Christmas Eve Worship
Weddington Swim and Racquet Club
Fellowship, Prayer, Songs, Matthew/Luke, Communion
*No Sunday morning worship service.
Christmas Eve Worship
Weddington Swim and Racquet Club
Fellowship, Prayer, Songs, Matthew/Luke, Communion
*No Sunday morning worship service.
The Run Down
I “entreat” you…
child – tell w authority, teen – convince / persuade, adult – try to win freely.
“entreat” or “beg”
Argue, debate, discuss, influence, beg, persuade, coerce, compel, force.
Paul always willing to change his cultural distinctives, preferences, likes, dislikes, those that aren’t essential… for those whom he is trying to win to Jesus Christ.
19For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
Or do you ask to truly “get to know” this person… do you ask to let them “speak” first… are you “slow to listen”….
And then maybe finally… after they hear… see… even feel…. “your personhood”…. They may ask for the opp for you to share… or you might can walk across that bridge without them ever feeling threatened by it.
Maybe there because of an illness in the first place… and at the least preaching to them with this illness…
No way to know what it was… hypothesis are: malaria from insect infested coastal regions so he came here to lower mountains to recoup; from physical abuse and mistreatment from preaching the Gospel in Lystra; thorn in the flesh 2 Cor. 12:7 ; eyes problems relating the self gouging in vs. 15 and 6:11.
As if they had clearly, purely heard the beauty of the Gospel as if from Christ himself. You know… we are to “be followers of Christ”… right….
“Christian” (Follower of the Christ, the anointed one, to adhere to Christ, as a slave.)
Paul is definitely receiving undue praise, or non-human equality with angels… this is the one that would count himself accursed if he could for his own people… one who considered all his previous “righteousness” as dung… the one who said “I am the chief of sinners”….
Paul is reporting the facts… but is again using it in his case to “entreat” and beg them…. To come back to their senses of the pure Gospel without the law.
Have you ever been away from someone for a while… and then you found out “something” has changed.
Honestly… it has happened to me frequently. Simply because I was in a ministry position that over the years dealt with many teenagers,… growing, maturing, developing…. Active at youth group… or as vital leaders…
Then they graduate and go to college… or the military….
And some of them… not all of them…
When I run into them again later…. “something” has changed.
There is an obvious arm’s length distance.
It can personally be painful… I try not to express anything different…
In this verse is the possible reference to his infirmity maybe concerning his eyes…
Or maybe just a vivid example.. though a bit odd.
And thus now Paul must ask if he has now become their enemy by telling them the truth… the truth about real freedom as sons… heirs… grace.
Or hopefully he is just pressing the point… that if you are swayed back to a law… the law… away from Grace… then you are making Paul an enemy yourselves.
But it will not be for your good.
Literally… “They want to lock you up”, that you may make much of them.
Paul is thinking of the “law that locks us under sin” back to 3:22.
Their seeming zeal to show them the full truth in the obedience to the law… actually will lock the Galatians up in the curse yet again… and they will be beholden to these teachers of the law.. .instead of freedom in the life of Christ.
“Not only when I am with you”… paul’s implications… that his working with them was for a good purpose…
Paul uses this analogy only here… the idea of anguish in childbirth…
“my little children”… personal… loving…
“again” in the anguish of childbirth… over this issue of them turning to the law…
He is in anguish over this. Paul’s mixture of evangelism in converting… yet true care and concern as a mother… laboring now again over their retreat.
Christ is to be formed within them.
What about you? Is Christ being formed in you?
Just like today… if you are around someone all the time… you can be more choosy… tactical… sensitive… in your presentation of Christ.
If you are on a plane for one time in all of history… and the bridge has formed… you might have to walk boldly across it in love and in truth then and there.
TMCC Christmas Party
Dec. 18, 2011
3100 Michelle Dr.
Bring an appetizer.
God & People. Right?
The greatest commandment. God & People.
Today… what will I do to exemplify that that is what is important to me.
What about you?
