My sermon on Galatians 5 (and was supposed to be 6 also)

Here is the recording of my sermon from St. Matthew’s UCC on Galatians 5. It’s the end of a 3 week run I did there, but I only recorded the second and third sermons, unfortunately.

The funny thing about this sermon is that it was also recorded on video and shown on WOW community access a few times. I have heard some fun stories of people in different situations, having a rough day or struggling with some issues, sitting down in front of the TV to chill, and seeing me preaching on there!

 

The Attributes of God

Download MP3: The Attributes of God

This is a sermon I was able to preach about “The Attributes of God” as the church is going over the foundational teachings of Christianity. Mainly I talked about how Jesus said and did everything so that we would know about the Father.

Here are my speaking notes, not necessarily what I said, but the notes I prepared and went off of.

Attributes of God

Exodus 33

Moses says “Teach me your ways, show me Your glory”

God answers in Exodus 34

The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

(Exodus 34:5–7 ESV)

God is mighty, powerful, ruler over the whole universe.

God is beyond all comprehension. In Romans 11 Paul says:

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

“For who has known the mind of the Lord,

or who has been his counselor?”

“Or who has given a gift to him

that he might be repaid?”

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

(Romans 11:33–36 ESV)

Rick Underhill’s Intro to John Study

According to John 1:18 Jesus was the only one qualified to make the Father known to us.

John 1:18

No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known.

  • Jesus is closest to the Father.
  • Jesus is at the Father’s side.
  • Jesus has His head on the bosom of the Father.
  • Jesus is what the Father is like.
  • Jesus’ life explained the Father to us.

John’s gospel contains a lot of what Jesus said and did when He was with other people. We will study some of these conversations seeking to find the answers to the following two questions.

In each of these conversations what did Jesus say or do?

What did the words or actions of Jesus explain to us about the Father?

When we complete this study at least two things should have happened.

We should have a very good profile of the Father.
We should know what His actions look like in various situations.

Before we begin

Please understand that what we learn will not be a goal for us to imitate. However, the things we learn will show us much about the characteristics of a maturing Christian man who is living in a right relationship with the Father. These characteristics will be increasing in our lives but only as we learn to allow Him to express His life through us, just as Jesus allowed the Father to live through Him.

What DID Jesus say about this?

John 14:9

Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.

That was His reply when Phillip said “Show us the Father.”

Compare that with Moses saying “Show me Your glory.”

So I want to do a fast list of a few things that Jesus said and did that show us what the Father is like.

Cared about people over rules

Jesus Manifesto:

The meaning of Christianity does not come from allegiance to principles of justice or complex theological doctrines, but from a passionate love for a way of living in the world that revolves around following Jesus, who taught that love is what makes life a success; not wealth or health or anything else. Only love.

Sweet, Leonard; Viola, Frank (2010–06–01). Jesus Manifesto (p. 117). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

It is true that God gave Moses The Torah, the Law, the Way of life, but all of that was to point to Jesus. The Law was never meant to earn anyone holiness before God.

Jesus showed this continually by pushing people to look beyond the law and to look to God’s intent behind the law. Saying “I you look lustfully at a woman you’ve already committed adultery in your heart” doesn’t mean you need to gouge out your eyes, it means you have to re-orient and recalibrate the direction of your heart.

God really cares about people. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

(2 Peter 3:9 ESV)

Confidence in the Father that caused overwhelming joy, hope, and life to come out of Jesus

Again a quote from the Jesus Manifesto:

Jesus did not live by His own natural strength. Instead, He lived by the energy of His Father who indwelled Him. He spoke when His Father spoke through Him. He worked when His Father worked through Him. He made judgments when His Father judged within Him. Jesus only did what the Father did, and He did it by means of His Father’s indwelling life. Therein lies the root of Jesus’ amazing life.

Sweet, Leonard; Viola, Frank (2010–06–01). Jesus Manifesto (p. 126). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

God is utterly confident, complete, and in control. God doesn’t say “fear not, trust in me and nothing that you fear will happen to you” Instead God says “Fear not, the things that you are afraid of are quite likely to happen to you, but they are nothing to be afraid of.”

Unconditional love

You don’t have to read far into the book of Genesis to see that people are really messed up. Genesis 3 is where it begins, actually. If God loved people based on their accomplishments or merits, the Bible would be 5 chapters long. It would be Genesis 1 and 2, then Revelation 21 and 22.

I’m leaving room in there for one Psalm.

As you watch Jesus’ life, and as you watch people throughout the old testament relate to God, you can see out of his Exodus 33–34 mercy and compassion, and out of his love for mankind, and His confidence in who He is and what He is going to do, unconditional love is all His!

Jesus said that to do the will of God is to believe in the one that He sent. Not do good or do right, but believe in the one He sent, because the one that God sent is going to do all of the saving for all of us. Our self-righteousness isn’t going to save us. Only God’s righteousness can save us.

God doesn’t love people based on their performance of his hoops. It’s about knowledge. It’s about relationship. It’s about friendship.

(Matthew 7:21–23 ESV)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

but Jesus says elsewhere what God’s will for us is

Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

(John 6:28–29 ESV)