for our sin.

We can take the Word of God literal because we know all these Scriptures have been fulfilled along with so many others.

The Apostle Paul’s problems would have ended if he had just admitted that Christianity was just a sect of Judaism, but the Apostle Paul took the Word of God literal!

Paul could have taken his skills to a new level and been a highly paid preacher truly prospering in his ministry if he would have just allowed the traditions and rituals of Judaism into the church.

What is the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Every sinner has the right to go directly to Jesus Christ for salvation without going through any type of law or ritual or any other man-made process.

The world has an attitude that God has to prove Himself worthy when the fact is, man must be made right with an already righteous God!

What is the truth? God hates sin!

Psa 5:4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
Psa 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

1) God’s justice requires some punishment for sin.

2) Man is God’s creation and God’s mercy would not allow God to leave man to his own fate.

3) God’s love meant God had to provide a means to justify every sinner to His own standard.

4) The answer to all these things is “Faith” in the work of Jesus Christ!

Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

As we know, the Apostle Paul had come under attack by the churches of Galatia because some men who preached the false gospel of works.

Paul was forced to defend not only himself but also the “Gospel of Grace”!

Paul took his stand on the truth and the truth is, that salvation to every sinner can come only by the freely given “Grace of God” through the Lord Jesus Christ.

What we will see in this lesson is:

1) Paul will defend the work of the “Gospel”.
2) Paul will defend the “Gospel” before false believers.
3) Paul will defend the “Gospel” before any and all persons.
4) Paul will defend all those that are called to proclaim the “Gospel of Grace”!

So let’s continue:

Gal 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

In the last chapter we learned that Paul had only spent 15 days with the Apostle Peter who was held in high regard by all the churches.

Fifteen days was not a long enough time for Peter to train Paul to be a missionary.

Now Paul says it was 14 years before he went again to Jerusalem.

This means that Paul’s Gospel could not have come from the Apostle Peter nor from what many considered to be the home church of Jerusalem.

The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is not some offshoot of Judaism!

There is no such thing as a home church!

Every church is to be an independent church though help may come from other churches to get started and then they all should help each other as the need arises!

This is true because the church is the individual:

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

And just as we are to help one another, then every group of believers is to help every other group of believers as the need arises.

We are all in this thing together!

Psa 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

The Apostle Paul mentions Barnabas because Barnabas had traveled with him when these churches of Galatia had been first established.

It seems the message of Barnabas was not brought into question because Barnabas had spent much time in Jerusalem and with the other Apostles.

But Barnabas had agreed entirely with the “Gospel” as preached by the Apostle Paul.

Paul was being very careful to show that his call came from Jesus Christ and not from any man.

Notice Paul says that he took Barnabas and Titus with him and not that Barnabas and Titus had taken him to Jerusalem.

Act 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
Act 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

What were the results of this gathering in Jerusalem with all the Apostles and James the head Pastor in Jerusalem?

Act 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.

Peter said:

Act 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Act 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

The Apostle Peter said, it is not that the Gentiles are to be saved like the Jews, we should clearly understand that it is us Jews who are to be saved the same way as the Gentiles, by “Faith” through “Grace”!

The Apostles in Jerusalem had only asked that these new Gentile churches not mock the Jewish converts to Christianity.

Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
Act 15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

The Apostle Paul had preached this message now for more than 14 years!

1Co 9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
1Co 9:21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
1Co 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
1Co 9:23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
1Co 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

Paul said we are never to mock those we are trying to lead to the Lord Jesus Christ!

Paul said we are all to have the same “Gospel of Grace”!

And the Apostle Paul was not even sure if those in Jerusalem and the other Apostles preached the same “Gospel of Grace” until he met with them!

*****Gal 2:2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

We see that Paul had been led to go to Jerusalem by the Holy Spirit.

It was God that had revealed to Paul the need for this journey and not man.

Paul had not been sent to Jerusalem to get permission to preach the “Gospel of Grace”!

God was about to begin world-wide evangelism and it was very important that all the Apostles have the same message and that they all were certain of that.

The Apostle Paul did not try to undermine that message of Peter and James and John and the Church elders by going to the congregation first but he first met them in private.

