Have you ever heard of Team Hoyt?
This team started in 1977, when son Rick told his father, Dick, that he wanted to compete in a 5-mile race.
Sounds normal, right?
Well, Rick is a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. How can he race?
His dad decided to push Rick for the 5 miles in his wheelchair.
Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.
They’ve gone on to race in over 1,000 5k’s, marathons and even triathlons! And they still do so today!
Touching story, but you may think, “Doesn’t Rick know that his dad does all the work?”
Now to today’s reading. It is only 2 verses because these are some of the most theologically dense verses in all the Bible.
Paul is telling Peter, “Don’t you know that our Father is carrying us?” What can we learn from these two verses?
1. Our desire is to be declared right by God, our Heavenly Father.
When we try to be declared right by God through works of the law, we can claim superiority. This is what happened in Jesus day and why he went off on the religious leaders in Matthew 23.
Instead, Paul is telling Peter, “It is through faith in Jesus that God declares you righteous. So those works of the law do nothing for you.”
2. God declares us right, no matter how bad we are.
Paul and Peter were Jews. Religious from the time of birth. Yet, they need Jesus just like the Gentile “sinners” (read: those who never darkened a door of the church & live like it).
Born literally in church? Good story. But God doesn’t declare you righteous because of it. Faith in Jesus is what justifies us.
3. Faith in Jesus heals us.
“Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.”
Yeah, it’s Dad that’s running. But as the Father is pushing our handicapped life in the wheelchair, it doesn’t feel like we’re handicapped. He pushes us and heals us. We are able to experience wholeness through faith in Jesus.
Our eyes are naturally drawn to the rules. Myself included! But we must set our eyes on Jesus. It is through him that God declares us right and heals us…
…and we can feel the wind on our face!
Losing My Religion is a sermon series about being free from religious superiority. Read along with us in Galatians and Matthew 23 with our Reading Plan. Today’s reading is from Galatians 2:15-16.