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Don't Mess with the Message

"Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me,

To the churches of Galatia:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen."


Good Morning Beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's Day
Thank you for joining us


Sometimes we must make a difficult decision. We might be faced with something that doesn’t feel right, something that just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.

Today, we begin a new series, on the letter the apostle Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia. It is believed to be the second book written through the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, around 49-50 A.D. With James, believed to be the first, between 44-49 A.D. It is a very suitable epistle for us to be considering at this particular time in our own lives, as well as in the life of the church and evangelical Christian ministry, as we look at its current condition. This is a powerful, clear proclamation of the gospel and its implications. 

Over some 500 years ago, an Augustinian monk and priest by the name of Martin Luther, was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. He came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church; in particular, he disputed the view on indulgences. He launched the Protestant Reformation. Luther did that by writing up 95 theses, all of which condemned some practice in the Roman Catholic system. He posted those 95 condemning theses on the door of the Roman Catholic Church in Wittenberg, Germany; and with the posting of that launched essentially the Reformation. 

His out right refusal to renounce all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521, resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor. That was the first shot fired and eventually heard around the world.
Let's bow our heads in prayer.
Heavenly Father,
Thank You for Your Word for us today. Thank You for calling us to Yourself. Lord, we're so thankful for Your undeserved grace, unmerited gift of salvation. We thank You for our Savior, His sacrifice. Thank You for bringing us into the light from the darkness.

Lord, we pray that none among us would leave today, remaining in darkness, that they walk in the light, receiving Christ as their Lord and Savior, turn from sin, and come to the fullness of grace, peace and eternal life.

In Jesus' name

Today's Message: Don't Mess with the Message

There are only two possible options for acceptance with God. There is the one Jesus called the narrow way, and the other is the broad way: they both say heaven, however, they both do not go there. The narrow way is the way of the gospel, the way of grace, the way of faith, and it leads to eternal life. The broad road is the way of works and religion; and it says heaven, but it leads those who travel it, directly to hell. There’s no salvation apart from belief in the true gospel. All other messages, all other religions, all other gospels are nothing more than demonic deceptions. Satanic religions.
You know, it absolutely astonishes me, they come along with a different gospel, a different Jesus, and a different Holy Spirit, and people bear it beautifully. People propagate a false gospel, denying the true gospel and seem to have no fear, no angst, no guilt, no dread, and absolutely no terror. A gospel that is to be void of the work of the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin, righteousness and judgment. 
The righteousness of God is imputed to the sinner through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, salvation by grace, through faith. Luther discovered that. That is the Gospel. That is the Gospel.

Open your Bibles with me to the book of Galatians chapter 1. What a marvelous, rich book. The book Galatians deals with the critical, important issues: law, grace, works, the gospel, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our Lord’s death, His resurrection. The primary message of the book of Galatians, is freedom.
Freedom from sin, freedom from judgement and freedom from hell.

It has been said that the book of Galatians is the Great Charter,  The Magna Carta of Spiritual Freedom. .
The Battle Cry of Reformation. The Christian Declaration of Independence. I invite you to follow along with me as I read to you from our text, to get it settled into our hearts and minds. Galatians 1:1-5. Listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit.
As Christians, I believe, that we should never be "bored" with the gospel! Furthermore. we should never be found lacking in the celebration of where we have been and where we are now. Why? Because the gospel is a message of grace. The gospel, is a message of grace. And today, we are here because of His amazing grace! We should therefore, live a life characterized by grace. If that's not cause for celebration, I don't know what is!

And, because we have been changed by grace, it calls for a different way of living. We are to walk a path of grace and we do it under the power of the Holy Spirit.

"Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me,

To the churches of Galatia:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen."
The opening verses of Galatians, Paul establishes the authority behind the person and writings. How does Paul defend his authority? He just gives his name, Paul, then, immediately gives his title, an apostle. He doesn't describe it, he doesn't define it, nor does he bother to defend it! It is also important to note, verse 2, Paul is stating, that his authority, comes with his association, "and all the brethren who are with me." The word apostle, from the Greek word apostolos, meaning "person sent."

So, as we begin our study on Galatians today, you are hearing Christ’s appointed representative, I'd like you to keep that in mind. Paul is making the point for a reason. He is telling the believers in Galatia that he is not to be classed with those who come with letters of commendation from men. He was not made an apostle by any council or church. He was made an apostle by a personal encounter with Jesus. Therefore, Paul knew that he had a unique place in the redemptive history of God.

