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Sep 17, 2023

Live Like You’re Alive

Live Like You’re Alive

Passage: Galatians 2:16-20

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Freedom in Christ

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: church, worship, faith, jesus, sin, god, sermon, christian, bible, christ, gospel, hope, theology, preaching, salvation, sermons, good news, galatians, jesus christ, the bible, lord, christianity, who is jesus, bible study, justification by faith alone, the gospel, self improvement, motivate, what is the gospel, study the bible, bible teaching, trending, change your life, 2023, burnt hickory worship, burnt hickory baptist church live stream, god plan, how to change your life, god's not done with you

The gospel, the good news of Jesus, is not just the ticket that gets you into God’s kingdom. The gospel is the fuel, the power, and the map that enables you to live the Christian life out. As we continue through the book of Galatians in the bible, we learn that we are justified through our faith in Jesus, which means that God’s grace is given freely to us to forgive us, pardon us, and make us right before Him. If you are a Christian, you have been made eternally alive through Jesus through your faith in what He has done. Justification is a universal need of all mankind, and we rejoice that God has made a way for us as sinners to be forgiven and brough into right standing considering His holiness. Have you been forgiven and made alive in Jesus? Do you care enough about the gospel to defend it? How are you living out your justification? If you’ve got questions, we’d love to connect with you and take the time to answer those questions, pray with you, and celebrate your next step in your faith journey. Reach out today or take the next step here –

Well, good morning church, we are incredibly, incredibly excited that you are here. And also, let me just say this. If you are visiting with us, man, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being here. Thanks for trusting us. Thanks for stopping in today. And let me just tell you that we want to do anything we can to connect you into the life of this church, however that can work. We love that you’re at worship, but we want you to take that next step, just like the announcement video said, and jump into groups because that's where life change happens. If there's anything that I can do or any of the rest of our ministry people can do around here, please, please, please let us know. We'd love to connect with you. Well, hey, listen, last week we started, as you just saw in the bumper, we started a new series that we are just simply calling Freedom in Christ. We're calling it Freedom in Christ, because what we're doing is we're walking through this little letter of the Apostle Paul to these churches in Galatia, the Galatian area.

Now, last week we introduced this letter as just a kind of passionate little plea from the Apostle Paul to these churches to tell them what they had in Jesus, who Jesus was, what their salvation looks like, and how they can just live out the true gospel of Jesus. Now, let me go back just for a minute and kind of just relay a little bit of the foundation, and that is that we know that Paul has written this letter. We also know that Paul has been the one that has established these churches. He was the church planner. He was the one that in this Galatia area went in and started these churches in this region. And now Paul has been gone for about a year. And as a result of that, the churches began to struggle. They began to struggle in recognizing what a true gospel is. They begin a struggle in recognizing how they can live out their faith being covered under the name of Jesus. They struggled in believing the gospel and defending the gospel and kind of dealing with all of the opposition that was coming at them. And most of the opposition is from a party of people that the Bible just calls the Judaizers. Now, I know that doesn't really mean a lot to us, but basically this Judaizer group was attacking these little churches that Paul had established and basically wanting them to follow the Jewish customs and not necessarily what Jesus had laid out as the gospel. They were putting these additional requirements, if you would, on top of what salvation is. Last week we walked through, if you weren't here, we just walked through.

I'll catch you up through the first chapter of Galatians. And that whole chapter deals with this idea of what is the gospel? Remember, that was Paul's attempt. That's why he wrote this letter. We defined the Gospel last week as the good news of Jesus that his life, his death, his resurrection has now made salvation available to us, to those who believe, to those who put our trust in him. We said last week that that was the gospel. That the gospel is founded on the grace of God. It is secured in the sacrifice of Jesus. It's eternal. We don't have the right to change it. It's opposed by Satan. And we said last week, lastly, that the gospel truly is the only thing that can give us life. We try to fill a lot of the things in life, but it's the only thing that will plant us in a place that can put us under the name and the banner of Jesus. In chapter one, basically, Paul looks at the Judaizers and says, Listen, that's no gospel at all. The gospel is that we're saved by faith through grace. That’s the gospel. Well, today we're walking into chapter two. That's what you do when you look at books of the Bible, right? We're going to chapter two today. So if you’ve got a copy of Scripture today, I want you to turn it on or flip the pages to Galatians chapter two. It used to be really cool when you could just hear the Bibles rustling, right? In the church, but now you just kind of watch for that luminescent glow on people's faces as the Bible is turned on. But Galatians Chapter two is where we're going to hang out today. And let me just fill you in as you're finding that in a little detail that we didn't have time to get to last week. When Paul was saved. You can read that account in the Book of Acts. When Paul was saved, God called him as a Pharisee. He was a Pharisee. He was an incredibly religious person. He was a zealous Pharisee. He was a persecutor of the followers of Jesus. And Paul was a Jew, a Jew. He was a Roman citizen and he was a Jew. And so when God called Paul, he called Paul to reach the Gentile people, the Gentile people.

