In 2021, my family has watched all of the new Marvel series that have debuted on Disney+ (both “WandaVision” and “Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”)  Each of these series tell a long-form, several hour long story spread out over 6-10 episodes.  Due to the long nature of these stories, each new episode begins with the tag … :

“Previously on ___(NAME OF SHOW)___ …”

This allows the filmmakers to show a set of clips from previous episodes to catch the audience up on relevant info they may have forgotten or missed.  It is a helpful tool to keep all of their audience moving together in the story.

We began 2021 in a Sermon series from Galatians 1-2 … a series called “The New Normal.”  These messages from January/February were designed to help us see what “new” that Jesus normalized (in His New Covenant).  After a 2 month break for Bruce’s “Tough Times” series, Easter, and the “Perspective” series, we will be returning to Paul’s letter to the Galatians this Sunday at Wildwood.

So, for those who were not with us in January and February, or for those who forgot the content of those verses …

“Previously, in the letter to the Galatians …”

New Normal – 1 (Galatians 1:1-5) We need to remember that the Gospel message is FROM JESUS Himself!  He sent Paul (and others) to carry this message to us, but this message of rescue is ultimately from Him.

New Normal – 2 (Galatians 1:6-10) Since the Gospel is from Jesus, and does not describe A WAY, but THE WAY that someone can be saved … anyone who changes the Gospel in any way must be confronted … the cost is just too high to ignore it.

New Normal – 3 (Galatians 1:11-24) Paul shares his testimony to remind us that the Gospel he proclaimed was not his own invention, but was God’s idea, described God’s work in us, and ultimately led to God being glorified through us.

New Normal – 4 (Galatians 2:1-10) Though we should fight vehemently for the integrity of the original Gospel message, our attitudes toward people should be willing to relax on some secondary issues in order to keep the “main thing” the “main thing.”

New Normal – 5 (Galatians 2:11-14) Peter knew that God had saved Gentiles and given them equal standing in the church, but he still struggled to apply that truth to the way he treated his Gentile believing friends in Galatia when his Jewish friends from Jerusalem were around.We too can struggle with a gap between what we believe and how we live.

New Normal – 6 (Galatians 2:15-21)  In the doctrinal “heart” of this letter, we are encouraged that we are both saved and sanctified by the grace of God in Christ and we receive that grace by faith.  There is no other way.

New Normal – 7 (Galatians 2:20) Paul applies all the truth of the Gospel in a very PERSONAL WAY … and we are encouraged to do the same.  Jesus’ death paid the price for MY sin.  Jesus’ life makes a way for ME to live a God glorifying life today.

Now, with that orientation, you are ready for the launch of our new series, “The New Way” (which will focus on Galatians 3-4) THIS SUNDAY, May 9 at Wildwood Community Church!  This series will help us understand the differences between the “Old” way of the Law and the “New” way of Jesus, as we live out our relationship with God. 

Old things are sometimes cool.  In fact, people sometimes like to make new things that LOOK old (just go to Hobby Lobby sometime).  In many areas, though, “new” has brought progress. 

Which is greater:

  • An iPhone or a rotary dial telephone? 
  • A horse and buggy or an airplane? 
  • An LED flat panel television, or an old black and white tube model? 

In most every instance, the new out performs the old.  So why would anyone choose the old over the new?  In technology, transportation, or television (for the most part), “old” vs. “new” is a matter of style and convenience.  However, as it relates to our spiritual lives, the “old” vs. “new” choice carries with it significantly more substantial consequences.  Do we choose the “old” way of the Law (see Old Testament law) or do we live in light of the “new” way of the Spirit (the Jesus way!)  We will explore that together over the next 7 weeks.

I am really looking forward to kicking off this study together this week as we look at Galatians 3:1-14 in our 9:00, 10:15, or 11:30 services (or online at 10:15 at  See you there!

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