The Gospel and the Word – Gospel in Life

The Gospel and the Word

Tim Keller |  December 7, 1997

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  • Doctrine
  • The Bible
Galatians 3:1-9
RS 288-11


This is a great passage. There are so many details in it. I think, however, the important thing would probably be to get the gist of it, the point, which I think is actually in verse 8. Then we can come back and look at the parts and the details later without losing our way or being confused. This passage in the very beginning, which we began looking at last week, talks about, “How do you get the Spirit? How do you have spiritual power?” It’s a very, very relevant question nowadays.

Here you have Paul talking about the Spirit. How do you get into contact with the Spirit? He keeps on saying “hearing.” The first five verses are all about hearing. You have to hear. It’s not what you do; it’s what you hear. It’s the message. In this case we see where it’s from. He’s talking, of course, about the gospel; the gospel is the way. Well, how do you find the gospel? How do you know the gospel? In verse 8 we have a stunning verse. Here’s basically what verse 8 says: “The Scripture preached the gospel to Abraham.” You have a very important and “bipolar” truth.

Galatians 3:1–9

Paul’s letter to the Galatians is like a jigsaw puzzle – you need to understand the whole picture, not just the individual pieces. The main idea is about how we connect with God’s Spirit and the power that comes from that connection. This is super relevant, even in our world today. Paul says the key to this connection is through understanding the central message of the gospel. It’s like when the Bible shared the good news with Abraham.

1. The Bible shared the good news

Understanding the good news is like diving into the deep end of the Bible. Instead of just picking and choosing verses we like, we should see the whole Bible as inspired and trustworthy. Jesus and Paul believed in the authority and completeness of the Bible. They used it as their compass, warning us about getting sidetracked by other so-called gospels or relying on extraordinary experiences.

2. The Bible shared the good news with Abraham

The Old Testament is a key part of the good news. Things like the religious laws, the temple, and the priesthood all point towards Jesus. The Golden Rule is not just a guideline for behavior, but it shows us our need for God’s rescue. The book of Judges, for example, is not just about lawmen, but it highlights Jesus’ role, showing that God can rescue through many or just one, even the seemingly weak.


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