[00:00:00] Good morning and welcome to central. If you're in this room with me or wherever you're watching from, we are so glad that you've joined us this weekend. If you have a Bible where you turn to Galatians chapter two, Galatians chapter two is we're going to be spending our time together. We're continuing this series the whole spring, really, we're going to spin in the book of Galatians, looking at this letter that the apostle Paul wrote to the churches and this region called Galicia.
And so I'm excited to be here and to talk about chapter two during our time together, I'm going to pray. The God would speak mightily through his word before I pray though, just a couple things that I want to make sure that you're aware of that are happening in our church. And the first one actually already happened yesterday morning at our Mesa campus.
Two high school girls had an idea to host a yard sale for, to raise money for Ukrainian refugees. And so they partnered with Samaritan's purse. And can we throw that picture up? Boom, there it is. Uh, so [00:01:00] Sarah on the left and the yellow shirt is a senior at our Mesa campus. She's really, really involved with CSM with our student ministries.
And Sarah is such an incredible student. She has the biggest heart in the world. That's her friend Sabrina next to her that she goes to school with. And so they had this. Uh, to, to partner with this organization to host this yard sale. So people were dropping stuff off at our Mesa campus last week, all week long.
It was crazy. And they did it yesterday at our Mesa campus and raised $3,000 for Ukrainian refugees, which is very amazing. Amen. Amen. So good job, Sarah. That's so awesome that you were faithful and stepped into that even though it's scary. And I just wanted to make sure that our whole church got to celebrate that and celebrate what God is doing through her and through us.
And even as we talked earlier in the service, All of the crises that are happening in the world. Uh, I'm so encouraged by people that are standing in the gap, people that are willing to take initiative [00:02:00] and step up and meet some needs. And so, uh, great job, Sarah. That's so awesome. Uh, secondly, I want to make sure you're aware of.
Central worship night, it's happening at the Gilbert campus tonight at 6:00 PM. It's for the whole family. Everyone's welcome. And we truly believe that God is doing incredible things in our church. And as we continue to step into the future, we want to be a church family that worships together that comes together to praise God for who he is and for, for what he's done for us.
And so, man, I don't know what's going on in your. I don't know what stuff you're carrying. I don't know what things feel overwhelming to you. I know that they do. And I know that there are those things and for all of us, we're, we're alike in that we're overwhelmed by what life is throwing at us, but I know for sure that we have a good God, that's inviting us into relationship.
And so tonight at the, here at the Gilbert campus at 6:00 PM, we're going to gather, and we're going to. Together. We're going to try to take our energy and our attention off of the wildness of the world and onto the [00:03:00] good God that provides for us. So bring your family, bring your neighbors, bring a stranger, bring a first date.
It might be weird, but maybe not. Maybe God wants to do that in your life. I don't know. I'm not going to count it out. So we would just love to see you here at 6:00 PM. Let me pray for us. And then we'll jump in. God. Thanks so much for these few moments that we have now in your word. And. Uh, God, I fully believe that this is still worship.
We don't have to be singing to worship God that as we, as we come before your word Lord, that the holy spirit is moving. That your word is alive. That it's active, that it changes everything for us. And so I asked that you'll do that now in the next few minutes, um, for every single person listening to this God where we are in our lives right now that you would, that you would disrupt us, that you would interrupt us with your news.
Uh, we love you so much. We're so thankful for this truth that we get to talk about today. And it's only because of you. So he prayed all these things in [00:04:00] Jesus name. And everybody said, amen. When I was in junior high, I tried out for the basketball team, Parkside junior high, shout out pie, Fonz. You know what I mean?
Normal, Illinois. That's my hometown. It's a bummer for a hometown to be named that. But here we are. So try claps for normal Illinois. Okay. Why not? Huh? Yeah, that's amazing. I tried out for the basketball team and just want to quickly walk you through the process. Cause I think it'll set up our idea. Well, for what I want to talk about regulations too.
So try out started on Monday afternoon after school and you would come to the gym and for like two hours, you would be running. And these different exercises to try to show off the talents that you had or didn't have, and then you would, within the tryout, we would just play basketball. We would scrimmage.
We would just like get break up into teams and play. The interesting thing about basketball tryouts is that you're not playing basketball really. Like you normally would, if you were just in a gym with your friends, right. You're, you're playing [00:05:00] basketball to try to be. You're playing basketball so that the coach sees you doing things.
