09 Jun 2024

Keep In Step With The Gospel [Galatians 2:11-14]


Paul brings the defence of the gospel he preaches to a climax, when he spoke of how he rebuked Apostle Peter when Peter was not walking in step with the truth of the gospel. Paul would not allow anyone to misunderstand that Jesus alone is not enough for salvation, and that it must be supplemented with laws and regulations. The gospel can be threatened in current times here in Singapore too, in at least these 3 ways. 1. Testimonies. Instead of focusing on how Jesus forgives us and changes us in holiness, Christendom today is dominated by testimonies of health and wealth, success and prosperity. It is not that God cannot give His people health and wealth, but when our testimonies are predominantly rooted in success or prosperity theologies, it confuses the true gospel- for the gospel is not about "get rich" or "get well", but it's to "get right!" Jesus calls us to "lose our life" for His sake, & not "live our best life now. " Let our conversations, teachings, prayer and thanksgiving therefore be more about "holiness", and not so much about "happiness" (in a superficial way). 2. Tongues. There are some quarters who teach that if you do not speak in tongues, you are not saved (for they say, you do not have the Holy Spirit). This is wrong, and it confuses the gospel.   3. Table of the Lord. A new teaching that taking the Lord's Supper heals you of physical ailments is sheer superstitious voodoo unsubstantiated by the Bible. It also distracts people from the remembrance of the gospel. Like Paul's defence of the gospel, let's learn that we need clarity, commitment and courage in our day too. May God help us to keep in step with the gospel and to defend the gospel well.



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Now this week I read about this famous waterfall in China. This is Yuntai Mountain Waterfall in central Henan, China. This is the tallest waterfall in China, measuring 312 meters. It's located in a UNESCO Geopark and every year millions of visitors would come and pay a visit to catch a glimpse of the glorious sight of this waterfall.

Now it came into the news this week because I read about a hiker who managed to send a drone up there and capture a video of what's happening at the top of this waterfall. And the video footage showed that the waterfall was actually supplemented by a man-made pipe built into the rock face of the waterfall. And so this became viral. The origin of Yuntai Waterfall is just some pipes went all over social media and netizens were saying, how could it now be still called the number one waterfall in China?

Well this was a glorious waterfall. But when you realize that this is not a true waterfall but supplied and supplemented by human pipes, it's not so glorious anymore, isn't it?

We are, as a church, focusing on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that the Gospel is a Gospel of glory. It's a Gospel of magnificence, of beauty because it speaks of God's grace and generosity to send His Son to save us from all our sins. It's a glorious message. That's what the Apostle Paul had been saying and teaching. He tells everyone that Jesus Christ, God's Son, died and rose again to save man from our sins. And there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. This is a glorious message of grace. Jesus paid it all. There's nothing we can add to it.

But false teachers crept into the church at ancient Galatia and said that Jesus is not enough. It's as if saying the waterfall is not beautiful enough. You've got to supplement water pipes. You've got to add to it circumcision. You've got to add to it festivals. You've got to add to it the law. Now, it's not saying that these things are bad, as I've always been saying, but they become bad if you depend on these things to earn salvation before God.

So they say Jesus is not enough. Jesus plus something is what is needed in order for you to be saved. The Apostle Paul absolutely rejects this. Because the Gospel brings glory to God and it should not be tainted or corrupted or reduced in any way. So he maintains saying Jesus plus nothing is what you need to be saved. Jesus alone is enough.

Now the Galatians must be wondering, who should I believe, Paul or the false teachers? Of course, they won't call them the false teachers, but Paul or this gang of people. So Paul wrote Galatians to tell them, my message is authentic. My message is from God Himself. My message is from a revelation of Jesus Christ and I did not receive it from men. And we also learned that in the last message, this is a message after 14 years that is corroborated and endorsed by the Jerusalem Apostles as well.

So that's a recap of the past three weeks. Today, Paul ups the ante, as it were, in proving the reliability and authority of the Gospel message he preaches by sharing a story of confrontation between himself and Apostle Peter. In essence, Paul is saying the Gospel is so reliable and authoritative that I would rebuke Apostle Peter when he deviated from it.

So we see that, for example, in verse 11 in Galatians chapter 2. But when Cephas, that is the Aramaic name for Peter, Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned. Why? Because his conduct, their conduct, was not in step with the truth of the Gospel. So the big idea of these four verses is that Paul proves the reliability and the authority of the Gospel he preaches when he rebuked Peter for being out of step with the truth of the Gospel.

