Paul's Pastoral Appeal - 2017

Scripture: Galatians 4:12-20, 1 Corinthians 11:1, 2 Corinthians 4:7-12
Date: 08/26/2017 
Lesson: 9
"How much compromise has crept into your life, and what have been the ways you have justified it? How can you turn this around in areas where you need to?"
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We just want to welcome every one of you to Sabbath School Study Hour. We have - are just so glad that you guys are able to come with - be with us today here at the Granite Bay church and those that are visiting with us online. We have a special offer that's available to you and it's book #792 and it's - if you would call 866-788-3966 and you could also call 866-study-more. We're just so glad that you all could join us here. We'd also invite the singers to come out at this time and begin our service into the study hour.

It's great to see you all again this morning and our church family around the world. We're going to begin Sabbath school study hour, this morning, with some singing - #163 in your adventist church hymnal is what we're going to sing first - at the cross - we'll sing all three verses of #163. Please join with us. At this time we want to just welcome chuck holtry to begin this Sabbath school study hour with us today. Thank you, Pastor John.

Good morning, those of you here at Granite Bay. It's good to see you. And those of you who are watching on line or later, Happy Sabbath. This morning, our subject is Paul's pastoral appeal in the book of Galatians. We're looking at Galatians chapter 4:12-20.

But before we do, I just want to ask the Holy Spirit to be with us, if you'd just bow your heads with me. Father in Heaven, as we enter into a time of study of your word, we recognize that it's by your spirit that we can understand tHis Word and we're praying for the Holy Spirit to be with us here. We thank you, in Jesus' Name, amen. Amen. I was on the phone with my colporteur leader.

I was doing big booking, which is selling large sets of books - anywhere from $300.00 to $500.00 - and I was feeling my inadequacy, so much so that I wanted to quit. So I called him up and I asked for a way to quit. 'I don't want to be the leader any longer' and his response, I won't forget it because it disturbed me so much. He said, 'chuck, any man who puts his hand to the plow and looketh back is not fit for the Kingdom of heaven.' And I thought that was a little bit too rough. (Laughter) I don't know how the Galatians felt when Paul wrote them.

You may have noticed, as we've gone throughout this lesson, Paul is not mincing words with them. His Words are strong. His rebuke is clear. By the way, that man who said that to me is a good friend of mine today. I respect his leadership to this day, but I sure didn't like it that day.

I think I even hung up on him, if I remember correctly. I'd like to go through, as we start - we're looking at Paul's pastoral appeal, but before I get to the pastoral part, his speaking from his heart, in a very deep way, I want to look at some of the things he said up to this point - kind of a review, if you will. Galatians chapter 1, verse 6, he said, "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different Gospel," - that's - that's not kind words per se. Maybe it is kind, but it's not light words. Verse 10, "for do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

" Again, he's hinting at them that they are trying to please men. Then there's chapter 2, verse - chapter 2, verse 14, Paul said, "but when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, 'if thou, being a jew, livest after the manner of gentiles, and not as do the jews, why compellest thou the gentiles to live as do the jews?'" He wasn't just speaking to the Galatians, he was even willing to take on the - one of the patriarchs of the early Christian church. Paul had no problem saying what he felt he needed to say if he felt it needed to be said. Verse 21 of chapter 2, "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness came by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." Strong words for people who were looking at saving themselves through the acts or the works of the law. Chapter 3, verses 2 and 3, "this only would I learn of you, received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" And I can imagine, I'm reading this in galatia and the hair on the back of my neck is starting to raise up and I'm thinking, 'nuh uh, you didn't say that.

You called me a fool.' The Bible says to call no man a fool. Paul, I have some words for you. Actually, he doesn't call them a fool; he says they're being foolish. And then it says in verses 11 and 12 - and, again, we're looking at some of the strong words, as we start out this week, that Paul was making to the Galatians. Chapter 3, verses 11 and 12, "but that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith.

And the law is not of faith: but, the man that doeth them shall live in them." If you're living by the law, you don't have faith. Now I'd like to go to the verses immediately preceding what we are going to be studying today. And you looked at these last week, but I like to review them, if you don't mind. Verses 9, 10, and 11 of chapter - 9, 10, and 11 of chapter 4, "but now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you," - or for you - "lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.

