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← Gospel Faith Leads to the Fullness of the Spirit's Power - Ryan Fullerton

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Showing Revision 5 created 12/26/2017 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. I have been at this conference every year
  2. for the past four years.
  3. And I think I can say
  4. that after a day-and-a-half,
  5. or I guess maybe two half-days,
  6. something like that,
  7. this one is my favorite.
  8. I have been ministered to in ways
  9. that I wasn't expecting,
  10. just getting to talk to
    brothers and sisters
  11. and receive encouragement in the Lord,
  12. and I hope I've been able
    to sit with a few of you
  13. and minister to you and encourage you.
  14. And so at the same time as I feel
  15. this opportunity to minister to
  16. and this opportunity to be ministered to,
  17. I have come away from
    the last day-and-a-half
  18. with an increased burden.
  19. I feel burdened.
  20. And I think I feel burdened
  21. in the best kind of way.
  22. I got to talk to John Sytsma
  23. this afternoon,
  24. and to hear about the obstacles
  25. to the work there in the 10/40 window.
  26. I got to hear from him
  27. of the sex trafficking
  28. in some of the countries
  29. where he's ministered.
  30. Entire towns without teenage girls.
  31. I've got a 13 year old.
  32. I don't even know how to process that.
  33. Because they've been sold,
  34. by and large,
  35. into the sex trade.
  36. I got to just say a few words
  37. to Josef Urban who we heard
  38. a great testimony from last year,
  39. and he was telling of a new church
  40. that's being planted in Mexico,
  41. and yet the thing under his breath
  42. is we need more workers.
  43. I got to speak to a brother
  44. who's a bi-vocational pastor
  45. who's serving a little church,
  46. but working a job that is killing him,
  47. and just seeing the quality of his service
  48. dwindle because of the amount of time
  49. he's having to pour into
  50. the job he has at this time.
  51. Spoke to a friend who's having problems
  52. with his house - the actual, physical one.
  53. Like, it's breaking down.
  54. And then, on top of that,
  55. problems in the home;
  56. extended family.
  57. And I hear all that,
  58. and I'll be honest with you,
  59. my reaction as a preacher is:
  60. What's the sermon that can fix it all?
  61. I just want to help
  62. every one of those people
  63. and I assume that each of those people
  64. just represent all of us.
  65. That all of us have great need.
  66. And the question I come away
  67. from those conversations asking myself
  68. is what can sustain God's people?
  69. What can move so that there's
  70. more than enough workers in Mexico;
  71. what can move so whether
  72. a bi-vocational pastor gets more support,
  73. so he doesn't have to be bi-vocational,
  74. or he just gets strength
    to stay bi-vocational;
  75. what can move so that God's people
  76. are sustained when their homes
  77. and their houses
  78. and their extended family are falling
  79. as a result of the fall?
  80. And I believe we need
  81. a tremendous outpouring
    of the Holy Spirit.
  82. We need an entire Person of the Trinity
  83. to help us.
  84. We need all of the Holy Spirit
  85. bringing us into all that Christ has done
  86. so that we can enjoy
    all of our relationship
  87. to the Father.
  88. And that sustains but it also motivates
  89. more to move out and help, doesn't it?
  90. I talked to another brother today,
  91. and he said in the last twenty years,
  92. I've heard better, clearer,
  93. theologically precise presentations
  94. of the Gospel than I've ever heard before.
  95. And I believe we are witnessing
  96. a season where there are many
  97. clearly and biblically articulating
  98. the Gospel.
  99. And we should thank God for that.
  100. But he said before those twenty years,
  101. I heard less clear presentations
  102. of the Gospel,
  103. and they came with more power.
  104. That is not an excuse
  105. for a lack of precision in preaching.
  106. Study hard to show yourself approved,
  107. a workman who need not be ashamed,
  108. rightly dividing the word of truth.
  109. But if it's rightly divided and powerless,
  110. that's one more testimony that we need
  111. the power of the Holy Spirit.
  112. And if those burdens weren't enough,
  113. then we heard those last two sermons.
  114. And I just walk away from
  115. Brother Mack's sermon
  116. and Brother Kevin's sermon
  117. with this desire in my soul
  118. that I want to share with you
  119. from God's Word tonight.
  120. Remember Brother Mack's sermon:
  121. Christ was a man.
  122. He had an umbilical cord.
  123. He had been utterly dependent
  124. on His mother.
  125. He was a man.
  126. And yet, as a man,
  127. He moved like no other man moved
  128. because of the power and the presence
  129. of the Holy Spirit on His life.
  130. That's what motivated Christ.
  131. That's what empowered Christ
  132. to move as no other man moved
  133. was that He - our older Brother -
  134. had the Spirit that now
  135. we have been given.
  136. Oh, if that doesn't whet your appetite
  137. for more empowerment from God's Spirit,
  138. you might need to put a mirror
  139. under your nose and check for breath.
  140. And then Brother Kevin
  141. so clearly laying out these two ways
  142. that men approach God.
  143. One: By blood sacrifice
  144. offered in faith -
  145. I love that point -
  146. that brings us to God.
  147. So glorious.
  148. It makes us accepted to God by Him.
  149. And the other way,
  150. which is offering our "very best" to God
  151. like He now owes us something,
  152. because we showed up to give Him our best,
  153. and how that is utterly rejected by God.
  154. And what I want to do in this message
  155. is I want to try to combine
  156. the last two messages.
  157. I want to ask,
  158. how do you get the power
  159. of the Holy Spirit
  160. that the Lord Jesus Christ had
  161. on your life?
  162. How do you walk in
  163. the power of the Holy Spirit
  164. that Brother Mack said was on
  165. the Lord Jesus Christ?
  166. And I want to answer that question
  167. by saying it's by the
    Gospel Kevin preached.
  168. You see, this Gospel
  169. that our brother preached,
  170. for unbelievers - to win
    many of you to Christ,
  171. is the Gospel that Christians
  172. are meant to live by.
  173. It is not something that's merely
  174. to take us at the moment
    of our conversion.
  175. It's not something that's merely
  176. to grip us at the moment
  177. when we are born again,
  178. but it is to be our lifeblood
  179. for the entirety of our -
  180. I was going to say lives,
    but that would be wrong.
  181. For the entirety of our eternity.
  182. The light of eternity
  183. will be the slain Lamb of God.
  184. And so I want to think with you about
  185. what does it look like
  186. for the Gospel to give us the Spirit
  187. that empowers,
  188. and what would get in the way
  189. of the Gospel giving us the Spirit?
  190. So we know we need the Spirit
  191. and we know (or I hope we know)
  192. that in order to have more of the Spirit,
  193. we need to make sure
  194. that we are clinging to the Gospel.
  195. And so what I want to do,
  196. is I want to ask you a question.
  197. Then I want to answer it.
  198. Then I want to read a Scripture.
  199. And then I want to pray.
  200. I am going to pray.
  201. But I want to first ask you a question.
  202. Then I want to give you an answer.
  203. And then I want to read you a Scripture.
  204. And then I want to pray.
  205. What should a good pastor do

