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Galatians

Legalism vs. Liberty

01 - Introduction: Legalism vs. Liberty

Selected Scriptures • September 4, 2011

When the apostle Paul wrote GALATIANS, little did he know that his minuscule letter would spark a mammoth revolution. Not only did it upend many Jewish readers (with its dual-emphasis on grace and freedom) but it helped to ignite the Reformation some 1,500 years later. In it, Paul asks and answers some probing questions: -- What is a Christian’s relationship to the Old Testament? -- Are Christians still bound to the Mosaic Law? -- How can God forgive sinners who violate the Law? -- What exactly is the gospel of grace and justification? With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

02 - Paul's Authority & Gospel

Galatians 1:1-5 • September 11, 2011 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Paul used his opening greeting to the Galatians not necessarily as a salutation but as his weapon of choice, as it were, to rebuke the false teachers in Galatia. The apostle does not waste time with pleasantries or platitudes nor does he commend the Galatians (as was his custom). Instead, because the Galatians were on the verge of defecting from orthodoxy, Paul used his salutation to address the first point of contention between him and the false teachers in Galatia—namely, his apostolic authority. With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

03 - False Teachers & Faithless Galatians

Galatians 1:6-10 • October 2, 2011 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Paul cared deeply for the souls of men and his care for the Galatians was no exception. He knew the gospel was the power of God for salvation. Therefore, to corrupt the gospel was to destroy the way of salvation and to send to ruin the souls of men who might be saved by it. As such, it's no wonder that Paul desired that the false teachers in Galatia be eternally accursed and that the Church should treat them as such. With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

04 - The Origin Of The Gospel of Grace

Galatians 1:11-24 • October 9, 2011 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

The revelation of Christ was a turning point in Paul's life. In the past, his life had been totally works-oriented but now he lived by faith according to the gospel given to him directly from the Lord. And certainly few testimonies and conversion stories were as fantastic as his. Recognizing the grace given to him by God, the early Church eagerly extended to him the right-hand of fellowship. With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

05 - Only One Gospel

Galatians 2:1-10 • October 16, 2011 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Triggered by the ease with which an explosion of Gentiles had been integrated into the Christian faith, a vocal faction of Jewish heretics in Galatia objected to Paul’s doctrine of Justification by Faith. In rebuttal, Paul recounts in Galatians 2 how he and Barnabas were summoned to the Jerusalem Council years earlier (Acts 15) to settle the matter. When the dust had settled, Justification by Faith had won the day. With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

06 - Paul vs. Peter: Justification By Faith (Part 1)

Galatians 2:11-21 • October 23, 2011 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

We know that they had their differences, as all men do. But the battle between Paul and Peter in Antioch was a theological grudge match for the ages! Peter, following the Cornelius incident in Act.10:1-11:18, shared in table-fellowship with Gentiles. But some time later, he began to draw back, quietly disassociating himself from those considered “unclean.” Infuriated by Peter's hypocrisy, Paul opposed him “to his face”– directly and openly, showing his apostolic authority. With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

07 - Paul vs. Peter: Justification By Faith (Part 2)

Galatians 2:17-21 • November 20, 2011 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Paul publicly challenged the hypocrisy of Peter who, having kowtowed to legalistic Jews, fell into false doctrine. Peter had feared the reactions of these Jewish visitors and tried to make a good impression by avoiding Gentile Christians. Not surprisingly, Paul saw Peter’s actions and friendship with the Judaizers as an attack on the gospel. He therefore recounts for the Galatians in chapter 2 how he rebuked Peter openly for undermining Justification by Faith. With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

08 - The Folly Of The Galatians

Galatians 3:1-9 • November 27, 2011 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

As loyalist Jews, the Judaizers were persistent in their use of Abraham as their example for Law-keeping. They played on their proud heritage and their embellishment of the Patriarchs to impose their beliefs on non-Jews. So Paul, in his rebuttal, uses Abraham as his example to defeat the false teachers at their own game. Deferring to Genesis 12:3; 15:6; 18:18; and 22:18, he reminds his readers that Abraham was declared righteous before God by faith alone. With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

09 - Faith vs. Works: Blessed Or Cursed?

Galatians 3:10-14 • December 4, 2011 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

What Christ accomplished on the cross is what we as Christians trust in for salvation. No amount of good works, Law-keeping, meritorious conduct, or ceremonial obedience can justify us before a holy God. The cross-work of Jesus Christ lays the groundwork for Justification by Faith. But if Christians are saved by faith in Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice, then what role do good works play in the Christian's life? Are they even relevant? With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

10 - Abraham, Moses, & Christ

Galatians 3:15-22 • December 11, 2011 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Paul fought vociferously against the Judaizers in Galatia because he didn’t want to see his Gentile converts disinherited of that which was given by grace to Abraham and, by the same means, to all who are blessed by his Seed. Christianity is not necessarily a Jewish religion but is Jewish and Gentile; the benefits of which apply to all types of people. Stated simply, the blessings promised to Abraham are afforded to those who accept by faith the Seed of Abraham. With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

11 - Under Law Or In Christ?

Galatians 3:23-29 • December 18, 2011 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

In his refutation of the Judaizers, Paul used yet another illustration to explain the purpose of the Mosaic Law. He refers to it as our "tutor” or "schoolmaster." Its job was to lead us to a certain point and no further. And that point, he argues, has arrived with Jesus Christ. The Messiah has come so that we might now be justified by faith. Thus, New Covenant believers are set free from the Mosaic Law though they remain bound to the "law of Christ" (Gal. 6:1-2). With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

12 - From Slaves Of Sin To Sons Of God

Galatians 4:1-11 • January 1, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

In Galatians 4:1-11, Paul shows us the distinction between Old Covenant slaves and New Covenant sons. Because we are sons of God by faith in Jesus Christ, and no longer slaves to sin and Satan, God sent the “Spirit of His Son” into our hearts. To be a son and heir of God should therefore change the way we see ourselves and the way we see our life in this world. With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

13 - Sadness, Sickness, & Sacrilege

Galatians 4:12-20 • January 8, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

In appealing to the Galatians to become like him, Paul urged them to be themselves— Gentiles, who had been saved by God’s grace and who did not need to change their identity. Paul had become like the Gentiles in many respects, yet in following the Judaizers, the Galatians had sought to become like Paul before his conversion, intent on achieving self-made righteousness through Law-keeping. Consequently, they alienated the apostle they once adored. With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

14 - Two Covenants: Isaac & Ishmael

Galatians 4:21-31 • January 15, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Abraham’s two wives, Paul tells us in Galatians 4, personified two covenants (Abrahamic and Mosaic), which Paul compares and contrasts at length. He juxtaposes an enslaved Hagar and her son (Ishmael) with Sarah and her son (Isaac) who was not only free but Abraham’s heir. In effect, the apostle challenged the Galatians to consider which son they want to align themselves with: The enslaved Ishmael or the free Isaac! With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

15 - Fallen From Grace

Galatians 5:1-12 • January 22, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

The situation in Galatia had become critical! If the Galatians would not respond to Paul's appeal to live in the freedom of God's grace, they would likely be lost to religious slavery. It seems Paul’s letter was a last chance—a "now or never" opportunity—to explain the "either/or" choice between religious performance (false religion) and God's grace received by faith (true religion). In other words, either Christ is all or Christ is nothing! With no verse left unexamined, Pastor Ronald H. Gann unpacks each of Paul’s answers in this in-depth sermon series on GALATIANS.

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