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Galatians 2:15-21 “Died for Nothing?” BRUMC 06/13/2010

Gal 2:15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law. 17 But if, in our effort to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have been found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 But if I build up again the very things that I once tore down, then I demonstrate that I am a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; 20 and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing. (NRSV)

3 Lessons: Self-less, shared and Service

  • Christ Died that we could life for God
  • Disciples learn to live as servants not owners of God’s Kingdom.
  • Kingdom ownership comes from living like we are partners with Christ

Undercover Boss: Each week a different executive will leave the comfort of their corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their company. While working alongside their employees, they will see the effects their decisions have on others, where problems lie within their organization and get an up-close look at both good and bad while discovering unsung heroes who make their company run.

Jesus comes incognito: Takes on the form of a servant, not the master, owner, lord.

Passage Philippians 2:5-11: (The Message)

5 -8Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. 9 -11Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

(NRSV) 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Law demarcates our status: being IN/OUT of relationship w/God.

  • Are we making choices that build our relationship with God and others? or not?
  • Are we thinking God like thoughts about personal and world problems? or by who’s agenda?
  • Are we acting in ways that reflect the heart and witness of Jesus Christ, or our own?

Paul reminds the US and the church at Galatia that: It is Jesus who takes our place. His death, is a self-less gift, that our self might be right with God.

Paul’s cautions us not to pick back up what God has laid down for us
..if we do, then Christ means nothing to us.
..if we do, his death makes no difference to us.

Think for a moment about all the parables that Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of God.
..the Kingdom is like a servant, a gardener, a shepherd, an accountant, a teacher, a neighbor

ALL of these are relational, service oriented examples:
The vine dresser, the servant, the shepherd, the manager, the teacher.. NONE
own the vine yard, the business, the sheep, the truth..

But ALL are ENTRUSTED as though they were..
Here is the heart of the passage: Disciples live as if they are entrusted with the Kingdom..
This is why Christ died for us.. to be partners in the Kingdom of God.

Too often folks get it backwards: we do good deeds, kind words, nice thoughts to prove or earn the Kingdom.

God has already given us the Kingdom, through Jesus Christ, WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH IT?

Dying to Self is not becoming worthless: it is finding our worth in Christ’s presence in and with the World.

Four years we have journeyed tog

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