The Apostles had to trust each other and each had to have the same message.

When Paul used that phrase “I should run”, it did not mean that he might have to make a hasty escape.

Paul meant that the “Gospel of Grace” must have “free course” above any message of the Church!

The message of “Grace” and the progress of the early church would have been greatly hindered if there had been any disagreement among God’s hand picked Apostles!

Today, many missionaries seek support of the Church and it is very important for us all who support them, to know that they preach the same “Gospel of Grace” as did the Apostle Paul.

Paul knew that if men were allowed to add rituals, or to add rules to God’s freely given Grace, then his ministry would mean nothing.

Paul knew that if believers focused their salvation on a bunch of laws that could not get anyone saved then they would never focus on the truth of Jesus Christ!

As we are all taught in Bible College, it is not so important the message we begin with but at some point in that message we need to run to the Cross of Jesus Christ, the true picture of God’s Grace!

1Co 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

We sometimes allow our human reasoning to get in the way of God’s truth, that the “Gospel” is the “good news” that Jesus Christ was crucified, the sinners only remedy for forgiveness, and was then raised from that death in the power of God, in order to prepare us a place in God’s Heaven!

Paul wrote these words to the Corinthian Church:

1Co 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, “lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect”.

There is no other message of the Church more important than the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ” which is the “Gospel of Grace”.

Rom 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
Rom 9:25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
Rom 9:26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

It is only the true “Gospel” that can change people’s lives!

And it is the true “Gospel” that is to be offered to all people, regardless of race, regardless of sex, regardless of nationality, or regardless of anything else.

Paul brought a Gentile with him to prove his point.

*****Gal 2:3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

In order to better understand these things we must remember a few things.

In Jerusalem most every believer was a converted Jew, and some at one time had even been Pharisees.

They had all been circumcised when they were 8 days old.

They had all been taught the laws of Moses all the days of their childhood.

They had all observed the rituals and the feasts of Judaism all their lives.

AND, Many of those that had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as the true Savior, had still refused to give up their Jewish religion.

They saw Christianity only as an extension of Judaism.

In their minds, before a person accepted Christ and was saved, they had to first become a Jew.

The Apostle Paul had rejected all these things.

The other Apostles had taught that Judaism could not bring the sure salvation that could come only by accepting Jesus Christ as the Messiah and the true Savior and the only means of Salvation.

Paul preached salvation by the “Grace of God” and that salvation came by “Faith” and “Faith Alone”!

Paul preached that they all had to focus on the Lord Jesus Christ instead of the Laws of Moses.

Even though Paul had at one time been even more zealous of Judaism than they, they still opposed the teaching of the Apostle Paul and they set out to discredit and destroy the Apostle Paul.

These are those that are called Judaizers in the New Testament.

Act 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
Act 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

These Judaizers never accepted the teaching of the Apostle Paul.

Paul’s physical proof of Salvation by Grace through Faith, was the Gentile Titus.

Barnabas was a Jew and had been converted to Christianity even before Paul but he believed the same as Paul.

Titus was a Gentile who was also of Greek descent and had never known Judaism!

Paul refused to allow Titus to be circumcised because the truth of “Gospel liberty was at stake”.

2Co 8:6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.
2Co 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.

Later Titus was sent to establish a church on the Island of Crete.

Tit 1:4 To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Tit 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

And Titus later joined Paul in Rome while he was in prison from where he was sent again to Dalmatia to help another church that Paul had established.

2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Rom 15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Dalmatia was a main city of Illyricum.

Titus was the perfect example of salvation by “Grace” alone!

Paul may have led Titus to the Lord, but it was the same God of Creation who had called Titus to be a Preacher of the Lord Jesus Christ!

These Judaizers even made demands of Titus.

*****Gal 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
Gal 2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

We should not be confused here. “False brethren” are non-believers!

It had been non-believers who had stirred up the Church and had brought all these things into question.

This can be a problem in any church. Many a church has split because some pretenders to Christ Jesus have come into the church in an attempt to change the perfect “Doctrine of Grace by Faith”!

We must always remember people are not lost because they are destined to be sinners because of Adam’s sin.

People are lost because they have refused to believe the “Gospel” the truth of Salvation!