Now, this was a big deal. You say Matt, why is it a big deal that God called him to reach the Gentiles? Well, because prior to Jesus walking on this earth, most people that followed after God, after the Lord, were ethnic Jews, most people, not all, but most were because that was God's chosen people. That was how God revealed himself to the planet. And when Jesus walked onto the earth, Jesus kind of busts that whole system wide open, right? Anytime you read Jesus, you'll see him. He's sitting down with sinners, he's meeting with tax collectors. He is dealing with non-Jewish people as well as Jewish people. And when Jesus walked on the earth, he finished his walk on the earth by giving us the Great Commission. Right. And the great Commission doesn't say, Go reach all the Jews among the world right? No. It says, Go and reach the whole world. When we get to the book of Galatians, the one that we're in now, we know that we are post Jesus walking on this earth. We are post Jesus ascending back to heaven. And now we are watching that Jesus has now called Paul, right? He has called him. He has saved him. He has sent him and arguably Paul is one of the most passionate and one of the most influential and one of the greatest gifted followers of Jesus to ever live. And from God's perspective, this is an amazing thing. Why? Because God is chasing after lost sinners.

From the non-Jewish perspective, this is an incredible thing, right? Because now God has opened up his love and shown his love to all these people. But from the Jewish perspective, this is causing a massive conflict. It's causing a huge conflict. Why? Well, because the Gentiles, that is us, by the way, the Gentiles don't know all the Jewish rules, Right? They don't know all the Jewish traditions. They haven't grown up hearing all the Jewish God stories. They didn't grow up here in the Old Testament, spoken over them. They didn't grow up going to all the festivals and trips to the temple and all of these things in their life. They didn't have an Old Testament background. They're for real. I mean, for all kinds of purposes. It was that background that kind of set them apart in those festivals and those times that set them apart as God's people. It's what aligned them to who God was. Well, when Jesus walked on the Earth, Jesus said, I am the fulfillment of all of this stuff that you guys have been looking for. But the Jews didn't know how to deal with this. They didn't know how to reconcile this in their mind. And they were having a hard time reconciling their past with what Jesus had done. And unfortunately, in Galatians, what we're seeing is they're trying to combine their traditions with now what Christ has set us free to do right? Now. Does that sound like any church you've ever been in? Right? It really and truly is. It's people that are trying to bring all of tradition into what Christ has set them free to be. So what Paul does is he now comes into their lives and he begins to remind them that Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is the only way. He's the only way. And he's about to take these Galatians into an even deeper dive into the Gospel. Why? To help them see again what Jesus has done and to help them see again what this incredibly, incredibly important gift of justification that God has given us. And to help them see that the Gospel is worth living for. Now, this is where we're going today.

