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Posts Tagged ‘gospel of grace’

Verse 14: “But 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?”

There was an episode of the cartoon Batman: The Animated Series entitled “The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne”. In it, Batman goes undercover at a rest spa, in his civilian alter-ego of Bruce Wayne, to investigate a blackmail scheme. A scientist named Dr. Hugo Strange has invented a machine to read thoughts; using it under the pretense of treating executives for stress, he extracts blackmailing information. Using it on Bruce, he discovers Batman’s secret identity and attempts to auction the information to the Joker, Two-Face, and the Penguin. Thanks to Batman’s ingenuity, the three villains think they have been tricked with a false tape and destroy the real tape evidence in their attempt to get revenge on Strange. As they are attempting to flee and have kidnapped Strange, Strange tries to convince them he was telling the truth.

Dr. Hugo Strange: “Joker, please! I was set up! Bruce Wayne is Batman!”
Two-Face: “That’s absurd! I know Bruce Wayne. If he’s Batman…I’m the King of England!”
Joker: “And people say that I’m crazy!” (maniacal laughter)

Due to Batman’s cleverness (and a well-timed impersonation of Bruce by Dick Grayson), Strange is convinced he didn’t get the true story…the villains didn’t believe it anyway, since as Two-Face aptly put it: “That’s absurd! I know Bruce Wayne. If he’s Batman…I’m the King of England!”

The Gentiles thought they knew Peter (Cephas). An apostle, a church leader, and a disciple of Jesus, he was fellowshipping with the Gentile converts. But the arrival of some Judaizers shamed Peter into distancing himself from the Gentiles. The Gentiles were getting confused…what was the message Peter was conveying? Paul could see how this would hurt the message of the gospel, and he promptly took Peter by the spiritual short-hairs on the back of his neck, and set him straight! By even appearing to side with the Judaizers, who were stating grace PLUS the law, Peter could have done damage to Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles. Paul set him straight and made him remember who he really was and who he needed to be to those he witnessed to: a man saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, and that grace alone!

What message are you sending today to those who need to be saved by the gospel of Christ?

Something to think about.

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Verse 12: “For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.”

There was an episode of Spongebob Squarepants once, where he, Patrick, and Squidward were out camping. The subject of seabears came up; Squidward insisted that they were myths, but Patrick and Spongebob kept insisting they were real, to the point that Spongebob stated, “He’s right Squidward, Seabears are all to real. Why once I met this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy’s cousin…” at which point Squidward caves in and agrees just to get Spongebob to stop. (the quote is found at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0832777/quotes ).

Now if you were wanting to believe something that had been experienced by someone, whom would you be more apt to believe: someone who had heard about it eight or nine times down the story-line…or someone who had been there firsthand?

The Judaizers were arguing that the gospel of grace that Paul was teaching was man-made. Paul correctly and definitively states, “I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ”. Paul received it from Jesus Himself, thus validating the Authority of the message. When Christians come to know the Lord, others may introduce us to Him through sermons or personal witnessing…but it’s still a personal invitation to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior into our lives. We don’t have to “hear” about it many times removed. We don’t have to have a high priest or someone to be liaison between us and the Lord. Jesus wants to come into our lives Himself.

Knowing someone personally is much preferable any day to knowing “this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy…”…well, you get the picture!

Have a blessed day in Him!

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