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Monday, January 18, 2010

Let’s Do Lunch (Radio / Podcast)

But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel…
(Galatians 2:14 – ESV)

How often do we hear it said that the Gospel applies to all of life? If we are around solid Christians or are in a good church then it would be quite often, no doubt. Because we realize the Bible teaches this truth, when we hear it we are quick to say a hearty “amen!”

But let’s get real now. Do you really believe this to be true? I mean, you may say it, but do you live it? Can you explain to yourself and to others, can you teach them why this is so, with real examples, or are you just a parrot? Now we do need to repeat this assertion to ourselves and become convinced of it, but it needs to start playing out in our everyday lives, in our everyday situations, and in every situation. The Gospel applies, but in our sanctification we must apply it. If it doesn’t, many times it is because we don’t do it, we don’t apply it. In whatever situations we don’t apply it the Gospel really isn’t having that effectual power in that part of our lives yet.

Really, it doesn’t yet because we don’t believe it yet. But it can, really. Now stop telling me you really believe it, or trying hard to make yourself believe it. Get into the Word and see for yourself, ask yourself and the text you are reading some questions. How are the situations that are presented in the Bible and the teachings that are given in the Bible affected by the Gospel?

You see, it isn’t always so easy, is it? Do you still believe, or are you silently thinking to yourself, “well, I know the Gospel is all important, but it really doesn’t apply to this or that situation?” Come on now, be honest, and maybe we can show you something today.

What if I told you that the Gospel applies to eating lunch? If you could see that the Gospel applied to something as mundane, regular, and “neutral” as that, wouldn’t that help you to see that we should be looking for ways to apply the Gospel?

Well, the Gospel does indeed apply to eating lunch. In Galatians chapter two, we see Paul confront Peter. Why? Because Peter usually ate with the Gentiles, but he shied away from eating with the Gentiles once the Judaizers arrived. The Judaizers, or “circumcision party”, were those who said you had to become a Jew, and that you had to be circumcised to be saved, or at least to become an advanced Christian. Peter knew this wasn’t true, but he was trying to avoid confrontation, or trying not to look bad in their eyes. Paul calls it fear. It wasn’t that he changed his beliefs, but his convictions were not strong enough and he was avoiding trouble for himself. He wasn’t going to tell the Gentiles they had to be circumcised, he just wanted to avoid having to deal with the Judaizers, and he wanted to stay with the cool crowd, as it were.

This conduct was not in accordance with the truth of the Gospel however, and Paul marched right over to that other table and told Peter off! The Gospel applied to lunch.

Let’s apply the Gospel lesson learned in the lunchroom standoff to our lives today. Do you avoid other Christians when you see them out while you are with your “cool” friends? Do you believe the Gospel truth that there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28 – ESV)? Or do you still separate from those who don’t dress the way you do, look the way you do, have the same social status as you, aren’t as smart as you, or aren’t the same color as you? We could go on and on, but you get the point. The Gospel means we don’t set the boundaries, God does.

Now that you have learned an elementary lesson, you may ask, “How do we learn to bring the Gospel to bear on all of our life?” Keep reading the Bible and asking questions. Pray for God to show you. As you read and pray for this, God will show you in your life experience just how central the Gospel is. It is as necessary as eating your daily bread.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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At 9:04 AM, Blogger Even So... said...

This was taken from a previous post from 9-21-07 and reposted on 4-6-09, but now includes the audio in our SermonAudio files, which has additional material in it...we will be doing this with many of our older posts, so that they can have the audio attached to them and be archived at SermonAudio...hope these are edifying and enjoyable for you...God bless...

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Even So... said...

We will also be doing many brand new posts with new audio, mixing it up as we do new posts but also adding some of our older posts for the SermonAudio audience who may not visit this site...stay tuned!

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Even So... said...

An appropos post for MLK day, I think...

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Rachel M. said...

I have a question. How is the picture in this post being applied to the message?
I know I may be opening a can of worms here, but I see that the picture cuts right to the heart of this issue in many churches today. The position I take on it will make some people hate me, but still I must take it.
Some people would tell me that I was acting like Peter in the passage you mentioned if I cannot accept such a man, looking precisely that way, as a Christian brother. He is worthy of God's love, and worth as much as a Christian--in fact, he is worth risking persecution and death to reach--but his appearance tells me that his heart has not been healed by God. I have to treat him as someone who still needs to hear the good news, not as someone who is right with God and doesn't need to change. Because of that, when someone tells me that he is my Christian brother and I must accept him, I have to follow 1 Corinthians 5: 9-13. It is clear that this man has a problem with self-mutilation, among other things, possibly, and my reading of Scripture doesn't bear that out as godliness. However, Scripture does bear out that Jesus died for all people, and that God will punish Christians who judge the unsaved as unworthy of God's love and compassion--and our own.
The difference between the two responses depends on the other man, not me. If he knows what is required of him by God, but does not do it, I am to leave him to God to deal with. If he does not know, I am to give him a chance to escape God's punishment, by showing him God's love and telling him about it--perhaps over lunch. In neither case have I condemned him to Hell or God's wrath, as Peter was doing to his fellow Christians by ostracizing them and hanging out with the Judaizers. He would still be choosing for himself.

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Thanks for the detailed response…

You said,

I have a question. How is the picture in this post being applied to the message?

Yes, that is a very relevant question...Indeed, if you might be aware of the many posts we have on these types of issues, you would find me in substantial agreement, I'm sure...as a matter of fact, the last post we did before this one “Saved to Serve” would illustrate this quite well, as it even, as you did, mentions 1 Corinthians 5…also the four previous posts from our sermon “I Tell You with Tears” speak directly to your point…

This picture is a metaphor for our reluctance to engage with those who are extreme from us, in terms of culture, social, gender, racial, etc....perhaps this particular picture isn't as apropos as another might be depending on the particular situation encountered...I was going for the “Samaritan” aspect of looking beneath the surface…of course, if you are looking at it from a “church discipline” angle, I can see you point clearly, and as I said, would be in agreement…

It sounds as if you already have that figured out pretty well, it would most certainly depend on if the man was repentant, or in the church and defiant, etc.

Again, thanks a whole lot, very glad you engaged, feel free anytime…God bless…


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