So you'll, you'll make a pass that you may not normally make. Maybe you would, but either way, you're like, did he, did he see that a coach see that? And rather than just playing the game, you're trying to be noticed. You're trying to make a team. You're trying to be impressed. So we would do that Monday afternoon and then Tuesday, we would come to the gym before school because there would be a piece of paper or two pieces of paper with all of the names that made the first cut of the basketball tryout.
So let's say you started off with 35 or 48th graders. We'd come the next day and there'd be 20 or 25 names on a list. And you knew if your name was on the list you were supposed to come back for the second day of tryouts on Tuesday. If your name wasn't on. Better luck next year. You know what I mean?
Like there wasn't a lot of follow-up. It was like, maybe learn an instrument. I dunno, maybe this isn't for you. And then Tuesday afternoon we would come back and we would have the second day of trial. So it was more of the same drills, [00:06:00] scrimmaging, trying to be noticed, trying to seem like you're good at basketball.
And then you would come back Wednesday morning and you would have this ominous walk into the gym with all the guys that made the first cut. And there would be one piece of. With the 12 tribes of Israel, just kidding. The 12 people, Bible joke. Hello. The 12 people that made the team. And again, if your name wasn't on that list, it wasn't like here come into the office and talk to the coach about how to improve.
It was like move on with your life by you. Didn't make it go to first hour and don't be too sad, you know, like that's how it works. And when I think about basketball, It makes me think about us and how we live our lives. Cause the same way that sometimes when you're trying out for a sport or you're trying out, you're auditioning for something.
You're not really in that moment, you're not really present. You're trying to be noticed. You're trying to seem like you're good enough. You're trying to be important enough to make the team. And I wonder with our lives and [00:07:00] as it, as it relates to our faith in Jesus, sometimes rather than just living in the freedom that we have in Jesus, where we're still trying to make the team, we're still living our lives.
Trying to be noticed, trying to seem important, trying to be notable. We're trying to be impressive at work so that our boss can finally see how brilliant we are and we'll get that raise or promotion. Or we want to stand out to gain some sort of status or a claim with that guy or that girl or that group or the internet, God help us all, like we're trying to gain some sort of popularity or we want to keep our yards in pristine condition.
Maybe not because our passion is landscaping, but so that our neighbors will look at our yards and be like, I bet their whole lives are perfectly put together. And we live in Arizona. So that just means we have like different rock formations, one of our house, there's no grass what's happening. Right. Like, look at my rocks and [00:08:00] one weird desert plant.
That just sucks. You know what I mean? Like it's sweet. Fill in the blank for yourself. I don't know what it is for you, but I know that we're all guilty of this rather than just playing basketball. We're playing basketball, trying to make the team trying to be noticed, trying to be important. We just want to see our name written on that list.
We want to be applauded for what we're doing. This presents a bit of a problem when it comes to our faith in Jesus. Obviously the problem is at least two fold. The first part of this problem is that when we're so performance driven and achievement driven, we tend to add rules and religious expectations into following Jesus that Jesus came specifically to free us from.
We tend to put back on the handcuffs of religion and these rigid kind of rule-based faith. Those very handcuffs that were broken off by the cross by [00:09:00] Jesus, death, and resurrection. And we put that weight on ourselves. We hold that. We carry that. We put that weight on. See, our problem is the same problem at this church.
These churches and Galatians 2000 years ago were facing. And it's, this is so hard to believe that all we need to be saved. All we need to live lives of purpose and meaning is to put our faith in what Jesus has already done. All. We need to be safe. Has already been done for us. And it's so contradictory to everything that our culture preaches and stands for.
Right? Because everything's about earning everything's about being good enough. Everything's about making the team or getting the job or getting the girl or getting the guy. And we gotta be impressive to do that. We gotta be noticed to do that, but to put it simply as it comes to the gospel of Jesus, all you need already.[00:10:00]
There is no team that you have to try to be impressive enough to make. There are no tryouts you don't have to apply. And this is really good news, but for thousands of years, human beings just like me. And just like you have been complicating this good news with competition and comparison and added rules and added disqualifiers and qualifiers.
