Studies in Galatians – Wayne Barber/Part 2
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©2004|
|Would you turn with me to Galatians 1. We’re going to be looking at verse 1 today, and my title of the message will be, “Just Who Is in Charge?”|
Just Who Is in Charge?
Would you turn with me to Galatians 1. We’re going to be looking at verse 1 today, and my title of the message will be, “Just Who Is in Charge?” Let me get you into the context. Now, I know review bothers a lot of people, but I’ll tell you what, I love to fly fish. When you fly fish you just don’t throw into the pool. You throw up into the current and let the fly drift down into the pool. And when you do review, that’s throwing it up into the current and letting it drift down into the pool of what you’re going to share. You’ve got to get into the flow of what’s happening. That’s why I do review.
The appealing deception of religion. And I want to make sure you hear what I’m saying. The deception of religion is such a problem in the body of Christ. It was in Paul’s day and it is particularly in our day of the 21st century. We’d much rather do something for God than we would be a clean vessel through whom God can do His own work. In our introduction to the book of Galatians we saw last time how the churches of southern Galatia bought into this religious works mentality and the apostle Paul is not a happy camper. The deception they bought into had weakened their churches. It had weakened their influence and their witness and had particularly affected the relationships they had with one another.
Interestingly, Paul makes a statement that’s very profound. He says, “You have actually deserted Christ by turning to a religious works mentality.” And I want to make sure that you’re taking note of these statements, because I didn’t make them; Paul did. Look what he says in verse 6 of chapter 1. He says, “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting,” not the message of grace, not the church you attend, he said you are deserting “Him [Christ] who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel,” as if there is another kind of good news. As a result of this turning away, they were upside down. They were troubled. They were disturbed.
Verse 7 says, “which is really not another.” It just shows you there’s not another good news. There is no other gospel. “Only there are some who are disturbing you,” Paul says, “and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” These Galatians were so deceived by the message of works that they were acting as if they had no understanding of what Christianity is to begin with. That’s incredible, isn’t it? It’s kind of like the church business meeting where somebody says, “I don’t know what to do. Maybe we need to pray.” And somebody else said, “Has it come to that?” You see, when you’re in a works mentality who needs prayer? Who needs to walk by grace? And that’s what happens. We begin to live as if we have no understanding of what the Christian life really is.
He says in 3:1, “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?” And that word “bewitched,” of course, means to put you under their spell. They were living as if they were under a spell. Paul had seen them before; he’d seen them walk up under the message of grace. And now they’re living as if they don’t even understand what they were saved by. This deception had so lied to them that now they thought they could perfect themselves by their works. Isn’t it incredible? Jesus and grace is good enough for salvation, but thank you, we’ll take care of it from here. We’ll do our thing and we’ll accomplish sanctification on our own.
And he says in 3:2, “This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?” Of course the answer is obvious, hearing with faith. And then he says in verse 3, “Are you so foolish, having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” You see their decision to go back to this old works mentality, that old law mentality, caused them to destroy their whole testimony.
I want us to make sure we understand this. We can talk about living grace in here and Christ being who He is in our life, but if we walk outside of here, or even within these walls, we choose to do things ourselves and ask God to bless it, we just completely erased any testimony we could have ever had, because if we can do it, then who needs God to start with?
They had once lived under grace and had been persecuted because of it. And Paul reminds them in 3:4, “Did you suffer so many things in vain?” And then, as if he stops and steps back, he says, “if indeed it was in vain.” He’s wondering how many of them understood the message to begin with. And then he says in verse 5, “Does He [Christ], then who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?” Is it because of your trying harder? Now that’s your religious mindset right there. I’ve got to go try harder so that God will love me. That’s religion. That is not grace. He says, “Is it because of your trying harder that God now works His miracles among you?” You see, by their turning back to the law they have put themselves into a bondage they never expected.
