Galatians 1 – part 2 — Gospel of Grace bible study notes

What the Gospel is not —

1. The red letters of Jesus are not the Gospel

  • All of the Bible is written for you but not all of it is written to you
  • Not all Jesus said was meant for you. Jesus preached the law to those who lived under the law.
  • He hadn’t gone to the cross yet.
  • We are not under the law but grace (Romans 6:14). We are living under a completely

different covenant to the Jews of Jesus’ day.

2. The Mosaic law is not the gospel.

  • The law is good and has its proper purpose but it is bad news not good news.• The purpose of the law is to reveal sin and condemn the self-righteous.
  • The law diagnoses the problem but does nothing to treat it.
  •  It couldn’t make you righteous

3.  The exhortation to “turn from sin” is not the good news.

  • That is a message that will leave you sin-focused and you can’t be both sin focused and Son focused at the same time
  • It is the message of Moses and John the Baptist.
  • It is the message of most of the Old Testament.
  • The message of the New Testament is that we are “free” from the power anddominion of sin — NOW that’s part of the good news!

4.  Good news is not the absence of bad news as in “missing hell”

  • Some evangelists think scaring the hell out of people is a good way to win disciples for Jesus, but fear is an appalling basis for any relationship.
  • Jesus is not interested in shotgun weddings.
  • Paul, the greatest church planter in the Bible, preached the gospel without evermentioning hell by name.


Tim Keller (in his book The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God) has a quote— “the Gospel is this, we are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe. Yet at the same time we are more loved and accepted by Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

That’s not the Gospel.

  •  Col 1:26 the mystery of the Gospel is our identity in Christ
  • the problem with this quote and with some of the “gospel” that’s being preached is: no understanding of our dentity! Of who we are!
  • We are NOT broken — We are NOT full of sin
  • The person who is sinful and flawed is dead.
  • All that is sinful and flawed is gone. That person no longer exists. That person was cut away… removed.
  • The old you is dead and gone.
    • You were in Adam and now you are in Christ
    • We now have a new family line… a new lineage.
    • Not only are you not in the family tree of Adam but “you” have never been in the family tree of Adam because you are a new you… a new creation one who never existed before!!!


  • So, in this first chapter of Galatians, Paul is telling us he is a new man!! Defined in Christ! Christ has been revealed “in” him and God is glorified because of it.
    • We have been co-resurrected to a new life.
    • We can’t live a life of who we truly are if we have a false concept of who we truly are.• That’s the good news of the Gospel! The gospel of Grace! The gospel of Christ!
    • We are defined by Christ …… As He is so are we!

So now that we know what the Gospel is not…. what is the Gospel?

  1. The Gospel is the good news
  • It was a radical word for Paul to use.
  • This word “gospel” in the original Greek was a word seldom used in Paul’s day.
  • The word literally means nearly-too-good-to-be-true news

2.  It was not something new

  • Romans 1:2…. it’s ancient…. established before the foundation of the world (1 Pet 1:18-20; Rev 13:8; 2 Tim 1:9-10; Titus 1:3; Eph 1:4)
  • Genesis 3:15 says in the garden, after the fall, God promised to redeem us
  • Gal 3:8 says the Gospel was preached to Abraham
  • 2 Tim 3:15 says the Old Testament Scriptures were able to make the Jews wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ — they pointed towards Jesus
  • John 5:39-40 — Jesus said the Old Testament Scriptures testify about Him

There is only ONE Gospel!

Paul Ellis has a great book called the Gospel in 10 words…..