And that's the thing that Paul is speaking directly against in the letter to these Galatians churches. And I'm thankful that he was so vocal. 'cause it's the same good news that we need to hear again today. The second part of the problem with living life, like it's a junior high basketball tryout is that if there are only 12 spots on the team than the other people in our lives, aren't someone to be saved, but they're a threat to our.
Right. Like if the gospel of Jesus only has space for 12 people or a hundred people or a thousand people, then all of a sudden we're threatened by outsiders. We're skeptical of [00:11:00] anything new. If someone new comes into the picture or something new comes into the picture, even if it's from God, we tend to reject it because it might hinder our chance to make the team.
It might threaten. Our reality for ourselves. And so we reject anything. That's new. Let me tell you, man, if the gospel of Jesus only has room for 12 people, then it's really not that good of news, because I'm going to tell you right now, I'm not making that team. I'm not in the top 12 in case you're wondering my wife's like amen and amen, man.
Thank God. There isn't a limited amount of. And once we can turn the corner on that in our lives and in our churches, we start to realize that there's room for everybody in this good news. See the world wants us to think of success and joy and even religion as, as a limited opportunity with limited spaces.
But Jesus offers something so much bigger than that. [00:12:00] All we need already happened. Let's jump into Galatians two. We're going to pick it up right there at the beginning in verse. Paul continues his letter to the glacier churches this way. Then after 14 years, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas taking Titus along.
Also, I went up according to a revelation and presented to them the gospel I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those recognized as leaders, I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running. Verse three, but even Titus, but not even Titus who was with me was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek, this matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus in order to enslave us.
But we did not give up and submit to these people for even a moment so that the truth of the gospel would be preserved for you. I love that. First six now, from those recognized as important, what they once were makes [00:13:00] no difference to me. God does not show favoritism. They added nothing to me. On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter was for the circumcise, since the one at work and Peter for an apostleship to the circumcised was also at work in me.
Paul says for the Gentile. When James and CFUs and John, those recognized as pillars acknowledge the grace that had been given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to me and Barnabas agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they, to the circumcised. They asked only that we would remember the poor, which I made every effort to.
Here's what I'm going to do in the next few minutes that we have together. I want to frame our time by looking at three different people or people, groups that we just read about in those verses. So each point we'll focus on someone's specific and I'm hoping that we'll see ourselves in these verses that by the holy spirit power, we can start to [00:14:00] draw parallels from these people and Galatians two to our lives here.
And now the first person we're going to look at is. Did you see Titus, this name popped up a couple of times in these verses. You may not understand that the cultural and grace significance of Titus being in the picture. So let's unpack it. Now we see him right there in verse one, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas taking Titus along also.
And then in verse three, it says, but not even Titus who was with me was compelled to be circumcised, even though he. Uh, Greek. See, Paul gets this revelation to go to Jerusalem. He's for 14 years, he's been traveling around and preaching the gospel and doing these incredible things. And he's going to all different types of people, all different genders, all different races, all different social classes.
And he's telling them, Hey, the grace of Jesus, the good news of what Jesus did on the cross for all humankind includes you. You get to be free because [00:15:00] of what Jesus did for you, but we're not the right race. Doesn't matter. But we're women in this culture says women, does it matter? We're this we're not rich enough or it's all good under the grace of Jesus.
Everybody gets to be included. And so Paul's like coming to Jerusalem, which is the Jewish capital of the world. And he's talking to the leaders. They're like, Hey, as my gospel lining up with what you guys are saying, not because he doesn't have faith in it, but because Paul cares this much about the unity of the church and the unity of the leadership of the church.
And he's like, I want to make sure you guys are preaching this all inclusive gospel that I am too. And rather than, rather than coming to Jerusalem with a theological PowerPoint or some doctrinal statement, Paul brings Titus. Paul brings an object lesson. He brings a living breathing example of the fact that the good news of Jesus goes beyond cultural and racial lines.
This is absolutely huge for [00:16:00] us to understand. As, as Kyle has talked to us about, this was a massive point of division in the early church, and specifically in the Galatians churches, this was a huge debate. Is the gospel really enough on. Is the gospel enough is Jesus plus nothing else enough to justify us.
