Wednesday, June 01, 2016

The Bethany Bullet - Week of May 29, 2016

“Listen to Me!”

Paul, opens his letter to the Galatians with a declaration of his apostolic credentials and the earliest (first written) proclamation of the Gospel’s essentials. 

Paul is an apostle (sent one).  That sending came not through a “mediated call” that is through church prayer, decision and or “lot casting.”  Rather, Jesus Christ Himself called and appointed Paul to this ministry; even as He called and appointed Peter, James, and John before him.

If in fact Galatians is the earliest New Testament book written (something many Bible scholars believe) then verse 4 is the earliest recorded proclamation of the Gospel and the significance of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  “Christ obeyed God our Father and gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins to rescue this evil age.” (CEV)

Jesus’ obedience that rescues us is twofold. 

First, Jesus obeyed the will and law of God, as required - PERFECTLY!  (This is what is referred to theologically as the active obedience of Jesus) Though He and He alone kept the law of God as commanded; Jesus became our substitute through His sacrifice.  Thus He bore the punishment we deserved and God’s wrath toward sin (all of it including our own) fell on Jesus instead of on us.  (This is what is referred to theologically as the passive obedience of Jesus).  This twofold obedience is at the heart of the Gospel (The Person and Work of Christ.)  If Christ were not God His active obedience could not have been credited to us and if He were not man He could not have suffered and died in our place.  Furthermore, because Jesus has perfectly kept the law, God sees us through faith as if we were perfect and because Jesus has innocently suffered in our place God sees us through faith as guiltless and pure. 

We are rescued – from sin, from death, and from the power of the devil (the very things that govern this “evil age”) solely on account of God’s grace, on account of Christ’s obedience, through faith, apart from works of the law.  Anyone who would say otherwise, who would add requirements on top of this is a preacher of a different Gospel.   As those so rescued we will naturally seek to follow and serve – but NEVER to be rescued, to earn such, to merit it, or gain security…only in response to the rescue that is ours in Jesus.

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counter