  • we are loved —
    •  The good news is God love us!
    • I love Jeremiah 31:3b in the Message Bible — I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!
  •  we are forgiven —
    • the good news is we are forgiven!
    •  before the cross Jesus preached conditional forgiveness — forgive to be forgiven.
    • But after the cross he preached this:
      • Luke 24:46-47:This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
      •  Repent-ance for forgiveness is what John the Baptist preached.
        • It’s forgiveness conditional on you turning from sin. It’s a verb for a verb.
      • But this is not what Jesus is saying here in Luke 24.
        • He doesn’t use verbs for repentance and forgiveness but nouns.
        • He’s saying, “From now on, forgiveness is not something God does, it’s something He’s already done.”
    • High Priest in Hebrews made atonement for the sins of the people of Israel• Hebrews 7:27
      • Numbers 15:25 —‘Then the priest shall make atonement for all thecongregation of the sons of Israel, and they will be forgiven.
        • Hebrews 7:22-28 — Jesus is our High Priest who put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself
  • we are saved —
    • the good news of his salvation: “Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” (Titus 3:5a)
      • “save” in the Bible, sozo, literally means to deliver, protect, heal, preserve, and make whole.[31] It covers not only salvation in eternity, but healing, deliverance, and prosperity today.
    • The Gospel of salvation is good news of the power of God for healing, deliverance, prosperity and eternal life — wholeness — nothing missing, nothing broken.
  • we are in union —
    •  good news is we are now in divine union with God
    • John 17:22-23
  • we are accepted —
    • the good news is we are fully and completely accepted by God!
    • There is nothing you can do to make him more pleased than he already is.
    • Just as your good works don’t make you any more pleasing to God, neither do your bad works make you less pleasing.
  • we are made holy —
    • the good news is that we are holy right now!
    • 1 Cor 1:30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made himto be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.
    •  You can’t become any more holy than you are right now
  • we are made righteous —
    • the good news is we are righteous right now!
    • 2 Cor 5:21 — He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
    • Rom1:17a In the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last.
    • the good news of grace declares that He offers you his righteousness as a free gift, no strings attached.
    • Righteousness has nothing to do with doing and everything to do with being.
    • In Hebrew it means tzedeq — to be.
    • You can’t become anymore righteous than you already are.
  • we have died —
    • the good news is that you have already died… co crucified and co buried in Christ
    • Paul says so, again and again.
      • To the Christians in Colossae; “You died with Christ.” To the believers in Rome: “We died with Christ.”
      • To the Corinthians: “We all died.”
    • You have a new history and it began at the cross where you died with Christ.
  • we are new —
    • the good news is you are a brand new creation… one that never existed before!
    • 2 Cor 5:17 NLT: This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
    • Anyone who is in Christ is a new kind of creature — you have not been improved or modified but wholly remade.
    • We have been told we are works in progress as if there was some middle ground between saint and sinner.
    • There is no middle ground. You’re dead… a new creation…. found IN CHRIST
    • You were cleansed from sin, re-gened, and joined in vital union with the Lord.
    • You are no longer part of Adam’s race. You are a son or daughter of the Everlasting Father. Christ is your life.
    • He sees the real you, and from His timeless perspective you are faultless, blameless, and radiant with glory.
  • we are royal — 
    • the good news is that we are now royalty — we are kings and priests
    • Kings are confident and that confidence comes from knowing you are righteous.
    • The gospel declares that in Him you are righteous.
    • As you walk in this revelation, your confidence will grow and you will start to exercise your kingly influence.

In a nutshell — The heart of the Gospel is Christ in me AND me in Christ

  • What the world needs to hear —
    • Luke 2:10 — angels proclaimed the good news… the Gospel!
      • The Weymouth translation: But the angel said to them, “Put away all fear; for I am bringing you good news of great joy–joy for all the People.
      • It was good news of great joy!!!
      • Great joy to ALL people!
      • This good news should produce joy in ALL people!
    • Matthew 9:37 says the harvest is plentiful!
      • The world is ripe and ready for the good news (of great joy for ALL) of the gospel
      • John 3:16 — The reason God sent Jesus was because He SO LOVED THE WORLD
      • Romans 2:4 — it’s God’s goodness that causes men to repent.
      • Romans 1:16 — the gospel is the power of God that produces salvation (sozo)
        • Salvation is sozo — (Greek word for save) meaning to make you whole in EVERY way!• Romans 1:17 — says that righteousness is revealed within the Gospel
    • I like the Mirror version of verse 17…. Herein lies the secret of the power of the Gospel; there is no good news in it until the righteousness of God is revealed!
      • The Gospel of Christ reveals our right standing with God!
      • The Gospel should convey that God’s not angry with us…. we are in right standing with Him
    • This is the good news the world needs to hear.
      • But as long as people keep adding to the finished work of Christ (like these Judaizers in Galatians 1) the good news isn’t preached
      • we don’t share the Gospel to keep people from going to hell or to get them in to church! 
      • We share the gospel so that people will be awakened to the fact that they have been reconciled to the Father through Jesus and experience this abundant life in Him
        • 2 Cor 5:17-21

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.