Books of the Book: Galatians


Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Mark Howard & Jim Howard


Series Code: GBOTB

Program Code: GBOTB00003A

00:23 Welcome to Books in the Book, I'm Pastor Mark Howard
00:25 Pastor of Gobels Seventh-Day Adventist church in Gobels
00:28 Michigan and as well as the director of Emmanuel
00:30 Institute of Evangelism in the Michigan Conference
00:32 of Seventh-day Adventist.
00:33 And I'm here with my co-host Jim Howard and he is
00:36 my brother. - that's right and I am a Pastor also in
00:39 in the Michigan Conference of the Detroit Metropolitan
00:41 and South Lyon Seventh-day Adventist churches.
00:43 And today we are studying in the book of Galatians.
00:48 Galatians is a powerful book in the New Testament.
00:52 In Galatians we gave a little background yesterday on
00:56 the book of Galatians and we came through a little of
01:00 chapter 2 with the surrounding controversy of
01:04 circumcision. Today we are going to delve into it
01:08 a little bit further into the real message of the book.
01:12 We're are going to start in Galatians 2 so if you have
01:15 your Bibles at home I would encourage you to turn in
01:19 your Bibles with us to Galatians Chapter 2.
01:21 You will find Galatians in the New Testament and you
01:23 start out with the Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, John,
01:25 Acts, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians and then
01:28 the book of Galatians.
01:29 We're going to Galatians 2:11 and we talked about this
01:36 a little bit in our last episode.
01:38 We had talked about this controversy and actually
01:41 contention that came up between the apostle Paul and
01:44 apostle Peter. - Peter was switching tables as I recall.
01:46 That's right, it says here in verse 11 "now when Peter
01:49 "had come to Antioch," Paul said, "I withstood him to his
01:52 "face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain
01:55 "men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles;
01:58 "but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself,
02:02 "fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the
02:04 "rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him,
02:07 "so that even Barnabas was carried away with their
02:10 "hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not
02:13 "straightforward about the truth of the Gospel, I said
02:16 "to Peter before them all, if you, being a Jew, live
02:20 "in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews why do
02:23 "you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are
02:27 "Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing
02:31 "that a man is not justified by the works of the law but
02:35 "by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ
02:38 "Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ
02:42 "and not by the works of the law; for by the works of
02:45 "the law no flesh shall be justified. "
02:49 So here is this emphatic cry against justification by
02:55 works of the law, and emphatic I say he brings it up
03:01 three times in this text.
03:03 From my own perspective or reading the book of Galatians,
03:07 this is, if not the keynote of the book of Galatians
03:10 where he just emphatically makes the point that I think
03:13 he is trying to communicate through this whole book is
03:15 that justification comes through faith and
03:19 not by works of the law.
03:20 That's right, and if you key in on verse 16, as you said
03:24 it mentions this three times.
03:26 And it says specifically for by the works of the law no
03:30 flesh shall be justified.
03:31 And what we want to do is take little time today to talk
03:34 about justification because it is the central theme,
03:36 if you will, of the book of Galatians.
03:39 We have talked about how the Gospel, and the true gospel
03:41 is exactly what Paul is addressing here,
03:43 but at the heart of the gospel is justification.
03:46 Now when it says by the works of the law no flesh shall
03:49 be justified, it is important to remember that while
03:52 Paul is speaking negatively here toward something,
03:55 he is not speaking negatively toward the law but toward
03:59 the works of the law.
04:00 In fact not even just the works of the law but be justified by
04:04 the works of the law.
04:06 So to say that this is somehow doing away with the law
04:08 really doesn't make sense and here's why.
04:11 That word justified, who needs justified?
04:14 Well someone who is guilty, and you can't be guilty
04:18 without the law, there has to be some standard in order
04:22 for there to be any guilt.
04:24 So justification requires that there has to be a law
04:28 governing the situation.
04:30 That's right, justification implies law, the word implies