  206. if he sees the people he loves
  207. drifting away from the Gospel?
  208. What should a faithful man of God do
  209. if he sees the people
  210. that he explained to them,
  211. he said to them,
  212. listen, the way you're saved
  213. is by nothing other
  214. than the sacrifice of
    the Lord Jesus Christ.
  215. It's by His shed blood alone,
  216. paying the blood penalty
    you should have paid,
  217. but He paid it.
  218. You simply repent and believe in Him.
  219. What if that man sees the people he loves
  220. swerving?
  221. Drifting into some system?
  222. Some man-made legalistic system
  223. that gives them another way
  224. to really be saved,
  225. or we'll even say, fully saved?
  226. To really enter in with God.
  227. What if he finds them learning
  228. that not only do they need
    to believe the Gospel,
  229. but they also need to
    abstain from all alcohol.
  230. That is clearly the way to heaven.
  231. What if he sees them find out
  232. that they need to embrace the Gospel,
  233. but clearly, they need to be homeschooling
  234. because if you're not homeschooling,
  235. you would clearly be in
    a second-class position
  236. with God.
  237. What if he sees them in a situation
  238. where they are hearing the Gospel,
  239. loving the Gospel,
  240. and then all of a sudden,
  241. they are being derailed into some idea
  242. that their church needs to be
  243. a particularly perfect kind of way
  244. before they can really flourish
  245. in the Gospel?
  246. What kind of things would a pastor say
  247. to his people if he felt
  248. and if he saw that they were drifting
  249. from the Gospel?
  250. That's my question.
  251. Here's my answer.

  252. You stupid fools!
  253. Who is feeding you this garbage?
  254. Are you drunk?
  255. Are you under some kind of spell?
  256. I preached Jesus Christ was crucified
  257. to pay for all your sins every week,
  258. and now you're eating up
  259. this legalistic garbage?
  260. Don't you remember
  261. when I first counseled with you,
  262. how you trusted the Gospel alone,
  263. and now you think you're going to
  264. get the Spirit by some finishing
  265. of some legalistic expectation?
  266. Some checklist?
  267. Are you completely out to lunch
  268. having started by God's Holy Spirit?
  269. Now, you've got this little checklist
  270. that you're going to keep
  271. and if you keep it perfectly
  272. you're going to be empowered
  273. for obedience?
  274. You are foolish!
  275. Have you had so many glorious experiences
  276. that flow from the Gospel?
  277. Or are you throwing that all away
  278. so you can go to the legalism?
  279. Listen, God does not supply
  280. the Spirit to you and work miracles
  281. in this congregation -
  282. He doesn't do it because
  283. you've fulfilled some legalistic checklist
  284. of expectations.
  285. He does it simply because
  286. you believe the Gospel.
  287. And I think that's the right answer.
  288. I think it's the right answer
  289. because I don't think that a godly pastor
  290. always sounds like Mr. Rogers
  291. on Valium with a Bible.
  292. Now Johnny, you really
    shouldn't be a legalist.
  293. Thinking you can work your way to heaven
  294. and you need to come on back to Jesus.
  295. I think sometimes a godly pastor
  296. sounds like a dad whose kid
  297. is playing in the road.
  298. And he engages in some sanctified yelling.
  299. You fool! Get out of the road!
  300. You're going to get killed in there!
  301. That car's going roll over you
  302. and it's done!
  303. But more importantly,
  304. I think that's the way you
    respond because that's the way
  305. the Apostle Paul responded
    in Galatians 3:1-5.
  306. That's the way he spoke.
  307. Now, time out.
  308. That's not the way you normally speak.
  309. Some of you,
  310. you can take this sermon
  311. and from now on
    you're going to be:
  312. You fool! You fool! You fool!
  313. This ought to be the big exception
  314. to the general gentleness of your life.
  315. "Oh, foolish Galatians.

  316. Who has bewitched you?
  317. It was before your eyes
  318. that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed
  319. as crucified.
  320. Let me ask you only this -
  321. did you receive the Spirit
  322. by works of the law
  323. or by hearing with faith?
  324. Are you so foolish
  325. having begun by the Spirit,
  326. are you now being perfected
  327. by the flesh?
  328. Did you suffer so many things in vain
  329. if indeed it was in vain?
  330. Does He Who supplies the Spirit to you
  331. and works miracles among you
  332. do so by works of the law
  333. or by hearing with faith?
  334. Just as Abraham believed God,
  335. and it was counted to him
  336. as righteousness."
  337. Let's pray.

