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Jan 14, 2018

Where the Battle for Freedom Often Lies

Where the Battle for Freedom Often Lies

Passage: Galatians 1:10-24

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: Free, a study in the book of Galatians

*Due to unforeseen circumstances the sermon is not available to listen online this week. We apologize for the delay... Please check back soon for the sermon from this week.* Which do you find more compelling: a well-honed argument or a personal story through which a kind of case is made for a certain truth? Paul is out to make an argument to the churches of Galatia for just how free and freeing is the gospel in Jesus, but he does so in part by telling his own story’s encounter with the freedom that comes to us in Jesus. And though he is an ancient historical figure to us, the battlefields on which freedom is won or lost is just as true for us today. We’ll listen to his story, and the one God has told in Jesus, to reckon where our battles for freedom lie.
*Due to unforeseen circumstances the sermon is not available to listen online this week. We apologize for the delay... Please check back soon for the sermon from this week.*

Order of Worship

Call To Worship: Psalm 92:1-4
Reading(s):
Old Testament: Jeremiah 1:4-8
New Testament: Acts 9:1-9
Central Text: Galatians 1:10-24
Sermon Title: Where the Battle for Freedom Often Lies
Benediction: Acts 13:38-39a

01.14.18 Lyrics

01.14.18 Sermon Slides

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Up - New Adventure

Theme:

Which do you find more compelling: a well-honed argument or a personal story through which a kind of case is made for a certain truth? Paul is out to make an argument to the churches of Galatia for just how free and freeing is the gospel in Jesus, but he does so in part by telling his own story’s encounter with the freedom that comes to us in Jesus. And though he is an ancient historical figure to us, the battlefields on which freedom is won or lost is just as true for us today. We’ll listen to his story, and the one God has told in Jesus, to reckon where our battles for freedom lie.

Readings/Scripture

Call To Worship: Psalm 92:1-4
LEADER: It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
PEOPLE: to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night,
LEADER: to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.
ALL: For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

Reading(s):
Old Testament: Jeremiah 1:4-8
Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.”

New Testament: Acts 9:1-9
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. 4 And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” 7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Central Text: Galatians 1:10-24
10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. 20 (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.

Benediction: Acts 13:38-39a
LEADER: 38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.
PEOPLE: 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin.

Related Scriptures:

Philippians 3:2-10

Discussion Questions & Applications:

  1. Are you a type more likely to need people’s approval or one who compels others to get yours? Why might that be your inclination?
  2. What are the “metrics” you tend to appeal to for your sense of respectableness or acceptance?
  3. If all you loved was lost (like it one day will), and all you worked for would have to be set aside (like it one will have to), in what sense would you consider your life had meaning?

Quotes:

The person who wrote best about love in the Christian era was Paul of Tarsus, who became Saint Paul. He was a tough [dude]. He is a super-intellectual guy, but he is fierce and he has, of course, the Damascene experience. He goes off and lives as a tentmaker. He starts to preach, and he writes this ode to love, which everybody knows from his letter to the Corinthians: "Love is patient, love is kind. . . . Love bears all things, love believes all things" – you hear it at a lot of weddings. How do you write these things when you are at your lowest ebb? 'Cause I didn't. I didn't. I didn't deepen myself. I am looking to somebody like Paul, who was in prison and writing these love letters, and thinking, "How does that happen?” It is amazing. - Bono

Sometimes I dream of another life, or really another me, a me who wasn’t at war with myself, and the things I would have written then. But I’m too old for that now. I can only move forward. If there is any virtue to getting to a place where you say, to another human being, “I cannot go on like this, and I need help,” it’s that the part of you that cares for the opinions of other people dies, and however briefly, you live unmediated. I would like to think I can access it again, in times of better fortune. - Frederik DeBoer

The best way to get approval is to not need it. - Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody

When good writing was my only goal, I made the quality of my work the measure of my worth. For this reason, I wasn’t able to read my own writing well. I couldn’t tell whether something I had just written was good or bad, because I needed it to be good in order to feel sane. I lost the ability to cheerfully interrogate how much I liked what I had written, to see what was actually on the page rather than what I wanted to see or what I feared to see. - Benjamin Nugent

[Shōko] never thinks about trying to write well or worries about fitting all the characters onto the paper. She just wants to make people happy. - Katō Chiaki of Kanazawa Shōko

From The New Yorker by David Zahl on Sep 19, 2017 • 2:24 pm

From The New Yorker, by David Zahl on Sep 19, 2017 • 2:24 pm

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