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Galatians Bible Study Discussion Notes

Galatians Bible Study Discussion Notes

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Free at Last!

September 3, 2000 Free Indeed – Galatians

Coy Wylie

Free at Last!
Galatians 1:1-5 No one holds freedom so dear as the slave. Henry Bibb was a slave on a Kentucky plantation bordered by the Ohio River. To him the river was an impossible gulf. He wrote: I had no rod wherewith to smite the stream, and thereby divide the waters. I had no Moses to go before me and lead the way from bondage to a promised land. Yet I was in a far worse state than Egyptian bondage; for they had houses and land, I had none; they had oxen and sheep, I had none; they had a wise counsel to tell them what to do, and where to go, and even to go with them, I had none. Sometimes standing on the Ohio River bluff, looking over a free state, and as far north as my eyes could see, I have eagerly gazed upon the blue sky of the free North, which at times constrained me to cry out from the depth of my soul… Oh that I had the wings of a dove, that I might soar away to where there is no slavery, no clanking of chains, no captives, no lacerating backs, no parting of husbands and wives, and where man ceases to be the property of his fellow man. These thoughts have revolved in my mind a thousand times. I have stood upon the lofty banks of the river Ohio, gazing upon the splendid steamboats… and I thought of the fishes of the water, the fowls of the air, the wild beasts of the forests, all appeared to be free, to go just where they pleased, and I was an unhappy slave!" Slaves passionately sang of their yearning to be free in their spirituals "I Am Bound for the Promised Land," "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "I Know When I Gwine Home," and "Do Lord Remember Me." Slavery was the "snake coiled beneath the table of the continental congress." Because the founding fathers failed to deal with the deadly curse in the 1770’s, their grandchildren shed their blood on hundreds of battlefields to remove its stain in the 1860’s. On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln declared all the slaves free in his famous Emancipation Proclamation. It was hoped that by freeing the slaves that they would leave their plantations and aid the North. The plan didn’t work at all. No one had any idea what to do with the slaves once they were free. By the time the war was over, most of them were destined to lives of poverty as sharecroppers. In 1876, Fredrick Douglas wrote, "You say you have emancipated us. You have; and I thank you for it. But what is emancipation? When the Israelites were emancipated they were told to go and borrow of their neighbors – borrow their coin, borrow their jewels, load themselves down with the means of their subsistence; after, they should go free in the land which the Lord God gave them… But when you turned us loose, you gave us no acres. You turned us loose to the sky, to the storm, to the whirlwind and, worst of all, you turned us loose to the wrath of our infuriated masters." They exchanged one kind of slavery for another.
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Even though the war was won. Even though the slaves were set free from their chains, the struggle was not over. Martin Luther King, Jr. the great Civil Rights leader gave a prophetic speech on the Mall in Washington D.C. in 1963. His words are etched in our memories as well as on his gravestone. He spoke the words of an old spiritual, "Free at last, free at last! Thank God Almighty, I am free at last!" We are not here for a history lesson but to delve into the great NT book of Galatians. The theme of this 18-20 week study is freedom, freedom from the law, freedom from sin. Jesus said in John 8:36, "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." As believers in Jesus Christ we are free at last and free indeed! Galatians has been called "The Magna Carta of Spiritual Liberty," "The Battle cry of the Reformation" and "The Christian’s Declaration of Independence." Martin Luther, the German reformer (for whom the civil rights leader was named) wrote, "The epistle to Galatians is my epistle. To it I am, as it were in wedlock. Galatians is my Katherine [his wife’s name]." Galatians is spiritual dynamite. It is a powerful statement of the central truths of Christianity. Someone said, "You can’t read Galatians and think, ‘Well this is an interesting piece of religious reflection’ – any more than you can examine a live coal with your bare hands." We will begin this new study by examining the framework – the historical background of the book and reaffirming in our hearts two foundations of our spiritual freedom.

I. Laying the Framework of our Freedom.
A. The Author – Who it is from. When I receive a letter, I first look at the return address. I want to know who this letter is from. If there is no return address, I open the letter and look quickly to the bottom to see who wrote it. In the NT era, letters always had the author’s name first so you didn’t have to unroll the whole scroll to the end to find out who wrote it. Here we see that the author is "Paul." We know from Acts that Paul was once called Saul. He was raised in a strict Jewish family and steeped in Jewish traditionalism. He was educated in the "ivy league" school of Gamaliel. He was probably part of the ruling class of Israel, the San Hedrin court. He was a zealous Pharisee.

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He rose in respect among his peers viciously persecuting the early church. Acts 7:58 says he stood by as the first martyr, Stephen was stoned. The witnesses "laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul." Acts 8:3 says, "As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison." Acts 9 finds Saul was on his way to Damascus "still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord" (v.1). On the road a brilliant light shone from heaven and he heard the voice of the Lord Jesus. Saul was blinded by the light and called Jesus "Lord." He went into Damascus and was received by a believer named Ananias. The Lord said about Saul to Ananias, "He is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My names sake" (vv.15-16). Saul later became Paul. The persecutor became the persecuted. He went on at least three missionary journeys winning converts and establishing churches. By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul penned 13 books of the NT. B. The Recipients – Who it is to. The second thing I want to know when I get a letter is whom it is to. Any mail for "occupant" goes in "File 13." If they don’t know my name, or can’t spell my name, I don’t care to read it. V.2 of our text tells us this letter was written "to the churches of Galatia." This wasn’t a letter to a specific person or even a specific church, but to several churches in the region of "Galatia." Though there may have been more, Acts 13-14 records how Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey established churches in Antioch Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe in the midst of great persecution from the Jews. C. The Date – When it was written. I also want to know when my mail was written and sent. This NT letter was probably written sometime between a.d. 48-50, about 15 years after Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

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D. The Point – What it is about. When I open a piece of mail, I want to know why I received it. I receive personal mail that catches me up on friends or encourages me. I receive some mail that tells me I owe money. I receive some mail that asks me to give money to various causes. I always want to know what is the point. Paul’s point in writing to the Galatians is to show them their freedom in Christ. Perhaps the theme of the whole letter is best summarized in 5:1, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." After Paul established these new churches and appointed elders to lead them, false teaching had crept in. The Jews who had so persecuted Paul during his ministry in that region had invaded the churches. They were called Judaizers. They taught the people that to truly be saved they must also be circumcised. To maintain their salvation they had to keep the OT law. This was heresy! My experience is that new churches often attract people with agendas. They have a hard time influencing well established churches because of the plurality and maturity of the leadership. In a new church, however one person or a small group of people can often sway where there are many new and immature believers. The Judaizers were saying that Paul was not really an apostle and that his message was "cheap grace" or "easy believeism." They said a person was saved by faith plus rituals, laws and good work. Paul wrote Galatians to say that salvation is by grace through faith PLUS NOTHING… not circumcision, not baptism, not membership, not good works, not communions, not keeping the law. The theme of Galatians is to not exchange one form of slavery for another. After the civil war the slaves were set free to live a life of bondage in abject poverty. Communism promised freedom from the oppression of exploitation by the rich but it brought on worse economic slavery.

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People still exchange one form of slavery for another. A teenager seeks freedom in partying with friends. Yet alcohol, drugs and sexual activity are only a temporary liberty but bind him in chains he cannot break. A middle-aged man finds himself depressed and longing for the freedom of youth. He seeks such fulfillment in an adulterous relationship. Soon he realizes he has exchanged one form of slavery for much more painful form. Some feel bound by the traditions of their church and they seek freedom in the intoxicating, ecstatic style of the new church down the street or the empty promises of the TV evangelist or worse the lies of a cult. Before long he has stopped thinking for himself and hangs on every word his new leader says. That’s slavery. Jesus said in Jn.8:36, "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." That’s the point. We are not to exchange one form of slavery for another but to learn to be "free indeed" in the liberty of the Lord.