  338. Father, we come before You.
  339. We ask You, Lord, that You would...
  340. well, first of all Lord,
  341. we just ask that You would
  342. pour out Your Holy Spirit on us
  343. and do miracles among us
  344. just by our belief in the Gospel.
  345. Just by the Gospel.
  346. That's my prayer, Lord.
  347. And I ask you to sanctify me to that task.
  348. Lord, I know that many
    of the things I'm saying
  349. are going to be said
    on a razor's edge.
  350. Give me clarity.
  351. Set a guard over the door of my mouth
  352. that I might not sin against You.
  353. I pray that You would anoint
  354. and empower and allow the Holy Spirit
  355. to be experienced
  356. so that Christ is known.
  357. I pray even for the moms with babies,
  358. that You'd even let them focus.
  359. Calm the children down.
  360. Lord, we pray this in Jesus' name.
  361. Amen.
  362. The Apostle Paul in this passage

  363. sounds like a man interrogating
  364. the Galatian Christians under lights.
  365. He is asking them questions
  366. of Gospel interrogation.
  367. Don't you remember how you
  368. received the Holy Spirit?
  369. Don't you remember what
    God did in your life?
  370. He's asking them rhetorical questions
  371. and he is asking them these questions
  372. so that they will be brought back
  373. to their senses,
  374. and they will be rooted and grounded
  375. in the Gospel,
  376. and they will continue on
  377. in the power of the Holy Spirit.
  378. That's why these firm questions
  379. are being asked by the Apostle Paul.
  380. The Galatian Christians, at this point
  381. in their history,
  382. were falling hook, line, and sinker
  383. for a teaching that said:
  384. Yes, Jesus is good,
  385. but you also need to get circumcised,
  386. you need to eat kosher,
  387. you need to celebrate
    all the Jewish holidays.
  388. Basically, you need to
    add the law of Moses
  389. to the Gospel,
  390. and then, you will be declared righteous.
  391. Then you will be fully
  392. part of God's inheritance
  393. and God's people.
  394. This is what they were drifting into,
  395. and this is why Paul puts them
  396. under the lights
  397. and asks them all these questions.
  398. And all of these questions have one goal.
  399. The goal of all of these questions
  400. in Galatians 3:1-5
  401. is to help the people of God see
  402. how they were justified;
  403. how they came to have the Holy Spirit;
  404. how they came to have
  405. the very power of God
  406. resting on their lives.
  407. And he wants them to see that
  408. it had nothing to do with circumcision,
  409. food laws, putting special days
  410. on your calendar;
  411. it is by something completely different.
  412. It is simply by faith
    in Jesus Christ alone
  413. and His finished work
  414. that the precious gift of the Holy Spirit
  415. is given to the people of God.
  416. And Paul, being a good preacher,
  417. does not ask complicated questions
  418. to the congregation.
  419. These were not questions
  420. where the Apostle Paul would ask you
  421. and you would go...
  422. Let me get back to you on that.
  423. Let me think about that.
  424. And let me respond at
    some time in the future
  425. with exactly what it is
  426. that is the answer to your question.
  427. No, these were very basic questions
  428. that the Apostle Paul was asking them.
  429. They were rhetorical questions.
  430. Like, what's two plus two? It's four.
  431. It's an obvious and a basic answer.
  432. And the Apostle Paul is asking them
  433. so that they will remember
  434. what it is that gave them the Holy Spirit.
  435. Are you clear on that?
  436. Are you clear on how a man or a woman
  437. receives the Holy Spirit?
  438. We all say we need
    more of the Holy Spirit.
  439. You probably can't find an evangelical
  440. that wouldn't say something like that.
  441. Everyone would acknowledge
  442. we need more of the Holy Spirit.
  443. Are you clear on how a person
  444. receives the Holy Spirit?
  445. And how they go on with the Holy Spirit
  446. in His power?
  447. These questions serve us.
  448. This is a pastor serving us.
  449. To make us crystal clear
  450. on how it is the church
  451. and the people of God
  452. receive the Holy Spirit.
  453. Question #1:

  454. The first question is,
  455. "Oh, foolish Galatians!
  456. Who has bewitched you?"
  457. Notice, he begins with
    a statement about them.
  458. They are foolish.
  459. And the question is: who?
  460. So, he says something bad about them,
  461. and then he asks,
  462. who's doing this to you?
  463. And we need to think for a minute
  464. about what a fool is.
  465. Because Paul is calling them foolish,
  466. but we need to think a little bit
  467. about what it is exactly to be a fool.
  468. And there's two aspects that I think

  469. are critical here about foolishness
  470. in the Bible.
  471. Foolishness in the Bible is first of all
  472. that a fool doesn't see
  473. where present decisions
    are going to take him.
  474. A fool does not see
    where present decisions
  475. are going to take him.
  476. So, Proverbs 1 is written so that
  477. fathers can learn how
    to keep their children
  478. out of gangs.
  479. Because 3,000 years ago,
  480. apparently Solomon and the people
  481. in the time he was living
  482. were already dealing with gangs.
  483. This is not a modern problem.
  484. So in Proverbs 1,
  485. the father comes to the son and says,
  486. My son, if people come to you and say
  487. let's get rich, let's roll a few chumps,
  488. and let's get their money,
  489. do not go in with them,
  490. because you will die.
  491. You don't lay out a net for a bird
  492. in front of the bird.
  493. The bird won't go into that net.
  494. He's saying, you're going to get caught up
  495. in this messed up lifestyle
  496. and be destroyed,
  497. if you go in with these guys
  498. who want to make easy money.
  499. And what the father is doing to his son
  500. is he's saying, you need to
    know where this is going.
  501. The gang members are just going to say,
  502. hey, we're brothers.
  503. Hey, we're going to get rich.
    Hey, it's going to be good.
  504. Here's the immediate payback.
  505. But the fool doesn't see
    where this is going.
  506. You get shot.
  507. A wise man says,
  508. I know where that's going.
  509. Proverbs 5 is the same kind of language.
  510. Proverbs 5 says you see
    that beautiful woman?
  511. Her lips are dripping like honey?
  512. She's as bitter as wormwood.
  513. It does not say she's not pretty.
  514. If you try to convince a young man
  515. that a beautiful adulterous woman
  516. isn't pretty, he'll just think,
  517. you're out to lunch.
  518. She's pretty.
  519. The real answer is to tell him,
  520. she'll kill you.
  521. That's what's going to happen here.
  522. She is indeed pretty.
  523. She's poison.
  524. But a fool doesn't see it.
  525. He just sees the benefits of the gang.
  526. He just sees the thrill of the girl.
  527. He doesn't see where it's going.
  528. And these Galatians were signing up
  529. to a legalist system.
  530. They were thinking, well,
    let's get circumcised.
  531. That will get us in touch with
    our rich Jewish heritage.
  532. That would really be exciting
  533. to practice all those Old Testament laws.
  534. We want the full package.
  535. And Paul says in Galatians 5:2,
  536. Look, "I, Paul, say to you,
  537. that if you accept circumcision,
  538. then he is obligated to
    keep the whole law.
  539. You are severed from Christ,
  540. you who would be justified by law.
  541. You have fallen from grace."
  542. He's saying, you're just looking
  543. at the little entry package.
  544. Let's do the Passover meal.
  545. Let's do the special Jewish days.
  546. Let's practice all the Old Testament.
  547. That'll be so good.
  548. Paul's like, do you know what
    you're signing up for?
  549. You do a little bit of this
  550. and if you want to
    be accepted by God
  551. by doing a little bit of this,
  552. you've got to do it all.
  553. And you've got to do it all perfectly.
  554. So don't be a fool.
  555. They get tantalized by the appetizers.
  556. Because if you eat this poison pill,
  557. you need to take the whole meal.
  558. And I would have you have the Gospel,
  559. and not the law.
  560. But there's another
    aspect to being foolish.

