North Anderson Baptist Church
Confirmation of the Gospel of Grace
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Blackpool, England is one of the darkest cities in the nation. Even the media said that it was the most unhealthy place to live. Alcoholism, suicide rate was sky high, drugs and gambling along with crime and violence of all kinds reigned in this city. Churches in the city and surrounding Lancashire area have been praying for their community for years, and they invited Franklin Graham to come in September (21-23) to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Franklin writes saying, “People there need to know God loves them and wants to free them from darkness and sin. They need to know that the power of the Gospel—the “power of Christ” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NASB)—brings new life that will last for eternity.”

But secular voices in the city have risen up in opposition. They strongly resist God’s Word and want to undermine the evangelistic outreach, or even derail it if they can.

Graham asks Christians to pray for the power of God’s Spirit to break through in Blackpool, that many souls would be saved and delivered from darkness. Pray that we (Graham) will have “boldness in our God to speak … the gospel of God amid much opposition” (1 Thessalonians 2:2, “We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.” ). And pray for “those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,” (2 Timothy 2:25, “Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth...”).

Even when Graham preached in California and the Northwest Washington state, he told the people at each stop, “that God loves them and offers forgiveness and salvation if they would repent of their sins and accept His Son, Jesus Christ, by faith.”

He said the Bible says, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12, ESV). I wanted every individual to hear the Good News that through Jesus, anyone can have a new beginning. We praise God that thousands of people found that new beginning in Christ, receiving lasting hope for this life and for eternity.
Paul told the Galatian churches that any of them could have a new beginning because of Jesus Christ and His salvation from sin. Paul wanted each of those whom he preached to, to realize that there is no darkness so dark and no pit too deep that God can’t redeem them and give them hope, the hope of heaven. There was not a person who was excluded from the Gospel Paul preached. All people who heard the message and by faith believed in Jesus Christ and His power to forgive and change a heart for eternity were saved.

For us today, we are going to look at chapter two of Galatians verses 1-10. Paul tells the churches that he went to Jerusalem to meet with the leaders of the church, the apostles and particularly Peter, James and John. (This James was the brother of Jesus and not the brother of John who was one of the close associates of Jesus when He was alive.) I have separated this part of chapter two into four parts: 1) The meeting with church leaders, 2) What was the Gospel Paul preached, 3) Paul’s call and apostleship, 4) The major requests from the church leaders.
1) The Meeting with Church Leaders

The purpose of the meeting with the church leaders was to establish and demonstrate the essential unity that was important to Paul and the apostles.

The motivation of the meeting was from a direct revelation from the Holy Spirit who told Paul to go to the leadership of the church to “set before them” the description of the Gospel Paul preached to the Gentiles.

Paul told the churches that he chose to meet privately with the leaders just in case they didn’t agree with Paul regarding the Gospel to the Gentiles and therefore the disagreement would not be broadcasted out among the Christians about their differences.
2) What was the Gospel Paul preached?

Paul made it quite clear that the Gospel he preached to the Gentiles was the Gospel of Grace! All people regardless of whether Jew or Gentile could respond to an open invitation of the love of God who sent Jesus to be the sacrifice for all sin and where anyone who believed by faith would be accepted and could become a Child of God. There were no conditions for accepting the Gospel of Christ. All those who came no matter their race, nationality, sex, wealth, social status (slave or free) or education level would have the same opportunity to become saved and receive the gift of eternal life.

The key to his argument was Titus, the Greek. Titus came along to Jerusalem with Paul and Barnabas hoping that the leaders could see a “real live” example of the Gentile conversion. We see through this event that the church leaders did not “compel” Titus to be circumcised. Here is where the spies came in who infiltrated their meeting demanding that the Gentiles be circumcised, basically to enslave all men to the law of works. But the leaders as I have said did not accept their argument and ruled in favor of salvation by faith in Christ alone, thereby affirming the Christian freedom of the Gospel of Grace.