II. Establishing the Foundations of our Freedom.
These first 5 verses are a greeting or introduction. Paul doesn’t begin by praising them as he does in other NT letters but gets to the business at hand. There are two primary foundations here: A. Paul had Apostolic Authority (vv.1-2). First, Paul Was An Apostle. He describes himself as "Paul, an apostle." The word means "one who is sent." An apostle went in the name and authority of his master. Though the word "apostle" is sometimes used in a general sense, it’s primarily refers to a select group of men commissioned by the Lord Jesus to lay the foundation for the church. Eph.2:20 says the church is "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone." An apostle was one who had seen the risen Christ, had been taught by Him and commissioned by Him. There were no successors to the apostles, just their inspired words. He asks in 1 Cor.9:1, "Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?" He testifies in 1 Cor 15:8-9, "Then last of
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all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God." He says in Gal.2:8, "For He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised [the Jews] also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles." Second, Paul’s Authority Did Not Come From Men Or Through Men. Have you noticed on our local newscasts that before the meteorologist gives his weather report, he is always introduced as having the seal of approval from the American Meteorology Society? Why do they do that? They want us to know that our weather dudes have been certified, approved and authorized. They want us to listen to them and believe their predictions. Paul states succinctly that His apostleship is "not from men nor through man." He didn’t become an apostle by the endorsement of some church or by the laying on of hands by some council. The false teachers in Galatia where saying, "Who is this Paul? He’s just some self-appointed apostle. Don’t believe him." Their strategy was if the people doubted Paul’s authority, they would doubt his message and be easily swayed. Paul writes this defense not to defend himself but the message he proclaimed. The gospel was at stake. Third, Paul’s Authority Came Through Jesus Christ And God The Father. Paul was an apostle by divine appointment. He was God’s "chosen vessel." The Lord Jesus had appeared to him on the Damascus Road. Jesus taught him and commissioned him. Note vv.16-17. Paul did not "immediately confer with flesh and blood" nor did he "go up to Jerusalem" to get the counsel of the other apostles. His authority came directly from God. Fourth, Paul’s Authority Was Validated By His Brethren. As he sends his greeting, he reminds the Galatians of "all the brethren who are with me." Paul did not get his authority from his "brethren" but they validated or confirmed his apostleship. You say, "Pastor, I know Paul was an apostle. So what? Why is this such a big deal?" Paul’s apostolic authority was a "big

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deal" because to hear an apostle was to hear Jesus. Jesus said of the original 12 in Mat.10:40, "He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me." To hear Paul is to hear Christ. He writes not with His own authority but with the authority of heaven! When you read Galatians, you are reading the Word of the Lord! Liberal theologians say that their experience is just as valid as Paul’s therefore their opinion carries just as great a weight as Paul’s. Thus, they are free to disagree with Scripture. Roman Catholic dogma contends that their church wrote the Bible, therefore the church has greater authority than the Bible and can add revelation to it. Paul was not an apostle of the church but of the Lord! Today so many people are crying out to God for some revelation. They want an overwhelming experience, a dream, a vision or a voice or tongue. Yet they make no effort to understand the very words of the Lord already revealed in their Bibles! There is little submission to the Word of God through His apostles in most churches today. People go to pastors or counselors for help when the truth is in the Scriptures. Many people uphold the inerrancy of the Scripture but fail to apply the Scripture in their lives. Many preachers say the Bible is authoritative but never apply its truth giving only vague, imprecise generalizations. When churches fail to seek to know and apply Scripture, they become enslaved to their traditions. Genuine revival and renewal are then impossible. The Reformer’s Creed was sola scriptura, "Scripture alone." All the great revivals of history came about when Christians began to wrestle with the biblical texts and apply specific principles to their behavior. In this church we uphold the authority of the Word of God. We teach it diligently both in the classroom and from the pulpit. Authority is not in question, application is. We can nod our respect to the Word without living it. It is only when individual believers, the people in the pews begin to study for themselves, ingesting, analyzing, defining, and meditating in the Word that

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true change comes. When we do that, we exchange our thoughts for His thoughts and gain the mind of Christ! B. Paul Preached God’s Grace (vv.3-5). If the first key word is "apostle," then the second must be "grace." "Apostle" was Paul’s position, but "grace" was his message. First, Jesus Gave Himself In Grace For Our Peace. Paul opens each of his NT letters with greetings of "grace" and "peace." This was a distinctly Christian greeting stemming from both Gentile and Jewish cultures. However, it is much more than just a quaint expression. "Grace" is the SOURCE of our salvation. Eph.2:8 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith…" We in no way earned or deserved God’s favor. "Peace" is the RESULT of our salvation. Because of God’s grace we now have both "peace with God" (Rom.5:1) and the "peace of God" (Phil.4:6-7). Peace is wonderful, but it flows out of God’s grace. Interesting Paul begins this thought with "Grace to you…" and concludes in v.5 with "glory" to God the Father. That’s the heart and soul of the gospel. It brings grace to man and glory to God! Second, Jesus Graciously Gave Himself For Our Sins. How is grace to man and glory to God possible? It is possible only because of "our Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself for our sins." Paul wanted to remind these Galatians who were turning to a life of rules and rituals that the only way salvation was possible was through the sacrificial death of Jesus. No one is saved by his own ability to overcome sin but by God’s promise to forgive sin through Jesus’ death on the cross. Charles Spurgeon and Joseph Parker both pastored large churches in London in the late 19th century. Once Parker made a negative comment about the condition of the children in Spurgeon's church’s orphanage. Someone told Spurgeon that Parker had criticized the orphanage itself. The next week he pounded Parker from the pulpit. The attack was printed in the newspapers and became the talk of the town. People flocked to
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" It is used to describe Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. you have practiced grace on me.Free at Last! Parker's church the next Sunday to hear his rebuttal." The crowd was delighted. Later that week there was a knock at Parker's study. We were once bound by this world.1:13. Jesus Graciously Gave Himself To Deliver Us. it says." If you know Jesus." Note we were darkness but now we are light! file:///C|/cbc/G1. Jesus prayed for us in Jn. He said.5:8 is similar." Not He will but He has! Eph. Our only hope was in our hero. Paul says that Jesus died not only to forgive our sin but also "that He might deliver us from this present evil age. "This present evil age" does not refer to a period in time but the satanic world system that will dominate until Jesus returns.htm (9 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:35 PM . Some of us remember the old serials on TV and in the movies in which the ruthless villain ties the "damsel in distress" to the train track. you have given me what I needed. "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world. Peter’s angelic rescue from prison and Paul’s rescue from the mob in Jerusalem. Her only hope is to be rescued by the hero." Jesus didn’t give us what we deserve but what we needed! Third. Now that we have been saved. We are IN the world but not OF the world. "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. She cannot save herself and she cries out in terror. "For you were once darkness. Jesus. "Parker." The word "deliver" means "to pluck out or rescue. "I understand this is the Sunday Spurgeon’s church takes an offering for the orphanage. The only hold Satan has on believers is what we give him. God does not remove us from "this present evil age" until we die or are raptured but he has already delivered or rescued us from its power. I love Col. but that You should keep them from the evil one. It was Spurgeon. The ushers emptied the plates 3 times.17:15. but now you are light in the Lord. You have given me not what I deserved. I suggest we take a love offering here as well. Satan had us tied to the tracks of destruction. that deliverance is not something to long for but something that has already taken place.