In just a little while, really not too far off, maybe just another 52 years,… with a high probability of it actuallly being sooner… I will be lying on my bed, struggling with this decaying shell, maybe by a crackling fire, but probably instead in a sterile, unfamilar room, not my home, holding on for some odd reason… to this shell… and I know now what my thoughts will be about then – I mean I know – they will be about God & People.
Then why busy myself so much today around things and stuff, … stuff and things…rushing pass the 2 that I know are most important.
God & People.
God, help me not to rush pass that which I know is most important.
You and People.
Discipleship calls us to give ourselves away, following Christ.
Too many models create strategies to attract the largest crowds possible.
More, more, more.
Success is 50 more people than last week.
The truth is, Jesus actually did almost the opposite. Sure the crowds came, but he wasn’t a big fan of that. Many times he said and did things that discouraged the crowds. We tend to worship the crowds, and “success” is defined by how many are in the “crowds”. I really have had to rework my thoughts on all this.
Truth is, maybe when the crowds begin to show up… that’s actually the time we should really become concerned whether we are missing Godly success.
Crowds have a very few committed disciples, a bit more believers, and a lot,… a lot… of onlookers. Hmmmm.
As a Pastor… indicting myself with my fellow Pastors, why do we want so many onlookers. Really. Why?
Let’s focus like a laser on Crowds of Disciples.
The Run Down
Christmas Clip ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’
Read Galatians 4:1-11
זַרזַרְעֲךָ֖ σπέρματι (seed)
Genesis 3:15 Seed
Of the Woman
Hebrew, Translated to Greek by Jews Pre-Jesus, Translated to English
So odd written in 1500BC almost would not make any sense.
Genesis 15:18 Seed
The Covenant Promise to Abraham
Hebrew, Translated to Greeks by Jews Pre-Jesus, Translated to English
Galatians 3:15-18 Seed
Abraham’s seed who is Christ.
Written in Greek, Translated to English
Genesis 3:15 – זַרְעֲךָ֖ σπέρματι (seed)
Hebrew OT Genesis 3:15
וְאֵיבָ֣ה אָשִׁ֗ית בֵּֽינְךָ֙ וּבֵ֣ין הָֽאִשָּׁ֔ה וּבֵ֥ין זַרְעֲךָ֖ (seed) וּבֵ֣ין זַרְעָ֑הּ (seed) ה֚וּא יְשׁוּפְךָ֣ רֹ֔אשׁ וְאַתָּ֖ה תְּשׁוּפֶ֥נּוּ עָקֵֽב׃ ס
The Jewish Greek OT (100BC): Septuagint Genesis 3:15
καὶ ἔχθραν θήσω ἀνὰ μέσον σου καὶ ἀνὰ μέσον τῆς γυναικὸς καὶ ἀνὰ μέσον τοῦ σπέρματός (seed) nσου καὶ ἀνὰ μέσον τοῦ σπέρματος (seed) αὐτῆς αὐτός σου τηρήσει κεφαλήν καὶ σὺ τηρήσεις αὐτοῦ πτέρναν
English Standard Version Genesis. 3:15
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your σπέρματός (seed) and her σπέρματός (seed); he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Arabic: Smith & Van Dyke Genesis 3:15
واضع عداوة بينك وبين المرأة وبين نسلك ونسلها. هو يسحق راسك وانت تسحقين عقبه.
Genesis 15:18 – זַרְעֲךָ֖ σπέρματι (seed)
Jewish Greek OT (100BC): Septuagint Genesis 15:18
ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ διέθετο κύριος τῷ αβραμ διαθήκην λέγων τῷ σπέρματί (seed) σου δώσω τὴν γῆν ταύτην ἀπὸ τοῦ ποταμοῦ αἰγύπτου ἕως τοῦ ποταμοῦ τοῦ μεγάλου ποταμοῦ εὐφράτου
English Genesis 15:18
On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your σπέρματί (seed) I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,…
Arabic Genesis 15:18
في ذلك اليوم قطع الرب مع ابرام ميثاقا قائلا. لنسلك اعطي هذه الارض من نهر مصر الى النهر18 الكبير نهر الفرات.