Keep In Step With The Gospel

So I'd like us, in these minutes or time that we have, to look at what it means to keep in step with the Gospel. Three movements in this story.

1. The Freedom

Number one, we notice a certain freedom. The freedom for Paul (pastor meant Peter or Cephas) to eat with the Gentiles. Now, he was eating with the Gentiles. In the Greek, this is in a imperfect tense, meaning this is something continuous. This is something that he's doing regularly. It's not just one meal he had. But this was the practice of Paul (pastor meant Peter or Cephas), to eat with the Gentiles.

Now to us, no big deal eating with people of all races and backgrounds here in Singapore. But for a Jew, this is no, this is taboo. This is earth-breaking, earth-shattering, that a Jew and an apostle to the Jews should eat with Gentiles. Because the Jews have very strict laws, kosher laws, and they consider the Gentiles an unclean people. Gentiles are non-Jews.

So we read, for example, in Scripture, that this is the mindset of a Jew. It is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation. They're not going to be very good tourists. They don't like to be with other people, in a sense, because they understand that they are clean and the Gentiles are unclean.

We read also in Acts 11, the circumcision party, criticized Peter, saying, You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them. So for Paul ((pastor meant Peter or Cephas) to now eat with the Gentiles is something remarkable. There is now a freedom that Paul (pastor meant Peter or Cephas) is living in. No need to be restricted or refrained from the Gentiles, but to be able to eat with them. Why? Because we must understand in chapter 2, verses 1 to 10, the apostles together with Paul had already understood that the Gentiles are forgiven and saved and brought into the same family because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus died and rose again to save them from their sins and now we are one.

So Paul understands that the Gospel sets us free from these rules and laws and rituals that we are saved and justified by Christ alone. So now the Jews and Gentiles can be one and they can eat together and fellowship together. So this meal is a tremendous witness to the sufficiency of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gentiles don't need to be a Jew to be saved anymore. The Gentiles just need to believe in Jesus to be saved. And this meal is a testimony of the uniting power of the Gospel.

So Paul or Paul is saying Peter was living in a certain freedom. He understood the Gospel and did not compel himself nor the Gentiles in another certain way of living. The Gospel sets them free. But this freedom is not long lived.

2. The Fear

It's threatened when there was a fear. In Chinese we say, 好景不常在, 好花不常开. Basically good sceneries don't last forever and flowers don't always bloom. Basically good times don't last and certainly, certainly in this case, the freedom that Peter had was dissipated the moment fear came in.

We read, for before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles. But when they came, he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. We do not know exactly who are these certain men from James. This James most likely is James who is the pillar of the church that was mentioned earlier in chapter 2. These men came, we do not know why they came. Was it because they heard something about the way Peter was living or about the news, about the Galatian Christians? We do not know, but they came.

And when Paul saw or Peter saw that they came, he was fearful. He was fearful perhaps about a certain group with them, the circumcision party. Most likely this refers to people who insist that the Gentiles must also be circumcised before they can be accepted into the church. Peter now fears.

We are not told what he was fearing. Did he fear what they would say? Did he fear that he would lose his apostleship, his status, his reputation? Did he fear that they would persecute him or his family or the Christians back in Jerusalem? We do not know, but he feared and he drew back.

Can't help but be reminded how Peter also feared when he denied Christ before the cock or before the cock crows. And we are reminded of the verse in Proverbs, the fear of man lays a snare. But here Peter cowered. He was not acting according to his convictions anymore. He was acting out of fear.

So the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him. Now the word hypocriticall,y is the word pretentious, which means they acted in a way that is different from what they really believed. So their convictions were that it is actually in the Gospel of Christ, perfectly legitimate for us to fellowship with the Gentiles. But out of fear, they did not act according to their convictions. They withdrew and separated from the Gentiles. And they were influenced by Peter. And not only the rest of the Jews, that Paul would also mention that even Barnabas was led astray, carried away by their hypocrisy.

Now you must understand, Barnabas is not any ordinary folk, as it were. He is a good man. We are told in Acts that he was the one when everyone else was avoiding Paul. He was the only one who had the courage to take in Paul and to minister to him and to help him, or if I may say, disciple Paul in the early days.