" Strong words that Paul is saying to the church in galatia. And now, even though these words, before, were strong, and these words, before, were written in a first-person informal way, Paul switches gears again, one more time, and you can see it in verse of Galatians chapter 4. And he says, for me, something that is the main focus of this lesson. In fact, if you've studied your lesson, you'll recognize that verse 12 is the main focus for the first half of this lesson. It says this: "ye know how through" - excuse me, verse 12 - "brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.

" I'm going to focus on that first phrase "brethren, I beseech you," - beseech is so king James english, isn't it? Beseech - what does it mean? It's coming from the Greek word 'deomai' which means almost 'to plead; to beg' - 'please, I'm pleading with you. I'm begging with you, I want you to be as I am.' King James says 'I beseech you', new king James says, 'I urge you'. The new international says, 'I beg of you' - I like that - niv: 'I plead with you'. It means 'to pleadingly request'. Paul is pleading with them for one specific thing and you can see it in verse 19.

Here's the whole context - we're going to cover everything in five minutes and then the rest of you can just sing songs. No, we'll finish up the lesson. Sometimes I'd be tempted to do that, but we're not going to today. Verse 19 - verse 19 he says, "my little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be" - what? - 'Til Christ be what? Formed. "Formed in you," - the whole purpose - the whole focus of this section is pastoral appeal - is 'I want Christ formed in you' - that's what I'm wanting - that's what I'm desiring more than anything else.

No, you can't save yourself by your works. What's most important is Christ must come in your life - he must come and be part of who you are. Christ in you is my desire. "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you," - this idea of travailing in birth - I don't know much about it. I've seen it and it was one of the scariest things I've ever seen my wife do is travail in birth.

I remember distinctly being grabbed and I thought she was trying to rip skin off my body. She just had that much intensity as she was going through a contraction. And here is this - this phraseology that's being used here, 'I travail in birth' - "my little children...i travail in birth" - that - I don't - I don't understand - someone said giving birth to children is a labor of love. If you don't mind the play on words, I'd like to share a story I just read about this week and I'll make sure I say this lady's name right. In March of 2012 a lady by the name of joanna krzystyniak gave birth to two twins - two twins - yeah, two twins - after - are you ready? Days of labor.

Considered by many probably the world's longest labor. And someone's going to say, 'well, that's impossible, chuck.' Well, let me explain some of the things that happened that will help make a little bit more sense. Joanna was pregnant with triplets and at the 21-week Mark she went into labor and, in that labor, gave birth to her first of the three triplets - first one came out. But, you know, at 21 weeks, you're just not going to survive and this baby died. Desperately wanting to somehow, if possible, save the lives of the other two, she asked what she could do.

And the doctor said, 'here's what we can do for you. We're going to put you and elevate your feet up on a -degree angle. We're going to have you lay there and give you some special medicine and - for my medical friends - tocolysis - I'm not familiar with it. Anyhow, the purpose of it was to suppress her contractions. So she was having contractions - suppressed those contractions - being at a 30-degree angle and stay there - you had to eat your food that way, use the restroom that way, be bathed that way - you had to lay there until you're ready to give birth.

So from week 21 to week 32, joanna laid in that position - suppressed contractions - they had actually taken the - the umbilical cord of the first child and put it back inside. They said the biggest thing they were worried about was infection, as you can imagine. They said it was like having a time bomb - what's going to happen? Well, joanna made it and at 32 weeks delivered two healthy babies - about four pounds apiece - and - amazing. Here's what joanna said - she said, "I was relieved that there was a chance to keep the pregnancy and to give the babies a chance to be born successfully." 'I was relieved that I was going to have a chance to let these babies be born successfully. I'm going to do what it takes' - if I can rephrase it - 'to help these babies be born successfully.

' And that is what Paul was saying: 'I want to do what it takes to help your spiritual birth to be successful. I don't care how long the travail must be, I'm willing to go through it so there's a successful spiritual birth in your life.' And that's why he uses the phrase, in verse 19, 'I will travail again. I did it once, I'm going to have to do it again and I'm willing to do it for the success - successful birth'. It is this heart of Paul that we see in verse 12, 'I beseech thee' - 'I plead with you - I beg you - and verse 19 - I'm travailing in birth for you, as a father - of course, fathers don't fully grasp it, I understand. This heart of Paul is what gives him ability to say some of the things that he's going to be saying a little bit later.