  561. You see, the fool not only
  562. doesn't see where things are going,
  563. but the fool misses the obvious.
  564. The fool has said in his heart...
  565. there is no God.
  566. Now, I think the Bible
    makes it pretty clear
  567. that the reality of God is
    the most obvious reality
  568. on the planet.
  569. My son and I years ago
  570. visited the Honda factory -
  571. I think it was the Honda factory -
  572. Toyota? Good thing I have my son here.
  573. So, the Toyota factory in
    Georgetown, Kentucky.
  574. And this place is amazing.
  575. We're driving around on this
  576. glorified golf cart,
  577. and there's all these robots,
  578. and they spring their arms into action
  579. and they drop weld beads
  580. right in the right place perfectly.
  581. They start with rolls of steel
  582. and out the other
    end of the factory
  583. drives a Camry.
  584. It's incredible.
  585. Can you imagine if I
  586. were to walk up to one of the engineers
  587. who had designed that marvelous plant
  588. and said, surely, there has been
  589. a whirlwind of metal here
  590. for billions and billions of years.
  591. I think he'd be insulted.
  592. But the fool misses the obvious.
  593. The fool misses waterfalls
  594. and fingernails that push out of fingers
  595. and all the glorious workings
  596. of the human body,
  597. and nature, and biospheres.
  598. The fool looks at all of that and says,
  599. "there's no God."
  600. And the Apostle Paul calls
    the Galatians fools here
  601. because they were missing the obvious.
  602. Paul's preaching, and I
    mean this with no offense
  603. to Kevin Williams,
  604. because Kevin Williams was, if anything,
  605. clear this morning, right?
  606. But Paul was clearer.
  607. Kevin's not taking that as an
    insult right now - don't worry.
  608. Paul was the clearest of clear.
  609. Paul said,
  610. "It was before your eyes
  611. that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed
  612. as crucified."
  613. My preaching was
    crystal clear on this point.
  614. I made abundantly clear
  615. that you were sinners
  616. and that Jesus Christ was crucified
  617. in front of you.
  618. That was my message.
  619. I preached it for years with tears.
  620. I went on and on about it.
  621. I determined to know nothing among you
  622. except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
  623. I was a one-string banjo player
  624. with just one note on my banjo:
  625. Jesus Christ is the liberator from sin.
  626. Jesus Christ is the sacrifice for sin.
  627. Jesus Christ is the one Who deals
  628. with all of the broken laws
  629. you've ever broken.
  630. Jesus Christ is the One Who saves you
  631. from the broken laws you've broken.
  632. He is the Savior of the world!
  633. I wonder if we need to get circumcised?
  634. You know, I think it's really important
  635. to make homemade bread.
  636. I mean it's loving your neighbor.
  637. It's loving your neighbor.
  638. All that mass marketing
    isn't loving your neighbor.
  639. Probably if you're a Christian,
  640. you basically have to do that.
  641. Surely, you must read your Bible
  642. for an hour every day.
  643. The Bible's clear.
  644. You know all those good verses
  645. about how you have to read
    your Bible for an hour?
  646. What's your favorite verse on that?
  647. I'm pretty sure you've got
    to do that to get to heaven.
  648. The fool begins to miss the obvious.
  649. The fool begins to fail
  650. to see where things are going.
  651. And so the fool misses out on the Gospel.
  652. And the Gospel is what brings the Spirit.
  653. And so the Apostle Paul
  654. asks these questions,
  655. and he asks them to bring them back
  656. to the Gospel.
  657. I should just comment
    on this one verse too
  658. before I move on.
  659. Notice he says "who" has bewitched you.
  660. Almost always when you begin to drift
  661. from the Gospel, there's a "who."
  662. And they're usually more
    exciting than your pastor
  663. because your pastor just
    plays that one-string banjo.
  664. And I want to tell you,
  665. that if you can identify the "who"
  666. that's pulling you away from the Gospel,
  667. you need to one-hundred percent
  668. and completely sever yourself
  669. from their teaching,
  670. and go with the most boring
  671. Gospel preacher you can find.
  672. That man will take you to heaven.
  673. Because that man will point you to the Man
  674. Who saves us from our sins.
  675. Paul asks another question.