Teach us that liberty is not only to be loved but also to be lived. Paul adds one final note of praise "to whom be glory forever and ever. but Yours. It was the Father’s will for Jesus to take upon Himself our sins and die in our place.6:5 says that we have "tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come. Because we are changed. to them He gave the right to become children of God. nevertheless not My will. We are delivered by the will of God. hear us as we pray for the truth that shall make all free. thou who art the way.1:12 says. Senate. the truth. Jesus Graciously Gave Himself By The Will Of God. Peter Marshall was one of the preeminent preachers of the last century. "Father. Jesus Graciously Gave Himself For God’s Glory." Fourth. bitterness. take this cup away from Me. having loved this present world…" Rom. he prayed. to those who believe in His name.Free at Last! Because we are graciously already "delivered from this present evil age" we are no longer slaves to it. greed and pride." In the garden Jesus prayed. Salvation has little to do with my will and everything to do with God’s will. "Lord Jesus." Fifth. Liberty is too precious a thing to be buried in books. He gave Himself "according to the will of our God and Father.12:2 says. we are no longer enslaved to the world." Deliverance means we are changed.S.4:10 of Demas who had "forsaken me.5:17). Jn.22:42). but the opportunity to please to do what is right. be done" (Lk. and the life. Help us see that our liberty is not the right to do as we please. "And do not be conformed to this world. It costs too much to be hoarded. but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.htm (10 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:35 PM . In speaking of the Father. While serving as chaplain of the U. Jesus’ death. guilt." We can add no better file:///C|/cbc/G1. I am a "new creation" in Christ! (2 Cor. if it is Your will. Therefore we should no longer look to the world for satisfaction." God did not free us from this "evil age" to do as we please but to please Him. We no longer have to live in selfishness. burial and resurrection results in grace to us and glory to God." The gospel. With tears Paul wrote in 2 Tim. Heb. "But as many as received Him. that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. To this Paul adds his "amen" or "so be it.

performances. Cornerstone Baptist Church. Box 7403. Somewhere in the South.O. Wylie. Sinner won’t die no more! Copyright © 1998 . Amarillo. Let me close with a few lines from one of the spiritual songs composed by slaves during our nation’s darkest days. De Lamb done been down here an’ died.2003 Coy M. broadcasts. without the written permission of the copyright holder. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications. a group of slaves sang these simple but glorious words of freedom. Through Him we are free at last. revised. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. recordings. edited. displays or other products offered for sale.htm (11 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:35 PM . file:///C|/cbc/G1. Wylie. Pastor.Free at Last! word to the work of Christ than to say "amen" to His grace and God’s glory. TX 79114-7403. P. not just from physical chains but to be free indeed: Oh de Lamb done been down here an’ died. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. Oh de Lamb done been down here an’ died.

1:4) . "I marvel that you are turning away so soon…" Suppose one of my daughters was about to step in front of a speeding car. This would be no time for polite instruction and diplomacy. Congress recommended a court-martial but George Washington gave him command of the fort at West Point. he begins with words of commendation and gratitude. Paul’s severe words should cause us to carefully consider the danger of file:///C|/cbc/G2. Almost in a state of disbelief he says. he made numerous political enemies. "after I heard of your faith… [I] do not cease to give thanks for you. Over five years he fought in numerous battles. a traitor. he sold out his country. There Benedict Arnold turned traitor. Major John Andre’ was caught with incriminating documents and hung as a spy. Much more serious is spiritual treason. a turncoat. I would yell and scream. the eternal destiny of many hang in the balance. from God and from His grace. In a diabolical act of treason. He schemed to give the plans to the fort to the British in exchange for a large sum of money and safe passage out of the country. Along the way. Arnold barely escaped with his life. Paul uses strong language because the gospel is at stake. Arnold was an apothecary and merchant in Connecticut. He lived the rest of his life ostracized in England and died there as he lived.1:2-3). was severely wounded twice and promoted to the rank of Major General. I would drag them back by their hair if necessary. Treason is a serious crime punishable by death. after defending his authority as an apostle and presenting the short message of God’s grace in vv. making mention of you in my prayers" (Eph. The Galatians were in danger of becoming spiritual Benedict Arnold’s. 2000 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie Spiritual Treason Galatians 1:6-10 Benedict Arnold was a bold. To the Galatians Paul offers no words of praise or thanksgiving. The Apostle Paul wrote in v. N.1-4.htm (1 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:00 PM . He quickly volunteered for service and organized a large group of militia.1:15-16) and "We give thanks to God always for you… remembering without ceasing your work of faith. creative and courageous man but his legacy will ever be that of a traitor.Spiritual Treason September 10. labor of love and patience of hope" (1 Thess.Y. In all Paul’s other letters to churches. When the Revolutionary War broke out. Paul is astonished that they are so easily led astray. He takes them to task. he comes out with his spiritual guns blazing. a man without a country. Rather. He says things like "I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you" (1 Cor. His British contact. fell into deep debt and married into a loyalist family from Philadelphia.6 that the Galatians were "turning away" from the gospel.

I am in a state of shock. A. and because they had no root they withered away" (Mt. spiritual treason can happen anywhere. Imagine if you were to pick up the morning paper and read where Bill Clinton had abandoned the Democratic Party and had become a Republican." so quickly they were rejecting the file:///C|/cbc/G2. easily and willingly adopted the false teaching. I." "So soon" can mean either quickly or easily and sometimes both as seems to be the case here. You would be shocked to say the least! That’s the feeling Paul gives us here. DESERTION: Turning Away from the Gospel (v.6). I can hardly believe you would do this. It is heartbreaking. they quickly." "Turning away" comes from an interesting Greek word that means "to transfer one’s allegiance" or change sides. the greatest Christian teacher other than Jesus had taught the Galatians. bewildered and dismayed. astounded. "I marvel" or "I am astonished. Desertion. When false teachers came in and perverted the gospel message. "I marvel that you are turning away so soon. yet "so soon. But when the sun was up they were scorched. It is always astonishing when people desert the Lord. They were not passively being removed from the gospel but were willingly removing themselves from the grace of God. Let’s consider four words that help us understand spiritual treason: DESERTION.13:6-7). The Apostle Paul. Many times throughout my ministry I have known people who seemed to readily accept God’s salvation. Paul’s Astonishment. Paul begins by saying. It was used to describe soldiers who revolt or desert the army. He says. Again. DISTORTION. The tense indicates that this is a voluntary act. Yet like the seed that is planted on stony ground "they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. DESTRUCTION and DETERMINATION.htm (2 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:00 PM ." Not only was Paul astonished that they were "turning away" but that they were "turning away so soon.Spiritual Treason spiritual treason.

it is the gift of God. There is room in the body for a difference of opinion on many issues. His undeserved favor. Also circle "grace" because to desert the gospel is to desert "the grace of Christ. However.2:8-9 says. To Desert the Gospel is to Desert God! Who were they "turning away from?" Paul says they were turning "from Him who called you" You cannot have a right relationship with God with out a right belief in the Gospel. I’ve changed some of my views on eschatology. That’s why we continually state and restate the central truths of the gospel. and that not of yourselves. Paul’s Assertion. Over the years I’ve changed my positions on several doctrinal issues. election. If spiritual desertion happened in Galatia. the church. Eph.6. Following their false teachers. not of works." We are saved purely by God’s grace. spiritual gifts and other issues." If God’s grace to us ever stopped we would lose our salvation and perish in sin.Spiritual Treason truths they learned from him. Circle "Him" because when we turn away from the gospel we desert God. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. They were adding circumcision and keeping the law to their faith in order to maintain salvation. Through my study of the Scriptures. we are adrift on a sea of error.5:2 says "…we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand.htm (3 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:00 PM . we can never tolerate a different view of the gospel because to desert the gospel is to desert God! Paul was upset because the Galatians were not just changing their minds about some controversial doctrinal position. it can happen anywhere. B. Rom. If you have to add anything to grace then it is no longer grace! file:///C|/cbc/G2. the Galatian believers were trying to add to God’s grace. If we ever lose the heart of the gospel." We now stand or live in grace. We can tolerate different viewpoints. lest anyone should boast. they were turning their backs on God! To Desert the Gospel is to Desert Grace! Circle two words in v. It can happen here.

