Books of the Book: Galatians

The Offense Of The Cross

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Mark Howard & Jim Howard


Series Code: GBOTB

Program Code: GBOTB00010B

00:06 Welcome back, you know right before our break Jim, you
00:09 were talking in Galatians 5:5 of how it talks about how
00:12 we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
00:15 - yes! - You know it's powerful about this is we had talked
00:19 just before the break about how the Bible says there is
00:21 no one good, no not one.
00:23 The tendency, especially in our culture today is to feel
00:26 demeaned when it happens.
00:28 We have a hard time saying what do you mean if no one is
00:31 righteous, if no one is good then that means that
00:33 I am not a good person.
00:34 That is exactly right, but here's the beauty of it.
00:37 That is exactly who God offers righteousness to.
00:40 The whole idea is, all have sinned, there is none
00:43 righteous so we are all on the same playing field.
00:46 God says to us if you could recognize that, if you will
00:49 realize that, I have righteousness for you.
00:53 The only righteousness that you can find comes from Me
00:56 and I have it for you.
00:57 It says here, for we eagerly wait for this righteousness.
01:02 In other words it becomes the all-consuming desire of the
01:06 person who realizes their need because it is the only way
01:11 out. - that's right and just because we don't have
01:14 righteousness does not mean we are not valuable to God.
01:18 He paid everything, all of heaven for us, so He is
01:21 helping us to see here that we are bankrupt of what we
01:25 need and He is trying to rescue us by giving us that
01:28 very thing that we need.
01:30 I think of the story - well let me interject for
01:34 a moment, I think of a kitten caught up in the tree and
01:36 you are trying to get the kitten out of the tree.
01:38 Will that poor kitten doesn't always realize you're trying
01:40 to help it, right?
01:41 In the same way this is the picture that God is giving.
01:44 He wants us to see a condition, He didn't make the condition,
01:48 the condition exists.
01:49 This is the condition that we in, we're unrighteous.
01:52 We do not have the righteousness we need to continue and
01:54 so God is trying to make that condition known to us.
01:56 We don't necessarily perceive His goodness in making that
02:00 known, just as a kitten doesn't realize we're trying to help.
02:04 God is trying to bring us into an understanding that
02:06 this is for your good.
02:08 I'm just telling you condition that has already existed
02:10 if you will accept it and receive that, and then
02:14 you can receive My righteousness.
02:15 Amen, you know He had to deal with this along the way
02:20 during His earthly life.
02:21 I remember the story in John 6 when He was telling the
02:26 people that you need Me.
02:28 Unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the
02:30 Son of Man, you have no life in you.
02:32 No righteousness, and many of them walked away because
02:35 it was too offensive to them.
02:37 But Peter, there was an interesting story that happened
02:40 with Peter because Jesus had asked His disciples,
02:43 "Will you also go away?" Peters said, to whom shall
02:47 we go? You have the words of eternal life.
02:50 Peter was essentially saying there is no other place
02:53 that we can go, there is no other place to find
02:56 righteousness, there is no other place where eternity
02:58 can be found or discovered or obtained.
03:01 So Jesus was being revealed to Peter and through Peter
03:06 as the only way.
03:08 That is right and so this is what starts to lead into
03:12 what we are dealing with here.
03:13 This offense of the cross, this offensiveness of the
03:17 cross, the root word there or Greek word is 'scandalon'.
03:21 It's where we get our English word scandal from.
03:24 You know a scandal is something that is a disgrace.
03:27 It is something shameful and this word appears other
03:31 places in Scripture instead of offense as stumbling block.
03:33 And I think you are going to go to one of those places.
03:38 One of those places is 1 Corinthians 1:20 to start with.
03:48 The apostle Paul says, "where is the wise? Where is the scribe?
03:53 "Where's the disputer of this age? Has not God made
03:56 "foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the
03:59 "wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God,
04:02 "it pleased God through the foolishness of the message
04:05 "preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a
04:09 "sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ
04:14 "crucified, to the Jews a "stumbling block. "
04:17 So there's the cross, Christ crucified which is an offense,
04:21 it is the same word.
04:22 Right it's an offense it's a scandal, it's a stumbling
04:25 block, "and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those