And rather than coming to Jerusalem with some well-thought-out theories and thoughts, Paul brings a person. Paul immediately raises the stakes by bringing Titus. Paul is making the claim that Jesus plus nothing else is big enough to reach the gin. That we don't need to put some religious pressure or religious guidelines around the Gentile people or any one else in order for them to meet Jesus or be filled with the holy spirit to put it another way.
All Titus needs already happened in the life and the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even though he was a Greek [00:17:00] look back at verse three, he says not even Titus who was with me was compelled. To be circumcised, even though he was a Greek against my better judgment, we're going to make sure that we're all on the same page with understanding the importance of what circumcision meant to the Jewish people and consequently to the early church.
See all the way back at the beginning, when God comes to Abraham father Abraham. Before he was famous and he comes to, and he says, Hey, I'm going to establish this covenant between me Yahweh God and the Hebrew, the Israelite people, your offspring. And he sets this. He sets this marker of the covenant circumcision with Abraham all the way back.
Beginning. And so God's covenant between him and the Hebrew people would be signified by circumcision. So every Hebrew boy after they were born would have the four skin cut off of their penis to mark their covenant between them and their family. And God [00:18:00] here. I'll just show you what I mean, it might be better if I'm just kidding.
Look at you. Oh, it was amazing. I have enough to do tomorrow. I don't want 9 million emails. How could you also, I'm just an eight year old. So if I have to say penis on stage, I have to cut through the tension somehow pun intended. Anyway, it doesn't matter. So let's focus. So this, this marker of the covenant, the circumcision, this is my job.
This is such a weird life that I live, but. Circumcision went on for centuries and centuries and centuries within the history of the Israelite people. And by this point in first century, Ady when Paul's writing this letter, circumcision is the main indicator of whether or not someone is in covenant relationship with God or not.
So every Hebrew you would never have foregone this, this tradition, this ritual, that was a really big. As Titus [00:19:00] meeting Jesus and being filled with the holy spirit enough on its own, or does he need to be circumcised to fulfill his covenant with God? Is the gospel really all that. Or is it Jesus on the cross plus some religious customs and rituals?
Is it Jesus plus church attendance. That's what gets you on the team? If that Jesus plus complete purity before marriage, is that Jesus plus a perfect tithing history. Is this really all that we need? Just a faith in what Jesus has already done for us to put it another way. Are there. Is there an application?
Do I have to submit an essay? Do you need a copy of my W2 and Titus involvement in this story answers the question emphatically, all you need already happened and the life and the death and the resurrection of Jesus. And that Jesus died to make a way for all people, not just for some [00:20:00] people are good.
People are connected. People are successful people. We, we aren't under the weight of this religious ritualistic rule any longer we can take the handcuffs off, you have everything. I look back at verse four with me really quickly. Paul says this matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, in order to enslave us, if I'm honest, these false brothers make more sense to me, this is human, right?
Like this makes sense in my head. I'm still just trying to make the basketball. I gotta be good enough. I gotta be important enough. I got to jump through these hoops. I gotta check these boxes. I mean, surely it's not just as simple as freedom in Jesus, right? It can't be that simple. Is there a yearly fee?
Do I have to go into some weird side room and hear a presentation before I get to get on the boat? Like, what are we really talking about here? What's the catch? [00:21:00] And Paul says clearly, no, no, no. There is no catch. All you need already. Titus had a seat at this table, even though he was a Greek, he didn't have to fall in line with this enslavement of religion.
He didn't have to put back on the weight of the old covenant, because Jesus is enough. We think this letter was written around 50 or 55, a D and Paul is already say, Titus has all he needs in the past tense. And so 2000 years later, how much more solidified is this good news in Jesus for you? And for me, how past tense is this hope in this gospel?
Why are we still trying to make the team? Why are we still working so hard to be good enough when Jesus says no, no, no, even though you're a Greek, you get to sit at this.
All that you need already happened. You're free in Jesus' name, even though you've been divorced, [00:22:00] even though you're struggling with that addiction and losing, even though you're in a mountain of debt, even though you've battled depression for years, even though you don't come from the right family. This good news is for you.
There's no exception. There's no asterisk on cross, regardless of what any person or church or Christian has disqualified you because of look at me, there is room for you in this gospel, no matter what, there's no prerequisite that you have to take first. There's no religion that you have to master. It's just Jesus.