A. a gathering of more than 1000 religious leaders from around the world. not justice." II. media mogul Ted Turner stated. the truth." He says in 3:1." he said. you who attempt to be justified by law. He told of how he dreamed of becoming "a man of the cloth" but was bothered that his religious group taught that only Christians were going to heaven.Spiritual Treason They were trampling on and insulting God’s grace! In Gal. Acts 4:12 says. "O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth. Recently at the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit. No other value. for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. the truth and the life" is so hotly criticized.7 he clarifies his meaning by adding "which is not another. and the life.htm (4 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:00 PM ." The main value of this post-Christian culture is tolerance. He wonders if his work among them was in vain. "Nor is there salvation in any other. Paul says at the end of v. There is no other Gospel. before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?" As Paul hears the reports of the spiritual treason in Galatia. equality or even freedom is so highly valued. DISTORTION: Adding to the Gospel (v. I imagine him putting his head in his hands. This is why true biblical Christianity which proclaims that Jesus is the "the way. "I was born in a Christian family [he once said Christianity was ‘for losers"]. "I am the way." It was not really a "different gospel" for there is "not another" gospel. No one comes to the Father except through Me." Jesus said in Jn. "I thought heaven was going to be a mighty empty place. He can’t believe that they would turn so easily from the good news "to a different gospel." It was astonishing then and it is astonishing now when anyone turns from God’s full and free forgiveness and turns to "a different gospel. Paul says. "You have become estranged from Christ.14:6.6 that they are turning away "to a different gospel." Now in v.5:4.7). "Now I believe there file:///C|/cbc/G2. you have fallen from grace.

file:///C|/cbc/G2. When the waiter finally comes I usually get the carne guisada! We learned last week about a group of false teachers known as the Judaizers who infiltrated the Galatian churches.’ he is taken as a fool. False Teachers had Troubled the Churches. Describing the media’s treatment of political candidates he wrote. If you disagree. My favorite section is the editorials. he is seen as a prophet. There is no other good news. There is no other gospel. They think it is nice when we help the less fortunate and pray for people in need. I go back and forth. you have a problem with God’s Word." The word "trouble" comes from a Greek word that means "to shake back and forth. a right relationship with God and eternity in heaven. "When George W. Our culture doesn’t mind us being religious." No matter what you believe Ted. back and forth vacillating between the choices. This week I read a column by Chris Matthews in which he described the difference in freedom of religion and freedom from religion.Spiritual Treason may be one God who manifests himself in different ways to different people. Paul says "but there are some who trouble you. You can talk about God all you want but don’t speak about Jesus.htm (5 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:00 PM . Jesus is the only way to forgiveness. They added to the grace of God in salvation. They said you must believe in Jesus but then be circumcised and keep the OT law." It refers to a troubled or unsettled mind. to stir up. When Joe Lieberman quotes scripture and demands we bring our faith into political debate. you don’t have a problem with me. Sometimes menus "trouble" me. I always enjoy reading the opinion page of the newspaper. B." What is the difference? Religion in general offends no one. I can’t decide if I want the enchiladas or the chili relano. to agitate. God says Jesus is the only way. Paul said to the Galatians and I say it to you. Jesus offends many. Bush says that Jesus is his most valued ‘political philosopher.

Paul says not only do they "trouble" you but they "want to pervert the gospel of Christ. We don’t want anyone to agitate our people with false teaching. twist or bend. the Vatican released a 36-page document entitled Dominus Jesus that has the full endorsement of Pope John Paul. the Vatican document also declares that other Christian file:///C|/cbc/G2.Spiritual Treason The Galatians were vacillating. faith in Jesus plus something else. They said you must believe in Jesus but then be circumcised and keep the law and traditions of Israel. It is always the same old heresy. rituals and rules of Judaism. To add anything to the gospel is a perversion and people are still doing it today. Others will say you must believe in Jesus and then do good works or believe in Jesus then join their church. They were dangerously leaning toward the heresy because Paul said they were in the process of "turning away. You can’t show up here one month and be given a teaching assignment the next. They recognized Jesus as the Messiah. Others will teach that you must believe in Jesus and then receive a second blessing baptism of the Spirit. We don’t just fill a position with a warm body. False Teachers had Perverted the Gospel. We want to know that you are gifted by the Spirit and grounded in the faith. You can find churches in this city that teach that you must believe in Jesus and then be baptized or you cannot be saved. They were going back and forth between what Paul had taught them about grace and what the Judaizers were now teaching them. It means "to distort. The document states that while Jesus opened the path to salvation for all mankind.htm (6 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:00 PM . They claimed to believe what other Christians believed. deform." It carries the idea of turning something upside down or reversing it. the fullness of means to salvation can be found only in the Catholic Church. The Judaizers claimed to be Christians. C. According to Religion Today. They did not deny the gospel but added to it the requirements." The word "pervert" is a strong term. They acknowledged His sacrificial death." This is why not everyone gets to teach in our church. Just this week.

Faith plus anything else is a perversion of the gospel and spiritual treason. A classic illustration of the meaning of anathema is found in the story of Achan in Joshua 7." He was writing to the Galatian believers who were in danger of spiritual treason. "…those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." They were to take nothing after their victory. Up until this point. God said that all the spoils of Jericho were "accursed." he is stating his desire that such a person fall under God’s judgment. that he be devoted to destruction. "If anyone tries to distort or add anything to the gospel you have believed. anyone or anything devoted to destruction. Defining the Warning: Let Him be Accursed. Paul says if anyone preaches any other gospel "let him be accursed.9. When Paul says "If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received let him be accursed.htm (7 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:00 PM . A. DESTRUCTION: Warning All False Teachers (vv.8-9). These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power. The gospel of grace is that man is saved by believing not achieving. Paul has been addressing those who were toying with accepting "a different gospel. let him burn in hell!" 2 Thess. It was used in the Septuagint. A loose paraphrase of Paul’s thought is." file:///C|/cbc/G2." Accursed is a terribly strong term. Achan disobeyed and hid the spoils in his tent. Now he turns his pen on the false teachers who would "trouble" them and "pervert" the gospel. the Greek OT for the divine ban.1:8-9 says. Twice.8 and in v. He was stoned to death for his sin. both in v. The Greek word is anathema. III.Spiritual Treason churches have "defects" in part because they do not recognize the authority of the Pope.

And when that offer of eternal grace to utterly unworthy creatures like us is rejected or perverted to satisfy our pride somewhere someone must rage at the heinousness of the crime. He does not offer sugary smiles in controversy and say. or feels his first earthquake. O." For Paul the gospel of Christ is the point at which the awesome life of God touches the life of this foul world of sin. Satan does his best with television and radio to create in us a mind that is so trivial and banal and petty and earthly that we find ourselves incapable of feeling what terrifying truth is in this word anathema. The Apostle John warns. Ponder these things in quietness" (www. "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine. burial and resurrection of Christ is the only way to be saved. for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds" (2 John 10-11).Spiritual Treason Paul’s desire is that the Galatians will take his words seriously and reject the false teachers. but I can never have fellowship with those who are anathema! John Piper writes.htm). soundofgrace.htm (8 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:00 PM . how we need to guard ourselves from the barrage of eternity-denying entertainment. how we need to meditate on the horror of rejecting the gospel. I can have fellowship with Christians who hold differing doctrinal beliefs on some issues. "Paul does not have a cotton candy concern for the gospel. that faith in the sacrificial death. I do agree with them that we are saved by God’s grace." then the Galatians should refuse to have anything to do with them. if they are "accursed. or suffers his first storm at sea. I agree that salvation is by grace plus nothing. "To each his own. file:///C|/cbc/G2. There is much humbling and sobering and sanctifying to be had here. The wrath of God is revealed to shake unbelievers out of their stupor and to take the swagger out of the Christian's walk and the cocky twang out of his voice.com/piper83/020683. do not receive him into your house nor greet him. We need to cultivate a pure and childlike imagination that hears a word like anathema the way a child hears his first peal of thunder. If they are devoted to destruction by God. I have many friends in many different churches in this city and around the world. I don’t agree with them all on every issue of doctrine. O. Don't skim over verses 8 and 9 quickly. The Bible does not reveal to us the eternal curse of God that we may yawn and turn the page.