I believe that having a heart like Paul's, of complete passion for those who are your children gives you ability say things to them that other people can't say. I - growing up - I'm a teacher and I have, at times, gone up to children and said things and they say, 'you can't tell me that. You're not my dad.' Of course that frustrates me. I have some thoughts for them. I would have never tried that when I was five years old, let me tell you.

But, in a way, I'm hoping that those same children are listening to their dads and moms, right? There's something about a father and mother, they put so much into you - you know, I'd better be careful I don't get too sidetracked with this, but now that I have a daughter and I've put seven years of labor into her - not that kind of labor - seven years of effort into her - man, some guy's going to come along, waltz into her life, has done nothing, and say, 'I love her.' I'm going to be like, 'nuh uh. You don't love her. I love her. You've got to prove your love.' Right? Yeah, pray for my daughter. (Laughter) but there's that effort that we put into and that's the effort I'm seeing in the life of Paul putting into the lives of the Galatians.

And that's a focus that I'm really thankful that the lesson brought out. Again, let's go back to chapter , verse 12, and let's read that passage again - that verse. "Brethren, I beseech you" - and we looked at that - that next phrase says, "be as i" - be as i. Why? You know, if you read 1 Corinthians - I'm going to give you a little bit of a Bible study this morning. I guess we're allowed to do that since it's Sabbath school - 1 Corinthians chapter 11 - if you could turn there with me - these are some of the Scriptures that are laid out in your lesson - just great analogies that are coming out of here - 1 Corinthians chapter 11 and verse , he says, "be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

" Now, here, he's talking about wanting them to act like them - be a follower of me because I follow Christ. The idea is: follow me, act like me - I'm putting that word in there on purpose - act like me. But that's not what Galatians 4 is saying. Let's look at Galatians 4 again. What was that phrase? It didn't say 'act', what was the word? Help me out.

Galatians chapter 4, verse 12, "brethren, I beseech you," - what is that? Galatians chapter and verse 12, "brethren, I beseech you," - what become. Become as I am. Or king James says, "be as I am;" - the concept is not here, action. The concept here is being. That's key to notice.

This issue with the Galatians - yes, they were doing some actions, but the issue was not their actions so much as their heart. They were trying to earn their own salvation through their actions. Paul wasn't going to tell them to act, he was going to tell them 'you need to' - what? 'Be' - or become - 'like I am.' You know, your lesson says this, and I thought it was so nice I'd like to read it. "The trouble in galatia is not unethical behavior or an unGodly lifestyle, as in the church in corinth. The issue in galatia is rooted in the essence of Christianity itself.

It was more about being than behavior. So I have a question for you: what is Paul's focus in the book of Galatians? You've been listening to the book of Galatians for a long time. I know some of you are excited about being on tv right now so you might not want to yell out. But help me out, someone. What - you're not saved by the law.

Thank you, sir. So we're not saved by the law, we're saved by what? Grace. We're saved by faith, right? Salvation by faith versus salvation by works. And, of course, grace is a part of that. What is Paul's focus, now, here in Galatians 4? We just looked at it - verse - verse 19 - what is Paul's focus for them - this whole appeal? What does he want to happen in the Galatians' lives? Become like Christ.

That's right. And, specifically, have Christ what? In them. In them - Christ formed within. Thank you for that, brother. Very, very important.

So, when he says, 'be like me', he's saying, 'just like Christ lives in me, and that is my salvation, I pray that you will be the same way and not depend on your actions to bring it, but you allow Christ to be formed in you. Amen. That is the burden - the desire - of Paul. So when he says, 'be like me', that's what he means when he says, 'be like me'. Now we don't struggle with this today, thankfully.

Or do we? Do we struggle, today, with the idea that acting like a Christian is easier than being a Christian? No - yes - I see the recognition - it's so easy for us to put on - and I use this phrase a lot when I share - a façade - to act a certain way when we're in front of other people. But that's - that's the danger that was being dealt with in the church of galatia, of course, a little bit to a stronger distance, right? A little bit greater than what I'm - but we do face it today. We do face this - the struggle of the church of galatia today because we are people who like to do sometimes more than people who like to be. It's easier to do something than to be something. I tell you, as - at least for me - as a parent, sometimes it's easier to act out - as a good parent - than to be a good parent.

Because, you know, parenting is something that comes from the heart. Is that right? Yes, it is. Parenting is something that comes from the heart. Being kind to my children, because I know I'm supposed to, won't last long. Being kind to my children, because I would do anything for them at any time, will last forever if I keep that, right? That's where the power is in a person's life, and it's the same thing for us as Christians.