That's what we're going to do today. We're going to look at what I just kind of previewed. But it's about to start in one of the most unlikely conversations, one of the most unlikely confrontations that has happened in the history of man. Speaking of confrontations, let me ask you a question. How many of you remembered what happened on October the 29th, 1974? Does anybody remember what happened on that day? Anybody? Raise your hand. Okay. Let me give you a little hint. How many of you remember what happened on October 29, 1974, in the Republic of the Congo? Anybody now? Raise your hand. No. Okay. How many of you have been? On October 29th, the Republic of the Congo had 60,000 people watching at an event called the Rumble in the Jungle. Does anybody remember this one? Raise your hand. You got this. All right. There's some hands up for those of us that weren't born yet. We had to Wikipedia it. But in 1974, on October 29 is what is known as the greatest sporting event in all of the 20th century. Let me teach you something for a minute. Wikipedia style. On that day, two of the greatest fighters of all time, George Foreman and Muhammad Ali, faced off in the ring in the Republic of the Congo on that day. Had to look it up this week and I actually watched it on YouTube. But in the eighth round, in the eighth round of that fight, Muhammad Ali finally knocks out George Foreman to take the title and to never fight again. And he was known as the greatest at that point, at least the greatest boxer of all time. That one fight changed boxing and sports history. And here's why. He said, Well, I know why, because Ali won. Well, that is a key part. But the second key part is this. That fight was the first pay per view sporting event of all time. Of all time. It is estimated that over a billion people watched that fight at one time and it changed sports history. Well, today we're about to see two of not the giants of the boxing world, but two of the giants of our faith walk into a ring together and have it out. And because of the confrontation that is about to happen in this text, our faith, I say our all of our non-Jewish faiths, right? Most of us are not Jewish. All of our faith was solidified in this moment. Galatians 2:11 is where we're going to start we're going to walk through the texts today. I don't have any tricks. I don't have any alliterations, and nothing's going to rhyme. We're just going to walk through the text. We're going to pause. I'm going to show you a couple of things that the apostle Paul is saying to Peter, but he's also saying it to us. Before we get to the text, though, I want to give you the main message that Paul is trying to speak over Peter's life, over these Galatians lives and over our lives.

Write this down, it'll help you remember it. The gospel. We talked about that all week last week. If you are still not clarifying what that word is, the gospel is not just the ticket that gets you into God's kingdom. It's the fuel, the power and the map that enables you, watch this, to live it out, to live it out. In other words, the gospel is not just something you gave your life to at one point and you checked out of it. The gospel is all of what gives us the momentum, the power, the direction, all of that to live out our faith. Now, in just a minute, we're going to have some live out statements that Peter is about to give us. Now. Paul can teach us this probably better than any other person that has ever walked on the earth. We know Paul because he's already established his authority. Right? We saw that in the last chapter. We have seen that through the Book of Acts. But we also know Peter, but as we are kind of new to the Bible, Peter is a disciple of Jesus. This is the same Peter. It is Peter the Apostle. It is Peter with a foot shaped mouth, right? It is Peter that seems to have a lot of faith on one side and then says some really dumb things on this side or does some dumb things. Peter is an incredibly influential Christian. In fact, he had been given an incredible leadership role by Jesus while he was on this earth. Peter is a spokesman for the disciples. Peter is based in Jerusalem, kind of around the Mother Church that James ran, Right. That is where Peter is. And Paul is based in Antioch. That is his kind of home base for reaching the Gentiles. Peter is kind of reaching the Jews. Paul is kind of reaching the Gentiles. And Paul is now standing in his spot knowing that Peter has come to his town. That's what was happening in Galatians two. In Galatians two, Paul has come to Antioch. He has spent. I mean Peter has come to Antioch. He’s spending some time in Paul's city. And you would think that when that happens, that Peter would have had a huge party thrown on his behalf. Right. I mean, after all, if you are a disciple, you're coming into town. You would think the ticker tape parade would happen, the red carpet would be rolled out. All of this stuff is going to happen. But let's watch what happens in respect to the gospel when Peter is in Antioch. Watch this Galatians two, verse 11. The fight is on. Watch. It says when Cephas, that's Peter's nickname, by the way, just means rock. When Cephas came to Antioch.

