Galatians – Living for Jesus ガラテヤ人への手紙-イエスのために生きる

Last week in the family service we sang a kids song. I loved singing it because it took us right to the simple heart of our faith: we love Jesus and we want to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Mike quoted the following scripture at the time:

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:32,33/マタイによる福音書10:32,33 だから人の前でわたしを受けいれる者を、わたしもまた、天にいますわたしの父の前で受けいれるであろう。 しかし、人の前でわたしを拒む者を、わたしも天にいますわたしの父の前で拒むであろう。
And that is where I would like to take off from today.

1. Never be ashamed of the gospel 福音を決して恥とは思わない
Do you change your behaviour and your speech depending on where you are and who you are with?

i. When reading the Bible in your workplace or school and someone comes along, do you?
​1​quickly close it and put it away 急いで聖書を閉じ、しまう
​2​keep reading as you were そのまま読み続ける
​3​physically shove it into their mouth while yelling ‘Repent! Repent!’
ii. When someone asks if you would pray with them and you’re in a public place, do you
​1​suggest going somewhere more private 2人だけになれる場所に行こうと提案する
​2​just say no thank you 断る
​3​say ‘sure thing’ ‘もちろん’と言う
iii. When you’re talking about church or Jesus with a church friend at your work or school and someone else comes nearby, do you 仕事場や学校で教会の友達と教会やイエスの話をしていて、近くに誰かが来たら、
​1​lower your voice 声を小さくする
​2​change the topic 話題を変える
​3​invite your friend to join the conversation 会話に入るように誘う
iv. When all your friends want to drink alcohol although you’re all under age, do you
​1​just go with them because you don’t want to look like a party-pooper
​2​quietly go with them but just don’t drink いっしょに行くが飲まない
​3​don’t go but tell them why you don’t want to go なぜ行きたくないのか言って行かない

It’s easy to shout ‘Yes, I love my Jesus’ when we’re in church. But what about ‘out there’.
We’re not at all to be loudmouths about our faith – annoying people and getting in their faces. Not at all! But a gentle, sincere public confession of faith is a necessary and powerful thing, both for our own salvation and for evangelical purposes.
* Baptism is a public confession of faith.
* Simply telling people at the appropriate time and place that you are a Christian is a public confession of faith.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9/ローマの信徒への手紙10:9

2. Church discipline is key to spiritual growth 教会の訓戒は霊的成長の鍵
(John White “Healing the Wounded: The costly love of church discipline”)
In today’s world of individual rights and personal importance, church discipline is not very popular. That’s why it is often so neglected.

John Stott: “The secular world is almost wholly unimpressed by the Church today. There is widespread departure from Christian moral standards. So long as the church tolerates sin in itself and does not judge itself…and fails to manifest miserably the power of Jesus Christ to save from sin, it will never attract the world to Christ.”
Church discipline is ‘training in holiness’. That is our call. To be holy. And becoming holy doesn’t just happen with one or two powerful experiences. It requires constant on-going training. 教会の訓戒は‘聖くなる訓練’です。

Over the last 21 years, I’ve had four teachers at my school fall pregnant out of wedlock (not to students!). Three of the four were Christians.
What do I tell my students? I’ve been witnessing to them for years, slowly trying to reach into their lives with the power of Jesus to change lives. And just like that, the world says, “See, they’re no different.” And this is not just because they were ‘caught out’. They were living in an unholy and unChristlike way.

Can these people be forgiven for shaming the gospel like this? Absolutely! But their sin has far-reaching consequences. For Biblical examples of this, look at the life of David and how, though he was a forgiven man, the consequences of his sin continued to affect his whole life.

I worry that young Christians today don’t seem to have much understanding of/interest in either holiness or of church discipline. I wonder how they’d respond to the teaching of John the Baptist:

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Luke 3:7-9/ルカによる福音書3:7-9 さて、ヨハネは、彼からバプテスマを受けようとして出てきた群衆にむかって言った、「まむしの子らよ、迫ってきている神の怒りから、のがれられると、おまえたちにだれが教えたのか。 だから、悔改めにふさわしい実を結べ。自分たちの父にはアブラハムがあるなどと、心の中で思ってもみるな。おまえたちに言っておく。神はこれらの石ころからでも、アブラハムの子を起すことができるのだ。 斧がすでに木の根もとに置かれている。だから、良い実を結ばない木はことごとく切られて、火の中に投げ込まれるのだ」。

Let’s look at this in a modern context:
i. Moral issues. What do we do about moral corruption in the church? What do we do if one of our unmarried members is sleeping with their boyfriend or girlfriend? What do we do if one of our members has a pornography habit? In this day and age, does it really matter?
道徳問題。教会の中での道徳的腐敗をどうしたらいいのでしょう? それは本当に問題なのでしょうか?
ii. Spiritual issues. What do we do about heresy or blasphemy? What do we do if one of our members is telling people that the Bible is not really the whole Word of God, or Jesus was not really God in the flesh? What do we do if one of our members blasphemes the name of God? In this day and age of pluralism and tolerance, does it really matter?
霊的問題。異端や神への冒涜をどうしたらいいのでしょうか? それは本当に問題なのでしょうか?
iii. I could go on with other legal and ethical issues. Does it really matter?

It certainly mattered to the early church. Ananias and Sapphira, Simon the sorcerer, even Peter (twice! – Jesus and Paul) were all disciplined harshly for their waywardness.
Now, it goes without saying that all church discipline must be done on the basis of love. Even when carried out firmly, it is to be conducted lovingly. 教会の訓戒はすべて愛に基づいて行わなければなりません。
One of the reasons the church has faltered with regards to church discipline is that it has not always been carried out in a loving manner and as such there are dangers to church discipline. Over the years the church has fluctuated from gentle leniency (which is actually uncaring, not caring) to cold severity (which is also uncaring).

