Title of Message: The Gospel and Religious Traditions
Series: What's the Difference
-We are continuing in the series entitled "What's the Difference;" a study to hold up the New Testament Gospel of Jesus and then compare it to other religions and religious thoughts.
-Week One Pastor Frank walked us through the Gospel - "Jesus Plus Nothing." This study was the basis for all sermons in this series. If you missed it, catch this message from January 10th via the website at http://www.woodbridgecommunitychurch.org/sermons/.
-The past two weeks Pastor Frank preached on the differences between the Gospel and both Islam and Mormonism.
-This week Pastor Vince will speak on the differences between the Gospel and the Religious Traditions observed throughout Christendom.
Verses used: Galatians 1:6-7, Galatians 2:1-3, 7-9, 16, 1 John 1:7, 1 John 5:11-13, 1 John 4:18-19, Ephesians 2:8-9, Isaiah 1:13-17
Key verse: Galatians 2:1-16
1Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain. 3But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you. 6But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. 7But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8(for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.
11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?
15“We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; 16nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”
I. Why did Paul single out Apostles and Angels? Gal. 1:8
A. Apostles come from the greek Apostolos which means messenger or ambassador
B. Angel comes from the greek Angelos which means messenger from God
C. Jesus is the ultimate revelation from God. There will be no more new revelation from God
II. Main Issue in the church: Does a person need to follow the Law of Moses in order to be saved?
A. The Apostles and Church leaders agreed: No! It’s Jesus plus nothing Gal 2:1-3, 7-9
B. The Judaizers said Yes! It’s Jesus plus the Law of Moses
C. Paul said all the religious traditions do not add anything to earn your salvation
III. Guidelines for evaluating the validity of a religious tradition
A. Religious tradition is not a means to be saved nor a means to have your sins forgiven Eph 2:8-9
B. Religious tradition must have a basis that is consistent with the teachings of the bible
C. Observance of religious traditions must come from the heart, and not just a meaningless ritual done out of obligation Isaiah 1:13-17
D. Religious tradition must not contradict the teachings of the bible
E. We do good things not to earn salvation, but to learn about following Jesus
IV. God wants us to be assured of our relationship to Him 1John 5:11-13
A. Why? Because He loves us! 1John 4:18-19
B. For love to be love, it cannot be motivated by fear
Some questions to consider this week:
1. What was one thing you remember from the message on Sunday?
2. Gospel literally means good news. How would you define the gospel? Look at 1Cor 15:1-4
3. Why is it important for a person to know where he is going after he dies?
4. How does what Jesus did on the cross answer question 3?
5. What "religious traditions" did you grow up with that you aren't practicing today?
6. Do you still have family or friends who are practicing a works-based religion? Has it caused conflict in your relationship with them and how have you dealt with it?
7. Quote: In church we do good things not to earn salvation but to learn about following Jesus. How does that statement clarify the purpose of religious tradition in your understanding?
8. Thinking about the first week in this series on the "Gospel of Jesus" and this week's study of Religious Traditions, what does it mean in your life to say, "Jesus plus Nothing"?
9. How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?