This is Paul talking. I opposed him to his face. Now, that's bold, right? Because he stood condemned. In other words, he was wrong. For before certain men came from James. Now, let me give you context. James is the leader of the Church of Jerusalem. It's the half brother of Jesus, right. For before certain men came from James, He, that's Peter, right? He used to eat with the Gentiles. But now when they arrived, he began to draw back, and he began to separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belong to the circumcision group. Now, let me tell you what got us into this situation right here. Let me tell you what happened. That is so crazy right here. This confrontation. In Acts 10, there was this guy named Cornelius. You can go back and read it this week, it’s an incredible story. He was an official. He's a gentile official. And an angel told Cornelius in this dream to go over to Peter's house, to go meet Peter, to hear from Peter. Here is a cool part about this vision, though. At the same time, Peter from God had this vision, had this dream sent to him, and it was a kind of a weird dream. Let me describe it to you. This dream is like this. This white sheet was falling down or coming down from heaven, and inside this sheet was all of these unclean animals. If you were Jewish, you had a bunch of rules back then, right? It was a whole bunch of shrimp, a whole bunch of lobster, probably some little piglets in the sheet, in the sheet that was coming down from heaven. And then God looked at the sheet and looked at Peter and said, Peter, what I have made clean, you must now go. You must go and eat. He said, go kill, and eat it. And Peter looked at God. He's like, I could never do that. Why? Because Peter was a Jew. Peter knew all the laws. He knew all the separation Old Testament laws of who he is. But now God in a dream is going. Hey, Peter, listen. Jesus has come. Jesus has fulfilled the laws. Jesus has now set us free. And you don't have to worry about that anymore. Well, after a couple of bouts with God and kind of conversations with God, finally God looks at Peter and he's like, Peter, listen, this is not just food. This is about me, God, looking at all the things on the earth now and saying that what I have made clean, I now need you to go and reach. He's talking about all mankind.

He's seeing the Jews and Gentiles. And now God is showing Peter that they all equally have access to God through Jesus. In fact, in Acts ten, verse 34, it says this. Then Peter began to speak and watch what he says. I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but he accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. Poor Cornelius comes over to Peter's house. Peter has this dream about all of the Gentiles being able to now come to God. And guess what? He rings the doorbell. He shows up with his friends at his house and Cornelius gets saved. Peter leads him to the Lord. And now Peter's heart has changed and his Jewish heart is now opened up that God has set us free from all of those final things. Hallelujah. Right. So what happens in Peter's life? Peter Now starts hanging out with the Gentiles. He starts having meals with the Gentiles. He starts eating barbecue with the Gentiles. He starts eating bacon with the Gentiles. And once you go bacon, you never go back, right? He starts enjoying all of these things. I'm not making it up, this is the Bible. I'm just telling you the story. He starts enjoying all of these things from God that God has given us. He starts seeing the true gospel. He starts seeing that Christ and Christ alone has set us free. He jumps in with them. We know that Paul is called to reach the Gentiles. But now we see Peter has been given a new sight into the fact that God has set them free from all this Jewish stuff. Until all of a sudden, James sends some good old boys over to Antioch to meet with Peter, to meet with Peter. And what happens when the guys get into Antioch? Peter gives in to Jewish peer pressure. You know, that's a real thing, right? And Peter goes back to his old ways. He goes back to proclaiming the gospel roots.

He goes back to proclaiming that it's salvation through faith and by being Jewish, by faith and by following the traditions, by faith and by being circumcised. Right. He started preaching all of this works based salvation that was devaluing who Christ was and what Christ did in our salvation. And it gets even worse because Peter was a leader. Watch this in verse 13, it says this says The other Jesus joined him in his hypocrisy so that by his hypocrisy, even Barnabas was led astray. Now, that doesn't mean a whole lot to you unless you really know what's going on. Two things I just want to point out about that. Number one, I just want you to write out in the margin of your Bible, it's not in your notes or anything. I just want you to write out. People are always watching. People are always watching. That's what we're seeing in the text, right? People are watching what Peter does. People are watching how Peter is walking. People are listening to what Peter is saying. And I got news for you believers. Listen, they're watching you, too. They're watching every word. Students that you say. They're watching every post that you make. Moms and dads, they're watching how you parents, they're watching how you speak. They're watching what you watch. They're watching what you're doing with your lives. And what's a focus of your life is that's exactly what we're seeing in the text from this story. And they're going to follow your lead. But the second thing I just want to point out is, listen, is this is how bad is it if Barnabas gets caught up in this? iIt's really bad. You know why? Because Barnabas, by his name, alone, means son of encouragement. He loved everybody. And now he is being sucked into the Jewish conversation. He's been sucked into this salvation through works conversation. And now he, Barnabas, is the leader or one of the leaders actually, of the Church of Antioch. And if Barnabas goes this way, so goes the leader. So goes the church. Right. So this is a big deal. So watch what Paul does in fear of this influencing other people. Verse 14. Paul says, When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, some of your Bible say not in step are deviating from the gospel. When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the Gospel, I said to Cephas, I said to Paul in front of them all. I love this showdown at the okay Corral. For those of you that are old enough to know what that means, right? He says, You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not a Jew. How was it then that you forced the Gentiles to follow these Jewish customs? Paul is looking at Peter. Are you feeling this tension, these two heroes of the faith in this gospel dispute?