We have already heard of the zeal of the Apostle Paul and we can just imagine how fired up Paul became with these false brethren.

The Apostle Paul refused to be drawn into a false doctrine.

And, Paul always remembered to warn the new churches of all these things.

Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Act 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Act 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

What is the greatest assault on the church today?

“False brethren”, who are non-believers, who are trying to modernize the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”!

Most of them say the “Gospel” is old fashioned and does not suit today’s problems.

Some, want to repackage the “Gospel” to bring it in tune to the modern world.

Most, just want to replace the “Gospel” with some false thing altogether.

The fact is that there will always be just one “Gospel” message that can bring with it eternal salvation!

As we can see from the time of it’s beginning and throughout history, the Church as had to deal with these same battles over and over again.

Satan has never had to change his tactics because his same tactics have worked on far to many places of worship throughout time.

When the truth of the Word of God is brought into question, we must stand on the Word of God!

1Th 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

We must contend for the “Faith” that comes by Jesus Christ.

Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, 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.
Jud 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Just as the Apostle Paul refused to budge from the “Gospel of Grace by Faith” alone, we are also to refuse to budge on the “Gospel”.

Paul also realized if the Body of Christ yields to even one single change in the “Doctrine of Jesus Christ” then these “False Brethren”, these make believe so-called Christians, will continue to want to change the “Gospel” until it has disappeared altogether.

Paul said not even for one hour would he listen to this nonsense!

*****Gal 2:6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

We must keep in mind that all the Apostles were very clear on one main thing:

Act 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Paul had never spent time with the other Apostles.

Paul had not been taught by them in any way.

But the fact remained that they all preached the same “Gospel of Grace” by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul was not trying to belittle the other Apostles in any way, Paul was just saying that even though they had been companions of the Lord Jesus Christ while He had lived, did not give them any superior authority over the “Gospel”.

We must remember these words of Jesus Christ to Thomas.

Joh 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Why can no one add to or take away from the “Gospel” as preached by the Apostle Paul.

Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; “immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood”:

Paul had received the “Gospel” by the Holy Ghost.

Again what had the Lord Jesus told Peter?

Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: “for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven”.

And Jesus then said, “This is how I will build my Church”:

Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Peter was not the “Rock”, The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the “Solid Rock” foundation of the Church of the Living God!

It is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, taught by the “Gospel of Grace” that is the only means to build the Church that the gates of Hell cannot prevail against!

It is God who created the “Gospel”.

It is God who calls all those who Preach the “Gospel”.

It is God who calls the sinner, by the “Gospel”

It is God who saves each sinner by the “Gospel”

It is the “Gospel” that is God’s plan of salvation!

No one can add to or take away from God’s plan and still say it is God’s plan!

We are never to seek the approval of Church leaders over the approval of the Word of God!

Our God does not show personal favoritism, we are all to teach the same message as Paul which was also the same message as Peter and also the same message as the other Apostles along with James the half-brother of Jesus Christ.

*****Gal 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
Gal 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

All the Apostles stood with one voice in agreement with the “Gospel of Grace” as preached by the Apostle Paul.

All the Church elders and James, the Lord’s half-brother and head Pastor of the Church in Jerusalem all stood with one voice in agreement with the “Gospel” as preached by the Apostle Paul.

Those Judaizers were wrong in their belief and in their doctrine and all those who are legalistic in their views and anyone else that adds to or takes away from the “Gospel” as preached by the Apostle Paul are wrong even today!

All the Apostles also agreed that each should go wherever the Holy Spirit led them!

Paul was called primarily to the Gentiles but also to all who would hear the Gospel.

Peter was called primarily to the Jews but also to all who would hear the Gospel.

We are all justified by the same means!

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

And then they all wanted to hear the wonderful things that God was doing throughout the world.

Act 15:12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

It is always good to hear from the Missionaries that we support but it is also good to hear from those that God has called to go to the mission field who are seeking support.

*****Gal 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

We should first notice that it is James, the Lord’s half-brother who is presiding over this council. The duty of the Apostles had not changed.

Act 6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

Even though at least Peter and John were active on this council it was James who was in charge as the head elder of the Church in Jerusalem.

