Search this blog

At last week’s 9Marks @Southeastern conference, our conference host and seminary president Dr. Danny Akin delivered an overview sermon on the entire book of Galatians.  Get this: the sermon had two major divisions with 42 subpoints!  Don’t try this at home kids!

Essentially, Akin walked us through the book of Galatians commenting on the 29 indicative statements Paul makes about the gospel and the 13 imperatives that flow from them.  If you’ve been following the blog discussion of the relationship between indicatives and imperatives then you might be interested in this talk and the panel that followed.  Akin makes it plain that out of the “done” (indicatives) there flows a “do” (imperatives).

For those that are curious, here are the 29 gospel indicatives and 13 gospel imperatives Akin highlighted:

29 Indicatives
1. The gospel is rooted in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:1).
2. The gospel delivers us from the present evil age to the glory of Christ (1:3-5).
3. There is only one gospel and to desert it is to be damned (1:6-9).
4. The gospel is ours by divine revelation and not human imagination (1:10-12).
5. The gospel is grounded in a gracious election (1:15).
6. The gospel is constantly in danger of being lost and needs to be defended (2:4-5).
7. The gospel that saves Gentiles is the same gospel that saves Jews (2:7-9).
8. There are ethical imperatives that follow the gospel (2:11) and no ethnic distinctions in the gospel (2:12-14).
9. The gospel is good news that we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ and not by works of the Law (2:15-16).
10. Through the gospel, we are identified with Christ and His work on the cross (2:20).
11. The love of Christ for sinners is made evident in the gospel (2:20).
12. We receive the Holy Spirit by faith in the Gospel, the same Spirit who justifies and sanctifies (3:2-5).
13. The gospel that saved Abraham in the past is the same gospel that saves us in the present (3:7-9).
14. Relying on good works not only does not save but actually curses (3:10-11).
15. The gospel is the good news that Christ has redeemed us from the curse as our penal substitute (3:13-14).
16. The gospel is rooted in a covenantal promise that precedes the law (3:17).
17. The law is good because it shows us our sin (3:19, 21).
18. The law is good because it is our school teacher who leads us to Christ to be justified by faith (3:25-26).
19. The gospel unites us to Christ where we’re all one in him–soteriological not ecclesiological (3:27-29).
20. The gospel is grounded in Trinitarian theology (4:4-6).
21. Gospel redemption leads to adoption as a child of the Father (4:7).
22. The gospel gives us a knowledge of God freeing us from rules (4:8-11).
23. Faithful ministers will be passionate for the ministry of the gospel even if it results in anguish and a broken heart (4:12-20).
24. Works-salvation leads to slavery, while Mt. Sinai leads to freedom (4:21-31).
25. To pursue salvation by works obligates us to keep the entire law perfectly (5:1-3).
26. To be justified by works is to fall away from justification by grace through faith (5:4-6).
27. The gospel that saves us and sanctifies us (5:7-8).
28. To preach a false gospel invites judgment and calls for the strongest condemnation from the faithful (5:10-12).
29. The indicative of the gospel naturally leads to the imperatives of the gospel (5:13-6:20), which opens onto the imperative section of the letter:

13 Imperatives
1. We will not indulge and pander to the flesh (5:13, 16-21).
2. In love we will serve others (5:13-14).
3. We will not brutalize one another in word or action (5:15).
4. We will live in the Spirit whom we received when we believed (5:22-26).
5. We will engage in spiritual restoration (6:1-2).
6. We will be humble (6:4-5).
7. We will serve and do our part in the body.
8. We will bless those who teach us (6:6).
9. We should embrace and reaping (6:7-8).
10. We won’t grow weary in well-doing (6:9-10).
11. We will accept persecution for the cross of Christ (6:11-13).
12. We will boast only in Christ and His cross (6:14-15).
13. We will pursue peace, mercy, grace and Christ (6:16-20).

Whew! I’m tired just typing it all! Great stuff for the soul.

View Comments


20 thoughts on “Galatians, Gospel Indicatives, and Gospel Imperatives”

  1. This is wonderful! The adult equipping class I’m in on Sundays just began Galatians, so I’m forwarding this to our teacher. Thank you for your amanuensis ministry. :)

  2. John says:

    That’s a three to one ratio…it’s the trinity! Or at least, John Frame said so…

  3. Stephen Shead says:

    Wow! Let’s see, how many 3-point sermons can I turn that into?…

  4. Funny, all those imperatives are listed as indicatives. (Just like the 10 commandments I guess)

  5. louis says:

    Under the imperatives section, number 7 “We will serve and do our part in the body” doesn’t have a citation of a verse. Can you explain how you got that point from the text? Thanks

  6. Kevin Jones says:

    On #24… doesn’t Mt. Sinai lead to slavery and the Jerusalem above (heaven) lead to freedom?

  7. Rob H says:

    42 is the answer to the universe!

    This is a great list. I sent to the folks in the small group of which I’m a member. We’re starting Galatians next week.

  8. Stephen says:

    I was at that conference, and would definitely recommend all here to check out the video as soon as it gets posted on the SEBTS website (probably in the next couple days). Akin also included dozens of quotes from historical and several contemporary theologians/pastors on the gospel in their own words. Some powerful stuff from the likes of Luther, Stott, Packer, et al.

  9. Andrewtlocke says:

    This was sincerely one of the most amazing experiences of true skill with the Scriptures I have ever experienced. And it wasn’t boring! In fact just the opposite! I left the auditorium rejoicing and praying that God would help me to develop THAT kind of skill and passion regarding the Word. Dr. Akin’s presentation sincerely lifted my eyes to take in the beauty and glory of God’s divine Word. Oh how sweet and fresh this was…and to think…it only took him three months to put together!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Search this blog


Thabiti Anyabwile photo

Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile is a pastor for Anacostia River Church in southeast Washington, DC and a council member of The Gospel Coalition.

Thabiti Anyabwile's Books