  676. Really, this is question
    number two and five.
  677. And this question is my favorite,
  678. specifically as it relates to
    our topic this evening.
  679. How did you get the Spirit?
  680. How did you get it?
  681. It's assumed here that the Galatians
  682. have experienced the presence
  683. and the power of the Holy Spirit of God.
  684. And now Paul asks them to remember
  685. their history.
  686. And he says to them,
  687. how did you get it.
  688. And he says, "let me ask you only this -
  689. did you receive the Spirit
  690. by works of the law
  691. or by hearing with faith?"
  692. And then in v. 5,
  693. "Does He Who supplies the Spirit to you
  694. and works miracles among you
  695. do so by works of the law
  696. or by hearing with faith?"
  697. And now, these Galatians
  698. had experienced the presence
  699. and the power of the Holy Spirit.
  700. They had come to the point
  701. where they said, "Jesus is Lord."
  702. And 1 Corinthians tells us
  703. no one says Jesus is Lord
  704. in a genuine heartfelt way
  705. except by the Holy Spirit.
  706. They had come to taste something of love,
  707. joy, peace, patience,
  708. and these things come by
  709. the Holy Spirit.
  710. They had come to receive spiritual gifts
  711. by which they served each other
  712. through prophecies
  713. and through miracles
  714. and through acts of service,
  715. through knowledge and wisdom.
  716. They had come to receive the Holy Spirit
  717. and Paul says when did that start?
  718. Come on.
  719. Remember your testimony.
  720. I've got you under the lights.
  721. When did all of that spiritual work
  722. begin in your life?
  723. And he gives them two options.
  724. Did it begin when you began
  725. to practice the works of the law?
  726. Or did it begin when you were
  727. hearing the Gospel with faith?
  728. Now the works of the law in Galatians
  729. means those works
    which God's law requires.
  730. It means the things that were commanded
  731. in the Old Testament law.
  732. It means ceremonial things
  733. like circumcision, special days,
  734. special menus.
  735. But it also means those moral things
  736. like "thou shalt not murder,"
  737. and "thou shalt not covet
  738. another man's wife."
  739. It means all that God commanded
  740. in the Old Testament law.
  741. And he says, was it when you started
  742. doing all the right things
  743. that God commanded,
  744. that you were given the Spirit?
  745. Or, was it when you simply heard
  746. Jesus Christ publicly portrayed
  747. before your eyes as crucified
  748. that you became spiritual people
  749. who began to walk in the Spirit?
  750. And again, the Galatians
    are supposed to go back.
  751. Now, think about the average Galatian.
  752. The average Galatian had never read
  753. the law of Moses.
  754. Ok, there was no confusion
  755. for the average Galatian.
  756. The average Galatian says,
  757. yeah, I was eating kosher,
  758. and then the Spirit came...
  759. No, they weren't eating kosher at all.
  760. They were not Jews.
  761. They were Galatians.
  762. They weren't trying to practice
  763. the Ten Commandments.
  764. They had never celebrated a Passover
  765. in their life.
  766. They didn't have any circumcised children.
  767. They did not have any allegiance to
  768. or practice of the law of Moses.
  769. And a preacher came into their town;
  770. preached Jesus Christ can save you
  771. from your sins.
  772. They believed it and they
    received the Holy Spirit
  773. right then and there.
  774. The only and exclusive prerequisite
  775. to receiving the Spirit of God
  776. is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  777. You put your faith in the One
  778. Who walked by the Spirit
  779. and you will receive the Spirit.
  780. Now there are many good things

  781. in the Christian life.
  782. Family worship is a good thing.
  783. What a good thing for fathers
  784. to teach their children.
  785. Daily devotions.
  786. What a good thing to
    read the Bible every day.
  787. Principles of modesty.
  788. What a good thing to
    let the Lord Jesus Christ
  789. shape the way you dress.
  790. These are wonderful responses to grace.
  791. But it's amazing how quickly
  792. in the Christian life,
  793. we can turn them into new laws.
  794. New laws.
  795. So I want you ask you this.
  796. Had you mastered principles of modesty
  797. when you received the Spirit?
  798. You were just sitting there.
  799. The neckline was up to there
    and the skirt was down to there
  800. and the Spirit came!
  801. Right?
  802. Or maybe one day,
  803. you went into your quiet place
  804. and you said: now this devotional
  805. is going to be good.
  806. I'm going to read four chapters.
  807. McCheyne's plan. Come on. McCheyne.
  808. So you were going to do McCheyne's plan,
  809. but you weren't just going
    to do McCheyne's plan,
  810. you were going to do some meditating
  811. and some journaling.
  812. And you weren't just
    going to journal,
  813. you were going to do prayer
    and not just for you,
  814. but for the whole
    church you're a part of.
  815. And you know, you managed
    to split the time up
  816. and it wasn't too legalistic
  817. and you got that perfect
  818. quintessential devotional and boom!
  819. The Spirit of God fell
    on your life, right?
  820. That's how it happened
    for all of you, right?
  821. I know that's how it
    happened for me.
  822. I have the perfect
    devotions every morning.
  823. Was it the first time your rowdy family
  824. finally managed to do seven days a week
  825. of family worship?
  826. So the Spirit of God came?
  827. My wife's uncle used to make
  828. one of their children stand
  829. during family worship because he was
  830. so prone to fall asleep.
  831. The Holy Spirit's not
    on families like that.
  832. Beloved, the Holy Spirit comes
  833. on weak, wounded, broken,
  834. depraved sinners who believe the Gospel.
  835. And then after you get converted,
  836. there isn't a new way to get more of Him.
  837. There's that simple, continual
  838. trusting and resting in the Gospel
  839. that brings more of the power
  840. and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
  841. Will He gently lead you to be modest?
  842. You bet He will.
  843. Will He gently lead you to love His Word?
  844. You bet He will.
  845. Will He gently lead you
    to walk by the Spirit?
  846. Absolutely.
  847. But the order is everything.
  848. Question number three.