04:27 "who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power
04:30 "of God and the wisdom of God.
04:32 So we have this idea here that the scandal
04:36 is something shameful.
04:40 Why is it that the Jews would see the
04:43 cross as so offensive?
04:45 Well when you think about the Jews took a lot of pride
04:47 in their position as God's chosen people.
04:51 To think that Jesus was claiming to be the King of the
04:56 Jews, claiming to be the Messiah, their leader, their
05:01 ruler, the representative and that He would be someone
05:05 who has died on a cross.
05:08 The most shameful, the most disgraceful of any possible
05:12 death that could be imposed upon someone.
05:18 That was so unreal to them, they could not fathom why we
05:22 would want to believe in someone who had only brought
05:26 shame and reproach upon them.
05:27 Absolutely, and that's where we find in Romans 9 where
05:33 the same word appears again as stumbling block, translated
05:37 stumbling block, Romans 9 and we have looked at this one
05:42 before Romans 9:30 we will start there.
05:46 The apostle Paul writes, "what shall we say then?
05:49 "That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness,
05:52 "have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness
05:55 of faith. " You see this is the whole thing that we see
05:58 here in Galatia is that they were pursuing righteousness.
06:01 The only problem is they were pursuing it in all the wrong
06:04 places, instead of the only place that righteousness can
06:07 come, which he will flush out here in a moment.
06:10 They sought righteousness by other means, they sought
06:13 to be good and become just by other means.
06:17 And so it says, "That Gentiles, who did not pursue
06:20 "righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the
06:24 "righteousness that comes by faith; but Israel, pursuing
06:27 "the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of
06:31 "righteousness. Why?" Because they were trying to keep the law
06:35 That's not what it says is it? You see their whole issue
06:38 wasn't about trying to be good and whole issue was they
06:41 did not seek it by faith in Christ.
06:43 There is nothing wrong, in fact there is everything right
06:47 with seeking to obey the requirements of God, but we have
06:50 to realize that we must have Christ to do it.
06:53 We need that transformation, so he says, "why? Because
06:56 "they did not seek it by faith," why didn't they seek it
06:59 by faith? Notice! "But as it were, by the works of the
07:02 "law. For they stumbled at that" scandalon, at that
07:06 offense, "stumbling stone. As it is written: behold,
07:10 "I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
07:13 "and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame. "
07:17 Which is interesting, the word is a word about shame and
07:19 whoever believes on Him it will be just the opposite,
07:22 he will not be put to shame.
07:23 So we come to Chapter 10 - it's almost an encouragement
07:25 to them that think it's shameful to believe on Him and
07:28 if you believe on Me you will not be put to shame.
07:30 That's right, it's absolutely right so notice again in
07:32 verse 3 of chapter 10 where it says,
07:35 "for they being ignorant of God's righteousness. "
07:38 The fact God's righteousness can only come from God.
07:41 "In seeking to establish their own righteousness. "
07:44 See they were obeying and people will say the Jews
07:47 obeyed the law, they obeyed their own idea of law.
07:50 The Bible doesn't call it God's righteousness.
07:52 Up here before we read it being called the
07:55 Ten Commandments the law of righteousness.
07:57 It's a righteous law but "they sought their own
08:00 "righteousness, and have not submitted to the
08:03 "righteousness of God. " And notice verse 4
08:06 "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to
08:10 "everyone who believes. "
08:11 That word end means the outcome, that the end justifies
08:16 the means in that kind of sense.
08:17 In other words, if you are looking for righteousness,
08:19 the final place for righteousness is Christ.
08:22 The end of the law, in other words, the outcome of the law
08:25 when you look at the law of God is a picture of God's
08:28 righteousness, but it is not the actual righteousness.
08:30 Where do you find that? In the person
08:32 of Jesus Christ alone. - Amen, that is powerful.
08:35 You know I think we need to go back to Galatians
08:38 for just a moment, it addresses a question here that we
08:42 haven't fully answered.
08:43 It is back in Galatians 5:11 and it says,
08:47 "and I, brethren... if I still preach circumcision, why do
08:51 "I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the
08:54 "cross has ceased. "
08:56 Something about preaching circumcision would cause the
08:59 offense of the cross to cease.