We know Peter(Cephas) had reminded them of the time that Cornelius and many Gentiles had been saved in Joppa.

Act 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
Act 15:8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
Act 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

**James knew that no one could be saved by the Laws of Moses!

James knew that we are all justified by “Faith” but James also knew all those saved need to use the Laws of Moses as their schoolmaster of living the Christian Life.

This was a necessary thing for the Christian Jews!

**Peter(Cephas) had opened the door to the Gentiles but he knew his calling was aimed at the Jews who had been scattered because of persecution.

**John remained in Jerusalem until God called him into the care of the churches of Asia.

Rev 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

It is John that wrote this book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

**Paul, the Jew who had persecuted the church before his salvation, and was fluent in all the Scriptures, and fluent in more than 5 languages, and hand selected by the Lord Jesus Christ, was now persecuted by the Jews, but whose calling was aimed at the Gentiles.

The Gentiles are all those who are not Jews and were considered to be heathen at the time of the Apostle Paul by unbelieving Jews.

At this time there can be no doubt that all the Apostles and James represented the direction in which the New Testament Church was to be established by the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Head of the Church!

Eph 4:13 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 fulness of Christ:
Eph 4:14 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;
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Eph 4:16 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, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

If the pillars of the Church, put in place by the Lord Jesus Christ cannot establish the direction of the Church then the Church will fail, which is impossible!

The Apostle Peter later wrote these words:

2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
2Pe 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
2Pe 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

If we are seriously looking for the New Heaven and the New Earth promised by the Lord Jesus Christ, then we need to listen to the Apostle Paul and all the Word of God!

All the Apostles, which included the Apostle Paul and James the half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ, were all in one accord with all the Word of God and we need to be also!

God will never change the manner of establishing the Church and the Word of God does not ever change!

There was no dispute over the “Gospel of Grace”, which is justification by “Faith” and ‘Faith Alone”!

What one other rule should we all keep that the secular world ignores?

*****Gal 2:10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

In our world the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer no matter who is in charge.

What are the signs of the last Church Age?

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

In our day the gathering places of the poor are closing the doors because they cannot afford to keep the doors open.

The Mega Church mentality is to reach out to the rich and the middle class and the poor are forgotten.

The Lord Jesus said there will always be the poor who live among us:

Mat 26:11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

There could be many reasons that people remain poor but at least one of those reasons is that those that say they love the Lord will always have the opportunity to help the poor and in doing so can be laying up treasures in store in Heaven.

What did Jesus teach us of these things?

Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

When we share the “Gospel of Grace” we must not forget that God loves us all and no one is to be left out!

When we defend the “Gospel of Grace” and salvation by “Faith” we are defending the Lord Jesus Christ our only means getting to Heaven!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Standing For The Gospel

Standard

Standing Staunchly

1 Thessalonians 3

The goal of the Word of God is salvation but God’s Word goes much further by teaching us all how to walk worthy of Him.

God has a specific purpose for His Word and a specific purpose for each of us.

The rewards for serving the Lord go far beyond anything we can see on this Earth.

We should also clearly understand, Satan does not rest, and the next trouble we see will not be an “if” it will be a “when”.

We must take our stand on the Word of God and then stand unmovable!

Before any human child can walk they must learn to stand!

It is usually the mother and the father of the child that teaches the child these things.

The Apostle Paul is like a spiritual parent to all believers!

But Paul can only be with us at this time by the Inspired Word of God!

God said we need all of His Words in order to stand in this world we live in.

Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, “to stand”.

“To stand” is to be established!

The entire ministry of the Apostle Paul was first to get people saved and then, to make Christians who could stand, out of “Babes in Christ” who struggle to take a stand!

What is wrong in America today?

The Christians are not taking a stand on the unchanging Word of God!

People try to modernize the commandments of God into something they have never meant.

As Americans, we brag about the freedoms we have in this nation but our own freedoms are disappearing at a fantastic rate and the freedom of religion is under constant attack, especially on those who call Jesus Christ their Savior!

Christian persecution is on the rise throughout this world we live in!

It is not time to fail as a Christian, it is time to stand!