In 4:9 he says, “But now that you have come to know God or rather to be known by God.” I can’t wait to get to that phrase. “How is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?” I wonder if it’s occurred to you as it’s occurred to me in studying Galatians that when I go back to doing things for myself and asking God to bless it; when I go back to that mentality of trying harder for Jesus; what happens is I put myself back into an enslavement to the flesh. That is all that religion is. It’s an enslavement to the flesh. And this works mentality dismisses any possibility of any kind of valid testimony of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
All of this had cut Paul to the quick. Here is a man that was once the most religious man that ever walked on the face of this earth. Here’s a man who had been delivered from the very bondage these people had chosen to buy into. And as he watched them do this he said, “What are you doing? I preached to you the message God preached to me that freed me. Why would you want bondage instead of freedom?” It really broke his heart. Chapter 4, verse 11, he says, “I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.” I think that’s the saddest commentary of a preacher wanting people to understand grace and then realizing that they just will not hear it. They’d rather do something for God than relate to Him, that God do something through them.
He says in 4:12, “I beg of you, brethren, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong.” His heart is bleeding for these people. These deceived Galatian believers were now spiritually depleted. If you ever wonder when you’re going through all the ritual of whatever you put yourself up under and there’s no joy in it, I can tell you there is no joy in religion. Religion brings no joy. Jesus produces that in the person of His Spirit within our life. They had lost the spiritual satisfaction they’d once had. And this is what the works mentality does for us.
Paul says in 4:15, “Where then is that sense of blessing that you had?” He’s remembering back; he’s wanting them to remember back. Remember the days you were so full of joy? You loved each other. You dealt with sin as it came up. Where’s that gone? You see, when you buy into that works mentality, which is inbred in all of us, automatically this one disappears. In 5:7 he reminds them. He says, “You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.”
Well it’s a pretty sad story, isn’t it? Now, that’s the picture of the churches that he’s writing to. Not one church, but several churches in southern Galatia. But you know what the beautiful thing is here? There wouldn’t be this epistle if there was not hope. And that’s the beautiful thing about grace; there’s still hope for each of them. Even though they were living as they were living, acting as they were acting, that did not in any way negate who God says that they were. Positionally they’re still the children of God. He says in 4:7, “Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.”
You know what I love about Scripture? It shows us what we really are. What you do or what you do not do does not in any way negate what God says you already are. Now, you may not be enjoying it as a son, but you’re still a child. And as long as we’re children of God—and we will be if we’ve been saved and Jesus has come to live in us—there’s always hope. There’s always hope. The light at the other end of the tunnel is not another train. There is hope. And I love that. With God your glass is always half full, never half empty. There’s always hope with Him. The message of grace sparks the message of hope.
Well, today we begin with verse 1 of Galatians 1. Galatians 1:1, “Paul, an apostle,” and then it’s in parentheses here, “(not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead).” Now we have to understand something. When false doctrine is introduced—and in this case and in most cases in the New Testament, other than Gnosticism, it’s that legalism that gets into the church—when false doctrine is introduced, God’s Word has just been challenged. Somebody needs to step forth, take the truth and turn everything right side up. You see, wrong doctrine turns everything upside down.
Now who’s going to step forward in this situation? The Galatian churches have had error to come into them. Who’s going to step forward? Snd since they’re now upside down, who’s going to take God’s Word and put them right side up? Well, you already know that. Enter the apostle Paul. Don’t you love him? If anybody’s going to be in the midst of a mess it’s going to be the apostle Paul. And he starts off with the most authoritative phrase you can find anywhere in the New Testament. He says, “Paul, an apostle.”
Now that’s like him pulling his badge out and saying, “Paul, an apostle.” And you say, “He says that in every epistle.” No, he does not.. We just studied one and he didn’t use the word in the whole epistle. Why is that? Because when he’s correcting something, when he’s stepping into the midst of error, he pulls his badge out and he says, “Paul, an apostle.” To the Philippian church he did not use that word. He called himself a bondservant and just captured the love that was between all of them. He’s doing something here very specific.
Now we need to understand something. He says “Paul, an apostle.” The word for the apostle, or, or for apostle is apostolos—apo, from; stolo, to send, to be sent from with a message. Now who are these people that were sent forth with a message? Who were these apostles? Ah, can we have apostles today in the same sense they were apostles in the New Testament? I say watch television and I see people who proclaim themselves as apostles. Can we have them today? Can that be possible? Well, I hope you’ll understand the answer to that one by the time we finish today. “Paul, an apostle (not sent from men, nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead).”