For my visual learners, we're going to provide a few line graphs for today. I wasn't going to draw what you thought I was going to draw because I don't want to get fired, but I will do some math. Cause I love math. Just kidding. I don't. So here's a line graph. It's going to be really simple because I know it's still the morning and we [00:23:00] haven't had proper meals yet.
So on this is this called an access, any math minds in the room? Close enough. Okay. So on this axis we have freedom in Christ and down here we have room for everyone. Now watch this. It's going to.
Simple enough, huh? Look at it for a minute though. I mean, think about this. The more freedom that we have in Jesus and the more we understand and come to grips with the freedom that we have in Jesus than the more room there is for everyone in this. God. If it's not about me being good enough, if it's not about me having a perfect track record, if it's not about me being impressive so that I get to have my name written on that list.
If it's just Jesus, if it's just him and the freedom that he bought from me on the cross, then there's room for everyone, even me and my long CVS receipt of sins and shortcomings and [00:24:00] people that I've. And bridges that I've burned and mistakes that I've made. And I'm the one with the microphone. I mean, if there's freedom in Christ, then there is room for everyone in this gospel, but you see how it works in reverse, right?
That the more it's about religion, the more it's about you have to give this much, you have to do this much. You have to be this good. Then all of a sudden there's less and less room for. The walls start to get tighter and more people are pushed out. More. People are discounted, more people are left in the dust and don't get me wrong.
Come into church is a good thing. Church attendance is awesome. I work here. I'd love for you to keep coming. Tithing. All these things are beautiful. Acts of worship. The God has instituted, but you don't need that perfect record to make it all you need is freedom and Jesus. And if that's true, bless you. If that's true, then regardless of what you have done or has been done to you, there's room for you in this [00:25:00] gospel, even for Titus.
And he was a Greek, the second group, we're going to look out of these verses. I'm going to call the recognized ones. Did you see this pattern pop up a few times in verse two, Paul says. I went up according to a revelation and presented to them the gospel I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those recognized as leaders, verse six now, from those recognized as important verse nine, when James and CFUs and John, those recognized as pillars.
So what can we learn from those who get recognized? Why are the important ones included in this. Look back at verse six with me, Paul says now from those recognized as important, what they once were makes no difference to me. God does not show favoritism. They added nothing to me. On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter was for the circumcise.
Now Paul's not knocking them. Paul's not trying to tear them down. He's simply making the point that there is no hierarchy under [00:26:00] the. That those who are recognized as important, don't get more access to the gospel than me or you. They don't get a different gospel than me or you. And this kind of thinking can feed into our view of limited grace.
We're back to basketball trials. If only the important ones make the team, then I got to work really hard to make sure I'm one of the important ones. And Paul's continuing to build his argument seems to cut right through that. He says what they once were makes no difference to me. He's not making a distract.
He's just stating the fact that Peter and James and John don't have access to the gospel differently than Titus does or differently than I do. Or then. That there is no ranking. There is no hierarchy. And again, I know this is tough for us because our culture, our culture, good job saying that our culture is all about hierarchy.
It's all about ranking. It's all about the levels of importance that you are. Aren't in those levels of importance, either qualify you [00:27:00] or disqualify you, but Paul 2000 years ago is making the argument that no, no, no. If Jesus did this for some of us, he did it for all of us and we're all completely helpless.
If not for him dying on the cross that we might have worth and purpose in life. That there is no, some of us got pretty close on our own and then Jesus just needed to kick us over the edge. No, we all did a terrible job at living our lives. With purpose left to ourselves, to put it another way. I have a three-year-old we've all kicked everything over in every room that we've ever been in and Jesus shows up and puts it back together and puts us back together.
And either that's enough for all of us or it's enough for none of us. God does not show favoritism in his. So what team are we trying to make? What brand are we trying to build? I looked up how to get verified on Twitter because I thought it was time. I have like 45 followers. And[00:28:00]
now I was just curious, like, how does Twitter define, who gets to have a blue check mark by their name since that's. And there's three big components that Twitter deems worth verifying your, your Twitter account has to be authentic and notable and active. You have to actually be the person or the organization that you're claiming to be.
And within that personal organization, you have to be a big enough deal for it to matter. Like, if there is a blue check mark next to my name, people like never heard of that. Who cares move on. Right. So it has to be notable. And then you've got to be active. You have to have an active presence on Twitter because we need more tweets in this world.
