Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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Galatians: An Expositional Commentary by R.C. Sproul. Ligonier. 143 pages. 2022

This is the latest in a series of books containing adaptations of R.C. Sproul’s sermons delivered at St. Andrews Chapel in Sanford, Florida, where he preached from 1997 until his death in 2017. In these sermons, though he sought to at least touch on each verse, he focused on the key themes and ideas that comprised the “big picture” of each passage he covered. Sproul’s recommendation is to use these books as an overview and introduction.
Sproul writes that in all probability, this letter from the Apostle Paul was the first of his letters. It was also the most fiery. Paul wrote the epistle in a spirit of righteous indignation.
A heresy had developed among the Galatians, and it threatened and denied the very gospel. It threatened the authority of Christ. Sproul tells us that the heresy, known as the Judaizing heresy, argued that to be a Christian, you must continue to practice the rituals and the ceremonies of the Old Testament law. This would, by implication, deny the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
BOOK REVIEW ~ 20 helpful quotes from the book
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ Providence by John Piper

This short book, comprised of twenty-two sermons, serves as an excellent introduction to Paul’s letter to the Galatians.

Here are 20 helpful quotes from the book:

  • The gospel is a distinct message with a distinct content that has to do with the person and work of Jesus Christ and how the benefits of His person and work are appropriated by faith and by faith alone.
  • The gospel is the good news that the basis of my salvation is not my merit and is not my righteousness; rather, it is the righteousness of Christ freely imputed to all who put their trust in Him.
  • The only righteousness by which we can ever possibly be saved is an alien righteousness, a foreign righteousness, a righteousness that is apart from us. It is the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
  • If you want to be a Christian, you can’t be a man-pleaser. Being a man-pleaser and a servant of Christ are two incompatible options. It’s either/or. You please the Lord or you please your friends.
  • Some people claim that calls to obey the law of God amount to legalism. However, legalism is when someone adds laws that God never prescribed.
  • The righteousness by which we are justified is an alien righteousness. It’s not a righteousness that we possess. It is not something that we gain or that we merit.
  • The Father turned His back on Jesus because in the attribution of our sin to Him, Jesus was the most obscene individual in all of human history, so filthy that God couldn’t even look at Him.
  • There are two things you must remember when you’re praying: first, who God is, and then who you are.
  • Even more important than how the culture influenced the writing of the Bible is how our culture now influences us in our understanding of the Bible.
  • We derive our ethics from what’s happening in the world around us rather than from the Word of God.
  • In the final analysis, it’s not whether you know Jesus that matters; it’s whether Jesus knows you.
  • The whole point of our sanctification is that Christ may be formed in us.
  • The Apostle Paul is setting before the Galatians an either/or proposition. Either go back to the law or have the gospel; you can’t do both.
  • Original sin does not describe the first sin that was committed by Adam and Eve. Rather, original sin refers to the result of the first sin committed by Adam and Eve. It signifies God’s judgment on the human race, of whom Adam and Eve are representatives.
  • If you live a lifestyle of constant, impenitent, gross, and major sin, you will not get into the kingdom of God, because you have shown that you do not belong to Christ.
  • Joy is foundational to the Christian life.
  • The most difficult part of the business of the church is to exercise church discipline.
  • For the unbeliever, the cross is equated with scandal. For Paul, it was the highest source of personal pride. Christ and His cross were the only things worth boasting about for Paul.
  • The whole point of this epistle to the Galatians is to put the flesh to death and to walk in the Spirit.
  • Rebirth is only by the power of God the Holy Spirit, who changes your nature from flesh to Spirit.

  • Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold. My wife Tammy has published a book about HOW to study the Bible. The book is available on Amazon in both a Kindle and paperback edition. She writes “Maybe you’ve read the Bible but want to dig deeper and know God and know yourself better. Throughout the book I use the analogy of making a quilt to show how the Bible is telling one big story about what God is doing in the world through Christ. Quilting takes much patience and precision, just like studying the Bible, but the end result is well worth it.
  • 12 Old(Ish) Books to Read When You Are Young. Kevin DeYoung writes “One of the most important things we can do when we are young and our beliefs and opinions have not yet fully formed is to make sure we read good books.”

BOOK CLUB – Won’t you read along with us?

Providence by John Piper

The providence of God is his purposeful sovereignty by which he will be completely successful in the achievement of his ultimate goal for the universe. God’s providence carries his plans into action, guides all things toward his ultimate goal, and leads to the final consummation.
John Piper draws on a lifetime of theological reflection, biblical study, and practical ministry to lead readers on a stunning tour of the sightings of God’s providence—from Genesis to Revelation—to discover the all-encompassing reality of God’s purposeful sovereignty over all of creation and all of history.
Exploring the goal, nature, and extent of God’s purposes for the world, Piper offers an invitation to know the God who holds all things in his hands yet remains intimately involved in the lives of his people.
You can download the PDF of the book free from Desiring God.
Watch this six-minute video as John Piper talks about the book, and this interview with Dr. Joe Rigney of Bethlehem College & Seminary.
This week we look at Chapter 45: New Bodies, New World, Never-Ending Gladness in God. Here are a few helpful quotes from the chapter:

  • The transformation we experience when we see the all-glorious Christ as he is will result in everlasting, ever-increasing measures of pleasure that are presently inconceivable.
  • The supremacy of God overall and the satisfaction of the saints in God above all are the unending climactic goals of providence.
  • This is the ultimate goal of providence—the glorification of God in the gladness of his blood-bought people in God.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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