  849. Verse 3
  850. "Having begun by the Spirit,
  851. are you now being perfected
  852. by the flesh?"
  853. What's happening here?
  854. We've established something.
  855. Paul says we know you
    started by the Spirit.
  856. You were a bunch of pagan Galatians.
  857. You didn't have any background
  858. in biblical truth.
  859. You heard the Gospel.
  860. You got the Spirit.
  861. And now, I've got to ask you.
  862. Are you going to go on
    and become just like Jesus
  863. by the flesh?
  864. Now, one of the sad things
  865. about reading this text in America,
  866. is that when we hear flesh,
  867. we tend to hear licentiousness.
  868. When we think of flesh,
  869. we tend to think of drinking too much.
  870. Sleeping around too much.
  871. Gambling.
  872. All those kinds of immoral
    and ungodly things.
  873. But for Paul here,
  874. flesh is referring to getting
  875. more religious, not less.
  876. The move towards the legalism
  877. of the Judaizers;
  878. the move towards the legalistic heresy
  879. that Paul was confronting,
  880. was a move of the flesh.
  881. Because you see,
  882. the flesh, when it can't just
  883. rapidly grab all kinds of illicit sins,
  884. loves to clean itself up
  885. and make itself religious
  886. and be proud of its religion.
  887. In Indonesia,
  888. I've walked through Indonesia,
  889. and you see men with bruises
  890. on their heads.
  891. I'm told they get these bruises
  892. by rubbing cans on their heads
  893. until their heads are bruised,
  894. but the bruises are meant to look like
  895. they've hit the floor five times a day
  896. in prayer.
  897. That's not devotion.
  898. That's the flesh.
  899. And we're told here
    that that fleshly instinct
  900. can creep back into the Christian life.
  901. Now, the Christian is not
    ultimately in the flesh,
  902. under the dominion of the flesh.
  903. But the Christian still
    deals with the flesh
  904. and experiences the desires of the flesh.
  905. And those desires can
    be extremely religious.
  906. They can include:
  907. I can't miss a service.
  908. I know all my kids are sick
  909. and it would be really servant-hearted
  910. to take care of my wife,
  911. but I cannot miss a service.
  912. I can't love you right now baby.
  913. I've got something fleshly to do.
  914. The flesh loves to accumulate
  915. religious duties in order to, often,
  916. tell other people about them.
  917. That's what the Pharisees did.
  918. But the flesh actually will sometimes
  919. be content not to tell anyone about them
  920. but just to suck on
    that self-righteousness
  921. like a lollipop.
  922. Just taste the sweetness of: I'm doing it.
  923. I'm getting it together.
  924. Now Christians get all in a huff:
  925. How do I know if
    I'm doing my devotions
  926. in the flesh or in the Spirit?
  927. It's not complicated, beloved.
  928. It's not.
  929. Paul says the works of
    the flesh are obvious.
  930. They're obvious.
  931. You come out of that room
    from doing your devotions
  932. and you're an angry
    mess with your family,
  933. I'll tell you one thing
    that wasn't happening
  934. in your devotions.
  935. It wasn't communion with the Spirit.
  936. Right, the works of the flesh
  937. are (Galatians 5) obvious.
  938. Galatians 5, the Apostle Paul says, v.19.
  939. The works of the flesh are
    very hard to understand,
  940. and you should engage
    in perpetual introspection
  941. to discover them.
  942. Right?
  943. Just gaze in there.
  944. Peel that onion of your soul.
  945. Was that the flesh?
  946. That's not the kind of bondage
  947. the New Testament puts you in.
  948. "The works of the flesh are evident:
  949. sexual immorality,
  950. impurity, sensuality,
  951. idolatry, sorcery,
  952. emnity, strife, jealousy,
  953. fits of anger,
  954. rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
  955. envy, drunkenness, orgies."
  956. There's a kind of devotion
    to the things of God
  957. that can't stop looking at porn.
  958. Because it's all just self-driven.
  959. There's a kind of devotion
  960. to this list of things God wants me doing
  961. that can't stop getting angry.
  962. Can't stop indulging in impurity.
  963. But the way to abandon that
  964. is the way to realize that the way
  965. you become perfected -
  966. perfected just more like Jesus -
  967. is you keep putting your faith in Jesus.
  968. You keep trusting in Jesus.
  969. You put your faith in
    Jesus on your best day.
  970. Lord, I just ministered to people all day;
  971. poured my life out for people all day.
  972. You know what?
  973. I'm going to heaven because Jesus Christ
  974. was portrayed before me as crucified.
  975. And then you fall flat
    on your face one day,
  976. and you fall into the same old sins
  977. that have been dragging
    you down for years.
  978. You just fall right on your face,
    and you get up and you say,
  979. Lord, I need the Spirit right now.
  980. I need the Spirit and the only way
  981. I can get Him is because
    the Lord Jesus Christ
  982. paid fully for all of my sins.
  983. I have a friend who talks about
  984. how he does his devotions.
  985. I love what he says.
  986. He says that when he does his devotions
  987. on his best day,
  988. after he's done his devotions,
  989. he closes his Bible and says,
  990. Lord, that was a good time
    of communion with You,
  991. but I am not justified
  992. by that good time of communion with You.
  993. I am justified by the death, burial,
  994. and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  995. And then he tells that
  996. when he does devotions on his worst days -
  997. you know the kind where
  998. you find drool on the page later?
  999. Or you feel like you're trying
    to get one of those bruises.
  1000. At the end of that devotional,
  1001. you just close your Bible and say
  1002. I'm not any less justified.
  1003. Not any less justified.
  1004. In fact, I am fully justified.
  1005. Not because of the quality
    of my time in Your Word,
  1006. but because of Your death
  1007. on the cross for me.
  1008. Question number four.