If anyone perverts the clear message of God’s amazing grace.Spiritual Treason That reminds me of the old spiritual. preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you. Anyone. so now I say again. IV. The Intense Repetition of the Warning: Now I Say Again. It is not my property but God’s. If an apostle or angel distorts the gospel in any way. The Universal Application of the Warning: Apostles. "As we have said before. This should cause us to pay close attention. let him be accursed. In v. tremble. Paul says in v." The apostles could not change the gospel. if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received. he should be "accursed." devoted to destruction. Today a stature of Moroni stands atop the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City. Paul says. the founder of Mormonism stated that an angel named Moroni enabled him to discover and read some golden tablets which without question promote a "different gospel" from what Paul preached. DETERMINATION: Pleasing God is Priority One (v. sometimes it makes me tremble. "But even if we." Many of you know that Joseph Smith. let him be accursed. file:///C|/cbc/G2. He should burn in hell.9. Paul says may God pour out all his righteous wrath on him. He said "even if we…" It as though Paul is saying. The Bible often repeats key words and phrases for emphasis. "Even I who brought you the gospel have no right to change it." While none of the apostles or any of the angels of heaven would ever preach "any other gospel" certainly there are men who would and still do. or an angel from heaven. Even the angels can’t change it. How awful that such distortion of the gospel can grow and grow when the Bible so clearly warns of its dangers! C.10). "Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Oh.9. tremble…" B." We are to accept no distortion of the message even if it comes from "an angel from heaven.htm (9 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:00 PM . Angels.

my former instructor and mentor James Kirkland invited me to preach a series of services in his church.htm (10 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:00 PM ." If you are trying to win friends and influence people you don’t go around saying that their teachers can just go to hell. He said in 2 Cor. or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men. Scanning the crowd only occasionally. If my mentor gave me his approval. There were two strategies.Spiritual Treason Paul says in v.10 "For do I now persuade men. I was assured and comfortable.5:9." Today our youth play paintball. The other was to attack the other flag position in force and hope that someone survived to capture the other team’s flag. file:///C|/cbc/G2. I led my youth group in games of "Flashlight Wars. When I got up to preach in that first service. We used to give everyone a flashlight and then go out into the country at night. Jim was on the front row.12:2 compels us to keep "looking unto Jesus. Just after I took my first full-time ministry position many years ago." By the conclusion. One was to guard your flag and try to pick off your opponents as they attacked. he was my primary focus as I moved through the main points. I kept my eyes on him as I began the introduction and he nodded his approval." Heb. I would not be a bondservant of Christ. Paul’s desire was to keep his eyes on Jesus. How could I preach in front of him and a congregation so used to great expository preaching. "Therefore we make it our aim. to be well pleasing to Him. Paul’s priority was not in pleasing men but pleasing God. the author and finisher of our faith…" When I was a youth pastor. whether present or absent. He smiled and occasionally threw in an "amen. It didn’t matter to me if everyone else went to sleep or left. We divided into two teams and put up two flags. You were knocked out of the game if anyone shined his flashlight in your face and called out your name. "Do you think I speak this strongly in order to manipulate the crowds? Or curry favor with God? Or to get popular applause? If my goal was popularity I wouldn’t bother being Christ’s slave." Eugene Peterson has captured the idea in his translation The Message. I was scared spitless. I knew I had done well.

Copyright © 1998 . Amarillo. Pastor. edited.O. displays or other products offered for sale. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). When there is spiritual treason. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications. Cornerstone Baptist Church. TX 79114-7403. we must capture the flag. Box 7403.htm (11 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:00 PM . Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. Wylie. P. to fight for the rights of the unborn.2003 Coy M. when the gospel is being deserted and distorted. recordings. However there are times we must attack. without the written permission of the copyright holder. file:///C|/cbc/G2. performances. let him be accursed. revised. to maintain freedom of religion in our public schools.Spiritual Treason As believers we are often called on to hold the fort. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. broadcasts. Wylie. like Paul we must attack. to clear our streets of pornography. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. If anyone preaches any other gospel.

"Christianity in modern America is. 2000 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie Radical Transformation Galatians 1:11-24 We live in an age in which "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" is being dumbed-down and perverted (Jude 3)." A similar number of those who claim to be born-again Christians deny the existence of the Holy Spirit and Satan.htm (1 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:28 PM . They were known as Judaizers because they file:///C|/cbc/G3. the message of Galatians is as needed today as much as when the Apostle Paul first penned it around 48 a. absolute principles to direct human behavior. "Only four in 10 Americans know that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. While nearly three-fourths of all Americans believe in hell. hardly any believe it to be their likely destination in eternity. It does not require self-sacrifice. an otherworldly outlook. Two-thirds of Americans believe there are few.Radical Transformation September 17. three out of four Americans (and nearly half of "born-again" Christians) believe the Bible teaches that "God helps those who help themselves. Paul had established at least four churches in the region of Greece known as Galatia.. There is little guilt and no punishment. University of Wisconsin historian Thomas Reeves indicts popular religious belief and service. in large part.d. Only three in 10 teenagers know why Easter is celebrated." Former Secretary of Education William Bennett concludes "…we have become the kind of society that civilized countries used to send missionaries to. For example. upbeat. According to pollster George Gallup Jr. It tends to be easy. humility. One in five denies Jesus' physical resurrection and believes he was a sinner. and the payoff in heaven is virtually certain. a zeal for souls. After he left them false teachers invaded and began to distort and pervert the gospel Paul had preached. discipline."1 Because of biblical illiteracy." A new poll by the Barna Research Group suggests that religious illiteracy has increased. There are multitudes of people who refer to themselves as Christians who do not understand the most basic elements of the faith they profess to believe. convenient and compatible. if any. innocuous. A majority of citizens cannot name the four Gospels of the New Testament. He says. We live in a time in which vast numbers of people who claim to believe the Bible are biblically illiterate. a fear as well as love of God.

been resurrected and ascended back into heaven. their consistency. But where did Paul get it all from? Was it the product of his own fertile brain? Did he make it up? Or was it stale second-hand stuff with no original authority? Did he crib it from the other apostles in Jerusalem. Paul didn’t even become a Christian until long after Jesus had died.Radical Transformation wanted to add Jewish circumcision. you cannot be saved. The Transforming Source of the Gospel (vv. "We think of the Epistle to the Romans. A. It also spoke harsh words of judgment for teachers who willingly add to or take away from God’s message of grace. The Apostle Paul says. which the Judaizers maintained as they tried to subordinate his authority to theirs?"2 Those are good questions and Paul answers them directly in these first two verses.6-10 was a hard-hitting. They agreed with the Judean teachers who taught in Acts 15:1. In effect Paul is saying. He never met Jesus during His earthly ministry. Are we saved by believing or achieving? Are we saved by trusting in our good works or trusting in Christ? The Judaizers knew that if they were to win the argument. The question is still before us. I. Last week’s text. Philippians and Colossians.11). the Jewish law and ceremonies to the message of the cross. The Gospel is not According to Man (v. their profundity. We are impressed by their majestic sweep. vv. It wasn’t hard to raise doubts about Paul’s credentials as an apostle. everyone knew he wasn’t one of the original twelve that were called out by Jesus. In this passage. "let me make this perfectly clear.11-12). John Stott says." Note he calls them "brethren" here as he does file:///C|/cbc/G3. For example. Paul defends his gospel by declaring its source to be Jesus Christ. absolutely intolerant warning for those who are committing spiritual treason by "turning away" from the gospel." He then offers us his personal testimony of the transforming power of this gospel in His own life. One of the greatest theologians and preachers of our day. Paul says. you disagree with Jesus Christ because I got it from Him. The false teachers also insinuated that they personally knew the twelve original apostles in Jerusalem and that they disagreed with Paul about how to be saved." The Galatians now had to choose between two messages. "I make known you…" meaning. "Let them be accursed" or devoted to destruction. they had to discredit Paul for to discredit the messenger is to discredit the message. the Corinthian Epistles and those mighty prison Epistles like Ephesians. as Paul outlines the purpose of God from eternity to eternity.htm (2 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:28 PM . "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses. "If you disagree with me about the gospel.