The first thing I want you to look at today is the appointment of an apostle, the appointment of an apostle. Now just who appointed an apostle? An apostle’s appointment could not come from men. That’s interesting to me. Several religions have picked up on this today and say that men can commission apostles. No, sir. Paul says “Paul, an apostle, not sent from men, nor through the agency of man.”
Now there are two prepositions he uses here to build his case, to emphasize what he’s saying. One is apo; apo means away from, indicating a source. And then dia, which is the vehicle or agency through which something occurred. Paul says, “I do not have man as my source. My calling did not come through any agency that man would have. There’s no means that man came up with to make me an apostle.” “Paul, an apostle, not sent from men, nor through the agency of man.” Now in the phrase, “not sent from men,” that little word “not”; I know I’ve told you this before, but I know I just need to keep telling you. There are two words in the Greek for “not.” English picks it up one way. There are two words. There are two words for everything I think. One of them is a little word that can mean absolutely not, but only as the context demands it. And sometimes it can be a relative sense, and it’s used as the context directs.
This particular word for “not” we do not have that in our English language. It’s the little word ou, and that means absolutely not in any way, shape or form, never, never, never. And any time you ever see it and you realize it, it just shuts out. It doesn’t matter what the context is. It means not, absolutely, in any way shape or form. So man could not appoint apostles in any way, shape or form. He says no man could have appointed me as an apostle.
If man could not in any way appoint an apostle, then where do these apostles come from? I mean, who appointed these apostles? Well, Paul is very clear, and the verse continues. He says, “Paul, an apostle not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father,” and then notice what he does here. He mentions the resurrection; “who raised Him from the dead.”
Now, the very fact that Paul mentions the resurrected Christ is very significant. To be an apostle in the New Testament, in the sense that Paul was an apostle, was to have been a witness of the resurrection or the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 9:1 it says this: “Am I not free?” Paul says. “Am I not an apostle?” And then he gives the condition. “Have I not seen Jesus, our Lord?” The question may come to your mind: did Paul really witness the resurrected Christ? When? I don’t know where that is in Scripture.
Oh, it’s there, Acts 9. This is after the resurrection, this is after the crucifixion. It’s way down the road now. Acts 9:3: “As he journeyed he came near Damascus [talking about Paul; at this time his name was Saul]. And suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’” I love that passage. That’s like God saying you, you mess with those Christians you’re messing with Me. You’re bothering Me. Because Paul, he didn’t think he was persecuting Jesus; he thought he was just persecuting the Christians.
And Paul said, “Who are You Lord? And then He said, ‘I am Jesus whom you’re persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So he, trembling and astonished said, ‘Lord, what do You want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go into the city and you’ll be told what you must do.’”
Now it is needed to be said that in the times that Paul wrote there were many false apostles. He dealt with them in other epistles, not just in Galatians. But the true apostles were those who were appointed by God Himself. Those who are appointed by God Himself, were those like Paul, and James, those who gave us the New Testament. Galatians 1:1, “Paul, an apostle, not sent from men, nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead.” Now, I hope there’s no question in your mind that an apostle in the sense that Paul was an apostle had to be appointed by the resurrected Christ. They had to be a witness of Him and He had to appoint them.
The second thing I want you to see today as we talk about just who is in charge, is the authenticity of an apostle. You see, an apostle in the days of Paul was not only appointed by Christ, but was authenticated by Christ. They were proven to be God’s apostles. How? The most specific way that they were proven is by signs and wonders and miracles. These were to authenticate who they were.
You see, these apostles were in a class all by themselves. They were a very small, narrow group. And I want to make sure you understand. I’m saying this over and over again. I don’t want you to miss here. None of us will ever, ever, ever be an apostle in the sense that Paul was an apostle. You can use the word generically—sent forth as a missionary—but never in this specific sense of the apostles of the New Testament. If you ever hear me say from this pulpit, “God spoke to me this morning and made me an apostle,” I want you to walk up, take me by the ear and lead me to the nursing home, because something has slipped in this man’s brain.