In Acts 11 we are told that Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. We just read in chapter 2 and verse 5 how Barnabas was with Paul when he stood up against the false brothers who insisted on circumcision. But this is the Barnabas who is also led astray because Peter acted out of fear.

Well what can we learn? We, I suppose, learn that the best of man is man at best. That applies to Peter, that applies to Barnabas, and when a leader falls, the effects are disastrous because he stumbles others too.

So how we need to pray for ourselves and how we need to pray for leaders, because the best of man is man at best, and like dominoes, there is a rippling effect that may be disastrous.

3. The Farsightedness

But thirdly, the movement here, the main thing really is about the farsightedness of Paul. Paul saw something that Peter, the Jews, and Barnabas may not even notice, I think. Paul saw that what they did is not just about avoiding a meal or avoiding a fellowship, but it impacts the Gospel that they preach and represent. So, we see that Paul said, when I saw that their conduct, withdrawing from the Gentiles, they seem very simple, innocent, and harmless. He saw that this was actually, in contradiction, a deviation from the truth of the Gospel. He saw further, he saw deeper, that this was not something that was innocent.

The word in step in the Greek is the word orthopodea, which is actually quite, uh, I guess, intuitive for some who may know a little bit about medicine. Ortho means straight orthopedics. You go to an orthopedic doctor because in those days, people get bent over and the doctors help straighten you up, the bone structure. So ortho is to be straight. Podeo means to walk on your feet. So to keep in step means to walk straight, according to the Gospel.

And when they are not in step, it means they're not walking straight in keeping with the Gospel, but they are deviating from the truth of the Gospel. So what Peter was doing when he withdrew from the Gentiles is that his life and behavior is deviating from the truth of the Gospel.

So Paul is saying, I understand that this withdrawal is not just a social issue, because that will not be a big problem, but this is a spiritual issue. This is not just about food and meals and eating, but this is about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because when Peter withdrew, Peter is communicating, the Gentiles are not good enough. The Gentiles need to be circumcised. They need to keep to our kosher laws. They need Jesus plus something, and not really communicating, it is Jesus plus nothing, and that is all you need.

Peter's way of life communicated a deviation from the truth of the Gospel, because Peter is, without words, saying you need to be circumcised in order to be saved.

So, Paul therefore says in verse 11, when Cephas came, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. He is to be blamed. Wah this is really gutsy, isn't it? Standing up to the apostle, to the Jews, Peter himself. And he said to Peter, if you though a Jew live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, if you had the freedom to live like a Gentile, why now do you force the Gentiles to live like the Jews? Why do you force them to also get circumcision and keep your laws, and not communicate clearly that Jesus plus nothing is enough?

So, I like us to focus on the word force, because don't miss this clue in the text that is before us. The word force is repeated earlier in verse 3. When Paul went to meet with James and John and Peter in that private meeting, they were discovering or they were discussing whether the Gentiles need to be circumcised, whether the Gentiles need to be converted to become Jews to be part of the church. And the agreement is, no, they don't have to, because even Titus was not forced to be circumcised, which is what the circumcision party wanted.

So there's a link between these two incidents, one of eating and one of circumcision. And then the other clue we have is that in verse 14, Paul talks about the truth of the Gospel, and in verse 5, earlier on, again with regards to the circumcision issue, it is also about the truth of the Gospel. So I think Paul intentionally ties both things together, circumcision and eating with the Gentiles, and he's saying, in effect, to Peter, what you, Peter, did is similar to the false teachers forcing Gentiles, Gentile believers into a kind of bondage, to be circumcised and also to keep the kosher laws or to conform to Judaism in order to fellowship together.

So the farsightedness of Peter, or Paul, is to see that Peter's actions may mislead others into a slavery of Jesus plus something, when the false teachers are espousing exactly the same thing. So Peter, this is why you had to be confronted. This is why this has to be publicly made known, what you are doing is wrong. Because what you do is creating the same effect as what the false teachers are teaching, Jesus is not enough.

So Paul's rebuke brings his defense of his Gospel to a climax. This is the last personal apologetic or defense of the Gospel that we see in Galatians. That his Gospel message of Jesus plus nothing is reliable and authoritative. This is the exposition in this text.

Let me, with the remaining time I have, come to some practical applications, if I may. We learn about Gospel defense here. What does it mean to defend this message of the Gospel? Well, to defend it well, I think we need to see clearly, like Paul did. Paul was a wise and insightful person, wasn't he?

