Galatians 1: Can You Save Yourself by Doing Good Deeds or by Being a Good Person?

A good deed is never lost but it may not save you.












If you’re in the resident congregation turn off your electronic devices and put them away. Let this be a place where you aren’t distracted by the world.


Welcome To



Rory Clark



Good Morning!


Welcome to Barah Ministries…an intimate, local Christian Church with a worldwide impact.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  Thanks for listening to this Bible lesson!


Why did God the Father create Barah Ministries?


The Father wants us to get to know His Son, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ is God…He is Deity.  Barah Ministries is a gift to us from God so we have a place to worship and to learn.


All during His time on earth, and even to this very day, false teachers want us to believe that Jesus was only a man and that He isn’t the promised Jewish Messiah.  Here’s what this “so-called” man, Jesus, teaches about Himself in Acts, Chapter 4, Verse 12…


ACTS 4:12

And there is salvation in no one else…for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved (other than the name of the Lord Jesus Christ).”


Cana man guarantee your salvation?  In John, Chapter 10, Verse 28, the Lord  says…


JOHN 10:28

…and I (the Lord Jesus Christ) give eternal life (the resurrection life) to believers in Christ…and they will never perish…and no one will snatch them out of My hand.


Romans, Chapter 8, Verses 38 and 39 say…



For I (Paul) am convinced that neither death nor life...nor (elect) angels nor principalities (demons...fallen angels)…nor things present nor things to come...nor powers...



...nor heightnor depth…nor any other created thing…will be able to severus believers in Christ from the unconditional love of God the Father, who is for us because of our union with Christ Jesus our Lord.


Clearly, Jesus Christ is not just a man.  He is 100% God and 100% man in One Person…forever.


The Father suggests we get to know the Lord by studying His Word.  Psalm 119, Verse 105 says…


PSALM 119:105

Lord…your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.


That’s hardly a description of the power of a mere man.  His Word is everything, and it is powerful enough to act as our guide.  So why the confusion about God?  The Lord has an enemy, Satan, whom the Lord made “the ruler of this world” for a finite time.


Satan wants you to busy yourself with the things in his world system so you don’t have time to learn what God has to say to you in His Word.  First Peter, Chapter 5, Verse 9 encourages us to…



…resist Satan by standing firm in your faith…


Don’t let Satan rob you of your spiritual life with his ridiculous distractions.



Can You Save Yourself by Doing Good Deeds or by Being a Good Person?




There is no way!  The apostle Paul says in Galatians, Chapter 2, Verse 21…



“…for if righteousness (the admission ticket to heaven) comes through keeping the Mosaic Law…then Christ died needlessly (on the Cross).”


In today’s lesson we’ll hear the apostle Paul continue to defend himself against the false teachers and their false teaching that salvation requires our works.




Let’s hear some music!The Lord makes it clear all over the Bible that our salvation has nothing to do with us and our self-righteous works.  The admission ticket to heaven, absolute righteousness, comes as a free gift from the grace of the  Lord.  Mark, Chapter 16, Verse 16 says…


MARK 16:16

Anyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and has been baptized by God the Holy Spirit (who places us into union with Christ at the moment of salvation) shall be saved…but he who has disbelieved (rejecting a relationship with Christ) shall be condemned.


Here’s June Murphy to explain in song what it takes to be saved…we must be BORN AGAIN.




Let’s Sing the Lord’s Praises



June Murphy




Let us pray...


We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…


Thank you Father for the unconditional love You direct toward us…we are certainly not worthy of it for any other reason than You want us to have it…thank you for giving us the only reason for hope as we live in this kingdom of death and darkness run by Your enemy…a relationship with Your Son…thank you for giving us spiritual eyes and spiritual ears to cut through the propaganda that is meant to turn us against You…


Father, help us realize how simple it is to be saved…help our weakness in always wanting to do work that is impossible for us to do in our own power instead of counting on the work our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has done for us…help us to reach those who insist that Jesus Christ is not God…give us the right words to say through God the Holy Spirit so unbelievers are motivated internally to check the accuracy of the gospel message…


We ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s name...Amen.



Can You Save Yourself by Doing Good Deeds or by Being a Good Person?




The Judaizers, a group of false teachers and attackers of the churches Paul set up in the first century Galatian region, are suggesting that Paul’s communication of a gospel of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone was inadequate. So they added other requirements to being saved.They are liars.