If you're doing the right thing for God because you know you're supposed to, you're going to get worn out sooner or later. But, if you're doing it because you're in love with him - you have made him Lord of your life and you willingly submit to him and say, 'tell me, Lord, what you want.' That kind of experience - that kind of exper - that kind of being is what - is the power of Christianity. When we don't have that, that's when we have struggles in our Christian experience. There's a quotation from sketches from the life of Paul. I'm going to read it now - I'm going to read it at the end of our lesson because it's just powerful.

And the writer, here, Ellen white, is - is saying things in a slightly different way. So listen carefully to what's being said, if you don't mind. "To substitute the external forms of religion for holiness of heart and life is still as - is still as pleasing to the unrenewed nature as in the days of the apostles." What she is saying is that in the days of the apostles it wasn't pleasing and it's not pleasing today. She goes, 'it's just as pleasing today as it was then' - and that is what? To substitute the external forms of religion for holiness of heart and life.' External forms are easy. It's not hard.

We have traditions that are fun to do. It's part of who we are. In fact, I love the adventist family. I love adventist culture. My wife and I were just talking about this the other day.

If I have to choose what place I'm going to be, I like hanging out with a bunch of adventists. Yeah, it's fun. You know what a big frank is. A haystack. You know what you're supposed to do and wait 'til sundown and we won't do this and we do do that and we don't even have to discuss it, right? But, God's looking for something in my life and in your life way beyond the external.

External forms are irrelevant. What God's looking for is - let me have it here - holiness of heart and life. That's what God's wanting. That's what I want. But holiness of heart and life is actually more difficult than external acts.

We're going to touch on that in our last lesson - on our last day, so I'm just going to leave it at that. So, God's call is that we would be, right? He's calling us to be something. He's calling for a state of being. I'd like to look at a few passages - 1 John chapter 4, verse 17, and then we'll be going to 1 John chapter 3. John chapter 4 - now the - John is an incredible writer.

He really focuses on being a lot. In chapter 4, verse 17 he makes this statement: "herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." That's a state of being: as he is, so are we. By the way, the only way that you and I could be as he is, is to have him formed in our life - Galatians 4:19. The only way that you and I can be as he is, is to have him in us and then we are him - well, he is in us - Galatians 2. John chapter 3 - 1 John chapter 3 and verse 2, "beloved, now are we The Sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

" Again, what God is looking for is a state of being. Not external forms of religion, it's got to be a state of being. That's what God is looking for here in 1 John chapter 3, verse 2. Peter - because John's not the only one who shares this thought. Peter chapter 1 - excuse me, 2 Peter chapter 1 and verse 4 - 2 Peter chapter 1, verse 4 says, "whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature," - that you might be - not that you might act like the divine nature, but you might be partakers of the divine nature.

Acting like God is not an option if he's not in you. You must have a state of being. Actions must follow a state of being. If they precede it, it's pure legalism and it's detrimental to your spirituality. Very dangerous.

And one last one, John chapter and verse 21 - this is the appeal - the prayer for unity that Jesus makes there right before the garden of Gethsemane - John chapter 17 and verse 21. I'm so glad that, under inspiration, John has recounted this - this prayer to us - John chapter 17 and verse 21, "that they all may be one;" - he's praying about - for his followers - "...that they all may be one as thou, father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." Being, that's what God wants for us, being - a state of being. So I'm going to ask you a personal question this morning. Look at your life. Do you want to have a more of a state of being? Maybe you already have a state of being.

Have you noticed that there is an infiltration, sometimes, of some external forms that have nothing to do with being, just have to do with pleasing? Right? By the way, that's what the Galatians are struggling with, right? They're trying to please. And what God's asking them to is be. Pleasing is not what we need to be doing - at least not pleasing man. We need to be. Alright, our next day's lesson is taken off of Galatians 4, verse 12.

I think we've spent three days on that. "...i beseech you, be as I am;" - and what's that next phrase in verse 12? Amen. Could someone say that a little louder? I missed it. Galatians 4, verse 12, after it says, "be as I am;" what's the next thing that it says? "For I am as ye are:" - now that sounds a little confusing - be like me 'cause I'm gonna be like you.' That's not exactly what Paul's meaning here. Well, he's meaning what he's meaning, but let me look at it before I get myself confused up front, okay? Galatians 4, verse 12, he says, "be - I am as ye are:" - what does that mean to Paul - to be like you? Corinthians chapter 9 is the passage the lesson uses to help explain it.