nor was I taught it. He insists that he must earn his own salvation. It was not just the message of Christ that had been revealed to Paul." Just as Paul was an apostle "through Jesus Christ.htm (3 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:28 PM . Man could never conceive such a message. Paul could have led a seminar to summarize Christian beliefs. Rather. Jesus Himself. Before his conversion.Radical Transformation 10 other times throughout the letter. The Gospel was not Received from Man (v. on the Damascus road. However. "It came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. God revealed or unveiled the person of Jesus Christ to Paul and he believed. It is quite another thing to prove it. says Paul. The Galatians were brothers in the Lord but dangerously close to deserting the faith. B." "Revelation" means "the unveiling of something previously secret. He gives us the startling testimony of how meeting Jesus transformed him from a violent persecutor to an apostle of grace. Paul says. file:///C|/cbc/G3. The Gospel of grace is contrary to man." His message came to him "through the revelation of Jesus Christ. He knew the Christians he persecuted believed that Jesus was the Messiah and that He rose from the dead. Paul knew the message of Christ long before he became a Christian. Man’s pride is offended by the idea that he is a sinner and incapable of doing anything to save himself. "The gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. However. C. He didn’t even go down and sit at the feet of the twelve apostles in Jerusalem to get this message. that’s exactly what Paul does next." By the grace of God Jesus had been revealed to Paul. "I neither received it from man. Jesus radically transformed Paul! There are a lot of people who claim God speaks to them. but the person of Christ. Further." Paul didn’t receive his message from pouring over the OT rabbinical writings. but then again there are a lot of people who believe Elvis is alive." The gospel didn’t come out of man’s head but God’s heart.12a). It is one thing to claim "revelation" from God.12b). The Gospel was Revealed through Jesus Christ (v. Paul continues.

When they fled. Before Paul met Jesus He Persecuted the Church (v. He saw Christianity as the disease and himself as the cure. "For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism…" In other words. file:///C|/cbc/G3. entering every house. committing them to prison. so that if he found any who were of the Way. You know the kind of man I used to be. and many of the saints I shut up in prison. he "asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus. and being exceedingly enraged against them. In His testimony before King Agrippa in Acts 26:9-11. I cast my vote against them. having received authority from the chief priests.13-24)." V.Radical Transformation II. and when they were put to death. He did everything he could and then some." he means he imprisoned Christians. whether men or women. "As for Saul. he pursued them on foreign soil seeking their extradition. beat them in their houses.htm (4 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:28 PM . and dragging off men and women. he affirmed.2 says." In Acts 9 while on his way to Damascus he was "still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. he made havoc of the church. Acts 8:3 says. "Indeed. he went "beyond measure" to "destroy. tortured them to get them to blaspheme Christ and voted for their executions. then called Saul hated Christianity." When he says he "persecuted the church of God beyond measure." He says further. A.13-14)." Paul. "You know my story. The Apostles were his archenemies. "You have heard… how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. He says." He wanted indictments against anyone who claimed to be a Christian. You can check this out for yourself." stamp out and eradicate Jesus’ followers. And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme. Paul before He met Jesus (vv.13). he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. This I also did in Jerusalem. The Transforming Power of the Gospel (vv. I persecuted them even to foreign cities. I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

done that. Neither did you or I.htm (5 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:28 PM . I not only followed it. He called him by grace. He zealously studied the rabbinical writings. stop trying to be religious. I once tried to earn God’s approval through keeping those rules and regulations. Been there. At one time I tried to convince myself that I was saved because I was baptized. Folks. here in v.12. throw yourself on His grace. "You want to add keeping the law to God’s grace? I know all about the law. I persecuted Christians left and right. Paul says that God "separated" or set him apart at birth. I don’t ever want to go back because I now know God’s amazing grace!" There are people like Paul in the church today. Vv.15-16 contains three fascinating statements that describe Paul’s conversion. They trust in the fact that they go to church. He thought he was serving God but he was really fighting against God. "I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation. Paul did not initiate or cause his own salvation.14).Radical Transformation Interestingly. God is not impressed. God set Paul apart from Birth (v. B. Our salvation didn’t begin the moment we asked Jesus to forgive and be the file:///C|/cbc/G3. walked an aisle or have been baptized or are good people instead of trusting solely in Jesus." He was riding a religious skyrocket to significance! He was the "Mr.15a).15-16a). I enforced it. Stop trying to please God by keeping your list of do’s and don’ts. he says he "persecuted THE CHURCH OF GOD. Before Paul met Jesus He Advanced in Judaism (v. What’s the point? It is as though Paul is saying. in fact they describe the salvation experience of anyone who has truly come to Christ. He says. Rather." Now looking back he had a strong sense of the enormity of his crime. He had all the religious trappings yet he was far from God. and revealed His Son in him. Who’s Who" among Jewish leaders. I was a master student of the law. Paul when He met Jesus (vv. being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

However. we don’t know who God will call. God calls us "through His grace. God called Paul by Grace (v." file:///C|/cbc/G3. it comes by the grace of God. baptism or a little prayer.15b)." Even if God set Paul apart from birth. Peter said the promise of salvation was to "…as many as the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:39)." He doesn’t look ahead into the future in omniscience to spot those who may have a predisposition to believe and then call them. it was longer than that. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT PAUL WAS TRYING TO DO! Salvation does not come from our parents. ‘set apart’ or ‘consecrated’] me from my mother’s womb. However. Paul was called by grace on the Damascus road. Eph. I sat down on a log in the woods and placed all my trust in Jesus. Next Paul says God "called me through His grace. that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.1:4 says "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. God called me "through His grace" too. I grew up in a Christian home and went to church from the time I was a few days old. according to the good pleasure of His will. The only reason I am a child of God is by "His grace" His unearned love. He saw a blinding light and heard the voice of Jesus. Paul said God "separated [lit. he was not saved until he was confronted with the gospel. On the contrary. For a long time I trusted in the fact that I was baptized that I was a church member and a good boy for salvation. His unmerited favor in calling me to salvation. When I was seven I walked an aisle and was baptized.htm (6 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:28 PM . it was no less real. That’s why we continually share the gospel. In fact. not in the church." God chose us long before we chose Him.Radical Transformation Lord of our lives. I trusted in Him and His grace alone saved me. Although less dramatic. our culture or our environment. I know this is a theological dilemma for some because it seems to diminish man’s responsibility in salvation. Our salvation began in eternity past. there was nothing good in me.1:5 says God "…predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself. Eph. Jesus truly "called me" when I was fourteen." Paul had been set apart by God to salvation and apostleship long before he spoke his first words.

Paul’s personal testimony proves that the gospel "came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. Paul did go to "Arabia. Though Paul tells us in several passages that he saw the risen Christ with His eyes more importantly He saw him with his heart. First Paul "did not immediately confer with flesh and blood. What an incredible story! Saul became Paul." This was very important because the Judaizers said Paul had simply heard the gospel from the other apostles and distorted it. The false teachers in Galatia said Paul had made up the gospel of God’s grace.17b-24). Paul after He met Jesus (vv. We have no biblical record of what happened in those three years. He was transformed from one who saw the gospel as a threat to one who saw the gospel as the hope of the world! Such a radical transformation is impossible apart from the work of God. God’s Son our Savior. C. The persecutor became a preacher! He was transformed from one who was willing to kill Christians to one who was ready to be killed as a Christian. He didn’t meet with a support group for people with near-deathexperiences to talk about the shining light. prayer and meditation that the Lord who appeared to Paul on the Damascus road unveiled to him many of the truths of our faith. Much of what Paul wrote in his NT letters he learned alone with Jesus in Arabia.Radical Transformation God revealed His Son in Paul (v. God did a work of grace in Paul’s life." What Paul didn’t do (vv. However we can be certain during this sustained period of study. Paul did not immediately "go up to Jerusalem to those who where apostles before me. He broke down the pride and prejudices in his heart and enabled him to see Jesus as he really is. John and the others. James.htm (7 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:28 PM .16b-17a). He had met Christ on the Damascus road! Second.16b-24).16a)." For "three years" he spent time in the desert. What Paul did do (vv. He knew exactly what had happened. Although it would have been wonderful for any new convert to sit at the feet of Peter. God didn’t allow that to happen and now Paul was glad for it provided a great alibi in this debate." file:///C|/cbc/G3." He didn’t check with the rabbi or make an appointment with his therapist. Some refer to this period as Paul’s "seminary career.