What's interesting to me about this process is that the only way to be verified on Twitter is to already be notable, like to get in, to get the blue check mark. I have to already be a big enough deal. I have to already be [00:29:00] important. And I wonder if this mindset has played into how we view our lives, that for us to be good enough for us to see our name written on that list, that we made the team that we matter, that we're important in.
That that's the ultimate goal. We gotta be noticed. We gotta be notable. We have to develop a following. We have to bring all these things to Jesus and go, okay, here's all my stuff. Am I good enough? Here's all the stuff that I collected. Here's all my goods and my resources is this enough for verification?
In 2000 years ago before the internet, before phones way before Twitter. Thank God Paul already sees this trend enough to write it to the churches in Glacia. He's trying to fight this desire to develop a hierarchy in the kingdom of God. We're not here to get verified on Twitter. We're not here to make a basketball team.
Everything that we need has already been established in Jesus name. And it happened the same for every single. [00:30:00] God doesn't want you to be a bad version of somebody else. There's enough gospel for you. This good news in Jesus is big enough for you. There's room. I love in verse six, Paul says, God, doesn't show favoritism.
And the literal translation in the Greek is that God doesn't receive the face of men so much more dramatic. God doesn't receive the face of men. In other words, God's not impressed. Paul is so keenly aware of how all of humankind himself included have underperformed. He's so aware of his need for purpose and power and grace outside of himself that he's like, I'm not going to be wowed by anyone's earthly status.
We don't get to verify ourselves the blue check mark isn't ours to give and to take we're verified because Jesus is verified and he made space for us to, there is no favorites. And the gospel [00:31:00] let's do another graph. You're ready. Okay.
Some miracle. The thing hasn't folded off the stage yet. Okay. Same thing. Same idea. Right. But it's going to be really different this time. Just kidding. It's not okay. Straight up. Boom. Again, look at this for a minute. The more we understand the deeper we can grasp the idea that Jesus doesn't rank us, that God doesn't have a depth chart.
An org. That grace verifies all of us, that Jesus and what he did on the cross has verified all of us. All of a sudden there's room for everybody in this school. Maybe this'll help. I'll show you another representation. So Jesus is like the ultimate human being. Right. Completely perfect. Never sinned didn't need justification from anyone else.
So Jesus is like off the charts. He's way up here. Right? He's doing great for himself. He's way up at the top. Perfect needs. No, grace. He would be the first one ranked [00:32:00] if there was a ranking. So would, would you put yourself up here? I wouldn't. Oh, let's just do this. What about Paul? Because Paul says in Romans that all have fallen short, that all have sin.
So Paul would put himself below Jesus, but I mean, he's Paul. He wrote some of the Bible. That's pretty freaking cool. So let's put Paul like right here as I think I'm, I'm probably lower than Paul, because I can't even write that well at all. It's hard for me to read sometimes and do math. And so I'm a little bit lower than Paul.
I'm going to put myself, but, you know, I try my best. I love my kids. So. So, what about you? Where would you put your X? Would you like, do you see how stupid this is? If this is the goal, ultimate righteousness, this is what it takes to have relationship with God than anything below this already disqualify as all of us.
So whether you think your ex would be here or here, if you think you're better than Paul watch out, or if you're like lower than me or wherever you would put yourself, either we all need Jesus. The same and God [00:33:00] ranks us all worthy because he ranks Jesus worthy or he ranks none of us worthy. And let's take the cross off of our buildings and move on with our lives.
But if this is true, that God doesn't rank us, that there's no order under the gospel, then all of a sudden there's room for everybody here, because it was never about being notable. So that you'd be verified. You're already verified a really notable savior, came all the way down to bring you home. And that's always been enough and it's enough now.
And it'll be enough for all time. You already have all that you need.
God doesn't show favoritism. Thank God. The last person we're going to got in these verses is Paul himself. I love how fired up Paul is in verse five. He's not backing down. He's not wavering. He says this, but we did not give up and submit to these people even for a moment so that the truth of the gospel would be preserved for you, Paul, to put it simply as really [00:34:00] stubborn about this good news.
