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A Final Gospel Appeal, Part 5

May 27, 2012 Pastor: John Fonville Series: What Time Is It?

Scripture: Galatians 6:11–6:18

A Final Gospel Appeal

Part 5

 

Text: Galatians 6:11-18

 

Introduction/Review:

 

I.     Paul reiterates his authenticity and authority as an apostle. vv. 11, 17

 

II.    Paul reiterates the sufficiency of the cross for salvation. vv. 12-14

 

III.   Paul reiterates the necessity of the Holy Spirit’s work in applying salvation. v. 15

 

IV.   Paul reiterates the blessings of the gospel for the people of God. v. 16

 

Lesson:

 

V.    Paul reiterates the priority of grace. v. 18

 

“Grace is God’s free favor toward sinners on account of Christ,” (Michael Horton, The Christian Faith, p. 268).

 

“Grace…is Jesus Christ in redeeming action,” (Michael Horton, The Christian Faith, p. 268).

 

“…God’s gracious and merciful character does not require that He show mercy to anyone. Rebellion of such a high creature against such a holy God deserves everlasting punishment” (Michael Horton, The Christian Faith, p. 267).

 

“God became our debtor, not by receiving any thing, but by promising what He pleased” (Herman Witsius, Economy of the Covenants, p. 77).

 

“If you remove grace out of the gospel, the gospel is gone” (Charles Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1891, p.49).

 

“Because God is gracious, therefore sinful men are forgiven, converted, purified, and saved. It is not because of anything in them or that ever can be in them that they are saved. It is because of the boundless love, goodness, pity, compassion, mercy, and grace of God…What an abyss is the grace of God! Who can measure its breadth? Who can fathom its depth? Like all the rest of the divine attributes, it is infinite” (Charles Spurgeon, All of Grace, p. 43).

 

“We are saved ‘through faith,’ but salvation is ‘by grace.’…Faith occupies the position of a channel or conduit pipe. Grace is the fountain and the steam. Faith is the aqueduct along which the flood of mercy flows down to refresh the thirsty sons of men…” (Charles Spurgeon, All of Grace, p. 44).

 

“Merits exist, but no merits are in us. They exist because they are the gifts of God and works which He alone performs. But no merits are in us…” (Ewald Plass, What Luther Says, p. 922).

 

“There is no such thing as merit; but all who are justified are justified for nothing (gratis), and this is credited to no one but to the grace of God” (Ewald Plass, What Luther Says, p. 922).

 

“Listen to this: For Christ alone it is proper to help and save others with His merits and works. The works of others are of benefit to no one, not to themselves either; for the statement stands: ‘The just shall live by faith’ (Rom. 1:17). For faith grounds us on the works of Christ, without our own works, and transfers us from the exile of our sins into the kingdom of His righteousness. This is faith; this this Gospel; this is Christ” (Ewald Plass, What Luther Says, p. 922).

 “We have no life to live as Christians that is not given by God the Father, earned by God the Son, and bestowed by God the Holy Spirit” (Ryan Glomsrud, Michael Horton, Justified, p. 95).

 

“One of the most ancient and persistent Christian heresies (viz. Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism) is that human beings have a role to play in their own salvation. In its most blatant form this heresy claims that Christ’s sacrifice is not sufficient to save, but that we must place our own good works into the balance to give us favorable standing before God. Its subtle form seems more attractive: God does all the work in justification, but we finish this work by our sanctification. We may be declared right by God’s gracious judicial decree through faith in Christ alone, but then it is up to us to perform the works of love and obedience that true holiness requires. This error makes justification merely the first stage of sanctification. God gets us going on the path of holiness and we continue. God starts and we finish. God has his part and we have ours, so the thinking goes” (Justified, p. 96). “We have no life to live apart from the life He bestows by faith. And this faith itself is a gift from God, not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:9)” (Harold Senkbeil in Justified, p. 96).

 

“…excites in the elect, even the very same motions and inclinations of soul which are in Christ, and moulds and forms the whole life of Christ in them; so that they act, not by their own virtue or strength, nor by any innate principle of natural life, but by supernatural grace, and the virtue of Christ, 1 Cor. xv. 10, ‘not I, but the grace of God, which is with me…” (Herman Witsius, Economy of the Covenants, p. 26; see also p. 253).

 

“For God is not gracious and merciful to sinners to the end that they might not keep His Law, nor that they should remain as they were before they received grace and mercy; but He condones and forgives both sin and death for the sake of Christ, who has fulfilled the whole Law in order thereby to make the heart sweet and through the Holy Spirit to kindle and move the heart to begin to love from day to day more and more,” (Martin Luther, Complete Sermons of Martin Luther, vol. 3, p. 188).

 

“Christian salvation (or justification) and Christian living (or sanctification) are but two aspects of one divine reality: the life bestowed in Jesus Christ. Such life is received by faith. And Holy Scripture declares that faith is God’s work from beginning to end” (Harold Senkbeil in Justified, p. 96).

 

“As Lord He owns us, governs and protects us, and we belong to Him and should do His bidding. As Jesus He, He alone, is our Savior (Matt. 1:21; Acts 4:12). And as Christ He was appointed and (as to His human nature) gloriously qualified to be, in His capacity as our Mediator, ‘our chief Prophet, only Highpriest, and eternal King’” (William Hendriksen, Galatians, p. 249).

 

“His prayer is not only that God may bestow upon them His grace in large measure, but that they may have a proper feeling of it in their hearts. Then only is it truly enjoyed by us, when it comes to our spirit. We ought therefore to entreat that God would prepare in our souls a habitation for His grace” (John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, vol. 21, p. 188).

 

Reflection:

 

“As Paul became less a figure of controversy, as his memory was venerated and his writings canonized, his teaching was overlaid with a new legalism. When, from time to time, someone appeared who understood and proclaimed the genuine message of Galatians, he was liable to be denounced as a subversive character—as, indeed, Paul was in his own day. But the letter to the Galatians, with its trumpet-call to Christian freedom, has time and again released the true gospel from the bonds in which well-meaning but misguided people have confined it so that it can once more exert its emancipating power in the life of mankind, empowering those who receive it to stand fast in the freedom with which Christ has set them free” (F.F. Bruce, Galatians, pp. 277-278).

 

“So far the exposition of the epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians. May the Lord Jesus Christ, our Justifier and Savior, who has granted me the grace and ability to expound this epistle and has granted you the grace and ability to hear it, preserve and confirm both you and me. From the heart I pray that we may grow more and more in the knowledge of grace and of faith in Him, so that we may be blameless and beyond reproach until the day of our redemption. To Him, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be praise and glory forever and ever. Amen. Amen” (Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, vol. 27, p. 144).

 

 

© John Fonville

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