One of the greatest needs of the Church is to stay encouraged in these latter days and “to stand” on the Word of God.

The Lord said these days would come:

Jer 23:20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: “in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly”.

God’s plan is going just as He has decided for it to go!

It’s God’s plan and not for us to try to change. God does not need our help!

Our hope lies in the return of Jesus Christ as did these Thessalonians.

And we are fools if we think we are not in the last days.

What other proof exist of this?

Rev 11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
Rev 11:10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
Rev 11:11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

In just this week we have seen again that there is nothing that happens on this Earth that cannot be seen by the entire world while it is taking place.

Smoke from a plane shot out of the sky, bodies that laid on the ground for three days, while the world went about it’s business.

Wars in Europe, wars in the Middle East, wars in other places and even a greater threat of major war while men strive to make weapons of mass murder.

There is no other time in history when these two men mentioned in the Book of Revelation could lie dead in the streets and be seen by the entire world.

This a prophesy that can only be fulfilled in our time and forward.

If we are to take a stand, we need to do it now, the time of the church is running out!

Let’s begin.

*****1Th 3:1 Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
1Th 3:2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:

Here again in this chapter it will be hard to miss the love Paul had for this newly formed church.

Paul was beginning his ministry in Athens but he still had a deep concern for those young converts in Thessalonica.

Paul, Silas, and Timothy were a missionary team but Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to establish this new church.

“Wherefore” means because of our earnest love.

“Forbear” means that Paul could not endure the suspense in knowing the welfare of these early Christians.

Athens was the most celebrated city in the ancient world at that time.

Athens was the home of Greek literature.
Athens was the home of the Greek civilization.
Athens was named after the goddess Athena, sometimes called Minerva and home to her temple.
Athens was home of the Temple of Zeus, sometimes called Jupiter.
Athens was home to the Acropolis, which was at the time of Paul, the center of architectural splendor in this city.
Athens was the place where it was said, “it was easier to find a God in Athens, then to find a real man”.

Almost everyone that lived in Athens worshipped a different god.

Sounds a whole lot like America today!

Paul was left alone in this great city of sin.

**Paul describes Timothy as a brother in Christ.

In other places Paul says Timothy is his dearly beloved son but to these Thessalonians, Paul wanted them to know Timothy was his equal.

**Paul describes Timothy as a “Minister of God”.

Timothy was called of God and not called by Paul to preach the “Gospel”.

**Paul describes Timothy as his fellow laborer.

Timothy, just as Paul, had a specific purpose in the work of the Lord.

Timothy even at this young age, was uniquely qualified to establish and comfort this group of new believers.

Timothy was Greek and familiar with the ways of these people.

Timothy spoke their language and could relate to their way of living.

Act 16:1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
Act 16:2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.

Timothy had a special gift from God for these type situations.

1Ti 4:14 Neglect not “the gift that is in thee”, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
1Ti 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

Paul could trust Timothy to be obedient to the Word of God!

This new church was forming in in the midst of a godless, pagan world and they needed someone such a Timothy to calm their afflictions.

We all need a Timothy!

*****1Th 3:3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.

Those afflictions are the same trials and temptations we all go through!

Without going through these things we will never appreciate the “Grace” of God!

We should keep in mind, the same afflictions that make a child of God better will harden the heart of that lost sinner.

The Apostle Peter said it like this:

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

The Bible is very clear, we should expect these things to happen.

It is in these things that we must have victory but that victory can only come by Jesus Christ!

Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

*****1Th 3:4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

It is important for every preacher to preach “all the truth” of the Bible!

Those that preach a prosperity gospel only are not helping God’s people because they are not preaching all the truth of God.

God has said that all His saints will suffer distress in this world!

God has said that all His saints will make it to Heaven. Not one will be left out.

God has also said every Saint will suffer hardships and heaviness and not one will be left out.

Those Jews had had to travel that wilderness road to their Promised Land for 40 years.

What did Jesus say?

Luk 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Luk 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

If the Lord Jesus Christ had to suffer to enter into His Glory, what makes us think we will not have to?

It is the afflictions we suffer in this life that prove we are who we say we are, the true Saints of God!

Remember what James said:

Jas 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

It is an absolute fact that no soldier can prove his true worth until he has been on the battlefield!

