Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 87 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Galatians 6 today and our focus is on not quitting + the one thing Christians should brag about, which is a perfect topic for Palm Sunday. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in .  Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan

I believe I’ve mentioned before on this podcast my penchant for Christian heavy metal in my younger days. I loved bands like No Innocent Victim, the Crucified, Officer Negative, POD and plenty of others. My favorite hardcore Christian band, at least at first, was a California band called ‘Deliverance.’ They had some pretty awesome and aggressive songs that were always good to get you fired up, and their lyrics also had quite a few Scripture verses in them. In fact, a lot of the Scripture I memorized in my teenage years came from Christian heavy metal bands. I mention that, because I can’t think of Galatians, without hearing the band Deliverance in my mind singing/shouting, “we shall reap…if we faint not!” Good stuff. Maybe you can hear it too somehow?

Here’s our verse of the day: Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.

Well, most of us aren’t farmers, so we might miss the metaphor that Paul is using here. What does it mean that we will reap a harvest if we don’t quit/faint? This echoes another Pauline command from 1 Thessalonians 3:13:

13 But as for you, brothers and sisters, do not grow weary in doing good. 1 Thessalonians 3:13

The fact is that doing good can require time and energy of us. It can be challenging and draining, especially when we don’t see an immediate impact from our good work…and this is just exactly why Paul is encouraging us. When we do good to others, we don’t always see immediate results from that good, but Paul is telling us here that just like the farmer who works hard to sow seed, water it, fertilize it and tend to the ground, we too will also see good results if we keep going. Specifically, I think Paul is alluding to evangelism here – sowing the seed of the good news, though this command in Galatians 6 can also apply to other forms of perseverance, since Paul is talking in context about good deeds. He is encouraging us that us sharing the good news of the Kingdom and doing acts of love and service for others will bear fruit – will have impact – in the long run, as long as we keep persevering – so don’t quit! Let’s read our passage.

Second topic: If I were to ask you if there is anything you as a Christian should brag about, I suspect that you might say nothing, thinking that there isn’t really anything that is appropriate for a humble Christian to brag about. And you’d be almost right…because we shouldn’t brag about anything BUT, Jesus crucified on the cross. What a strange thing to boast about, but here is the verse that recommends that sort of boasting:

14 But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Galatians 6:14

What is Paul talking about here? How should we boast about the cross of Jesus, and why is Paul saying this is so important? Here’s pastor Tim Keller with a wonderful answer to our questions:

What Paul is getting across here is there’s really only one thing that’s necessary. Nothing else comes close. “May I not think of anything else.” There’s a place where Paul actually says in 1 Corinthians, “Remember when I first came to you, Corinthian Christians? When I came to Corinth, I was determined to know nothing but Christ and him crucified.” That doesn’t mean Paul says nothing else Jesus Christ said or did matters, or that he doesn’t really know. He’s saying there’s nothing close.
Let me put it to you negatively. It is very, very common for people to say  that what really matters spiritually is not what you believe but how you live. Not your doctrine, not your beliefs about God, or about Christ, or about the hypostatic union of the two natures of Jesus Christ, or about the incarnation or the ascension or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
“That sort of thing doesn’t matter. You believe this; I believe this. The important thing is whether we live like Jesus. The important thing is whether we love our neighbor as ourselves. The important thing is if we follow his teaching and if we turn the other cheek and if we are peacemakers. That’s the important thing. Not what you believe, but how you live. Not what you believe about Jesus, but whether you live like Jesus.”
Paul does not say, “God forbid that I should boast except through the Sermon on the Mount.” He doesn’t say, “God forbid that I should boast except in the Ten Commandments.” … What he’s really trying to say is exactly the opposite. Paul is saying what really matters is not the teaching of Jesus. What really matters is not so much what Jesus told us to do; what matters is what Jesus came to do.
 … This was the very center of his consciousness. When in Matthew 16 Jesus says to Peter, “Who do you say I am?” Peter says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus says, “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.” In other words, Jesus says, “This is right.”
Then what do we read? It says, “From that moment Jesus began to show to his disciples how he has to go to Jerusalem, suffer, and be killed, and rise from the dead on the third day. But Peter began to rebuke him, and Jesus turned to Peter and said, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan.’ ” Peter was quite all right with Jesus as long as he was a teacher, as long as he was telling us how to live, how to pray, how to approach God, how to deal with our troubles, how to love each other, how to get along.
But as soon as Jesus says, “If you want to know what I’m really about, I’ll tell you what I’m about. I’ll tell you what I’m here to do. I’m here to die,” Peter couldn’t handle it. He flipped. When Peter says, “I don’t believe that,” Jesus didn’t say, “Well, you have your belief; I have my belief.” Jesus said, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” You are in the grip of Satan if you do not see the main thing Jesus came to do was to die… God forbid that anything else would have the centrality in your head and your mind and your heart but this: Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. 

Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).

End of the Show: Bible memory verse for March: Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.

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