He could see very clearly. He could see where the problem was. He could tell that this action, seemingly innocent, would impact the way people see the Gospel. We need that certain wisdom and discernment as well.

Now, in our day and age, actually, I think all of us here in this room are Gentiles. I don't know if there's a Jew here. If there is, correct me, alright? But I don't think we have a Jew here, so I think we all eat with one another with no problems. So you say, no need lah, this sermon, no need lah. But actually, there are examples, I think, today that seem to be innocent but will impact the Gospel. But we need, first of all, to learn to see clearly.

Let me ask you whether you can see clearly or not. I think it may not show up so well on the slides far away, but I think it can, if you are trained. Can anyone tell me what's wrong with this picture? This is clearer. What's wrong? The eye white is yellow. We call this jaundice. Good job. So this one, not so easy to spot. That's why I put first. Second one, you can see the jaundice.

I think a doc, there are some doctors here lah. I think as doctors, you all will immediately pick it up, right? Because you're kind of trained to see these things, and you can pick it up quite readily. Now, for those who still cannot see, hah, yellow meh? Ah, I, I show you a picture of a man who was jaundiced. He had, basically, if you're jaundiced, you have some liver or gallbladder problems. This man needed a whole new liver. He got a liver transplant, and subsequent to that, this is the difference.

So what is this all about? The point is you need to learn to see clearly, okay? You, you need to know what to pick up and what to see, alright? Now, Paul knew what he saw, and I wonder if today we can see clearly some of the matters around us. They, they may seem quite innocent, just like eating with the Gentiles or withdrawing from eating with the Gentiles.

There are similar, I think, problems or challenges or dangers. We need, we need to smell them from afar. Basically, that's what I'm saying. I think there are some examples like, first of all, about Christian testimony. This, I think, is potentially a problem. Now, don't get me wrong. Christian testimony is a good thing. Christian testimony is basically telling people what God has done in my life. Should we tell people? Yes, we should. We should tell of how Jesus saves us from our sins and cleanses and purifies and sanctifies our life. This is appropriate and necessary, a Christian witness and testimony.

But I think there's a danger with Christian witness today, because if you keep your eyes open and your ears open, you'll realize that the vast majority of testimonies, at least the ones I see and hear online, from famous people here in our country, those who, who, who claim Christ as their Savior, generally the testimonies are along the lines of health and wealth.

How God helped me in my failed business. How God cleared my debt. How God healed me of this sickness. How God brought me out of a painful period of my life. Now, I'm not saying that those are bad things. Please don't get me wrong. There is appropriate space for such testimonies. But the danger is when almost every testimony is about health and wealth and very few, if any at all, is about the forgiveness of sins and the purification of one's life, there is a great danger that the Gospel is misrepresented to be a health and wealth message. And not one where man is called to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

In other words, testimonies when they are not Biblically aligned, they mislead people to think that a Christian life is about get well, get rich, get happy and not get right with God by turning from your sin and believing in Jesus. People think that the Christian message is come and get your best life now when it is actually according to Jesus, lose your life for my sake.

So by all means, thank God for the little blessings we see, but let that be in the right balance where I think the vast majority of what we talk about, teach about, thank about, pray about is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, how we are forgiven and washed and cleansed and how God changed a wretched sinner to be more like Jesus. I hope that's the kind of testimony you and I are thinking about, writing about, speaking about, praying about, thanking about. I hope you smell the danger, because I do.

I think it was Vance Havner who says, the devil is not fighting religion, he's too smart for that. He wants religion, huh. He is producing, however, a counterfeit Christianity, so much like the real one that good Christians are afraid to speak out against it. Oh, the health and wealth, prosperity, name it, claim it, word of faith. Religion, uses the Christian brand, but when you just peel away the branding and the packaging you see within, it is all idolatry. It is all about me and myself.

In Chinese we say, 挂羊头卖狗肉. So basically you hang, I don't know why they 挂羊头 in the first place, but you hang a sheep's head, but actually you're selling dog meat. You're not really selling the right thing. And that's, I think, what Christianity, in many minds, many churches, sadly, may be all about.