Galatians 3:15-18 σπέρματι (seed)
English Galatians 3:16-18
16Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his σπέρματι (seed). It does not say, “And to σπέρμασιν (seeds),” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your σπέρματί (seed),” who is Christ. 17This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.
Arabic Galatians 3:16-18
ايها الاخوة بحسب الانسان اقول ليس احد يبطّل عهدا قد تمكن ولو من انسان او يزيد عليه. 16واما المواعيد فقيلت في ابراهيم وفي نسله. لا يقول وفي الانسال كانه عن كثيرين بل كانه عن واحد وفي نسلك الذي هو المسيح. 17وانما اقول هذا ان الناموس الذي صار بعد اربع مئة وثلاثين سنة لا ينسخ عهدا قد سبق فتمكن من الله نحو المسيح حتى يبطّل الموعد. 18لانه ان كانت الوراثة من الناموس فلم تكن ايضا من موعد. ولكن الله وهبها لابراهيم بموعد
Vs. 1 In antiquity, the “moment” of growing up was a very specific one.
A Jewish boy at 12… a Greek boy at 18…. In Roman law… it was a time at the discretion of the father.
So… Paul is referring to this moment as decided by the father as the “moment” where legal guardianship ends… and responsibility begins.
At this time the father “legally” adopted the son as full heir.
As a child he was no different than a slave… no rights… no freedom.
Actually…. As mentioned last week… he could be under the guardianship of a slave.
Vs. 2 Paul drops pedagogue… now uses another word guardian and trustee.
These are legal functions. Legal words. This is how Paul must be thinking.
Vs. 3 Here’s the analogy. Slaves to “basic principles” or “elemental spirits”.
1) Elementary stages of religion experienced by all man. Applies to both Jew and Gentile.
2) Law of Israel. Like in 3:23.
3) Elements: earth, wind, fire, water. Associated with the gods.
Vs. 4 “But when…. God…”
Man is lost without hope from God. Without him doing for us.
Of His own will and choosing and time.
“God sent forth his son.” Wow. God acts.
Eph. 2:4 “But God.. rich in mercy”
Born of a woman… not the man… just her… he was human… allusion to virgin birth.
And under the law. Within the parameters of the law. Circumcised on the 8th day.
Vs. 5 To redeem… 3:13 again. Buy out of slavery.
Those under the law. Under the elementary principles. Those under the slave custodian.
Rom. 8:17 co-heirs with Christ.
Adopted as sons.
The historical stream of salvation through Israel, incomplete through them… fulfilled through Jesus the Son of God.
Vs. 6 God’s second act of sending His Son first… then is sending His Spirit into our hearts.
Aramaic for “Father”… Abba. Personal. “Daddy.”
Jesus used in his prayers.
This was unique to unheard of. Instead of God as the Distant Almighty Father…
He was the intimate… Daddy… not used… but Jesus constantly does in prayer and tells disciples to do the same.
Vs. 7 No longer a slave under the law… but a son… if a son… an heir through God.
We are heirs due to sonship… not incomplete,… unfulfilled obedience… guardianship of the law… but as heir’s through God. Abba. Sons.
God sent to redeem and adopt now heirs.
Vs. 8 The 3rd time he mentions the Galatians previous enslavement. When you don’t know God… you can’t help but be enslaved to sin, other gods, your own self, etc. Original sin entraps up from birth.
From the get go we need a savior… and that will be the vary Creator.
Slaves to the gods of paganism, specifically for the Galatians.
Who in reality are not gods.
9″Therefore I still contend with you,
declares the LORD,
and with your children’s children I will contend.
10For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see,
or send to Kedar and examine with care;
see if there has been such a thing.
11 Has a nation changed its gods,
even though they are no gods?
But my people have changed their glory
for that which does not profit.
12Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
be shocked, be utterly desolate,
Vs. 9 Paul’s astonishment. But now… that you know God… or better yet rather are known by God… how are you turning back to weak and miserable principles?
One… you are turning back to error you once were in?
You know it’s error now… how is this possible? Are we that gullible, naïve, simple, or… willingly stupid?
Like the Hebrews… you what…? “Want to go back to Egypt and slavery?”
“Why do dogs return to their vomit?”
Sometimes we act as if the empowering Holy Spirit isn’t truly in us.
Can you imagine asking a freed African slave in the colonies if he wanted to go back into slavery again?
Can you imagine if he really wanted it?
“Know” here is not one of knowing facts…. But of “knowing” personally.
These weak elements/principals/spirits… can not free us from slavery. Why go back.. They actually bring slavery?
Only Christ can redeem us.
Vs. 10 These observances they are succumbing to are obviously Jewish ones from the legalizing teachers. A question some even today emphasize… or struggle with.
“Day” are Sabbath day.
“Months” are the celebrations on monthly cycles. New moons, Isaiah 1:14.
“Seasons” , for more than one day… like the Feast of Tabernacles, Passover.
“Years” like the recurring Year of Jubilee.
The amazing part is how he likens them to the pagan rituals and occultic practices. They all enslave…
Even the law… when distorted in a way… where people think that by obedience to it we can find salvation… that indeed becomes demonic.
You know that it is many times the “good” thing that draws us away from God more than the evil thing?
Name a few of them. Wife, children, work, money, sex… business, busyness, etc…
In and of themselves not bad… but before God, anything can become evil.
Even “the Law” if trying to obtain salvation by obedience.
Vs. 11 Yet Rom. 8:35-39 says nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Also in Phil 1:6 knowing the confidence that Paul had for Timothy in “that the work that He began He will finish”.
This is probably rhetoric. Or the exasperation of unproductive lives in Christ.
Like in 2 Peter 1:9 of unfruitful Christians, nearsighted and blind and forgotten their cleansing of sin.
What about you?
Have you forgotten?
Are you unproductive?
Are you living by some law?
TMCC is focused on Discipleship.
For the Pastor, for the Elders, for the Leaders, for all attenders, and for those not yet connected.
This is the Core of what we do.
We will do our best to limit weekly Church activities that will preclude the ability of people to be in real discipleship each week.
Then service, fellowship, witnessing, missions, care giving, and the like will come from those disciples within those groups.
We are such a busy culture, that if we promote “good” activities throughout the week, they tend to then keep people from being able to commit to a good weekly discipleship group.
We must pick and choose how we set things up so we do not work against our main goals- to grow as disciples and develop leaders.
This is not easy to establish… but we are committed to this as our DNA Core.
Too many models create self defeating incentives to do maybe what is “good”… but not what is “best”. We believe discipleship is the best, and we aim to focus intensely on this.
Some models are indeed set to focus on small groups in a similar manner… yet sometimes appear to do this only to create an “easier” non-involved ministry lifestyle. This is exactly opposite of what it should promote. It should actually promote in depth ministry within real lives of real people as we connect deeply, progressing together, maturing as disciples.
We desire to make disciples. In this, the most “excellent” worship experience is not the main priority. Too many churches are currently competing to have the most “amazing” 1.5 hour worship experience… this promotes the idea that “this” is “Church”. Wow. The biggest stage, the most awesome worship band, amazing lights, multiple giant video screens, multiple “site” locations, an extremely costly ministry team,… all done quickly and done well… Compared to Church history… this is a very odd anomaly only possible in our fast pace, rich, impatient society.
We tend to want our “Church”, want it to produce goose bumps, want it to be quick, and want beautiful people to give it to us. Meanwhile… not connecting to too many people in the process as we race off to our favorite restaurant. Meanwhile… much of the world goes to bed hungry. More martyrs die for the faith now than ever. More congregations begin in mountanous Asia than any multi-site excellent contemporary church in North America.
All in love. All filled with self indictment. All from an imperfect author.