And no child of God has a testimony until they have been through some tribulation.

God will send prosperity, but in order for us to learn to praise Him.

God will also send affliction, but in order to build our worthiness.

We should not forget, Noah and his family had to sail through some mighty stormy waters before escaped the flood into salvation but it was those same stormy waters that raised the ark into safety!

1Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

Those that are lost will also struggle in affliction but most just get hard in their hearts.

Remember Pharaoh became much more hardened by the plagues of Egypt because he would not yield to God and he saw the same Word of God be true and the same miracles, as did the Jews.

Again Jesus had these words:

Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luk 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

It is under our own cross where we can expect God to be with us!

It is because our Savior also suffered that we can have hope in our suffering!

It is because our Savior suffered that we belong to Our Lord Jesus!

Isa 43:4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: “therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life”.

If we never suffer in our walk with the Lord, then we can only look upon those that have and wonder, if we can have that same strength that they show by their actions.

The Apostle Paul knew that these Thessalonians were suffering great tribulation and because he could not be with them to help them go through these things, Paul sent Timothy.

*****1Th 3:5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.

The Apostle Paul could relate to these saints of God in their suffering because he had suffered tribulation in every place he had preached and had actually been the cause of tribulation to many of the saints before his own salvation and repentance.

Paul said, “I can no longer endure the suspense”.

Timothy was sent by the Apostle Paul to these Thessalonians to be steadfast in the midst of their persecution!

Why? Paul also knew the works of Satan.

That “Tempter” is Satan, the Devil.

This is the same creature that went after the Lord Jesus and failed.

Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Mat 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

Satan is at work 24 hours a day seven days a week. Satan never rests from his evil!

We should realize that as the “Born Again” children of God, Satan will come with all his temptations but God has already given us the power to resist.

If you want to see a smile in Heaven, resist the devil and make him flee.

Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and “he will” flee from you.

We can only blame ourselves when we give in to Satan’s temptations!

I can see this same smile on the face of our own Pastor, when someone of our brothers and sisters have gone through the fire and have returned to the House of God stronger than they were before.

The news, that Timothy returned with, brought great comfort to the Apostle Paul.

The “Good News” of the “Gospel” is never preached in vain but sometimes it seems that the labor that is wasted on those that do not believe could have been better used on others.

*****1Th 3:6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:

**These Thessalonians had not only accepted the “Gospel” but they had believed on the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

**These Thessalonians had not only believed but it showed in the way they lived for Jesus and before God.

**These Thessalonians had a giving love, (charity) for the work of God and toward each other.

**These Thessalonians had a clear understanding of salvation and repentance and the commandments of God!

1Jn 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
1Jn 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

When faith is our guide, our love will always lead us to God, because God is love!

*****1Th 3:7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:

Therefore always means “for this reason”.

The Apostle Paul was still suffering persecution in every place he preached.

The Apostle Paul was still making tents when he could and still preaching at every opportunity.

So this news brought great comfort to all this band of missionaries but especially to Paul.

This great news made the Apostle Paul work even harder for his own people, the Jews!

Act 18:5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.

And this good news was also the turning point for the Apostle Paul to be the missionary to the Gentiles.

Act 18:6 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.

*****1Th 3:8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.

The Apostle Paul was broken hearted over the Jews but got great joy from seeing the “Gospel” do it’s work on the Gentiles.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he had these words.

1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

As Paul was writing to these Thessalonians, he was saying that it was the good news from the saints who remained steadfast that kept him alive.

Many a pastor has given up because they could not see the results of the “Gospel”.

We can only imagine how Noah felt after preaching 120 years with no results but if Noah had not remained faithful then we would not be here today.

Through all tribulation we must all remain steadfast in the Lord!

Noah was steadfast.
Paul was steadfast.
But no one, is more steadfast than the Lord Jesus!

We must take a stand and then stand on the Lord!

**The truth is that the “Gospel” will always tells what is right.
Tribulation will show us what is not right.
Conviction will teach us how to get right.
The Word of God will teach us how to stay right.

And there are not enough words in any language to show our thanks to God for what He has done!