James "the Lord’s brother" was not one file:///C|/cbc/G3. and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.Radical Transformation Chuck Colson is one of the most brilliant Christian thinkers of our time." When these "three years" had passed (probably three years since his conversion). During this time." However "the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket." So there he stayed for over two weeks with Peter and James "coming in and going out. He came to Christ in prison after his crime in the Watergate scandal. "But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He stayed with Peter for only "fifteen days. Paul told Peter all about the blinding light from heaven and the three years in Arabia. Paul says he "returned again to Damascus. in parentheses. he "saw none of the other apostles except James.18). prayed and studied he only spent two weeks with Peter. We stay up half the night discussing the work of the Lord and what God is teaching us in the Scripture. "Indeed. Paul "went up to Jerusalem to see Peter" (v. and did not believe that he was a disciple." He had received the gospel directly from the Lord.htm (8 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:28 PM . Obviously there was no disagreement between them concerning the nature of the gospel. Acts 9:26 says. the Lord’s brother. After three years in which he preached. "And when Saul had come to Jerusalem.27 says." Next." In fact. When I go to pastor’s conferences. when Barnabas vouched for him. before God I do not lie." What a grand time that must have been." In Texas we would say they were fellowshipping both coming and going! Paul adds. Peter told Paul what it was like to walk personally with Jesus and answered many questions. but they were all afraid of him." After learning of his return. they understandably feared Paul was hatching an undercover plot. and that He had spoken to him. He laughingly says today he did his seminary work in a "gated community. the Jews in Damascus had set up a stakeout for Paul. V. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road. he tried to join the disciples. have pastor friends stay in my home or visit in their homes we sleep very little. I imagine Paul and Peter doing that. However." Because of his past. They had "watched the gates day and night to kill him.

Louis wrote a letter to a professor at Eden Theological Seminary asking him why he and his denomination felt free to ordain homosexuals." A. while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation. Three Transforming Truths of the Gospel. I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.htm (9 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:28 PM . but they attempted to kill him. His reply reads: "I do see Scripture as holy. Now I want to answer the question burning in your mind: "So what? What does this mean to me." So he left Jerusalem and "went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia" (v. "Beloved. He further proves that he had spent little time with the original apostles but in the little time he had with Peter he found their teaching didn’t challenge him but confirmed what he was already preaching.Radical Transformation of the twelve but considered an apostle only in a general sense. We can’t say. In chapter 2. In fact. things are different now. trustworthy." He preached there until Barnabas persuaded him to come to Antioch. and file:///C|/cbc/G3. We do not have the right to alter the gospel. Acts 9:29 tells us that because Paul "spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists. The Gospel still carries God’s Authority. "This is new millennium. There is no logical way he could have studied and distorted the gospel proclaimed by the original twelve apostles. Jude 3 says. Paul’s hometown of Tarsus was in "Cilicia. III." In this age of the dumbing-down of the gospel people want to adjust God’s truth to fit their circumstances. We are to contend for it not change it! Mike Andrus. he testifies of its transforming power in his own life. Paul says the gospel he preached came directly from Jesus. a pastor friend from St." The faith. As evidence. Paul’s gospel did not conflict with their teaching but complimented it. We can’t add to it or take away from it. verse 1 we learn that it was "fourteen years" later before Paul returned to Jerusalem. our common salvation was once delivered.21). This proved that the Judaizer’s claim that he had received the gospel second-hand was false.

"My model for disobeying certain things in the Bible is Jesus himself. me and all these people can radically transform you. (Mike adds: Now I have to tell you. They had seen many brothers and sisters in Christ imprisoned and even killed under Paul’s hand. "Therefore. and the Bible tells me so. Paul’s transformation by the gospel was indeed radical." These people had suffered under Paul’s vicious attacks."3 When we fail to uphold the authority of Scripture. The Gospel still Radically Transforms Sinners. must continue to change in order to remain faithful. he is a new file:///C|/cbc/G3. There are people throughout this congregation who have been radically transformed by the gospel. I fail to see the logic in that. but he tries to explain it as he continues). Finally the flawed professor adds.htm (10 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:28 PM . God wants to make you into a new person. that is absolutely authoritative. if anyone is in Christ. In fact it was so radical that v. If I asked you to testify to what you were and what God has done in your lives.Radical Transformation absolutely authoritative. it would take hours for everyone to share their testimony! To my unconverted friends here today I say the same gospel that radically transformed Paul. 2 Cor 5:17 says. The divine word is dynamic rather than static. and precisely because I do. Yet. B. and I conclude. it is that God never fails to be loving (Implication: you’re failing to be loving when you tell a practicing homosexual he can’t be a pastor). We anticipate that the Holy Spirit will enable us to interpret faithfully God’s Word for our place and time (again he underlines) If there is anything unchanging about God and God’s Word. I cannot consider the Bible to be inerrant. "He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith he once tried to destroy. whom I also take as the embodiment of God’s determination to love the whole world graciously. For me. we can throw the gospel out the window. Right is wrong and wrong is right and the gospel can be anything we want it to be.23 says the Judean believers heard about it and said. they admitted that the gospel was powerful enough to change Paul. it has changed (he underlines those words). In short.

how are you shining? 1 2 Cited from an article by David Yount. WI: Inter-Varsity Press. September 14. Copyright © 1998 . Scripps Howard News Service. 1968). In v. Wylie. 2000. Wylie. file:///C|/cbc/G3. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). performances. displays or other products offered for sale. 3 www. broadcasts. revised. all things have become new.24. behold. recordings. Box 7403. Paul says that the believers in Judea "glorified God in me. Amarillo.htm (11 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:28 PM . pp.org/sermons/galatians/dont_mess_with_the_messenger." Are people glorifying God because of what they see in your life or are they saying. P. old things have passed away. The Gospel still brings Glory to God. Pastor. leave me out.W. without the written permission of the copyright holder. edited. Stott.O.Radical Transformation creation. The Message of Galatians (Madison. TX 79114-7403. John R. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications.htm (used with permission). "If he is what being a Christian is all about." You can be made new today! C.efree. Cornerstone Baptist Church." You are the light of the world.29-30.2003 Coy M. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge.

