Gold watch with pen

A Tale of Two Watches

Gold watch with penMy Samsung Galaxy Watch

Okay, I’ll admit it. I like to have the latest and greatest toys when it comes to technology. Latest smartphone. Latest tablet.

Latest watch.

And, sure enough, I am wearing the Galaxy Watch…Samsung’s latest wearable offering if you don’t count the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. (But, I am not sure Active is actually available yet…and, regardless, I think it is a lower cost alternative to the Galaxy Watch.) This, my friends, is the best of the best when it comes to Samsung watches!

However, as much as I appreciate my Galaxy Watch, do you think I’ll be still wearing it in two years? Five? Ten?

Two? Maybe. Five-plus? Not a chance.

Let’s compare that my Casio G-Shock MT-G solar watch that sets itself by the atomic clock here in Colorado. Unless it actually dies, do you think I’ll be wearing that in two years? Five? Ten?

Well, considering it is at least a decade old…I’d say there is a good chance I will. It’s not that it’s fancy or can do amazing things like make a phone call, keep track of my GPS coordinates, or measure my heart rate, but you know what it can do?

It can tell the time. Accurately. Without me worrying about connecting it to my phone, making sure I charge it regularly, and so on. It just always works.

New Covenant

In general, I would argue, most “new” stuff, like my Galaxy Watch, is transient. It’s not worth keeping long tem. It’s not something that will be handed down from generation to generation.

[ These are quick sermon notes…not cleaned-up…and missing the “extras” that come out in the audio (which is available here). All quotes are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted. ]

Sure, some of it is because…with technology…there is always something better coming out. Michelle’s iPhone XR is slicker than her iPhone 8…and nobody will inherit her iPhone XR when she dies because, by that time, the XR will be obsolete 30+ times over.

That does not change the fact, however, that very few things that have been manufactured recently…modern things…that an ordinary person would have…are something that their grandchildren’s grandchildren’s grandchildren would want to keep.

And, with one exception, I would argue the same is true with modern ideas, worldview, and morals.

The one exception happened about 2,000 years ago…and can be found in Luke 22:20:

20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

The Jews had lived under the Law. Although salvation was always by faith, the Law emphasized rule following. The New Covenant fulfilled the Old Covenant…and made it absolutely clear that we are saved by grace through faith (see Ephesians 2:8-9)…faith, specifically, in Jesus Christ.

That is one case where what was worth keeping, worldview and theology-wise, was new. So worth keeping, that we are ministers of that new covenant:

4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:4-6).

“The letter” represents the Law…”the Spirit” represents the New Covenant.

The “New” New Covenant

However, soon after the new, better covenant was provided…people started suggesting even newer ones. They may not have specifically said it but they were “new” new covenants and if we look at Galatians 1:6-10, we can see what our Lord thought of them thanks to Paul:

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

What did the Holy Spirit inspire the apostle Paul to say about a new gospel?

Let those who preach it be accursed!

Notice, however, what verse 10 connects these new, accursed gospels to. Seeking the approval of man. Please keep that in mind as we turn to Galatians 3:23-29:

23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Within the body of Christ, are there demographic divisions? Jews, greeks, slaves, free, males, females…

People of color, whites, able-bodied, disabled…and so on?

No. God shows no partiality; neither should we.

Now, don’t get me wrong…when we see injustice toward a demographic group we should stand up for the downtrodden, but…within the universal church’s metaphorical walls, we are all blood brothers and sisters…with the Holy Spirit running through our veins. A black sister from a whole different continent is no different to me than a white brother from next door.

Ungodly Divisions

However, in today’s “woke” society, Christians are being encouraged…even within the church…to focus on what divides us demographically versus what unites us spiritually.

10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).

Although I do not think most who buy into this woke theology are consciously doing it, I cannot help but believe it is driven by trying to please man…otherwise, why is it that “new” theology in the church is so often following after society versus society following after the church?

Godly theology is not driven by worldly fads…

And, the woke gospel does not bring people together…it divides:

But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned (Titus 3:9-11).

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life (Jude 17-21).

If you use social media, does Jude 19 not seem to sum it up?:

  • Divisions.
  • Worldly people.
  • Devoid of the spirit.

Or, as 2 Timothy 3:1-5 says:

3 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

However, instead of avoiding such people…or having nothing more to do with them…we…the church…often are seeking their approval. Changing our gospel to satisfy their ungodly visions and divisions.

4 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:1-4).

Friendship with the world…acceptance from the world…is enmity with God.

Brothers and sisters, do you want to be a friend of the world?

Do you want to be an enemy of God?

Because, to have the former (friendship with the world)…you will will have he latter (enmity with God).

I know where I stand.

I think I know where you stand.

Let’s stand together against division and for the body of Christ.

Let’s stand for Jesus!

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Alan is an ordinary guy, living in a small, high plains Colorado town...and humbled to be a minister of God...

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