The apostles like Paul were the ones through whom we have the New Testament. They gave us all of the New Testament books. They’re the foundation. In Ephesians the first three chapters talk about who and whose we are in Christ. It says in Ephesians 2:20, “Having been built upon the foundation, the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus, being Himself, being the cornerstone.”
For years we had a foundation, and there this foundation sat, for three years, at least. And everybody would drive by and say “Well, are they ever going to build anything on that thing?” All we had the money for was to build the foundation. We didn’t need a new foundation, we needed to build on the foundation we already had.
Now why in the world would anybody say that they’re a New Testament apostle in the sense of the apostle Paul? We have the canon; we have everything we need. There they laid the foundation. We’re the building that comes up and rests upon that foundation. They were relegated to a certain time. They were a specific, narrow and small group. Not many people were ever put into the category of an apostle. In Ephesians 3:5 Paul, speaking of the mystery of Christ, says, “which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit.” So the apostles were the people God used to reveal the mystery of Christ. And they in turn wrote it down so that we would have the revelation from them.
God used these men called apostles to give us the doctrine that we have today. He authenticated them however, by signs and wonders. Now this seems to be a topic that everybody likes to talk about today. If you’re looking for a pattern in signs and wonders don’t ever look for it outside of Jesus and the apostles as a pattern. Cannot God do anything He wants to do any time He wants to do it? Absolutely. But when you’re looking for a pattern—if I do this and this and this God will do this—no, sir; you’re totally outside of Scripture.
Let me show you. Look in Hebrews 2:3. If you want to see where the pattern is, this is where we’ll find it. What a marvelous book of Hebrews. I love Hebrews. It says in verse 2:3, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” Now look at the generation here. “After it was first spoken through the Lord [He’s first generation], it was confirmed [and notice the pronouns here] to us,” third generation. Now, who in the world confirmed it to the people that were being written to in Hebrews? It said “it was confirmed to us [third generation] by those [second generation] who heard.”
Now notice, it was first shared by the Lord. Then it was confirmed to us by those who heard. Now who are “those who heard”? Who do they represent? That’s the apostles. Look at verse 4: “God also bearing witness [and look at the pronoun again here] with them [with them; he didn’t say with us] both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.”
Now the phrase “signs and wonders and various miracles” is significant to understand. It simply means that this was the means that God took to affirm and to authenticate His apostles. And I challenge you to study this, the subject of signs and wonders. As a phrase it’s only found ten times in the New Testament. And sometimes it’s not very good.
In Matthew 24:24 it speaks of false prophets seeking to mislead the elect. It says in verse 24, “For false Christ’s and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders so as to mislead if possible even the elect.” Now here’s signs and wonders used to mislead, to deceive. Does it make you feel like you’re in the 21st century all over again?
It’s used with Jesus, but in a very positive way. John 20:31 is the key verse for the whole study of the gospel of John, and it tells you why He came and why He did what He did. It says, “Many other signs did He do, but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ.” You see, it’s just a sign that points to something. You don’t worship the sign. You look to see what it points to.
I was coming back from a revival years ago and we were singing together. Boy, we were having the best time singing. The only problem with that was I was driving and was not paying attention. We were in the mountains of Virginia and there was a sign that said “curve.” You know, when you see a “curve” sign in Virginia, I mean, it gets your attention. And I missed the sign. And thank the Lord He wasn’t through with me yet. We hit a guard rail and went over it and my front wheels hung over it about 100 feet from a ravine down below. I just missed a tractor trailer truck by probably the width of a tire. And it was quite a hair-raising experience.
But, you know, I became appreciative of that sign. I didn’t go back and bow down to it, oh no. I understand now what it was for. It was to point to something. A sign, or a wonder or a miracle is nothing more than a sign that Jesus used in order to authenticate who He was. It pointed to the fact that He was the Son of God. And in the same way He used those with the apostles. The pattern of signs and wonders you will never find in God’s Word as a pattern with anybody except the apostles and with the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who seek signs and wonders are not seeking Christ.