So, the first thing I think we must smell a danger is, in is in testimonies. A good thing that can become potentially bad, if we are not careful.
Another thing that is good, but can be potentially disastrous when it comes to the Gospel, is the issue of speaking in tongues. Now, I know I'm treading on very controversial ground here, because a lot of you come from backgrounds that are familiar with speaking in tongues. Let me just say that we are not, I am certainly not running down tongues. It is a spiritual gift given by God. How dare any one of us run it down? But what I am against is fake tongues, but that's an issue for another day.

You may want to read up about, I think, Biblical positions on tongues in our, I think, paper that we've written. Just Google GLCC tongues, and I think it will be first search result, or you can check out our sermon in 1 Corinthians 14. We looked at that in detail. I'm not dealing with false tongues today, but I'm dealing with another issue with regards to tongues, and that is, some people must have come from churches where they have told you, you must speak in tongues, because if you do not speak in tongues, or you, if you do not have the gift of tongues, then you are not a Christian.

Have you heard that before? Well, less so today, but it used to be quite prevalent. The logic they hold is this, tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and if you do not have tongues, it means you don't have the Holy Spirit, and if you don't have the Holy Spirit, means you are not really saved. So if you want to be saved, make sure you have the Holy Spirit by speaking in tongues. That's the logic.

Now, I think that's a very flawed logic, because number one, nowhere in Scripture does it say that the evidence of a Christian is in speaking in tongues. Number two, tongues are a gift, and according to Paul, gifts are given to different people severally or differently. It cannot be that the whole church is gifted with the same gift.

Imagine if the whole church is gifted in teaching, none of you will be there, all of us will be here, and this will be a monstrosity of the church. So many people talking at the same time. So God doesn't give gifts universally, equally. So to say that you must speak in tongues in order to be saved is dangerous, because it teaches people to doubt their own salvation, or it may even lead to some form of works-based salvation. So it's a good thing, tongues, but when misused or abused, it can be dangerous, especially when it touches the Gospel.

The third thing I think can be dangerous in our day, is the issue of Lord's Supper, or the Lord's Table. Now we know, traditionally and scripturally, the meal that Christians have together, is a celebration of how Jesus gave Himself to die for our sins. Like that bread that is broken, like that cup that is drunk, it is the initiation of the New Covenant. It is that payment, as it were, necessary for God to save us from our sins.

So the Lord's Supper is a celebration of Christ and His finished work on the cross to save His people from their sins. But there are people today who say that the Lord's Supper is meant for something else as well. I'm going to quote a name, you all may be unhappy with me for saying the name again, but there's a book by Joseph Prince. And you must have heard that he has been espousing that the Lord's Supper is to be taken to help you when you are sick. If you want healing physically, if you want healing bodily, take Lord's Supper, take it until you are well.

So in his book, he wrote, as long as we are here on earth, our bodies are subject to the aging process, which is part of the divine sentence. All our bodies are decaying every day, our brain cells are dying daily. The Holy Communion is God's solution for us to offset the decay. And even your friends will see the results. They will begin to ask you, hey, why do you seem to look younger and younger? You never seem to age. I get that quite a bit, but uh, but I, I don't take the Lord's Supper for that purpose.

The Lord's Supper is how God helps us to offset this process of aging and walk in divine health. Every time you partake, you are reversing the effects of the curse or divine judgment. He even adds in the word of faith, name it and claim it, theologies. He, so he's saying when you take the Lord's Supper, this is what you need to do, visualization. See the Lord carrying all your sins and diseases. He took our sins in His body on the cross. See Him taking on His body your physical conditions. If you have a tumour, see the tumour on His body. Whatever disease you might have, see it on His body. It is no longer on you. See His health come on you.

I think this is dangerous. It is not what the Scripture teaches. And it distracts people from the true message of the Gospel, which is the forgiveness of sins. And this is pure superstition that leads people away from the central message of the Bible.

So what I'm saying is that these things are not bad things, don't get me wrong. They are good things, in its proper place. But when mistaught or misapplied, it infringes on the Gospel and they become dangerous things. In the defense of the Gospel in our day and age, we require clarity to understand what Scripture really teaches about several matters, and we must guard it from these misinterpretations.

To have defense of the Gospel, we also need commitment to the truth. The Apostle Paul was deeply loyal to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I would not, I don't think you would think that I'm exaggerating if I, if I say Paul and Peter were co-laborers in the Gospel. They certainly understood that in chapter 2, verses 1 to 10. They might even be friends, I'm not sure. But they were not against each other.