09:01 What is that? What is it about circumcision and the
09:04 gospel of circumcision, they were promoting, that would
09:06 cause the offense of the cross to no longer be there?
09:09 I think the answer is in what we have been talking about.
09:11 That Christ is the only way.
09:13 The Bible says, Jesus Himself says that I am the way,
09:16 the truth and the life. I am the door.
09:18 There is no other way to come to the Father except through
09:21 Me and so Jesus makes it very clear that there is only one
09:24 way and that is through Him.
09:25 When you preach circumcision now you are preaching you do
09:29 not need to go through Christ, you don't need the process
09:34 of confession and contrition of heart and all that is
09:38 involved in coming to Christ.
09:39 Instead you can very cleanly do something else, maybe
09:43 it's external behavior, in this case circumcision, and
09:46 that replaces and becomes another way there for the cross,
09:48 you can still believe in the cross but it is no longer as
09:51 offensive if you give me another way.
09:53 That's right, it reminds me Jim of that thing I hear
09:56 from some people where Christianity is a crutch
09:58 for weak minded people.
10:00 Christians believe in creation and they have this big God
10:03 because they are narrow minded, or what ever the case
10:07 may be and what it really is vaunting of human pride
10:11 and human righteousness.
10:12 I feel that I don't need Christ because I am better than
10:16 that, and that may be an outside Christianity aspect of
10:19 this, but an insight Christianity aspect is this.
10:22 When the Word of God says something, and this is becoming
10:26 more and more common.
10:27 We say well that is your interpretation and not
10:29 necessarily my interpretation and we start to make
10:31 leeway for doing exactly what God says.
10:35 What we are doing is making another way.
10:38 I know what God says but I don't think it applies to me.
10:40 We are making another way and that is our circumcision.
10:43 Suddenly the offensiveness of Christianity isn't so
10:46 offensive anymore, hey I can become a Christian if I don't
10:48 have to be completely Christian.
10:50 That's right, and the Bible says we can only serve one
10:53 master, we can't serve two masters.
10:54 If you allow them to have many masters then there is a lot
10:57 more adherence to Christianity.
10:58 This idea of the offense of the cross, it really has to
11:03 do with the fact that the cross is about me being
11:06 crucified with Christ and there is a statement out of
11:09 a book I want to share.
11:11 It's called 'The Great Controversy' on this point.
11:13 I thought I would read that to our viewers in closing.
11:16 "A religion of externals is attractive to the un-renewed
11:19 "heart. Thousands who have not an experimental
11:22 "knowledge of Christ will be led to accept the forms
11:25 "of godliness without the power. Such a religion is just
11:28 "what the multitudes desire. To him who loves self-
11:31 "indulgence it is more pleasing to confess to a fellow
11:34 "mortal then to open their soul to God. It is more
11:37 "palatable to human nature to do penitents than to
11:40 "renounce sin. It is easier to mortify the flesh by
11:43 "sackcloth and nettles and galling chains than to
11:46 "crucify fleshly lusts.
11:48 "Heavy as the yoke which the cardinal heart is
11:51 "willing to bear rather than bow to the yoke of Christ. "
11:54 They were willing to be circumcised, even though that
11:56 was a difficult thing, they were willing to do anything as
11:59 long as they didn't have to surrender their cardinal heart
12:03 and crucify the fleshly lusts, the cherished sins that
12:06 perhaps for more precious to them than Christ.
12:10 That's right, there are other experiences where everybody
12:16 follow some of what God says.
12:18 I believe that, everybody follow some of what God says.
12:22 But there are areas that especially tend to be areas
12:25 where we say well I have given up most of the big sins and
12:28 I only have a couple little ones left.
12:30 I would suggest to you that those little ones, those are
12:33 the big ones and that is why you can't give them up.
12:35 What happens is those are the areas where the flesh still
12:38 holds us in its grip.
12:40 Where the fallen nature, our sinful nature still has
12:44 dominion over us and we are slaves of sin.
12:46 What the Lord is trying to do here, what Paul is trying to
12:49 do with the Galatians and the Lord is trying to do for us
12:54 is address that need of a thorough submission to the will
12:58 of God, the accepting of God's will above my own will.
13:02 A total surrender to Christ.
13:06 I want to appeal to you who are watching, lay those things
13:09 aside, lay them at the feet of Jesus and receive
13:11 Him completely into your heart.


Revised 2014-12-17