It's a great passage - 1 Corinthians chapter 9 and we're going to start in verse 19. So, if you could turn to Paul's writing to the church of corinth - 1 Corinthians chapter 9 and verse 19 - 1 Corinthians chapter 9 and verse 19 - it says this, "for though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more." He said, 'okay, even though I'm a free person, I'm going to make myself a servant.' My question is how? Well, we haven't answered that yet. Then he says, for this reason: "that I might gain the more." So why am I going to make myself a servant? So I can gain. How am I going to make myself a servant? He hasn't told us yet in verse . Let's look at verse 20.

"And unto the jews I became as a jew, that I might gain the jews;" - oh, that's what he means 'to become like a servant' - a servant. 'I am going to become like them so that I might win them. That's my purpose.' Okay - continues in verse 20, "to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;" - so I'm going to go to this group of people, I'm going to become like them so that I might win them.' Some of you already have a little bit of red flags. 'This could be dangerous, chuck.' Yeah, it can be dangerous, but let's keep - let's keep looking at verse 21, "to them that are without law, as without law," - and then he makes it crystal clear - puts a little parenthetical statement. Paul wanted to make sure that his readers did not misunderstand - "(being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

" - 'I'm going to be like those who don't have a law, but I'm going to still have a law, but it's going to be to God. I'm going to follow God's law, but I'm going to be as much like them as I can in some ways, to win them.' I think that's what he's saying. You know what they say in theological terms? They call this contextualization. I get nervous sometimes when you get big academic terms, because the academic term has different meanings based upon who's saying it. So do you mind if I speak in a simple language? Contextualization means this: speaking in my opinion - speaking to a group of people in a way that they can understand what you are saying - sharing the Gospel in a way that they can understand.

There's all kinds of terminologies - they can take that in different ways, but I want to emphasize that. Being like the Galatians doesn't mean being like their spiritual condition, it means being like their cultural condition as far as possible, to help their spiritual condition. So he's not saying, 'I'm going to become unspiritual because you're unspiritual and, hopefully, we'll both become spiritual together.' That's not what Paul's saying to the church in galatia. What he's saying is, 'I am going to remain connected with my Heavenly Father and I'm going to adapt some things that are from your culture to help reach you.' Contextualization. So, with that being said, did Jesus ever contextualize? Absolutely.

A lot of times. Remember, even as a young boy - Luke chapter 2 - young boy - Jesus is in the temple - he is twelve years old. He is speaking to the doctors and he's using their authority and their teaching to shock them, if you will, and to share things that - you know what it says in Desire of Ages? It said, 'if the thoughts that he had opened up to their mind were followed out, it would have prepared the nation to receive him as the Savior. As a twelve year old. But he didn't go in there and say, 'hey, I've got something I need to tell you.

I'm The Son of God.' No, he went in, in a way that they could understand and said, 'let me just act like a student.' 'Oh, that's interesting. What does it say in Isaiah? Oh, okay.' And so he's saying things that help them learn in a way that they could understand, by showing respect to them in their position. What about zaccheus? Luke chapter 19. Did he reach out in a way to zaccheus - in a way that zaccheus could understand? Absolutely. And I can go by a lot of them, but I notice our time so I'm going to go - speed up just a little bit.

Matthew - the disciple Matthew, who used to be a publican, had a great feast when he was accepted as a disciple and he invited all his publican friends to come to the feast and he invited who to come to the feast? Jesus. Jesus. Did Jesus go to the publican's feast? Yes. That is reaching them in a way they cold understand. Was he pulling down a six-pack of coors and enjoying himself? No, no, that's not what Jesus was doing.

But was he mingling with them in a way that they could understand? Yes. Was he reaching them in the position where they were at? Yes. Beautiful picture we see here. The demoniacs, the woman at the well, the healing of the daughter of the canaanite woman - remember those soldiers, they were sent during the feast of tabernacles, six months before Jesus' death? Jesus is speaking at the feast of tabernacles and the leadership said, 'let's capture him now.' You know, in reality, Jesus would have been crucified, possibly six months earlier, but it wasn't time yet. It wasn't in God's time table, because God does things - everything - on time.