But when Peter was walking out of step with the Gospel, Paul did not hesitate to confront Peter. Because he was committed first and foremost to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let me ask you a question. If your wife and your mother quarrels, had an argument, who would you side? Or if your husband, actually this one usually doesn't happen so much, but if your wife and your mother quarrels, who would you side? Mother. That must be from a mother. Hah, hah, hah, huh,huh. Well, it's a, it's a bad question. It's a trick question because you should side with the one who is walking in step with the truth. Correct? I think that's the answer.

Because our first loyalty is not to our wife, nor our mother, but to God. But apart from that, it's your.. OK, better don't say, huh, huh. Whatever I say sure kena. Well, I, I hope you see that Paul's loyalty is to God and God alone.

Finally, I think we need courage. As I've mentioned, I think Paul demonstrated great courage. He didn't care if he was disliked or maybe even avoided by Peter subsequent to this. We do not know what happened after this. Most likely, Peter repented. I think so. Otherwise, there will be a longer story. And I think that was a good result out of, out of a courageous act.

You must understand that Peter was the top guy in Christianity in those days. He was the one who walked on water. He was the one who was given the keys of the Kingdom of heaven. He was the one who preached at Pentecost and 3,000 got saved. He was the one that God used to open the doors of the Gospel to the Gentiles and the Samaritans. He was number one, I think.

And who is Paul? Well, Paul eventually became a most-famous apostle. But in those days, we're not sure exactly what this timing is. Acts 11 timing or Acts 15, we're not sure. But Paul is certainly not as influential as we know him to be as yet. So for Paul, to stand up to Peter is no mean feat. But that's what we all should do. It doesn't matter whoever is the one who said something wrong with regards to the Gospel. It may, can be your pastor, any of our pastors here. But I hope God's people, i.e. all of you who are true followers of Jesus Christ, would have the clarity, that commitment, and courage to stand up to lies.

Now, I'm not saying that you all should be very nitpicky, combative, and quarrelsome people. No, no, no. I think there's a scope for understanding dialogue and clarifying when it is not really a Gospel issue. But if it is, then we must be unflinching and unyielding in that.
Why do we need to defend the Gospel so much? Because the Gospel is a Gospel of glory of our blessed God. It is about God's glory. This message of Jesus dying and saving us from our sin,s is about God's glory of grace and the power to save.

When you go to Yuntai Mountain, I'm, I'm not sure if you ever go there now. I, I think very few of you would make a trip deliberately to see some water pipes anymore. But somehow, when you add in human pipes, it's not so glorious anymore. And if man and legalism and self-righteousness is added to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it's not so glorious anymore. So let us defend the Gospel because it's about God's glory.

Let's bow for a word of prayer together. I'm always excited to teach and to declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because the Bible says that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. And what is the Gospel, you say? The Gospel is the pure message that Jesus Christ died and rose again to save us from all our sins. So that you and I can now be reconciled with God. You and I can be forgiven of our sins, so that God may now come into our lives and to change us and to purify us. This is the wonderful Good News of the Bible. This is the great news of the Bible. Jesus paid it all. And all to Him we owe.

I hope today you, sitting right there, will see your sins. It is immeasurable, it is unforgivable by your own works. But the Good News that breaks through heaven, from God's heart, is that He loves you and He gave His Son to pay for all your sins. My Son has paid it all. Jesus paid it all. It is finished, He cried on the cross. So come, turn from your sin and believe in Jesus Christ. You can be saved. And you must be saved.

I pray that Gospel Light will be a church that will not be distracted, but we will be centering ourselves in the Gospel. Like Paul saying, I determine to know nothing among you except Jesus and Him crucified. So let us be a people who have clarity about what the Gospel is. It's not a health and wealth message. It's not a therapeutic message for your esteem. It is a greater message about forgiveness and reconciliation with God.

It's about holiness. It's about godliness. May we be a people loyal to this truth, courageous in the face of the assault of false teachings all around us. May God find us faithful to defending, declaring, and displaying the Gospel in our church. And together, let us glorify God in the Gospel ministry.

So Father, thank You today for Your Word. May we all today see that the Gospel is that supreme manifestation of Your grace and power to save. Help us to live and minister in a way worthy of the Gospel with the help of Your Spirit. May You today also save souls and put steel in our backbones. Thank You. We pray all this in Jesus' Name. Amen.


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