Posts Tagged ‘Galatians 1’

Dave preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo in Rojo Gomez

Dave preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo in Rojo Gomez

God’s Math in Tijuana is the same as it is anywhere else around the world. The Gospel + nothing = everything!

On Sunday I spoke at one of the Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat) churches in Rojo Gomez, which is an area in eastern Tijuana.

It was so encouraging, because there was a great group of people. Pastor Abraham Velazquez asked them to invite their friends and family to the service. They did just that!

The Message of Grace

I preached on Galatians 1:1-9. I love this passage. Paul speaks somewhat harshly to the Galatians, because they are turning to a different gospel. Then he adds, not that there is another one. If you change even the smallest part of the gospel you lose it all together. The gospel of Christ, is that Jesus is the only way. It is through Christ’s sacrifice and his resurrection that we receive the grace of God. We can’t add to the perfect work that Christ has already done for us.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.  —Galatians 1:6-9, ESV

The simple message of the gospel is that in Christ alone are we saved, by grace alone, through faith alone. It’s elementary math, but unfortunately we often like to add to this formula that God has laid out for us.

Dawn, Dave and David Jr. with Abraham & Martha Velazquez and their children

Dawn, Dave and David Jr. with Abraham & Martha Velazquez and their children

My good friend, pastor Abraham told me that he’s been preparing his people and preaching about grace. At first they resisted the message of grace. They thought he was teaching that it didn’t matter how they lived, but that is not the point. If you believe that you can live in sin you’ve missed it altogether. It’s just that we don’t get to God through our good works.

Another big part of the teaching of grace is that only the gospel can truly change us from the inside out.

Through Abraham’s preaching and the work of the Spirit the Lord had prepared the heart of the people. They were ripe to receive the message.

A Wonderful Response to the Gospel
David Jr. and Dawn with the young couple that visited the church for the first time

David Jr. and Dawn with the young couple that visited the church for the first time – pray for God’s continued work in their lives.

After the message I asked people to come up for prayer if they felt they had a need in their life. Many came up! Then I wondered how we were going to pray for them all, but little by little Dawn, Martha, Abraham and I prayed for them.

One woman, Rosa gave her life to Christ. A young couple who came for the first time asked prayer for their marriage. They came with many needs, and I believe the Lord’s Spirit touched them and brought healing to their broken places!

Pray for pastor Abraham and his wife, Martha. They are a beautiful young couple who love and serve the Lord. God has given them many gifts, and he is blessing them as they serve at the church in Rojo Gomez.

Thank you Lord, for giving me and my family the opportunity to minister to these dear friends.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Rodrigo & Nancy, Dawn & Dave, Martha & Abraham (from left to right) pastors, ministers, pastors wives

Some of our pastor friends and their wives: Rodrigo & Nancy, Dawn & Dave, Martha & Abraham (from left to right)

In my discussions with my pastor friends in Tijuana, they are asking me questions about the gospel. They love the powerful message of the gospel, and they are hungry to learn more. This has me studying more about this subject.

What is the Gospel?

The question, “what is the gospel?” has led me to the book of Galatians. One of the best commentaries ever written on Galatians was penned by Martin Luther. I’m reading the, Commentary on Galatians, by Martin Luther, published by Fleming H. Revell a Division of Baker Book House, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1924, 1988.

Luther says we need to beat the gospel into our heads, because we are so prone to forget it. I enjoyed beating the gospel into my head today. It is so powerful! The great thing about studying these truths is that it strengthens my heart as well.

On pages 38 and 39 of Luther’s commentary he addresses the fact that Christ has taken our sins. Galatians 1:3-5 says,

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Dave & Dawn with pastor Leo and Gloria Nevarez (they pastor in Rosarito)

Dave & Dawn with pastor Leo and Gloria Nevarez (they pastor in Rosarito)

This is mind-blowing that the God of the universe, Jesus Christ would give himself for our sins. Wow! Christ gave himself for sinners, for those that are unworthy and those that deserve God’s wrath. He didn’t give himself for the religious, the moral, or the righteous. I don’t mean that there is no hope for them. I mean we all are in need of Christ, but if you are relying on being religious, moral or righteous to be justified before God, then you are lost.

A great example of this is the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18. The Pharisee thought he was righteous, because of what he did for God. The tax collector was repentant of his sins. He recognized his need for a savior. He said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13b)

The Accuser versus The Gospel

Luther addresses how our enemy seeks to trip us up. The devil seeks to accuse those in Christ saying, “you are a sinner, and therefore you are damned,” p. 38. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus already paid the price. He was damned for us. “Christ was not only given for other men’s sins, but also for yours,” p. 39. It is a personal salvation that we receive when we are in Christ.

There are many benefits to having received the grace of the gospel. Paul at the beginning of the passage speak of grace and peace. Those are two of the many blessings believers receive. Luther states, “there is no fear, but sweetness, joy and peace of conscience,” p. 39. If you feel condemned, if you lack peace it is most likely our enemy the devil deceiving you. Remember he is called the accuser of the brothers. He is the father of lies.

But praise be to God, Jesus defeated Satan on the cross!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org