And I'm really thankful that he. I think if we look back on Paul's introduction to Jesus, we see a really interesting thing that I think directly points to why he was so stubborn about it. I know we talked about this a couple of weeks ago, but I want to show you again, acts chapter nine. Paul is on his way to a town and it says this as he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him, falling to the ground.
He heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting? Paul was running in the opposite direction. And then God knocked him off of his donkey. And I don't know if he was on a donkey, but neither do you. And so God knocked him over with his heavenly light, literally knocked him off of his feet.
And I've never had that type of lesson from God that strongly. But I would imagine when that happens to you, you tend to remember it. And the reason I showed you these verses. Paul was called into this life, even though he was on [00:35:00] the wrong path, literally he was on the wrong road. He was going the wrong direction and God calls Paul directly out of his life of sin and hatred and anger, even though he wasn't notable already, he wasn't good enough already.
He hadn't been verified, but God in a snap verifies him under the weight of the gospel. And Paul had no choice, but to change the entire course of. Based on nothing that he did on his own merit. God doesn't call us once we've been made, right. He's made everything right past tense and he called us into it.
He's called us to do things, to love our spouse, to love our kids, to give our money away, to do a yard sale, to raise money for people he's called us into life, but you've been verified. All that Paul has done was actually what God was doing in him. And through him, look back at these verses verse two, Paul says I went up according to a revelation.
So this trip wasn't even Paul's idea, verse seven, [00:36:00] they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel. He's been given this. Verse eight since the one at work and Peter was at work also in me that God is working through him. And then in verse nine, it says when they acknowledged the grace that had been given to me, everything that is notable verifiable about Paul's life was done for him in him and through him, he has no Notability on his own.
And the same story is true for you and for me.
So what team are we trying to.
What following are we trying to build? Paul is so aware of exactly how undeserving he was, that it made it easy for him to make room for others.
There's no verification, steps or processes. It's just grace. It's just Jesus. All we need [00:37:00] already had. Let me show you one more graph. I know you're just dying for it. Okay.
See the less you understand your daily need for grace as a church, as a body of believers as a cold. The less we understand our daily need for grace, not one-time grace, no like inhaling and exhaling. We need grace to sustain us, to revive us, to move us forward every minute of every day, the less we understand that grace, the less room we'll make for everyone else in the sky.
The more, our nature will want to put some rules and regulations around it. The more verification steps we'll want to add the harder we'll want to make the tryouts for those trying to meet Jesus. But if like Paul, if we can have a [00:38:00] clear understanding of men, everything that's notable or verifiable about my life was done for me was done in me, was given to me if God can even use.
And there's room for everyone in this gospel. And I'm thankful that Paul proclaimed this good news because we need the news. Now as much as they did, then I want to close quickly with a verse from another letter that Paul wrote in Romans two verse four. Cal references first, earlier in this series, but I think it's worth repeating.
Paul says, or do you despise the riches of his kindness, restraint and patience? Not recognizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance. You might know the word repentance literally means to change your mind, to turn around to reverse course. And Paul is the patron Saint of repentance because he [00:39:00] was literally going the wrong way.
He was on the road, misguided and God interrupted his life and he changed his mind. He turned around, he reversed course, and the same invitation is available to you today. You don't have to be good enough to make the team. You don't have to have the steps checked off with how to be verified. You just have to say yes, you have to be willing to change your mind to turn.
To get your eyes off of the world and off of yourself and off of this stuff, that's overwhelming and onto Jesus and the good news that comes from his life and his death and his resurrection. And it was enough then it's enough now. And it'll always be enough. All you need already happened. The only thing yet to be determined is whether or not you're going to say yes, whether or not you're going to step into the relationship that he's made you.
Regardless of what you're [00:40:00] carrying, what you've gone through. There is room for you in this gospel. Let's pray together. God, we're so thankful for who you are.
I'm thankful for this good news. God, because if this isn't true, I have no hope I have no purpose. I have no idea. I have no chance at life everlasting. So thanks for Jesus and what he did for us. Thanks for Paul's faithful witness and his stubbornness to hold true to the good news. God, I pray for everybody listening that you would challenge us with this, that you would encourage us with this, that you would move us closer to yourself.
We love you so much. We want to be better. Help us God to understand the freedom that we have in. We love you so much. Pray this in Jesus name. Amen. Thanks.