  1009. It's the shortest one.
  1010. Did you suffer so many things in vain?
  1011. Paul says did you suffer
    so many things in vain?
  1012. Did you suffer so many things
  1013. and now it's just useless?
  1014. And there's great debate
  1015. about what this word
    "suffering" means.
  1016. Generally, this word
    translated "suffering" here
  1017. does just mean exactly that.
  1018. Persecution - that kind of suffering
  1019. that we've just heard about.
  1020. I don't think that's what it means here.
  1021. And I think that because it would be
  1022. completely out of the context.
  1023. William Hendrickson says,
  1024. "if it is correct that this word suffering
  1025. (incomplete thought)
  1026. means physical suffering
  1027. or kind of emotional suffering;
  1028. if that was correct, Paul would be
  1029. introducing an entirely new
    thought at this point,
  1030. one which he has
    said nothing whatever
  1031. in the preceding, which
    he drops immediately,
  1032. and to which he never again alludes
  1033. in the remainder of the letter."
  1034. I think this word suffering here
  1035. simply means,
  1036. did you experience so many things in vain?
  1037. And it's really in the light
    of the rest of the context.
  1038. Did you have these miracles?
  1039. Did you experience the Spirit?
  1040. But the idea here is
  1041. if you now go off into a way of the flesh,
  1042. all that initial experience was useless.
  1043. Now, I want to close this evening

  1044. by making two observations.
  1045. And when I say close,
  1046. I don't mean like right away.
  1047. I want to close this evening
  1048. by just making two observations.
  1049. Stepping back and noticing something
  1050. about what we've just studied.
  1051. I want you to notice -
  1052. and really many commentators
    have noticed it -
  1053. I want you to notice that
  1054. the whole argument that Paul has just
  1055. put forward was based on experience.
  1056. Paul has not been trying to get
  1057. the Galatians to get their experience
  1058. back in line with good doctrine.
  1059. He has been laboring to get
  1060. their doctrine back on track
  1061. through the reminder of their experience.
  1062. Now we need to think about
    that very carefully.
  1063. We live in a day and age when
  1064. Christians are on one of two poles
  1065. when it comes to experience.
  1066. Some are addicted to it.
  1067. Others are allergic to it.
  1068. Some always need a new experience.
  1069. They went to a service.
    There was holy laughter this week.
  1070. Now they teeth turning
    into gold the next week.
  1071. It's just like drug addicts.
    I was one of them.
  1072. I know what it was like.
  1073. You get high on something one week.
  1074. You need more the next week.
  1075. There was some good preaching one night.
  1076. You need some more awesome preaching
  1077. the next night.
  1078. There can be this addiction to experience.
  1079. At the same time,
  1080. there can be others who are
  1081. allergic to experience.
  1082. They tell us that if you focus on feelings
  1083. your experience will lose
  1084. your grip on the truth.
  1085. If you focus on your feelings,
  1086. you will be following,
    not the Holy Spirit,
  1087. but maybe just what you ate for lunch.
  1088. You don't want to focus
    on feelings, they say,
  1089. and on experience
  1090. because the Bible is enough for you.
  1091. Don't focus on your experience.
  1092. Now there is a grain of truth there.
  1093. You cannot lead your Christian life
  1094. by day-to-day experience.
  1095. But that doesn't mean
    there's no experience, beloved.
  1096. If we are biblical,
  1097. we really can't say that either one
  1098. of these poles is right.
  1099. In fact, we have to say,
  1100. both of these poles are wrong.
  1101. Even if some people abuse experience
  1102. and abandon the Bible
  1103. to follow experience,
  1104. we can't play it down
  1105. and we can't make less of it,
  1106. because it was obviously central
  1107. to the lives of these early Christians.
  1108. Paul everywhere assumes in Galatians 3:1-5
  1109. that no one would say,
  1110. I'm not even sure if I
    have the Holy Spirit.
  1111. Do you know what I'm saying here?
  1112. See, these questions,
  1113. they assume an experiential Christianity.
  1114. When you say to someone,
    "When did you receive the Spirit?"
  1115. "How did you receive the Spirit?"
    And you expect answers back.
  1116. You are assuming that the people
  1117. you're talking to have experienced
  1118. something of the Holy Spirit.
  1119. Are there different measures?
  1120. Are there different degrees?
  1121. Certainly.
  1122. But no experience of the
    Holy Spirit is not an option.
  1123. And we need to think clearly about this.
  1124. Because Paul is leading the people
  1125. back to good doctrine with a reminder
  1126. of their experiences.
  1127. In fact, far from being
    a danger to doctrine,
  1128. I want to say from Galatians 3:1-5
  1129. that experiential Christianity -
  1130. listen to me, brothers and sisters -
  1131. guards and protects
    doctrinal Christianity.
  1132. Anybody here care about doctrine?
  1133. Yeah, the rest of you just
    don't want to raise your hands.
  1134. You're at the Fellowship Conference.
  1135. You care about doctrine.
  1136. Anyone here care about doctrine?
  1137. Yeah, that's right.
  1138. One of the safeguards
  1139. to keeping you doctrinally on track
  1140. is an experiential relationship
  1141. with the Lord Jesus Christ
  1142. by the Holy Spirit.
  1143. And it's by experience that is
  1144. rooted and grounded in the Gospel.
  1145. You ought to be saying,
  1146. whoa, what happened here?
  1147. Why am I so powerless?
  1148. Why am I so angry?
  1149. Why am I all of a sudden
  1150. falling into so much sexual immorality?
  1151. Even though I'm doing all kinds
  1152. of religious things,
  1153. what's going on?
  1154. I got off the Gospel.
  1155. Yeah, that's what happened.
  1156. I was walking in a much different place
  1157. when I was just thinking of Jesus Christ
  1158. plackarded before me as crucified.
  1159. That was a much different time.
  1160. Experiential Christianity
  1161. guards and preserves
  1162. doctrinal Christianity.
  1163. It is not its enemy.
  1164. This means we should preach
  1165. an experiential Christianity.
  1166. We should not just hope it blows in
  1167. every now and then.
  1168. But we should preach
  1169. an experiential Christianity.
  1170. One of the amazing things -
    I don't know how God does this -
  1171. but God in many ways,
  1172. limits His work according to
  1173. the quality of teaching
  1174. His people are receiving.
  1175. Anybody here grow a lot more
  1176. after they receive good teaching?
  1177. You didn't just get born again
  1178. when you received good teaching,
  1179. but the presence of increased measures
  1180. of truth in the believer's life
  1181. cultivates a maturity.
  1182. And so if you don't preach on the reality
  1183. of the Holy Spirit,
  1184. it is very unlikely that people will know
  1185. the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
  1186. That's why the apostles preached:
  1187. repent and be baptized
  1188. every one of you in the
    name of the Lord Jesus
  1189. for the forgivenss of your sins
  1190. and I've got no idea what's
    going to happen next.
  1191. No, that's not what they preached.
  1192. Repent and be baptized
  1193. every one of you in the
    name of the Lord Jesus Christ
  1194. for the forgiveness of your sins
  1195. and you will receive the Holy Spirit.
  1196. When they were threatened in Acts 3
  1197. with persecution - and you can pray this
  1198. for the church that our brother mentioned.
  1199. When they were persecuted in Acts 3,
  1200. they prayed, "Lord, look upon the threats
  1201. of our enemies,
  1202. and grant to your servants
  1203. to continue to speak Your Word
  1204. with all boldness
  1205. while You stretch out Your hand
  1206. to heal and signs and
    wonders are performed
  1207. through the name of
    Your holy Servant Jesus.
  1208. Beloved, we need to be a people
  1209. who preach and pray for
  1210. the Holy Spirit through the Gospel.
  1211. Ok? Here's my most common
    experience of preaching.
  1212. My most common experience of preaching
  1213. is: Ryan you are 36 or 24 hours away
  1214. from preaching.
  1215. How do you feel? Terrible.
  1216. That's how I feel.
  1217. I call my wife:
  1218. Honey, it never stops.
  1219. Every time I'm supposed to preach,
  1220. I just feel like I've got nothing.
  1221. No power. No nothing.
  1222. What am I going to do?
  1223. Jesus Christ is clearly plackarded
  1224. in front of me as crucified.
  1225. And I'm thinking, if I'm
    going to preach well,
  1226. there had better be
  1227. some perfect devotional
    moments before that time.
  1228. Right?
  1229. But invariably, my best devotional moments
  1230. are substandard.
  1231. Oh, there are some great times,
  1232. but you know, it's nothing to
    write home about sometimes.
  1233. And so what do you do?
  1234. Get up in the pulpit and say,
  1235. well, you know, it just
    wasn't perfect today.
  1236. So, I've got nothing for you.
  1237. Or do you say,
  1238. here I am one more time, Lord.
  1239. All I've got's the Gospel.
  1240. Would You put Your Spirit on me again?
  1241. And that doesn't just apply to preachers.
  1242. You're going into that job you hate.
  1243. Lord, I woke up this morning.
  1244. I tried to read Your Word.
  1245. It was a pretty good morning.
    It wasn't perfect.
  1246. But you know what,
  1247. I'm not going off perfection.
  1248. I'm heading into work now,
  1249. and if I'm going to be
    nice to these people -
  1250. not just nice, but exceedingly kind,
  1251. forgiving, loving, Christlike, bold,
  1252. witnessing...
  1253. all I've got is Jesus Christ
  1254. publicly displayed in front of me
  1255. as crucified.
  1256. The Spirit answers to the blood.
  1257. The Spirit answers to the blood
  1258. and tells me I'm born of God.
  1259. You want more of the Spirit?
    Go to the Gospel.
  1260. Again and again.
  1261. Last point.

