TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Galatians 2:1-21
BOTTOM LINE: The Gospel of Grace is NOT: Enslaving; Spiritual or Physical; or Discriminating.
QUESTION: Have we separated our “Spiritual” lives from our daily “Lives?” In other words, are there things we do that are “spiritual” and then the rest of our day/lives?
Have you ever tried to describe something … and to be honest … you were just having trouble? For example …
- Describe the perfect child … we could come up w/ a few characteristics, but it’s way easier to list what the perfect child IS NOT …
- The perfect job … some things we would like … but how many of those are driven about what the perfect job is not?
Theologically … we could add a few of these …
- What is a Christian? … again, we can quickly get a few things that we know … but often times, it’s easier to describe what a Christian is NOT.
- Describe the Trinity … the Father, Son and Holy Spirit … how does that all work? It’s often easier to describe how it DOESN’T WORK … than how it does.
And so one of the things Paul does here in Chapter 2 … as you’ve seen this week if you’ve had a chance to read along with us … is that Paul endeavors to try to describe what GRACE is, but really zeroing in on What GRACE is NOT.
We see some things here like …
- The Gospel of GRACE is NOT … enslaving
- The Gospel of GRACE is NOT … just Spiritual or Physical
- The Gospel of GRACE is NOT … discriminatory
- The Gospel of GRACE is not Enslaving. (2:3-5)
- The Gospel of GRACE is not just Spiritual or Physical. (2:10)
- The Gospel of GRACE is not Discriminatory. (2:1-2; 6-9; 11-21)
ILLUSTRATION: I read of a story about a professor who was teaching his science class at the University level, and began to do an experiment with the students in his class. You see, he pulled out a Jar, and began to place some large rocks into the jar. Is the jar full he asked? To which everyone responded – “Yes” – and then he pulled small smaller gravel – and filled the jar. Once again, he asked – Is the jar full? “Probably not” was the response … Then he pulled out a container of sand, and began to fill the jar full of the sand …and again asked … Is the jar full? Maybe … but maybe not … and finally, he pulled out a pitcher of water and poured it to the to of the pitcher …
The reason I like this illustration is the reminder about what is important in our lives? You see, if you fill your jar full of the little things first, there is no way to get the big rocks into the jar. And that’s the obvious illustration there …
But not so obvious … but even more revealing in my life is how my journey w/ God fits in there … I used to think that God … and my Spiritual Journey needed to be the 1st rock in the jar … the problem with that is a couple things:
- If God is a single rock that can be put in the jar … then he could also be taken out of the jar
- God is only 1 of the many things I the jar … albeit a big rock … but still just a rock.
What I’ve come to experience … the more I am experiencing His Grace and His Presence in my life … the more I’m realizing that my journey of experiencing His Grace is not a single rock … but the WATER … God is equally concerned and equally experienced w/ the BIG ROCKS … and the SMALL ROCKS … and the SAND … and he is truly encompassed in every single area of our lives.
Check out verses 2:11-21 … Here is Peter … eating with some Gentiles … but when some other Jews come along … he becomes fearful of what they might say!
Isn’t it interesting … how Peter can be so courageous 1 minute … and then so fearful the next?
- He JUMPS out of the boat and walks on water 1 minute … and then fearful and sinking the next
- We see him proclaim his allegiance to Jesus … even unto death … and then later that same night, he denies even knowing Jesus 3 times.
How many of us struggle with that too?
One minute … I’m on fire for God … I’m ready to charge Hell w/ a Water Pistol … and the next minute he says to me …
- “Hey Ken, I need you to go pray with that family in the waiting room over there.” But God, I don’t know them! I’m here to pray w/ So-and-So …
- Hey Ken … I’ve deposited some money in your account so you can help this woman in front of you at the store. But God … that would mean I’ve got to put something in my cart back?
I mean … I could camp here all day giving you my own examples here … and it’s such a picture of what we’ve been saying here.
When I’m not living FROM the GRACE of God in my life, I’m trying to work things out and figure them out on my own strength … and that’s when I get fearful … because somehow, some way, I’ve allowed myself to feel In-Charge … and forgotten the Power that comes from living from His GRACE … and allowing Him to be completely in charge.