They sought to discredit Paul and his authority by attacking the teacher and his teaching.


In Paul’s absence, the Judaizers were saying that Paul was a second-hand apostle at best.  They claimed that because he was not one of the original twelve apostles who were with Jesus during his lifetime on earth, he was counting on the “superstar” apostles for his information.  This was not the case.


The Judaizers claimed that since Paul had learned his gospel message secondhand from the Jerusalem apostles that he had adapted it in illegitimate ways. They were really talking about themselves.  They contended that Paul’s authority was not binding because it came from men not God.Again, they were really talking about themselves.


In the first two chapters of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, Paul defended himself and

his teaching.  Let’s remember what we learned in Galatians, Chapter 1, and then

combine it with what Paul has to say in Galatians, Chapter 2.  Galatians, Chapter 1, Verses 1 to 24…



Paul, an apostle sent from God (not sent from men…nor through the agency of

man…but through Jesus Christ and God the Fatherwho raised Jesus from the dead)…



…and from all the brethren (believers in Christ) who are with me…to the churches of the Galatian region…



…grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ…



…(the Christ…the Jewish Messiah) who gave Himself (up as a substitute) for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age…according to the will of our God and Father…



…(the Father) to whom belongs the glory forevermore. Amen!


In Paul’s greeting, he wastes no time communicating that God is the source of his authority and his teaching.



I (Paul) am amazed (I’m astonished…I’m in shock) that you Galatian believers are so quickly deserting the Godand Father who called you (to salvation) by the grace of the Christ (the Jewish Messiah)…for a different gospel…



…(a “gospel”) which is really not another gospel at all (because there is only oneTRUE gospel)…only there are some (people among you…the Judaizers) who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.


They were called the Judaizers because they wanted to make others Jewish.



But even if we…or even an angel from heaven…should preach to you a gospel

contrary to what we have preached to you in the past…he is to be accursed (he should be eternally condemned in the Lake of Fire)!


Paul uses repetition to emphasize this important point…



As we have said before…so I say again now…if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received from me…he is to be accursed (he should be eternally condemned in the Lake of Fire)!



For am I now seeking the favor of men, or am I seeking the favor of God?  Am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, and I’m not, I would not be a bond servant of Christ.


There’s the issue for us as believers in Christ today.  Are men more credible than God in your mind?



I (Paul) would have you know, brethren (Galatian believers in Christ)…that the gospel which was preached by me is not a gospel that originates from a man (a human being is NOT the source of this gospel message).



For I neither received this gospel message from man…nor was I taught this gospel message by a man…but I received this gospel message through a revelation directly from Jesus Christ.


To be an apostle, a person had to see and interact with the Lord Jesus Christ directly.  There are many religions today that claim to have men who are apostles.  False.



For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism (a religion)…how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it…



…and I (Paul) was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries (men my own age) among my countrymen…being even more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.


Paul learned Judaism from men.



But when God the Father…who had set me aparteven from my mother’s womb…the Father who called me (to salvation) through His grace…



…was pleased to reveal His Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) in me so that I might

preach Him among the Gentiles…I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood (human beings)…



…nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me…but I went away to Arabia (to study with the Lord alone)…and returned once more to Damascus.


Paul refutes the claim of the Judaizers.  He was not even in the location where the “superstar” apostles were…Jerusalem.  Rather he was out in the desert with the Lord.



Then three years later (after my time in Arabia) I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas (Simon Peter) and I stayed with him for fifteen days.



But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s half-brother.



(Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.)



Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia (the region ofmy hometown…Tarsus).



I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in union with Christ…




…but they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.”



And they were glorifying God the Father because of me.


In the original languages of Scripture, there were no chapter breaks…so Paul continues his argument about his authority through Galatians, Chapter 2, Verses 1 to 10…



Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also.


In seventeen years, Paul says he had two weeks of contact with three apostles.  That’s hardly enough time to be schooled by the original apostles.



It was because of a revelation from God that I (Paul) went up to Jerusalem…and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.


What Paul is saying is that if he was preaching a gospel message that is different from the gospel message being preached by the original apostles, he would consider his work to be a waste of time.



But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.


One of the Judaizer’s claims was that circumcision was a requirement for salvation for men.  Titus…the quintessential Gentile, was not asked to be circumcised.