Peter is clearly in the wrong because he's wavering. He's speaking out of both sides of his mouth. But Paul, here it is. Here's a key, key conversation. Paul has enough love for Peter and enough love for the gospel to say something about it, to say something. Now, look, I know many of you have been taught that if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all. There's three of us that were taught that evidently we had a problem. Are you all right? Yeah. We've been taught that right our whole life. You don't have anything good to say. Just don't say anything at all. We've been taught that. But listen, the gospel matters way too much for that to be where we are. We should care enough to say something when a fellow Christian is not representing the gospel well. Let me pause there. And can I give you the first live-like statement. Then I'll flesh this out. Number one, Paul would say this: live like you care enough about the gospel to defend it, live like you, care enough about it to defend it, Live like you're defending your mama's honor, right? You don't talk about mama, right? It's the same thing with the gospel. You see, Paul knew the gospel. Paul loved the gospel. Paul loved Peter and what Peter stood for. But Paul knew he had to say something and Paul could do it. Why? Because he lived the life. He backed up the life. He knew who he was, and Jesus and Paul understood that his life was pointed in a direction that was way more concerned with the accolade for the one that matters- Jesus, than for the one that didn't matter Peter. He knew at this point that he had to say something. Why? Because he was not out for the approval of Peter. He was out for the approval of God. In fact, he said this in last week's texts. Galatians 1:10 says this. Paul's already said, Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? Listen, students, if you could ever grasp that one statement, I guarantee you there's going to be less scars in your life. Or he says, Am I trying to please people? If I were trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. In other words, Paul's like, okay, here's Peter's opinion over here, and Peter's opinion matters. He's kind of the leader of this group, right? But compared to Jesus’s opinion, he really doesn't hold any weight. Sometimes, as the people of God, we've got to love people enough to have awkward conversations and stand up and defend the gospel. We just have to.

Sometimes we have to love people enough to put our awkwardness aside, our relationships aside, and realize that before any of those relationships, I am a child of God and I need to have this conversation. Because here's the deal. If we don't have it, who is? If we don't have it, we have zero right to complain about the drift of our culture, the drift of where people are going. Now, look, I'm not saying that we need to be people that are just always out there picking a fight. I'm not saying that we need to be people that are out there that are always out there stirring the pot when it's unnecessary. But I am saying this as people of God, the gospel is literally a life and death situation to where sometimes we just have to have a conversation, especially with people we have a relationship with.

Now, I'm not saying today everybody's going out and posting on your social media. Turn or burn. No, that's not it, right? That's not it. But I'm saying for the people that we have a relationship with and for the people that are influencing other people, sometimes we just need to pause and say, Hey, listen, let me let's talk about this for a minute. Especially when they're influencing others. In fact, look at this verse 13, What does it say? It says the other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy. This wasn't just a Peter issue. Other people were following him. This word hypocrisy here literally means from speaking out of both sides of his mouth. That's what it means. So Peter knew the true gospel. He had the right beliefs, but he had the wrong actions. And so Paul called him out. Why did Paul call him out? Because Peter was confusing the other believers. And if Paul were to let it keep going, it would have continually got farther and farther and farther and farther away from the gospel. The bottom line is that Paul cared more about the Gospel than he did Peter's opinion. And listen, I get it. Some of you, you cannot confront anyone in your life because you are so attached to the approval of man that you would rather break your arm than have a weird conversation. I get that. But listen, the gospel is worth it. The gospel is worth it. And we're God's mouthpiece. And God has commanded us out of love and grace in the direction of the Holy Spirit.

In a moment of clarity to go, Hey, I need to talk to you because I think you're just mistaken. Can we hang out? Can we talk? Let me ask you something. Who is it in your life that right now is popping into your life? Who is it in your life, whether they're a believer or a so-called believer that you need to have a gospel clarifying statement with? So what's happening in the showdown? Let's keep moving. I want you to see what Paul does in this conversation and how he dives into the gospel. Watch this. Verse 15. He says, We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles. That's their nickname, by the way, sinful Gentiles. That's an unfortunate nickname. Know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ, so that we too have put our faith in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the words of the law. Why? Because by the works of the wall, no one will be justified. Here's our second live-like statement. Then I'll process through these verses. Here it is. Paul says Peter, live like you are justified through faith in Jesus. Live like you are or have been is probably even better. So to put it there. Live like you have been justified through faith in Jesus.

