I No Longer Live the Life I Live - Gospel in Life

I No Longer Live the Life I Live

Tim Keller |  November 16, 1997

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  • Understanding the Gospel
Galatians 2:14-21
RS 288-08


In this passage, Paul has confronted not just Peter, but Barnabas and all of these great Christian leaders, over what it means to live in accordance with the gospel. The word gospel or “good news” is the essential core; the thing that makes Christianity, Christianity. Here we have Paul arguing with Peter, another apostle, and all of the leaders, as to how the gospel is to be worked out, and what the gospel is.

For the first time in the book of Galatians, Paul gets into terminology. First of all, we’re going to talk about the fact that there’s a need for a vocabulary, and why we need a vocabulary. Then secondly, what that vocabulary is. There is a gospel vocabulary—let’s see how this teaches us why we need those terms, and then secondly, what they are.

Galatians 2:14–21

In the book of Galatians, Paul and Peter are having a disagreement. They are discussing the key message of Christianity – the gospel. The main question they are dealing with is whether non-Jewish Christians need to follow Jewish cultural laws to be accepted by God and other people. Paul doesn’t believe this is necessary. This conversation shows us that we need to have a special set of terms, a gospel vocabulary, to understand and express the truths of the gospel.

1. Why do we need this vocabulary?

Looking at the interaction between Peter and Barnabas, we see that understanding the gospel can be tricky. This isn’t because the gospel itself is complicated, but because we sometimes struggle to understand it. Even experienced leaders like Peter and Barnabas had a tough time. If we think we understand Christianity without really diving deep into the gospel, we might end up not caring as much. This is why we need a vocabulary to guide us through the layers of the gospel.

2. What is this vocabulary?

To really grasp the gospel, we need to understand key terms like righteousness. Everyone wants to be righteous. But in the Bible, righteousness isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being in a right relationship. And true righteousness comes from Jesus, not from anything we do. Being a Christian means showing the character of Christ, knowing who we are in Him, and depending on Him for righteousness. This takes away our worry, fear, and resentment, and helps us to value ourselves and practice self-control in our relationships.



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Reading Galatians Can Change Your Life!

Galatians is a powerful book that shows how people can think they know the gospel but are actually losing touch with it. In this study of the book of Galatians, Dr. Keller helps you understand how this short book in the New Testament can transform your life.