But it could have happened but God didn't allow it. That was at the feast of tabernacles six months before passover. And when they sent these soldiers to go take him, they came back empty handed to the leadership and the priests said, 'where is he?' And the response was this: 'never a man spake like this one.' And they were very furious. 'What? You believe him too?' Amazing. Did Jesus reach people where they were at? The roman soldiers were astounded.

The canaanite woman was given faith and hope. The woman at the well of samaria was given - accepted Christ as her personal Savior. Zaccheus a publican, Matthew a publican - Jesus reached people where they were at while never losing his hold on God. That is what God's calling us to do, I believe, and that's what Paul is saying 'I'm doing to you. I want you to be like me.

I want you to have this Christ formed within you, because I'm doing whatever it takes to reach you and speak in a way that you can understand.' That's the picture we're seeing here in Galatians 4, verse 12. Alright, I read a book recently that was moving to me. It was about a missionary to the papua new guinea area of indonesia - so not papua new guinea, but in that section of indonesia - that island. He went there when there were a lot of head hunters - still head hunting and cannibalism taking place - his name was don richardson, some of you may be familiar with the story of don richardson, and he wrote a book concerning what was taking place. He went to this tribe to share Christ with them and, as he got to the point of sharing the story of Jesus, he told them the story of Jesus and he ran into a serious problem.

When he described the betrayal of Jesus by Judas and the resulting capture and then crucifixion, he was hoping to portray how great Christ was, but these tribesmen were amazed with Judas. They said, 'Judas is the man.' That was the mindset - they were saying that. 'Judas is the real man. He's the one we'd want to be like. Here he has been extremely deceptive and eventually he gets his even way without anyone knowing about it 'til the very end.

Awesome. And so here is don richardson thinking, 'how can I break through to this mindset where Judas is the hero and Jesus is the weak man?' And he found that there was something in their culture that I believe maybe God implanted that allowed them to see Christ in a beautiful way. You have to read about it. It's in a book called peace child. No, I'll tell you in two minutes.

When two enemy tribes would come together - and the whole goal was to - they had this phrase in their line called 'fattening with friendship for the slaughter' - so you'd befriend someone who was of the enemy tribe and try to make them think that it was a real friendship. You may even be friends for a year or two. And then, when they're completely trusting, you kill them and eat them - and that was the thought. That's why they appreciated Judas. So to counteract that, if there was a battle between two enemy tribes and it was about to start, the way to bring peace was that one man from this tribe would take his child - I'm going to move across the stage just a little bit here - he would take his child and he would take his child from his wife's arms and run towards the enemy's tribe - they would meet in a field or something - and hand his baby to them.

At the same exact time, someone from that tribe would take their son and run across with the wife screaming behind, 'don't do it!' And drop off the baby on this side. Now there's a baby from either tribe in the opposite camp. And it was this: that is the peace child. As long as that child is alive, war cannot happen. As long as that child is alive, war cannot happen because you have one of ours and we don't want to accidentally kill one of ours in the battle.

Do you see that thinking? The worst thing that you could ever do was kill a peace child. It was the worst of all crimes. And instantly, don richardson said, 'it was like the light broke open. Here is the key to enter with the Gospel. Jesus is the peace child.

' He is. And he will never die. So peace will be forever. But Judas, betraying him, was killing the peace child and that was the worst crime that could ever be taken. Instantly the whole scenario switched and they saw - and through a series of events over a couple of years, he soon had a whole group of believers there among this head-hunting cannibalistic tribe turn over and convert to Jesus.

Why? Because he was able to contextualize the Gospel. Did he change the Gospel? No. Did he reach them where they were at? Yes. Did he speak in a way they could understand? And, you know, there are so many other - so many other ones - I had a whole list here of stories of different tribes and different things that God - it's implanted in those cultures that we can use when sharing the Gospel with them. Amazing.

Again, that book is peace child by don richardson - very fascinating story - you have to have a tough stomach to read some of it, though. We've now looked at Galatians :12 - we made that our main focus so far in this lesson. As we're closing up, there's just two more days and I would like to touch on them this way: Galatians chapter 4 and verses through 15 - and we're going to extend the next few verses - Galatians 4 starting with verse , "brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the Gospel unto you at the first." He said - you know, I was - I'm not sure all the scenarios - they have all this guesswork going on in the quarterly but, for some reason, when Paul was there the first time, he was sick and, in spite of his sickness, in spite of his disease - whatever it was - he preached the Gospel to them. It says, "through.