Now, justification is a huge theme in the New Testament. Huge thing. Well then, Matt, why don't we talk about it more? We don't talk about it more because most people don't know what it means. I mean, I'm just being honest. Most of the time we call it salvation or we call it saved. Those are great synonyms, but justification gets at our position and exactly what Christ has done for us. It gets at who we are. And I want you to see right here that justification is first introduced right here by Paul. He's rebuking Peter because Peter is violating that doctrine. He's condoning legalism and Peter is placing faith plus works equal salvation, which is not from the Lord. So Paul really dives in on this idea of justification. So I need to too. So let me answer the question. What is justification? What is it? What is it? Here it is. Let me give you four kind of clarifying statements. Justification. First of all, it's a legal term. It's a legal term. I want you to think of it like this. It's the opposite of condemnation. What's condemnation? Condemnation is when someone looks at you and declares you guilty. That's what condemnation is. Justification or to justify means that someone looks at you and declares you not guilty. All right. Now, that's a little bit confusing, but let me kind of clarify it in your imagination for a minute. Okay. I want you to go to your imagination spot. All right? I want you to close your eyes. Whatever. Go to your imagination. I want you to imagine your spot in the court. You are sitting as a defendant in the court of law. In other words, you did something. You're guilty. You are in court, right? For some of you, that's not hard to imagine. Because some of you are right. I want you to imagine yourself. You were in the court of law, right? And you have presented your case. Your lawyer has done their jobs. They have persecuted you. They have come up against you. And all of a sudden the jury has called in their verdict. Is there. The judge walks into the room and the judge, you know you're guilty. Everybody in the place knows you're guilty. You're caught on camera, everything is in line. And all of a sudden, the judge begins to pronounce your sentence of how guilty you really are. Right. And at that very moment, I want you to go in your mind to this at that very moment, Jesus busts in the back door to the courtroom. He walks down the aisle. No, he doesn’t have to walk. He glides down the aisle. Right. This is my mind. You can get out of it, right? He glides down the aisle and all of a sudden he looks at the judge, he looks at the jury, he looks at everybody in the whole place and Jesus busts in and says, I give my life and it counts for theirs. They are guilty. But at this moment, I give myself for them and I declare them guiltless.

I declare them not liable for anything they have done. I pronounce them mine. And now keep on the story, keep in your mind. And now Jesus says, Pronounce them as a person that has all the rights and privileges as a person who has never broken the law. That's justification and that's what Jesus has done for us.

And that's why I say it's a legal term. But always a legal term is also justification is personal. It's personal. What does that mean? That means that justification is more than just like, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's what God does out there. No, that's what God wants to do in you. That's what it is. Paul just said it, right? Verse 16. So, we too. Now that's a big statement. Why? Because he was a Jew. Peter was a Jew. And even the Jews. Paul is speaking from a Jewish perspective, going even though we too have to put our faith in Jesus that we may be justified by faith. He’s hanging it. He’s completely pointing it at Jesus. You see, justification is not a sterile word. No, it's what gives me life. When I receive Christs’ righteousness by faith, I'm justified, I'm declared guiltless. I am now a perfect in God's sight person. Do you realize that when God justifies you, when you stand in the court for you, He says, They're my beloved sons and daughters, and I now see them only through the lens of Jesus. That's why it's personal. It's a justification offered to the world. Yes. But see it first through the lens of it being offered to you. Number three, justification. It's a universal need. It's a universal need. Now, I did not say it is universal. Okay. Do not take that out of context. All right. That's what the universalist Church does. They just think that if you're born, if you're a good person, if your good outweighs your bad, everything is going to work out in the end. Justification is not universal, but it is a universal need. What does that mean? That means everyone has to have it to have a relationship with God. Why? Because we are guilty before a judge. We just said that right? To have a relationship with God, we have to be justified. There's no other way to God. That means you can't work your way to God.