White: “Church discipline is costly because my brother’s and my sister’s business, becomes my business. In a sense, I am their spiritual keeper, just as they are mine…I do not show love by ignoring a fellow Christian in spiritual pain. No, I respond…This places a responsibility on me to encourage, admonish, praise, exercise patience and even to rebuke. I thus become less of a private person than I would be otherwise.”

The question/problem is: where do we draw the line between what is a private matter and what is a communal matter?
(This reminds me of a conversation Winston Churchill is said to have had with a woman.
Churchill: Madam, would you sleep with me for one million dollars?
Woman: I’d have to think about that.
Churchill: Would you sleep with me for one dollar?
Woman: Certainly not! What kind of woman do you think I am?
Churchill: We’ve already established that. Now we’re just negotiating.)

How far should this principle of church discipline be taken?
On one hand, how much of myself should I reveal?
On the other, to what extent should I be concerned with the details of other people’s lives? Do I have a right to tell people how to live their lives? What authority does the church have over me and my private life?

There is a whole series of sermons that could be given to address these questions.
But in essence it all comes down to this:
How badly do you want to live a godly life? 神の御心にかなった生活をどれほど送りたいと思っていますか?

There is a concern across the church today that there is a lack of power, a lack or miracles, a lack of Holy Spirit fire. But what many Christians fail to understand is that there is a very strong and necessary connection between purity and power. Without purity, we can’t expect power. If we want to see power, we need to be pure.

We must live lives that are pure, holy and godly.

The importance of belonging to a small group. “Church discipline must lie in grassroots, local church training and discipleship.” (White) Spiritual training is not just for new Christians. It is for all Christians. 霊的訓練はクリスチャンになったばかりの人たちのためだけではありません。これはすべてのクリスチャンのためです。

3. Christ Lives, not us. 私たちではなく、キリストが生きている

This year we have been focussing on discipleship and a key verse has been the one in which Jesus says that if we are to be His disciples then we must humble ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. (Luke 9:23)
The ‘taking up the cross’ bit is a reference to dying to ourselves daily so that we can live for Jesus. His priorities, not ours. His pleasures, not ours. His glory, not ours.

Part of dying to ourselves is understanding that we cannot earn our salvation by ourselves – by keeping the law. We cannot get right with God through good works. It’s only in Jesus that we have salvation. That’s why we need to die to ourselves daily, and live for Jesus daily.

And so Paul teaches from this truth: “It’s no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me”. 生きているのは、もはや、わたしではない。キリストが、わたしのうちに生きておられるのである。This ties back to the first two teaching points today. How can there be any shame in being a follower of Jesus, if we no longer live but rather Jesus lives in us? How can the Spirit of Jesus be ashamed of Jesus?!
Similarly, how could the Spirit of Jesus who now lives in us, not reject impurity and seek after holiness? The Spirit of Jesus who lives in us longs after purity and holiness. Because Jesus lives in us, we are called to be pure and holy. 私たちの内にあるイエスの霊は純真さと聖であること望んでおられます。

Normally when we teach from a passage in the Bible, we start with the passage and then teach bit by bit from it. Today, I’ve done it the other way around. I’ve taught in bits, and now I’m going to read the passage. And I’m going to leave it to you to listen carefully (and read through later) and make the connections between the teaching points and the verses you hear.

Galatians 2:11-21
11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in[d] Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

17 “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.

19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

ところが、ケパがアンテオケにきたとき、彼に非難すべきことがあったので、わたしは面とむかって彼をなじった。 というのは、ヤコブのもとからある人々が来るまでは、彼は異邦人と食を共にしていたのに、彼らがきてからは、割礼の者どもを恐れ、しだいに身を引いて離れて行ったからである。 そして、ほかのユダヤ人たちも彼と共に偽善の行為をし、バルナバまでがそのような偽善に引きずり込まれた。 彼らが福音の真理に従ってまっすぐに歩いていないのを見て、わたしは衆人の面前でケパに言った、「あなたは、ユダヤ人であるのに、自分自身はユダヤ人のように生活しないで、異邦人のように生活していながら、どうして異邦人にユダヤ人のようになることをしいるのか」。
わたしたちは生れながらのユダヤ人であって、異邦人なる罪人ではないが、 人の義とされるのは律法の行いによるのではなく、ただキリスト・イエスを信じる信仰によることを認めて、わたしたちもキリスト・イエスを信じたのである。それは、律法の行いによるのではなく、キリストを信じる信仰によって義とされるためである。なぜなら、律法の行いによっては、だれひとり義とされることがないからである。 しかし、キリストにあって義とされることを求めることによって、わたしたち自身が罪人であるとされるのなら、キリストは罪に仕える者なのであろうか。断じてそうではない。 もしわたしが、いったん打ちこわしたものを、再び建てるとすれば、それこそ、自分が違反者であることを表明することになる。 わたしは、神に生きるために、律法によって律法に死んだ。わたしはキリストと共に十字架につけられた。 生きているのは、もはや、わたしではない。キリストが、わたしのうちに生きておられるのである。しかし、わたしがいま肉にあって生きているのは、わたしを愛し、わたしのためにご自身をささげられた神の御子を信じる信仰によって、生きているのである。 わたしは、神の恵みを無にはしない。もし、義が律法によって得られるとすれば、キリストの死はむだであったことになる。

Communion time – Mike for general confession, me for specific confession (to confess specific sins)
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16/ヤコブの手紙5:16