..infirmity...i preached...unto you. And my temptation, which was in my flesh ye despised not," - they didn't despise him because he had this disease - this sickness - no despising - "nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus." What a beautiful picture of the friendship of the Galatians. Here is Paul, weak with some kind of illness - infirmity - and he's preaching to them in the midst of it and they take him, instead of despising him for his sickness because, obviously, it was a little bit wearing on them as well, instead of despising - instead of rejecting him for that, they accepted him even as if he was from heaven itself. Thank you so much. The friendship of the Galatians is a really nice friendship.

And that's the picture that Paul's trying to bring out. 'Remember, you really like me.' That's what he's trying to say. 'You really like me. You're nice to me.' In fact, he says this in verse 15, "for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me." 'You would have done anything for me.' That's the - amazing - this is the picture - the friendship the Galatians had for Paul. They would do anything for Paul.

Paul's reminding them now. You ever do that with your friends sometimes? 'Remember, we're friends. I just want to let you know we're friends. I don't know why you're saying what you're saying right now, but we are friends. We go back a long way.

' And that's what Paul was letting the church of galatia know here. Why the change? Why is there this change that's taken place? Obviously they're great friends. Why the change in the church of galatia? I think the answer is found simply in verse 17. Verse 17, "they" - speaking of those who are teaching the false doctrine - "zealously affect you, but not well;" - they give you this zeal for something that's not good. Just because a person has zeal doesn't mean that it's good.

You're allowed to say 'amen' to that one. Just because a person has zeal doesn't mean it's good. Now, I've met a lot of people who have passionate zeal about something that's spiritual but the end of those ways thereof is not good. Zeal is not a determiner of whether something is right or wrong, the word is that. So here we have this zeal.

In fact, Romans chapter 10 - I have the privilege of - I spent a few days with a fellow Sabbath school teacher by the name of chris buttery. Do you know chris buttery? So he and I are both teaching this lesson right now at the same time at two different churches. And I've been spending time - and he shared this passage with me - a fantastic - Romans chapter 10 - Romans chapter 10 and verse 2 - Romans 10, verse says, "for I bear them record that they have a zeal of" - who? - "God, but" - what? "Not according to knowledge." Had the zeal of God but not according to knowledge. And verse 3 says, "for they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." This is the issue in galatia. Yes, he's speaking about his brethren, the jews, but this is the issue that's now even taking place in the Christian church in galatia.

They're going about trying to establish their own righteousness. They have a zeal of God but it's not according to knowledge. That's Romans chapter , verses 2 and 3. I'd like to ask a question. Is it fair that people should have to minister through infirmities? I mean, come on, Paul is doing God's work.

Why should he have infirmities when he's trying to do God's work? Shouldn't a path just be wide open and clear and 'go ahead, Paul. I'm going to give you roses along your path with no thorns. You can have all the food you can eat. I'm going to heal you of your thorn in the flesh. Everything's going to be fine.

' How does Paul feel about it? How does Paul feel about ministering with infirmities? It's a good question for us to ask. Corinthians chapter 4 - Corinthians chapter 4 - beautiful passage is found there - verses 7 through 12. I'd like to touch on it briefly - 2 Corinthians chapter 4 starting with verse 7. Paul is speaking here and so this is his view about ministering while having infirmities. He says, in verse 7, "but we have this treasure in" - what kind of vessels? Earthen.

"Earthen vessels, that the excEllency of the power may be of" - who? God. "God, and not of" - us. "Us." So he says having infirmities or being in an earthen vessel helps show God's power even better. 'Even though I'm messed up, it shows God's power.' It brings the glory where it's supposed to be. Then it continues in verse 10 - I'm going to skip 8 and 9 - I'm going to come back to it - verse says, "always bearing about in the body of the dying of the Lord Jesus," - always bearing about in my body of the dying of the Lord Jesus.

What he says in verse 11 - he says, "for we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake" - because we're going through these trials and infirmities - we're almost being delivered unto death for Jesus' sake. But notice his response - both and 11 - he says the same exact words - almost. Here's why: "that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." 'I'm going through all these trials that the life of Jesus may be manifest in my body.' You know what he says in verse 11? "That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh." He just repeats the same thing twice in a row. The reason for going through trial, in the eyes of Paul, is so the life of Jesus could be manifest in his body. I don't know if I desire infirmities quite like that.