You cannot fight your way to God. You cannot hope your way to God. You cannot pray your way to God. I know that one’s going to rattle some of you. You can not love your way to God. Why? Because all those things are works. And what did it just say about works? Look at verse 16. Because by the works of the law, no one will be justified. No one. No one. Let me just be clear on a definition of justification. I want to put in your notes. I didn't have a good spot, so I just threw it in there. Right? Well, here it is. Listen to this. In the Bible, justification refers to God's free and gracious act by which he puts a sinner, that's me and you, right with him, forgiving him, pardoning him, excepting him not on the basis of any thing that a sinner does, but solely and only on the basis of the perfect work of Jesus Christ. You sat Matt, who wrote that? I have no idea. I found it in one of my Bibles, and it was awesome, right? I have no idea. But that is what he does for us. So the big question of it is that if that is justification, how are we justified? How are we justified? Right. That's the battle and that's the rumble in the jungle that we're looking at right here. Right. How are we justified? That's the dilemma of all mankind. Why? Because we have a righteous God that cannot be in the presence of an unrighteous me. So how are we justified? The great question of Job 25:4 says it like this: How then can a man be righteous before God? This is the point that Paul is trying to make.

He's looking at Peter. He's saying it's not about the Jewish works. It's not by the customs, it's by salvation, by grace alone, through faith alone. It’s by Ephesians 2:8-9. For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not from yourself. It is a gift, not by works, so that no one can boast. It’s by Second Corinthians 5:21. We implore you on Christ's behalf to be reconciled to God. Which you would say, well, how? Verse 21 God made him who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in him we may become the righteousness of God. And it's by realizing Romans 5:1. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God. How? Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Hey, listen. And that's good news. You know why it's good news? Listen, it gets even better. You see that justification that God gives us is a gift. It's a gift, in fact, write this down. Number for justification is a once and for all declaration by God. This is important. Why? Because God declares it over us. He imputes it, there's your big word for the day, over us. That means it's an act of God and not a process. That means it's not by words, it's not by try harder, It's not by what we do. It's because of what Christ has done and how has stood for us and how we have trusted in him. You see, sanctification, all right. Sanctification is the process of one that already knows Jesus as we get to know Him, as we submit to Him, it is a process of how we continually submit over and over and over and over in our life to him. Justification, listen closely, it is like forever and ever and ever declaration by God over our life when we place our faith in Him and he only comes through Christ alone. Justification is forever and ever. It was, I was a sinner. I deserve death. I was hopeless. But God moment. Remember in our Ephesians series, but God? Ephesians 2:4. But God because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions. It is by grace, that you have been saved. Listen, this is amazing and I really hope you're more excited on the inside than you are on the outside is all I can say about it. This is incredible. This means it is finished. This means it is done. This means that you are his and he is yours. And this means now out of the position that God has made you through Jesus, that we get to live here it is, out of that power and not for that power. That's the battle that's going on. That's the whole conflict. And watch how Paul ends the conflict, because Paul looks back at what Christ has done, Paul looks forward and what Christ is doing in his life. And here is the coffee cup, Instagram, tattoo, verse of all time. Watch it. Galatians 2:20. Paul finishes with this: The battle cry for life for I have been crucified with Christ, therefore I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Oh church. If we could grasp that statement, it would cause so many less wounds in our life, so much less wasted time in our life.

So much wasted effort in our lives, so much wasted sin in our lives. If we didn't just realize that I died with Christ and he has now made me alive and him. And I don't live for myself. I don't live for my accolades and I live for my glory. I live for him. I have been crucified with Christ. And I no longer live the Christ lives in me, the life I now live in the body, that us who know Jesus, I live by faith in the son of God who loved me, and gave himself for me. Paul gives us the third live-like statement as he closes this out and he says this. Live like you have been made fully and eternally alive. Alive. That’s Paul's ultimate statement of his life. That's Paul's ultimate war cry. That's his heart spoken. Why? Because Paul realizes you can't do it by works. He tried it, right? You can go through it with his accolades. He was the best of the best. He did everything he was supposed to do until one day he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul says, I have died. My old life is gone. And I now have a new identity. And I don't just have any new identity. I have an identity that I am in Jesus and Jesus is in me. And now I can stand fully and wholly and confidently in who Christ is in my life. You see, many of us think just kind of incorrectly, I might add, that salvation is basically Jesus paying for all my sins, paying for my debt, and then he just kind of leaves me to go build up a new life on my own.