Can I say that again? Those who seek signs and wonders are not seeking Christ. Matthew 12:39 says, “But He answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign, and yet no sign shall be given it, but the sign of Jonah the prophet.’” These signs and wonders were done for a reason, to authenticate who the apostles and who Christ was. And I want you to see in the epistles and starting with Acts really how they are attached to the apostles.
In Acts 2:43, “And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.” Over in Acts 5:12, “And at the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people.” So you’ve got to understand then that the apostles were in a narrow group. To take what God did in their life and force it as a pattern into our life would be to misuse Scripture. There has never been anybody like them. Christ Himself appointed them and Christ Himself authenticated him.
Well, what about places today that echo the same situations that these apostles went into? I have no trouble with that. I have no trouble whatsoever. But to look for it as a pattern, no sir, you cannot find it in the 21st century. We don’t need it because we have Christ, who is the fullness of all the blessing and He is in us. He is the Blesser. Why in the world would somebody go out looking for a blessing when they have the Blesser? It doesn’t make any sense to me.
And so make sure we hear who these apostles are. Just who is in charge? Ah, when the apostles step forward, buddy, he pulled a badge out. He had been appointed by Christ. He had also been authenticated by Christ.
But then finally the authority of an apostle. In Acts 1:1-2 we find that Jesus not only instructed the apostles, but He also, again, called them, chose them. It says “This first account” Luke is writing this. “The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had, by the Holy Spirit given orders [He instructed] to the apostles whom He had chosen.” He chose them and He instructed. Christ chose them, Christ Himself. They were appointed and their authority was in Christ Himself.
I had a friend one time that told me, he said, “I saw the strangest thing on the Interstate.” And of course you can see some strange things on the Interstate. And I said, “What’s that?” He said, “I saw a little man, he couldn’t have been more about 5’5” or 5’6”, and he was standing out in the middle of the Interstate highway. And,” he said, “Wayne, he had two lanes of traffic stopped.” He said, “It must have been 20 some Mack trucks.” He said, “It’s incredible.” I’m thinking to myself, if that had been me they’d have run flat over me. How did he do that? He said, “Well,” and then he smiled, “he had a uniform on and a badge and all he had to do was hold his hand up.”
Now, that’s what I want you to think about. It wasn’t his authority. He had no authority. It was the authority the badge gave him. Now let’s make sure we understand this. These apostles had authority, but that authority was not in themselves; it was in Christ who appointed and authenticated them. The authority is always in Him. It was in the One who gave them the badge as being an apostle. He chose them. He called them. Now He’s delegated to them the responsibility to give the epistles of the Word of God to the church today.
Now, I want you to turn to Matthew 28:18. I’ve heard this thing quoted so many times, but finally I read it. And I found out somebody didn’t understand when they quoted it. I’ve always heard this. It says “All authority has been given to Him.” “He gave it to us.” No sir. Matthew 28:18, “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority, all authority has been given to Me in heaven and [where else?] on earth.” Do you realize He didn’t say all authority has been given to Me and because I love you guys I’m going to give it to you? No sir, He did not. He didn’t say that.
We’ve got to realize the authority is never in man. The authority is in God who lives in man. It’s in Christ. To the degree that the apostles lived in accordance with Christ and His will was to the degree they experienced His authority. That’s the key. Authority has always got to be centered in Christ. Ah, it’s only shared again, but to the degree of a person’s willingness to say yes. In 1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul says, “Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ” and then he adds a phrase, “by the will of God.” In Kittel’s Dictionary of Theological Words, it says that that phrase “by the will of God,” here’s what Paul’s saying: “I am totally submissive to the authority of God in my life and the only way I can exercise any authority is to be submissive to the authority that was delegated to me to begin with.”
So the authority is never in the man. The authority is in Christ. This is why Paul said in Romans 1:1, “I’m a bondservant.” Have you ever stopped to think about the apostle Paul? Some people think he’s an egotist. They don’t have a clue about the apostle Paul. No, sir. You think you’re going to be an egotist when you’re walking down the road and all of a sudden a blinding light hits you and He blinded him for three days and then commissioned him and sent him out? You think that Paul didn’t wake up every single morning of his life wondering, “He could put my eyes out in about two seconds. I have met with the God of creation.” He lived as a broken, surrendered man because God broke him on that Damascus road, changed him completely by the message of His grace and made him one of the greatest preachers in the New Testament.