But, you know what? I do. I want to have the life of Jesus manifest in me. Amen. I want that. And sometimes the best way - no, I don't like saying this, but sometimes the best way to see the life of Jesus manifested in someone is when they're going through trial, and Paul realizes that.

And so, he makes this statement in verses 8 and 9 that I think is fantastic. "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed;" - what was the next one? - "We are perplexed, but not in despair;" - verse 9 - "persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;" - Paul said this. 'Even though I am troubled on every side' - some of you have troubles on every side right now? Yes. Is it possible that someone at the Granite Bay church would have troubles on every side? I know it's highly unlikely, but some of you might have that. 'Perplexed' - is it possible that someone in here, today, might be perplexed? Paul said, 'I'm perplexed at times.

' You know what perplexed means? 'I'm not quite sure what's happening.' Forsaken - have you ever felt forsaken? Paul did. Ever felt cast down? Some of you may. You know this last summer I was sharing this passage with a group of people - actually, they were age 12 to 17 - it was a youth camp. And I remember, as we covered this idea about being forsaken, one of the young ladies looked at me - I could almost see tears in her eyes. I forgot that teenagers, sometimes, feel forsaken.

Amazing. All of us go through these feelings - and Paul said, 'even though I feel this, here's what I'm not: I'm not distressed; I'm not in despair; I'm not forsaken;' - excuse me, persecuted - I got the wrong thing back here - 'and I'm not destroyed. In spite of those feelings, I am not. God is still here for me. I'm not destroyed.

I may be perplexed, but you know what? I'm not in despair. I may not have figured everything out, but I know that God's in charge. That's why there's no need for despair in my life. This is a picture that Paul is giving us, here in Galatians. Chapter 4, verse 16 - I've got to close, but I don't want to close without sharing this.

Is that okay? Galatians chapter 4, verse 16, "am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" Paul has started out by saying, 'I beg of you listen to me. I'm like your father. I'm travailing for you. I love you. Remember, we have this great friendship.

You would do anything for me. Remember that? Now, because I tell you the truth, are you going to hate me? Am I your enemy because I tell you the truth? Let's face it - truth is sometimes hard to swallow, isn't it? Your husband comes home and says, 'you know what? I need to find a new job.' I that hard to swallow sometimes? Someone tells you your clothes don't match. That's a little bit easy to accept, isn't it? Here's one: a mechanic tells you that your car needs repairs. That's truth. You know, I've gotten mad at mechanics before.

I'm admitting this. 'How dare you say I need a thousand dollars worth of repairs on my car? I don't have a thousand dollars.' And they're like, 'I'm just the messenger. Have mercy on me.' I know, but I hate the truth. Sometimes the truth we don't like and sometimes we attack the one who brings the truth to us. And that's what we see taking place here.

I like to share that quotation with you as we close and then ask you a few questions. Why did Paul get hated as an enemy? It's because this: to substitute the external forms of religion for holiness of heart and life is still as pleasing to the unrenewed nature as in the days of the apostles. Today people don't want - I would say, by and large, I'm speaking for myself, external forms are a whole lot easier than holiness of heart and life. I'd rather just do whatever it takes - tell me what I need to do. And you say, 'surrender to God.

' 'No, no, no, not that one. Tell me something else. Tell me what do I need to do. Just tell me - do I have to pay more tithe? I'll pay more tithe.' 'No, no, no, no, it's not that. You need to surrender.

' 'No, no, no, no, other than surrender.' And sometimes that's the response. We would never verbalize it like that. But the big issue that God's longing for us today is to have Christ formed in us. It's not looking for your outward actions, that'll come when Christ is in you - and in his way and his time. God is looking for Christ to be formed in you today.

Amen. He wants to be formed in me today. He wants us to have that kind of experience. I want to have it, do you? Amen. Let's pray as we close out this lesson.

Father in Heaven, we are just so grateful that you have given us a lesson of pleading - spiritual pleading in the life of Paul - father, his desire for the Galatians, we know, is your desire for us and we're asking, today, father, that our hearts are open. Please send your son into us. Fill us with your spirit so that we can have the life of Christ within us. We ask for this in the mighty name of Jesus, amen. Let's face it, it's not always easy to understand everything you read in the Bible.

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