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Jan 21, 2018

The Preserved Gospel

The Preserved Gospel

Passage: Galatians 1:1-2:10

Speaker: Ben Seneker

Series: Free, a study in the book of Galatians

This week we see Paul continue to combat the false teachers that were seeking to undermine not only Paul as an apostle, but also the very gospel that he proclaimed. Addressing that argument that Paul and Peter were preaching conflicting messages, Paul visits Jerusalem in order to get a full endorsement from James, Peter (Cephas), and John, the so-called “pillars” of the Church. His companions to Jerusalem also served to highlight the diversity that exists within the body of Christ: Barnabas was a Jew, and Titus was a Greek. Additionally, through the diversity, we also see the incredible unifying force of the gospel. We are called to be unified by nothing but the person, sacrifice, and love of Jesus. This, then, propels us to love Him, love one another in the Church, and to love the world.

Order of Worship

Call To Worship: Psalm 40:1-4
Reading: Old Testament, Genesis 17:7-10
New Testament, Matthew 5:17-18
Corporate and Personal time of Confession
Assurance of the Pardon of God: Psalm 103.8, 10-12
Central Text: Galatians 2:1-10
Sermon Title: The Preserved Gospel
Response: Communion
Benediction: Ephesians 2:13,19-21 ESV

01.21.2018 Sermon Slides

Readings / Scripture

Call To Worship:  Psalm 40:1-4

LEADER:   I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.  He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

ALL:   He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.  Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!


Old Testament

Genesis 17:7-10  7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” 9 And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.”

New Testament

Matthew 5:17-18

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

Corporate and Personal time of Confession:

Father, we lower our heads before you and we confess that we have too often forgotten that we are yours. Sometimes we carry on our lives as if there was no God and we fall short of being a credible witness to You. For these things we ask your forgiveness and we also ask for your strength. Give us clear minds and open hearts so we may witness to You in our world. Remind us to be who You would have us to be regardless of what we are doing or who we are with. Hold us to You and build our relationship with You and with those You have given us on earth.

Assurance of the Pardon of God:

Psalm 103.8, 10-12

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Central Text:  Galatians 2:1-10

1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain. 3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. 4 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— 5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. 6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), 9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

Benediction: Ephesians 2:13,19-21 ESV

ALL: 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

LEADER: 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,

ALL: 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.

Post-Service Text: Galatians 2:5b that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

Related Scriptures:

Acts 13:38-39  38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man (Jesus) forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.

Rom 6:15-18  What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

2 Cor 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Romans 8:15  For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Colossians 1:21-23  21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Discussion Questions & Applications:

  1. Galatians 2:4 is a central verse where Paul talks about “false brothers” who secretly came among the Christians (one translation uses the phrase “wormed their way in”) in order to “spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery.”  Broadly speaking, what is the “freedom” and “slavery” that he is referring to?  
  2. Though faith in Christ rescues us from the bondage of sin (cf. John 8:34-36; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 6:18) and brings us into the family of God (cf. Galatians 4:4-6), the presence of sin remains in our lives and, just like those in our passage, Galatians 2:1-10, it tries to get us to return to lives as “slaves” (attempting to earn our righteousness) instead of living as adopted children of God.  Doing this distorts the gospel of grace that Paul so passionately defended.  In your own life, how do you do this?  How do you, though free in Christ, live as if you must earn your right standing before God instead of living as a redeemed (purchased) child of God? (ex. Using your reputation, good deeds, etc. in order to justify yourself)
  3. Another major theme in this passage is the unity of the gospel that leads to a diversity within the body of Christ.  For example, we see a Greek (Titus) and a Jew (Barnabas) both professing faith in Christ as they serve alongside Paul.  Think of ways that the message of the gospel unifies all people (ex. Regardless of culture, race, etc.) while also allows for diversity within the body of Christ (ex. Scriptures translated into different languages, worship styles, views on baptism, etc.).  What understanding of the gospel are we missing when we allow this diversity to rupture our unity?  Personal examples?


“In Essentials, Unity. In Non-Essentials, Liberty. In All Things, Charity” - Augustine


That the Truth of the Gospel Be Preserved In You by John Piper, Galatians 2:1-10

A New Humanity by Timothy J. Keller, Ephesians 2:11-18

You Do Who You Are by Jeff Vanderstelt, (Article - Gospel Coalition)

Media & Songs:


Inview Media Album, 01.21.18
(A selection of video clips from mainstream culture that illustrates the gospel application of each week's topic.)