*****1Th 3:9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sake before our God;

The “gift” of the Lord Jesus Christ and the “Gospel” are the two greatest gifts that God has given to us because these brought with it “our salvation”.

There are no gifts that we could manufacture that could come close in repayment for these wonderful things of God!

Psa 116:12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
Psa 116:13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

That cup of salvation was filled with the blood of Jesus Christ.

Luk 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

The only thing we have to offer that is pleasing to the Lord, is our selves.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

And we should be very glad, and filled with joy at this opportunity that the Lord has given to us!

Psa 68:3 But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.

And then we are to stay in touch with our God!

What father does not like to hear from his children?

*****1Th 3:10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

Preaching the “Gospel” was not a profession with the Apostle Paul.

Paul did not go from town to town holding meetings and then pass on and forget those that believed.

Paul carried every believer in his heart and always hoped he would get back to them to give them further instructions from the Word of God but no matter what, Paul remembered them in prayer day and night.

It is sin not to pray for the church to succeed!

1Sa 12:22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.
1Sa 12:23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:
1Sa 12:24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

Peter prayed:

Act 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

Paul prayed:

Act 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Jesus prayed:

Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

Joh 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
Joh 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

But our prayers must have a purpose:

Paul prayed that God would “perfect” their faith of the church.

That word perfect means to adjust, to equip, and to furnish.

While in this body of flesh our faith will never reach perfection.

There will always be a need to adjust and always room to grow our faith!

1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

The bottom line, it is God Himself who directs the Church!

It is when we do not yield to God’s calling and God’s direction that causes problems and the Church to fail!

*****1Th 3:11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

We should not miss how Paul has written this passage.

Our God, Our Father, and Our Lord Jesus are all written as One.

The Lord Jesus Said these words:

Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

God the Father is a distinct person.
God the Son is a distinct person.
God the Holy Spirit is a distinct person.

But together they are One God.

Jesus Christ is both Son of God, and Son of man.

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

The Lord Jesus is distinguished from the Father in personality but is “One” with Him in the Godhead!

Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

This is our God who will direct our ways!

Psa 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Have you ever crossed a street and not know why?

The Apostle Paul knew he had to follow the path that the Holy Spirit had laid out before him.

Paul could only return to these Thessalonians if it was in the plan of God!

This is also our task!

When we have lost our way, it is only God who can direct our path!

Paul prayed earnestly that he might see these Thessalonians again but he was also conscious of his own inability to overcome the hindrances of Satan.

As Paul prayed he gave that matter into the hands of the Lord.

The Apostle Paul knew to pray to the One True God. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost but Paul also knew that the Church belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ who died and gave His own blood for it.

God must direct our steps because salvation is still God’s plan!

We must keep the main thing the main thing!

*****1Th 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

What life does to us depends on our relationship with the Lord!

Some people will build walls and shut themselves out but those that trust in the Lord will build bridges and draw closer to God and God’s people.

True Christian love must be shown not only to believers but also to all mankind!

Abounding love must not be bound but be freely given to all.

The Lord Jesus will not only direct our paths but He will also increase our love and with these things we can be established.

*****1Th 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

It is by the will of God and our prayers that we can shall continually progress in our steps toward glorification while we live on this Earth and in these bodies.

Here again we see that as we keep our thoughts on the return of the Lord Jesus, this will encourage us to be busy about the work that the Lord has given to us.

“Stablish” means to be fixed. To have things settled. To be permanent in our beliefs.

To “blame” is to find fault with and to accuse and have no reason to praise.

God says we are to be unblameable!

Holiness is the state of living in integrity, and solid moral character.

1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

And again we a reference to the coming of Our Lord.

The Lord did not stay dead and the Lord will not stay gone from us!

**In chapter 1 we learned that the return of the Lord is linked to our salvation.

1Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

**In chapter 2 we learned that the return of the Lord is linked to our service.

1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

**Today we have learned that the return of the Lord is linked to our sanctification.

**In chapter 4 we will learn that the return of the Lord is linked to our comfort and joy.

1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

**And in chapter 5 we will learn that the return of the Lord is linked to our separation.

1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord is coming and it could be in the next moment!

Start your stand for the Lord today and then stand until He returns!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!