But he had no authority in himself. His authority was in Christ who delegated to him that assignment. And when he was willing to say yes, then he was authoritative as an apostle during his day. A broken man, a surrendered man, a called, chosen, appointed man; God authenticated him. That time when he was bitten by the snakes and didn’t die, and all the different things that happened to him, that’s not something that has to do with us. That’s what He did with the apostle Paul. But the only time he ever had any authority was according to the measure of his willingness to surrender to the authority that lived within him.
When man assumes an authority of his own instead of bowing before Christ who is the authority—now listen to me—that’s when doctrine’s going to be perverted. I don’t care how intelligent he is. I don’t care how he does it, but if his heart is not surrendered to what he’s saying, somehow that doctrine’s going to be perverted at some point. The false teachers in Galatia assumed authority that was not theirs. And as a result they preached a message that was not truth. And as a result the Galatians listened to them, these men who had no authority. Christ was not empowering them and as a result their lives were upside down.
Now, why must authority always be centered in Christ? John 1:3 says “He created all things” and then it goes on to say, “without Him nothing could be created.” And not only that, He died for His creation. The only one who knows the design, the only one who knows the plan, is the one who’s in authority, and He lives within us. So all authority is in Him.
Well, for a person to wear the badge of the authority of an apostle he had to be appointed, he had to be authenticated by God Himself. And the authority that came forth from him was not from him, but it was from Christ. It was Christ in him. The authority rests in Christ and, and it never rests in man.
So what do we have here? We have the book of Galatians. The Word of God has been challenged. Paul, being submissive to the One who’s in authority, living in him, steps forward, pulls out the badge that this One gave to him and said, “Paul, an apostle,” and he begins to turn that church right side up. “Paul, an apostle, not sent from men, nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead.”
Do we have apostles today? Absolutely not in the specific sense that the apostle Paul was called an apostle. So then who and what is our authority? Same authority he had. It’s the same authority we have, the Lord Jesus Christ: Him, and now His Word; that’s what the authority is. And I want you to understand that when the Word of God is preached, taught, shared, however, that’s what helps people get their lives turned right side up. Error turns it upside down.
And, folks, this is what we’re all about. I understand from time to time I run a little too fast. I use too many Greek words. Hey, let me tell you something. We’re trying to get this church to a point that they absolutely love and crave the Word of God. Why? Because it’s going to keep us right side up. It’s going to keep us right side up, and that’s in every area of our church. It’s going to take a while to do that, but I believe God didn’t send us here, like a guy said, He didn’t teach us to swim to drown us. He’s got something in store. It’s going to take time. It’s going to take time. My desire and my prayer is that every person who stands in a Sunday School class, stands up in the authority of Jesus Christ, which means he’s living a surrendered life, and in the authority of what God has to say. And I want to tell you something, God’s Word will take care of the rest. That’s what we have as an authority today.
Aren’t you glad to pick up this book and know that it was put together by those whom God had appointed and whom God had authenticated, and whom God had expressed His own authority in their life? And now we pick it up and we open it up and without shame, without embarrassment it is God’s Word; we never have to apologize for it. You see, we’re, caught up in something today. We’re caught up in using the world’s ways to accomplish God’s ends. And I want to tell you, that has never worked and it won’t work today. You use God’s means to accomplish God’s ends, and that’s His Word under His authority.
I’m telling you folks, you know what our problem is? Nobody has to document what’s out there in this world. Take this book and put it in the middle of it. This is light. This is life. This was authenticated by the Lord Himself. This is His book and it takes people’s lives and turns them right side up and that’s who steps out and says “Who’s in charge? Who’s in charge?” God and His Word and that’s what puts things on the right path. That’s the apostle Paul. He stepped out and said “Paul, an apostle.” And everybody in the Galatian churches went whoa! And I guarantee you they listened, because he had something to say. And he’s not a happy camper. You see religion, folks, will rob you of every bit of joy you can have just experiencing Christ moment by moment. Works mentality is what your flesh wants. I’m telling you it wants. You’re going to struggle with it, but grace is where the answer is.