04:34 law, for example if you are in a discussion with a friend
04:38 about something and you get into a little heated argument
04:42 and you tell your friend, or your friend tells you,
04:47 you are just trying to justify yourself.
04:49 Well what are we saying?
04:50 - you're trying to make yourself out to be innocent.
04:52 - yet you're trying to show you are not guilty.
04:54 Nobody tries to justify them- selves when they don't feel like
04:59 somebody has been attacking, or they're not accused.
05:03 Self-justification begins, a person doesn't try to
05:07 justify themselves until they feel like
05:09 somebody has accused them and then
05:10 they have to declare their innocence.
05:12 So we are talking about justification, and what
05:14 Paul is talking about is man's response to that feeling
05:18 of condemnation, but that comes through law.
05:21 Something we need to realize here and maybe our viewers
05:25 do not realize is that we don't pick it up in the
05:29 English text of our Bible but if you go into the Greek
05:32 texts, it is interesting that Paul does not use the word,
05:34 he doesn't use the definite article in the Greek he uses
05:37 the word nomos which is the Greek word for law, but he
05:40 doesn't use a definite article, in other words the law.
05:43 And without the definite article instead of the law
05:46 it would just be law.
05:47 If we were to read this as Paul wrote it without this
05:50 definite article and the way it is reading here in my Bible
05:53 as Paul wrote it he would say something like this.
05:56 Verse 16 knowing that a man is not justified by works
06:00 of law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have
06:03 believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified by
06:05 faith in Christ and not by works of law.
06:07 So he is not even trying to narrow down to one
06:10 particular law as much as he is just talking about
06:13 the role of law and bringing that condemnation and
06:16 a man trying to justify himself from law.
06:19 That's right, but the law is there because it is
06:22 declaring the guilt that requires him to be justified.
06:25 So justification as we have laid out here,
06:29 is only needed if someone is guilty.
06:30 This really brings a, if I could say a heartwarming
06:35 reality to the issue of justification.
06:37 Let's look at a passage that shows us a little bit
06:40 about how and who God justifies.
06:42 It is in Romans chapter 4 and I think it would be
06:45 valuable for us to look there.
06:47 Romans 4:5 and it says, "but to him who does not work
06:56 "but believes on him who justifies the ungodly,
06:59 "his faith is accounted for righteousness. "
07:03 And that makes our point again, I mean who else would be
07:05 justified other than the ones who needs to be justified.
07:08 God justifies not those that have no problems,
07:13 not those who are perfect and skate right along in life
07:16 with no mistakes.
07:17 God justifies the ungodly the only ones
07:19 who need justified.
07:21 So we have different examples in the Bible, and I think
07:24 it would be valuable for us to look at different examples
07:27 in the Bible of justification and of people
07:29 who found themselves in the need of justification and
07:32 how they reacted to that.
07:34 And I would like to add to that a point that we will be
07:36 making as we are all ungodly according to Scripture.
07:38 So there is not a class of people that don't need
07:41 justification, but there may be some who don't feel
07:43 they need justification. - that's right.
07:44 We may all be ungodly but not everybody senses
07:47 that they are ungodly.
07:48 Well let's look at one example in Luke 10:25.
07:52 This particular passage draws out a man, a young lawyer
08:01 who specifically deals with this issue of guilt
08:06 in a not so good way and it is found in Luke 10:25.
08:10 It says, "and behold, a certain lawyer stood up and
08:15 "tested Him," he's testing Jesus, "saying, Teacher what
08:19 "shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said to him,
08:23 "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?
08:26 "So he answered and said, you shall love the Lord your
08:29 "God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all
08:33 "your strength, and with all your mind,
08:35 "and your neighbor as yourself.
08:37 "And He said to him, you have answered rightly;
08:40 "do this and you will live. "
08:41 Now at this point this lawyer is probably thinking
08:44 I have done pretty well and He asked me what my reading
08:46 of the law was and I told Him the most important part.
08:49 Now he is thinking, wait a minute, I'm not sure
08:51 I'm living up to that exactly right.
08:53 So he has to do his best to change the law, or the
09:00 it is a interpretation of the law so that his life will