But listen, Jesus didn't do that. Jesus didn't cover us and raise us from spiritual death just to walk away from us and wash his hands of us and tell us that he's done. No, the Gospel is not just about me being in Christ to get His righteousness. It's about me being in Christ to have him. That's the Gospel. And now I can live in his power. I can live in his mercy. I can live in his grace. So we've got to wrestle with this. Why? Because for many of us, our whole identity is wrapped around my talents, my abilities, my circle, my family and my stuff. But the moment, we give our lives to Jesus. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live. But now I am resurrected in his power. Listen, Jesus died. Jesus gave me life. Why? So that I can now walk in him. And when God sees me now, somebody needs to hear this. He sees you as clothed in His righteousness filled with Christ’s resurrection power. He sees you motivated to live and stand for him. He doesn't see you as somebody that just needs to be a Jew or needs to do this. He sees you as somebody that he has given life and that life is all we can hold to. So let me just ask you this today. Have you experienced this life? When I read that I have been crucified with Christ, Galatians 2:20, that I no longer live but Christ lives in me. Is that a true statement for you? I’m not talking about, Oh, yeah, I got a coffee cup with that. No, no, that’s not what I'm saying.

Does that represent you? Has there been a moment in your life where you have realized that you are a sinner and you have given your life to Jesus? Where you have realized that his death was for you, it was on your behalf, and he has stood before God to judge, and he spoke on your behalf because of his life. And has there been a point in your life where you have surrendered your heart and given your life to Jesus? You see, the Jews in his time would say, Man, that's great. Yes, go do that. But then go be circumcised. Right. But Paul’s going no, no, no. Sanctification is going to come. But I'm talking about giving your life to Jesus. Have you done that? Have you quit living like a dead person, and started living like a resurrected savior of the King? Would you pray with me?

Lord Jesus today, God, I just pray, pray, pray that we could see God, that the Gospel is the good news of Jesus. But what you did is that you justified those who turn their lives to faith in you. Lord Jesus, in the quiet of this moment I just ask God, is there anybody that right now just needs to invite you into their life to save them, to give them life, to forgive them, and to place them on a trajectory that for the rest of their lives they can know that you are theirs and you are in their life. If there is Lord Jesus, they just simply just need to say in their hearts, Lord, I know that I'm a sinner and I know that you're my Savior. Come into my life, my heart, be my savior, be my Lord. I want to follow you with all of who I am because of all that you gave me. Jesus, I just pray that today that's many people in this room. And then in just a second, as we have our invitation, that they are bold enough, wherever they're at, to step out from their seats, walk over to the next steps banner to their right, and just look at one of us over here and go, Hey, today I have been justified. I got Jesus. But Lord, for the rest of us today, that know you, God put a place in our heart that we can live of the power that you are in us, not for that power, but out of that power, Jesus. Walk with us in these next couple of minutes. Jesus, It's in your name.

Amen. Amen.

Let’s stand and sing together, if that's you today for salvation, for prayer, if you need anybody to speak with you today. We'll be right over here by this banner.


Follow Along with the Message

Live Like You’re Alive

September 17, 2023

PRINCIPLE: The gospel is not just the ticket that gets you into God’s kingdom, it’s the fuel, power, and the map that enables you to out.

Galatians 2:11–12
11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.
Acts 10:34–35
34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.
Galatians 2:13
The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
Galatians 2:14
When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?”

Live Like…

1. You enough about the gospel to defend it.

Galatians 1:10
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 2:13
The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy…
Galatians 2:15–16
15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

2. You are through faith in Jesus.

What Is Justification?

1. Justification is a .

2. Justification is .

Galatians 2:16
…So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith…

3. Justification is a need.

Galatians 2:16
…because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

Justification Defined:
In the Bible, justification refers to God’s free and gracious act by which He puts a sinner right with Him, forgiving him, pardoning him, and accepting him not on the basis of anything that sinner does but solely and only on the basis of the perfect work of Jesus Christ.

Job 25:4
How, then, can man be righteous before God?
Ephesians 2:8–9
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
2 Corinthians 5:20–21
20 …We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

4. Justification is a and for all declaration by God.

Ephesians 2:4–5
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.
Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 1:8
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!
2 Corinthians 11:13–15
13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
Galatians 1:7
Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

3. You have been made fully and eternally .

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.

Additional Notes


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