But it was because of the false brethrensecretly brought in,(the Judaizers…who were Jewish believers in Christ) who had sneaked in to SPY OUT OUR LIBERTY which we have from being in union with Christ Jesus, in order to bring us (back) into bondage (to the Law).



But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.



But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me…God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.



On the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised (the Gentiles)…just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (The Jews)…



…(for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised [the Lord] effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles)…



…and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James (the half-brother of Jesus) and Cephas (Simon Peter) and John (son of Zebedee)…who were reputed to be pillars (among the apostles)…gave to me and to Barnabas the right hand of fellowship so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.



They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.


The “superstar” apostles endorsed what Paul was teaching, and found it consistent with what they were teaching.  In some cases, which we’ll see later in this chapter, they even found Paul’s teaching to be more impressive and were sure they could learn from him.


When we return from the break we’ll take the offering, and then we’ll continue with our study of Galatians, Chapter 2.




Casting Crowns



Can You Save Yourself by Doing Good Deeds or by Being a Good Person?




God the Father loves all of His creatures unconditionally…and He loves us so much…that He gave His Son to save us.  God the Father is not conflicted about giving.  Are you?  First John, Chapter 3, Verses 17 and 18 say this…



…whoever has the world’s goods…and sees his brother in need…and closes his heart against his brother…how does the unconditional love of God abide in this person?



Little children (believers in Christ)…let us not love unconditionally with word or with tongue (love is not talk)…but let us love unconditionally with deeds and in truth.


Let this be a time in our lives when we realize what God the Father can do with what we give.  Realize the importance of giving and the difference it makesin the livesofthose in need.  Be generous with the gifts our God has given us.  As Deacon Denny would say…let’s give of our time gifts…let’s give of our talent gifts…AND let’s give of our treasure gifts.


Let’s welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with one of his always inspiring offering messages.



Deacon Denny Goodall





I (Paul) pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened…so that you will know what is the hope of His calling…so that you will know what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (us believers in Christ)…







…and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might…




Don Moen



Can You Save Yourself by Doing Good Deeds or by Being a Good Person?




Continuing in Galatians, Chapter 2…Paul calls Peter “up” to the standard of Christianity…a standard that is NOT legalism.



But when Cephas (Simon Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because Peter stood condemned.



For prior to the coming of certain men from James (the Pastor of the believing congregation in Jerusalem…a group of Christian Jews), Peter used to eat with the Gentiles…but when the Jews came, Peter began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision.


Peter was being phony, reverting to his actions when he was striving to keep the Law.  He created a “kosher table” and was sitting with the legalistic Jews who felt that certain deeds from the Law were a requirement for salvation.  Peter’s influence through his actions affected others as well.  Paul wasn’t having any of it.



The rest of the Jews joined Peter in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.



But when I (Paul) saw they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel (instead adding works to faith), I said to Cephas (Simon Peter) in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”


Paul is calling Peter a hypocrite to his face.  Why are you living like a Gentile except when the Jews are around?  Do you want the Gentiles to be legalistic?  Paul continues…



“We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles…”



“…nevertheless we know that a man is not justified by the works of the Mosaic Law but through faith in Christ Jesus (alone)…and we have believed in Christ Jesusso that we may be justified by faith in Christ (alone) and not by the works of the Mosaic Law…since by the works of the Mosaic Law no flesh will be justified.”


We will study justification more on, but for now just know that it is a legal term.  Simply stated, the way to be saved is by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone.



“But if, while seeking to be justified in union with Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be!”


Because God gives grace to us in our imperfection does not mean He endorses sin.



“For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor.”



"For through the Mosaic Law, I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.”


We have a choice.  We can count on God for our salvation or we can count on ourselves.



“I have been crucified with Christ…and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives indwelling me…and the life which I now live in the flesh (my physical body) I live by faith (alone) in the Son of God (alone…the Lord Jesus Christ)…who loved me unconditionally and who gave Himself up for me.”



“I do not nullify the grace of God…for if righteousness comes through the Mosaic Law, then Christ died needlessly.”


It doesn’t get clearer than that.  Paul is assuring us that if we had the power to save ourselves, there would have been no need for Christ to come down from heaven… to live a perfect life…to die on the Cross…and to be resurrected from the dead. God doesn’t waste His own time.


There are several things to learn from these first two chapters of Paul’s letter to the Galatians as he defends Himself against attacks on his person and his teaching.