This same group who tried to convince the Jerusalem church leadership of their view of salvation which is, all who are to become Christians must first follow the Law of Moses, particularly the law of circumcision. Paul made it really clear that he did not give in to these false teachers and evil doers but stood for the truth of the Gospel.
3) Paul’s Call and apostleship

Paul told the folks in the churches in Galatia that the leaders of the church were not that important to him but that they heard his heart for the Gospel. He reminded the leaders that Peter was the apostle to the Jews and he wanted them to understand that the call from God was that he was the apostle to the Gentiles. It doesn’t seem to matter to him whether they accepted him or not, his call and authority came for Christ Himself. What was a great source of joy, was that the three leaders extended to Paul and Barnabas the “right hand of fellowship.” Because of the evidence the church leaders agree to support what Paul was doing and they sent him off with their blessing, accept with one stipulation.
4) The major request from the church leadership

There was but one request. Peter, James and John requested that Paul and Barnabas would be careful to remember the poor when they did their work. Paul states in response to their request, “the very thing I was eager to do.”
This is a simple passage and what I want to do is see if we can list several lessons for us to remember.

1. The church of Jesus Christ is a body of believers from all walks of life. There were those whom Paul sought to reach who did not worship the God of the Israel; there were also some who might not have had other gods or idols which they worshiped or maybe they worshiped many gods or possibly they had no gods at all. Therefore, Paul presented Christ and His death, burial and resurrection to these so they could come to know the love of God and the Hope that Christ can give them.

You know we have many people like Paul encountered in our sphere of influence. Around us today, in America, are people from all walks of life like those who follow the Hindu religion who have hundreds and maybe even thousands of gods they worship. Or today, we have those who call themselves Christians who have heard “another gospel” Paul spoke of in chapter one where he said even if an angel came and shared their gospel with them. We also have many people today whose god is their world or political view or their work, fame or wealth etc… We are really not in a different time than what Paul lived in when it comes to different religions or none at all. What did Paul do? He was faithful to share the true Gospel with ALL people no matter their religion or background or status. What will you do to share the true Gospel of Grace? This year we have sought to teach and make available many different ways to share your faith story and the Gospel with other people. Have you been faithful to use what God has given you?
2. The Gospel is a Gospel of Grace. Salvation is free and comes from the heart of God. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection can’t be earned by doing religious practices but it is a gift from God through Jesus Christ, His Son. The Grace of God is free, you can’t earn it or do anything to obtain it; it is a gift from a loving and caring God who was willing to allow His Son to die for yours and my sin that we might believe His truth by faith and receive salvation from our sin and experience eternal life now and forever more.

Have you come today and have been trying to get God to love you by doing “things” that you think might please Him?

Are you here today wanting God to love you but you don’t know what to do to make that happen?

Do you think that you have done so many things that are so bad that God will not accept you as a part of His family?

Do you think that God has passed you by and you no longer will have a chance to be saved?

All these things are not a problem from God’s point of view. He loves us no matter what we have done or what we have not done. There is nothing that ever keeps you from God loving you more than He does now or there is nothing you can do to make Him love you more than right now. He has one condition, trust His Son, Jesus Christ to forgive your sin and believe in Him for salvation. No works or conditions you can do will have Him love you or accept you more than He does already. Are you ready to declare your faith in Christ and trust His word? Come to Jesus now!
3. We are not to let anyone into the church body who desires to corrupt the truth and turn people away from the “real” Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. We should remember the poor and minister to them just like Jesus did and Paul declared was his heart to do. Our focus, partly, should be to seek to care for those who are less fortunate than ourselves. So, how do we do that? We already do a good bit through our missions ministry and giving. But there is a new way to help the poor right here in Anderson. We have begun to cooperate with Orrville Baptist Church under the leadership of Frank and Sharon Arthur, each Monday and Friday during the week, when they give out words of prayer and encouragement while giving out a bag meal to the poor in their area who are willing to come by to receive the gift along with a friendly smile and maybe even a hug or two. We, by way of our Missions Team, will be helping but we are inviting anyone in the church who would like to volunteer to go to one of those days during the month to participate in caring for someone other than yourself. You can call the office and ask for me or call Pam Parker. Our hope is that many will volunteer to go to our own Jerusalem to touch those who need the love of God in a physical, emotional and spiritual way.

Dear friend, in my Bible right at the bottom of this passage I have a quote, from where I don’t remember, that says this, “Christ effectually (working) in me to perform His ministry.” Won’t you let Christ’s ministry work in you!

Right now, God is calling for us to make eternal decisions for our lives. You know if He is speaking to you and calling you to Himself and saying, “I want you to do…………” Won’t you respond now?

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.
Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com