For His Kingdom…
The Run Down
Vs. 19 Why then the law?
If it can’t bring the Spirit, it pronounces a curse on us, cannot accredit righteousness to us, and we can’t fulfill it to give us “life”… then why at all?
It was added because of transgressions.
2 best explanations here can actually both apply…
1) Identifying: And also revealing sin as sin… more so as here as a transgression… meaning once one knows the law… and sins they transgress the law knowingly. Look to Romans 4:15.
2) Restraining: later he is going to go on about it being a guardian … so it serves a purpose in clearly defining sin/transgression/wrong doing…. Then to restrain us… as a disciplinarian.
Paul similar argument with Abe in Romans 3:19-20, 4:13-15 to 5:20.
The law identifies, restrains, and even accentuates need for a Savior.
Correctly “Seed” is linked back to vs. 16 which is Christ.
Literally “ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator”.
“Through angels” meaning from God. Deut. 33:2 speaks of angels giving the Law.
Acts 7:53 very similar. Heb. 2:2.
Vs. 20 One of the most difficult verses in NT with over 250 different interpretations.
“A maddeningly opaque sentence.”
Shema. 1 Tim. 2:5, Heb. 8:6, 9:15, 12:24.
Mediator: Moses between God and the people. Law came to them indirectly. The promise was direct.
Moses direct reference: compares to Jesus as not perfect like him.
Jesus is mediator: Not great in the context.
The law was mediated between two… while the promise was unilateral from God.
God is one invokes the Shema. Deut. 6:4. The oneness of God is within the Law. The seed was one vs. 16. Christ. Who is one with God. And is maybe “The” intermediary of the “Promise”.
Vs. 21 “Is the law then contrary to the promises of God?”
Paul uses this rhetoric often… setting up a reasonable conclusive logical inference with a question built on the previous material and then categorically denying it!
Similarly In Romans 3:31 “Do we then abolish the Law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the Law.”
Vs. 22 Since perfect fulfillment of the Scripture (Law) was impossible by man… it fulfills its function imprisoning man under sin… via revelation of sin and creating the ability to now transgress.
So that the promise can be fully realized by faith in Jesus Christ, the obedient one.
The Law prepared men and women to receive the promise through the Seed Jesus Christ. By grace… by promise…
Very similar to Romans 11:32… all imprisoned… all disobedient… mercy on all…through Jesus Christ.
Vs. 23-25 Paul repeats and elaborates on what he just said. The Law imprisoned us.
Was a slave in the Greco-Roman household who supervised and guarded the a child from 6-16 years old. Walk them to and from school, see that they behaved,… and watch over them for their own safety.
Not a family member… when of age… they weren’t needed any longer.
The Law was similar. Good, needed up to a certain point, then no longer necessary. Once full rights in sonship, now not needing a guardian, took effect.
The Law was our Guardian until Christ came… in order that the promise may be fully realized for justification which comes from faith in Jesus Christ.
Vs. 26 All sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
Both Jew / Gentile… receive the promise to Abraham… through faith… all the peoples… his descendants of faith… find justification in Christ.
Deut. 14:1-2 You are sons of God.
1-From Spiritual infancy to full maturity in justification by Jesus Christ.
2-We all become one in Christ with no separating distinctions.
Ethnically,… Jew or Greek. Legalizers are wrong for trying to enforce this route of distinction to obtain justification from circumcision.
Socially… slave or free. We are all brothers in Christ.
Gender… male or female. Women were denigrated in society as less than males. Back to creation of Humankind creating in His image (male and female). Without inferiority.
1- In Christ one people.
2- In Christ all free as Sons.
3- In Christ all humans of equal value.
One body of Christ.
3-Heirs of Abraham with everyone who come by faith. From Abe all the way through the ages to those now in Christ.
I wonder… if you knew someone that could really benefit from being connected to a real community in Christ… would you invite them… buy them dinner… have them over… do anything you could over 6mths… to be hospitable, because you know that Jesus is the way. I wonder…