The Heart of the Gospel – Gospel in Life

The Heart of the Gospel

Tim Keller |  November 9, 1997

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  • Justification
  • Salvation
  • Understanding the Gospel
Galatians 2:11-16
RS 288-07


In this sermon we continue looking at an account of two very important visits: Paul coming down to Jerusalem and Peter coming up to Antioch; Paul coming down to where Peter lived and Peter coming up to where Paul lived. In the first visit, we saw a very important principle laid down as to the nature of the gospel, what it is. We saw that the problem was the message of a certain group of religious teachers.

Their point was believing in Jesus Christ was very important; they weren’t against Christ. But they said you have to add to Jesus Christ, his work, his love; faith and union with his work and his love is not enough to cleanse and beautify you. It’s not enough. You have to believe in Christ, and, in their case, they said you have to adopt the entire Mosaic law, all the ceremonial laws. The important thing is the principle of the gospel: is Jesus Christ’s work and love enough to cleanse and beautify you all by itself? Paul’s answer is “Yes.” For these folks the answer was “No.”

Galatians 2:11–16

Galatians 2:11-16 tackles the problem of adding extra rules to our faith in Christ. This is illustrated when Paul questions Peter’s decision to avoid non-Jews because he’s afraid and sticking to Jewish traditions. The passage highlights that it’s only by believing in Jesus Christ that we’re saved, not by obeying laws. It warns us not to try to earn our way to righteousness, but to stay true to the teachings of the Gospel. It also uses these concepts to address prejudice, emphasizing that Christ’s love and sacrifice are enough for us all.



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