09:03 meet it so he will not be found guilty by the law,
09:06 but found innocent and it draws that out specifically
09:10 in verse 29 where it says, "but he, wanting to" and that
09:14 is where it says justify himself, "justify himself, said
09:18 "to Jesus, And who is my neighbor?"
09:20 So he was wanting to justify himself so he asked Jesus,
09:23 who is my neighbor? I mean that is not everybody is it?
09:26 That's only certain people right?
09:28 He was wanting to make sure that his life was innocent
09:32 and in order to do that he was trying to justify himself.
09:35 Right, and that reminds me of another example of a young
09:40 man as well in Luke 18:18 where it says, "now certain
09:44 "ruler asked him, saying, Good Teacher, what shall I do
09:47 "to inherit eternal life?" Very much the same question.
09:50 "Oh Jesus said to him, why do you call Me good?
09:53 "No one is good but One, that is God. You know the
09:55 "Commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder,
09:58 "Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your
10:01 "father and your mother. And he said all these things
10:03 "I have kept from my youth. "
10:05 Now there is an interesting difference between these two
10:09 young men is that the first one seem to recognize that
10:12 he wasn't doing what he was supposed to be doing.
10:15 - that is why he tried to justify himself.
10:16 - exactly so the condemnation came and he tried to
10:20 declare his own innocence and say that it wasn't
10:23 important for him to keep those things.
10:25 Somehow or another to excuse himself.
10:27 Now this man, he in his heart really believes he is
10:31 doing everything that God has required of him.
10:34 So Jesus comes a little closer to the issue and says,
10:37 "you still lack one thing. Go sell all that you have and
10:40 "give to the poor, and you will have treasure
10:42 "in heaven; and come, follow Me. "
10:44 Of course the Bible says he goes away sorrowful.
10:46 - That's right, that's right the interesting thing about
10:48 both the stories though, is that if you really look at
10:51 them, both are asking what do I need to be justified?
10:55 To inherit eternal life?
10:57 I mean justification is about salvation, it's about
10:59 eternity and so they are both asking what do
11:03 I need to do to be justified and in both cases Jesus
11:06 unashamedly says, What do you read in the law?
11:10 He points them to the law and whether or not they are
11:13 obeying the law to find out what they are to do.
11:18 Jesus was using the law to point out their guilt so
11:23 they would recognize their need of genuine justification.
11:28 That they would be able to find the Him.
11:29 This issue of pointing people to the law will always lead
11:35 them to, if they are looking at it in the right light, to sense
11:39 the need of justification because of what the Bible
11:42 teaches what every person truly has inside of them.
11:46 This touches on what you were saying earlier
11:48 that everyone is ungodly.
11:49 I want to look at a verse that really draws that out.
11:54 It is in Romans 8:7, it is one of the clearest places
11:58 where it describes the condition of man.
12:01 It says, "because the carnal mind" and it is the mind
12:06 we are born with, "is enmity against God;"
12:09 that is hostile towards God, opposed to God,
12:13 "for it is not subject to the "law of God,
12:16 "nor indeed can be. "
12:19 So this nature we are born with is opposed to God and
12:24 the reason it is opposed to God, the reason Paul says
12:27 it is opposed to God is because it is not subject
12:30 to the law by nature.
12:33 Not only are we not submissive to God's will as expressed
12:37 in His law, but in this nature we can't be.
12:41 We can't be. - that's right, so it is interesting to
12:47 me about this is that everybody would agree, I would say
12:51 every Christian would agree that we have a problem there.
12:55 We are sinful, we are carnal and carnal is not good.
12:58 The Bible tells us here that the reason carnal is not
13:03 good is because it will not subject itself to God's law.
13:08 - right! -than to try to promote a Christianity that
13:14 does away with God's law is to eternalize and perpetuate
13:20 - the carnal heart that is exactly right.
13:23 Wow, so this we are seeing a little bit of a role of
13:27 God's law in the process of justification, but it is not
13:30 the means of justification and we are going to be seeing
13:33 that a little bit more about that.
13:36 But before we delve into that and dive into that we are
13:38 going to take a break and when we come back from our
13:41 break we are going to go and talk a little bit more about
13:43 justification and our real need for justification.
13:47 So stay with us.


Revised 2014-12-17