In John 16:13, Jesus said to His disciples in the upper room, the night before His crucifixion, "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come."
Now, before we get too much into our text, as a footnote, I'd like to point out, this is not the same general promise, made to all believers, this was a specific promise to the apostles and their associates, that the Holy Spirit would oversee them in recording the gospels, and writing down the New Testament. The promise of our Lord that the New Testament would be given to them by the Holy Spirit, was affirmed by the apostles themselves.
Throughout Scripture, both the Old and New Testament, the Bible claims to be the divine revelation, the word from God. Every single word, and therefore, every single thought. 
Then, enter a group of "supposed believers," they had come to the churches of Galatia, after Paul had been there, and challenged his apostolic authority. They were pointing out, that he was independent, he overly enthusiastic, and he was missing the proper credentials of apostleship. In other words, they were trying to get the Galatian believers to reject his authority as an apostle. Needless to say, this greatly disturbed Paul, as knew exactly who he was and as you read this letter you will notice how moved and agitated he was.
The churches of Galatia, had turned from the gospel of God’s grace and Paul's teaching, this was cause for alarm. Paul had no time to waste, on pleasantries, and warm introductions. If left unchecked, the problem facing these churches, would have had devastating results. He emotionally and vigorously defends the gospel message given to him by Christ, and himself. 
Then Paul came to understand that gospel, and saw any attack on that gospel, therefore, stripping the gospel that one could not truly be saved. That is why later in this chapter, verses 6 through 9, Paul says "...if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! The word Paul uses here, is the Greek word Anathema, meaning let him be damned! 
Salvation must result in a transformed life. Wherever there is real faith, and saving grace, it will result in a transformed life, and manifest itself in righteous works.
Beloved, we are not only to celebrate the reception of this message of grace in our own life, we are to communicate it as well. We are to communicate the Good News of the gospel, as it is. We are not to change the gospel. We are not to mess with the message.
As Christians, we need to recognize that the assaults on the gospel are endless. We must be mindful, that there are always going to be those that are going to add to it or subtract from it. Therefore, we must be faithful and committed to do neither!
In verse 3, Paul  says "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." I believe, that when we read something like, "grace to you and peace from God," we must be very careful, not to allow familiarity to set in. When we're dealing with God’s Word, if things become too familiar, they can lose their impact, their sense of "weightiness" in our lives. 
So, since God's Word, is unlike any other word, I'd like to pause for just a moment, to focus our attention on this greeting, from the apostle Paul. I'd like us to think about salutations. We can look at this, and simply say, "this is just the salutation," and read on past it. There is a danger of this occurring, with any familiar portion of Scripture, however, this is especially true of salutations. Why? Because we recognize that a greeting, a salutation is expected, therefore, we don't often put a lot of thought into them. 
After all, in our culture today, they are most often said in a trivial manner. We expect that when we are about to greet someone, or depart from someone, we're supposed to say something, so we often say what is expected, what is customary, or traditional, and we really don’t think its meaning at all. So, I believe, that it is important, that we not do that here. 

It's important to make mention, that grace and peace, are always found in that order. Why? Because grace is the foundation and peace is the result. In other words, "No grace, no peace. Know grace, know peace!" I believe, that grace and peace, need to be understood in this way, grace is the source of salvation. We are saved by grace into peace. We have a peace with God, that passes all understanding.

In fact, every letter from the apostle, with the exception of his epistle to Romans, begins and ends with "grace." It has been suggested, that Paul combines both Jewish 'peace' and Gentile 'grace' into one salutation as a pledge of unity between Jew and Gentile, in the one Savior, who unites all in the fellowship of one body, the Body of Christ. 

Then in verse 4, he says "who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father." Paul is very powerfully making something abundantly clear here, first, that Christ gave Himself for our sins. He offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin, now here's the second point, "so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father." This wasn't a surprise. It didn't catch Him off guard. Our Lord, knew this was coming. He anticipated it in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Beloved, this was more than just an act of love, this was not the death of someone who was martyred or just a religious leader. Jesus Christ, is the Lamb of God, the One and Only One, who takes away the sin of the world, this was a sacrifice!
It was a great magnanimous act of self-surrender by Christ that brought salvation to us. No one took His life from Him, He laid it down of His own accord, voluntarily for His Sheep. The true grounds of our acceptance before God is because that Christ gave Himself for our sins, to pay the price for our sins, yours and mine, the sins of the whole world, to rescue us from the present evil age:

Paul saw the age in which he lived, as evil. Those words could well be written of our world today, where sin is the "norm," in a world that worships itself!

Everywhere you look, today, you see evil. Terrorism, people killing other people in the name of a god who hates people who aren’t like them. A god they have created, remade, into who they want him to be. People killing their unborn babies. Dictators torturing and killing their people, war, genocide, oppression, people starving, little innocent children starving to death, being abducted into human trafficking, for the sinful, and perverted pleasure of godless men.

Then verse 5 says, "to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen." All that Jesus did, he did for the Glory of God. Jesus is our example! Therefore, everything we do, we are to do for the Glory of God.

In Closing....

The religion of the world is based on demonic doctrine, the lies of Satan, why would you expect other than evil to come from it!

Today, I am here to tell you that there is hope. A Hope lies in Jesus Christ, who gave Himself on the cross, He died for our sins in order to rescue us from the present evil age, that is every evil age for every person who reads these eternal words from God. The evil age when Paul wrote these words down, even unto our evil age today, even the evil age before the incarnation of Christ, the times of the Old Testament, He died for them to.

The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was to rescue every person in every evil age throughout all time.

If you don't know Jesus, He wants to rescue you too!

He wants to rescue you from the guilt of your sin, He wants to rescue you from the power of sin.

He wants to rescue you from the temptation of sin, He wants to rescue you from the immoral darkness of this evil world, He wants to rescue you from an eternity without Him, an eternity in hell.

He wants you to know him, he wants to have a relationship with you, He wants you to accept the grace of God, he wants you to have peace in your life. A peace that can only come from one place, from Almighty God. 

All that we have and all that we are, we owe to God. We have nothing on our own, we have no ability in us to love.

We love because he first loved us. We have no power, it is the power of the Holy Spirit working through us that enables us to build each other up, to encourage each other, to go the work of God

All that we have and all that we are, come by the Grace and Mercy of God

To whom be Glory for ever and ever. Amen
May it be so...
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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