  1262. The experiential Christianity
  1263. or the experience of the Spirit
  1264. that Mack described on
    the Lord Jesus Christ -
  1265. and who doesn't want more of that?
  1266. - really was meant to be yours.
  1267. If anyone believes in My name,
  1268. He will do the works that I do.
  1269. Now just stop the verse there.
  1270. Don't finish it.
  1271. That by itself is unbelievable.
  1272. The words He spoke.
  1273. Words that pierced to the heart
  1274. of the most difficult, naughty situations.
  1275. The foot washing He did.
  1276. Serving.
  1277. If ever there was a time
    when it would be ok -
  1278. it wouldn't be ok -
  1279. but it would be understandable
  1280. for a man to go into
    a corner and sulk.
  1281. He's about to experience the wrath of God.
  1282. Our Lord is washing feet.
  1283. The miracles He did.
  1284. If anyone believes in My name,
  1285. he will do the works that I did.
  1286. And then unfathomably,
  1287. Jesus adds,
  1288. greater works than these will he do.
  1289. Why? There's a reason why.
  1290. Because I am going to the Father.
  1291. What difference does it make that
  1292. You go to the Father?
  1293. He pours out the Spirit on His people
  1294. when He goes to the Father.
  1295. The reality that Mack talked about
  1296. in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ
  1297. is meant in measure to be ours.
  1298. And it comes initially and continually
  1299. through the message Kevin preached.
  1300. But through the Gospel
  1301. of simple trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  1302. Putting your faith in the One
  1303. Who had the Spirit
  1304. without measure
  1305. is what imparts to you
  1306. the Spirit that He had.
  1307. And so beloved,
  1308. I would encourage you
  1309. before you read your Bible next time;
  1310. before you try to be nice to your brothers
  1311. and your sisters;
  1312. before you try to preach;
  1313. before you try to be exemplary at work,
  1314. ask the Lord God to remind you
  1315. of what was publicly portrayed
  1316. in front of you in Christ crucified
  1317. and to give you the Holy Spirit.
  1318. It is the only way to pursue perfection.
  1319. It is the only way to pursue
  1320. more Christlikeness in your life.
  1321. Let's pray.

  1322. Father, we come before You,
  1323. and we want to pray through the night,
  1324. fast, seek You, witness with boldness,
  1325. see angels all around
    us when we're scared.
  1326. But these things do not come
  1327. to a different kind of man
  1328. or a different kind of woman.
  1329. They come to those who continually
  1330. place themselves under
  1331. the foot of the Lord Jesus Christ
  1332. and trust His Gospel.
  1333. So, Lord, make us strong in the Spirit
  1334. by continually weakening us
  1335. and placing us under the cross.
  1336. We pray this in Jesus' name,
  1337. Amen.