Our righteousness, the admission ticket to heaven, depends on what Christ has done for us and what Christ offers us.  If we have to depend on ourselves for salvation we are screwed.



False teachers infiltrated the churches in Galatia to wrestle away the congregations from the founding Pastor…Paul.  Today, false teachers want to wrestle you away from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.  Who are the false teachers in your life, and what false teaching are you using to construct your life?



False teachers want you to be enslaved.  They don’t want you to be free or to feel free.  The Judaizers claimed that salvation was through faith in Christ plus being kosher…wearing a Yamauchi and a prayer shawl…men getting circumcised…

lighting a menorah (rituals)…and keeping the sabbath…all as additional conditions to be saved.  All of these conditions are man’s interference with the perfection that God alone can do.


What did we learn from Abraham in Matthew, Chapter 4, Verses 19 to 21?



Without becoming weak in faith, Abraham contemplated his own body, now as good as sexually dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb…


The Lord promised Abraham and Sarah a child…but they were too old to do this on their own.



…yet, concerning the promise of God, Abraham did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God…



…and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.


If we believe the lies of legalists and their legalism…then our joy is robbed.



True teachers and true teaching come from God, not men.  That’s why at Barah Ministries we teach God’s biblical perspective and not man’s biblical perspective.  Human beings always want to get enamored with men.



Christianity is perfect as is.  The gospel message of faith alone in Christ alone through His grace alone is adequate as is.  Truth requires no addition or subtraction.



Legalism is all about feeling superior to others.  Rules keepers always feel superior to others and they have a disdain for those who choose to be free.



Our path is clear.  We need to trust in God and not lean on our own understanding.


We’ll continue our study of Galatians when we return from the Coeur d’Alene Conference.



The Good News of Jesus Christ’s Salvation Offer to the Human Race


The closing moments of our lesson today could be the ten most important minutes of your life.



Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


You are one of God’s creatures!  If you choose, you can be a child of God.  John, Chapter 1, Verse 12 says…


JOHN 1:12

But as many as received the invitation from Jesus to be saved…to them He gave the right to become children of God the Father…even to those who believe in Jesus’ name…


The problem is you may think the Lord is like our human parents…emotional, arbitrary, and sentimental.  Our parents tell us what to do…we do the opposite… and they let us off the hook.  Your Divine Parent, the Lord Jesus Christ, does not operate that way.  Matthew, Chapter 7, Verses 24 to 27…



“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.”



“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house…and yet it did not fall…for it had been founded on the rock.”



“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.”



"The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house...and it fell—and great was its fall.”


God is inviting you to be saved.  He tells you EXACTLY what you must do to be saved.  God says there is ONE WAY to heaven in John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…


JOHN 14:6

Jesus said … “I am the way (to salvation)…and I am the truth (through the gospel message in the Word of God)…and I am the resurrection life…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”


God has a plan for your salvation.  In Matthew, Chapter 7, Verse 21, the Lord says…



“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven...but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter into the kingdom of heaven.”


What IS the will of God the Father for your salvation?  It’s simple…Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…


ACTS 16:31

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


It takes about thirty seconds of your time to be saved.  You simply turn to the God who saves you and ask for salvation.  You can do it right this minute.  The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4…



For I (Paul) delivered to you as of primary importance the gospel message I also received from God…that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Old Testament Scriptures…



…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Old Testament Scriptures…


If you ignore God’s offer of salvation, there are consequences…Revelation, Chapter 21, Verse 8…



But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars (all references to unbelievers, in lifestyle, not sins)…their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”


There’s spiritual death and there is the second death in the Lake of Fire…the eternal home of those who reject a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.


We encourage you to accept the invitation and heed the warning of John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…

JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”


When you believe, you simply take God’s word for it concerning what it takes to be saved!  Do it right now and you’ll be saved for all time!




Let’s close with music!  God never asks us to do anything in our own power.  Instead, He gives us the confidence that His power is best for us as members of His team…as His possessions.



Finally (believers in Christ)…be strong in the Lord and in the strength of HIS might.



Pick up and put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.


Hillsong worship says the Lord is MIGHTY TO SAVE.




Let’s Sing the Lord’s Praises



Hillsong Worship



Let us pray...


Almighty God and Father…


Thank you for a lesson on true teaching and true authority, both of which come from You…give us the focus to follow You while simultaneously rejecting the lies designed to confuse us and to separate us from You and Your Word…


We ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s name...Amen.




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