In our study of Galatians. we’ve learned that the Apostle Paul founded at least four churches in the region of Galatia. If corrective measures are not taken. preaching two different messages? If one apostle preaches one gospel and another preaches a different gospel then the foundation of the church is cracked and the whole structure will collapse. false teaches crept in and began to teach "a different gospel" (1:6). If there are cracks in the apostles’ doctrine. Though this is a difficult passage (Lightfoot called it "this shipwreck of grammar"). Put yourself in the place of the Galatians. 2000 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie No Cracks in Our Foundation Galatians 2:1-10 Before my family moved to Amarillo almost nine years ago.No Cracks in Our Foundation September 24. In dry seasons it becomes as hard as cement and cracks wide enough to swallow golf balls. Peter’s confession of Him as the Messiah. "Upon this rock I will build My church. Paul has made a powerful case of his apostleship and the truth of the gospel he preaches. that the church’s file:///C|/cbc/G4. What’s more. called Judaizers were in essence teaching that men are saved by achieving. After he left them. These extremes of the soil contracting and expanding often cause concrete foundations of homes to crack. using soaker hoses to keep a consistent moisture level. the walls crack." The soil there is dark fertile clay that grows bountiful crops but plays havoc on the foundations of buildings. Worth Metroplex.htm (1 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:22 PM . Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone. Similarly. as we explore it we will learn that the apostles did not disagree about the gospel. When Jesus said to Peter in Mat. They taught the Galatians that a person is saved by believing in Jesus PLUS circumcision.2:20 that the church is "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. When the foundation cracks. then the church is unstable." I believe he was speaking of the gospel. sticky mire. But the question inevitably arises: is there a contradiction among the apostles? Are they divided. the teaching of the apostles. Dallas County is located in the middle of a geographical region known as "The Blackland Prairie. homeowners carefully monitor their foundations." Who we are and what we believe as a church today is built upon the "rock" of the gospel. In wet seasons it becomes a gooey.16:18. plus all the rules. the whole house can become unstable. As a result. that Paul was a johnny-comelately. regulations and rituals of the OT. an interloper who had perverted the teaching of the original twelve. The false teaches. Paul argues that we are saved only by believing. we lived in the heart of the Dallas-Ft. the Judaizers told the Galatian Christians that the original twelve apostles in Jerusalem agreed with them. the Bible says in Eph.

" he took "Barnabas and also… Titus. file:///C|/cbc/G4. Paul told us in 1:18 that it was "three years" after he became a Christian that he "went up to Jerusalem to see Peter. the "son of encouragement" was Paul’s special friend and helper in spreading the gospel. Paul had traveled all over preaching the gospel. let’s turn there and read Acts 15:1-5.1-5).1). He accompanied Paul on the first missionary journey and helped him establish the Galatian churches. In fact.htm (2 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:22 PM . nor was I taught it. it seems clear that the event Paul describes here in Gal. "For I neither received it from man. Paul tells us that when he "went up again to Jerusalem. performing signs and building churches. He also met "James. The point is Paul had preached the gospel all this time without the approval or scrutiny of the original twelve apostles in Jerusalem. Paul Traveled to Jerusalem (v.2 directly parallels the Jerusalem counsel as described in Acts 15." In a seventeen-year period Paul had almost no contact with the other apostles. Acts 11:27-30 reports that Paul and Barnabas had made a quick trip to Jerusalem earlier to deliver a gift of financial support to the believers there because of a great famine. Back in our text in Gal." Now Paul tells us that "fourteen years" passed before he "went up again to Jerusalem." Barnabas. The Test of Titus: Accepted (vv.No Cracks in Our Foundation foundation is not cracked and that by God’s grace hell will never prevail against us. He says in 1:12. Though there is some difference of opinion among Bible teachers." The Judaizers were absolutely wrong to say Paul had gotten his version of the gospel second-hand from the other apostles because he had spent almost no time at all with them in seventeen years. A. the Lord’s brother." He stayed with Peter for "fifteen" days. Even then there is no mention of him meeting with the other apostles. During this seventeen-year period. I. but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.2:1.

" Therefore Titus would be the test case before the Jerusalem apostles." He wasn’t going to the other apostles because he had anything to prove but because God led him to do so.1:4)." "Communicated" means "set forth. Paul met with the Other Apostles (v. 13:2)." Paul was not in any way unsure of the gospel he preached. Titus had no background in Judaism. he called him "a true son in our common faith" (Tit." no one "taught" it to him. That’s a great example of how the church should function. the apostles and elders in a private meeting. His reason was to be certain that "lest by any means I might run. Paul called him "my partner and fellow worker" in 2 Cor." In other words. Phillips translates this phrase "I gave a full exposition of the gospel which I preach among the gentiles. He had come to Christ by believing not by achieving. "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses.8:23. the false teachers said. In his letter to Titus.B. you cannot be saved. in vain.No Cracks in Our Foundation "Titus" also went with Paul. Because he was not Jewish. He wanted to make file:///C|/cbc/G4. he had never been circumcised." That is. Paul says he "went up by revelation. the Holy Spirit affirms in our hearts collectively what we are to do. B. Paul tells us that before there was a public hearing in the church on this matter he spoke "privately to those who were of reputation." He didn’t meet with the apostles to validate his preaching but theirs. According to Acts 15:2. laid before." J. the Holy Spirit revealed this plan to them just as He had their first missionary journey (Acts 15:2. or had run. that men are saved by grace through faith without adding any human works. including being circumcised. Paul gave a complete treatise of what God had revealed to him about salvation. it came to him directly "through the revelation of Jesus Christ. He did not "receive it from man. he spoke first with the leaders of the church. I believe that as Paul and Barnabas prayed with the leaders of the Antioch church about this problem. Unlike many of the early Christians. he "communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles. As we pray together.2).htm (3 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:22 PM . Paul says that when he got to Jerusalem. Rather.

3-4). he feared his work with them would have been "in vain. During this meeting with the apostles and leaders. "But no one insisted that my companion Titus. In this meeting. He was living proof that a person could be saved by faith in Christ apart from the OT rituals." Not one of them insisted that Titus needed to be circumcised in order to be saved. and to command them to keep the Law of Moses. Paul says "not even Titus who was with me. Paul Defended Titus before the False Teachers (vv. this is difficult language to translate and interpret. Despite the language.’" Paul says they were "secretly brought in." "sham Christians" and "pseudo Christians.4 "And this occurred because of false brethren…" "False brethren" comes from a phrase also translated "false believers." I like Phillips version.No Cracks in Our Foundation sure that the false teachers had not corrupted them. saying. If they were in fellowship with the Judaizers. ‘It is necessary to circumcise them. Paul says next in v. he feared that many of his converts would easily be swayed away from the true gospel. the suggestion would never have arisen but for the presence of some pseudo-Christians. Paul presented Titus as his test case. "But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up. was compelled to be circumcised. being a Greek. rules and regulations. Titus was a true Christian who had never been circumcised. In fact. He wanted to be certain that he and they agreed on the same gospel.htm (4 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:22 PM . Perhaps in writing Paul became so emotional that he used complex grammar and uncharacteristically wrote incomplete sentences. Using the analogy of a runner. though he was a Greek." Some scholars file:///C|/cbc/G4. He set him before the apostles and elders as an example of the fruit of his ministry." Luke records this interruption in Acts 15:5. Again. should be circumcised. and then attempted to tie us up with rules and regulations. who wormed their way into our meeting to spy on the liberty we enjoy in Christ Jesus. Paul’s meaning is clear." C.

"We did not yield submission even for an hour." As much as any soldier on any battlefield.5 of our text. Rom. having died to what we were held by." John 8:36 says. Why not? Why not have Titus circumcised? Wasn’t Timothy circumcised later? Yes. that they might bring us into bondage.No Cracks in Our Foundation believe the Pharisees had secret agents. "Now the Lord is the Spirit. putting them down. In v. but that was an entirely different situation. On the contrary. He says to the Galatians in v. protracted argument.3:17 says. file:///C|/cbc/G4. A." Rom. The Preaching of Paul: Approved (vv. Paul would not yield so that "the truth of the gospel might continue [be preserved] with you.6)." At first glance it seems as though Paul is depreciating them. "But now we have been delivered from the law." He might yield on minor issues and ministry methods but never on the gospel.7:6 says. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. there is liberty. he calls them "those who seemed to be something.2 Paul refers to the original apostles as "those who were of reputation. Our only law is the law of the Spirit." 2 Cor. Paul says they "came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus. Paul fought for freedom." We are set free from keeping the OT law." Here in v. He would not let go of liberty.6. Paul respected these men and their office or he would not have come to them to settle this question. II. In "Christ Jesus" believers have "liberty.htm (5 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:22 PM . from rituals and regulations. plants in the early churches to corrupt them and turn them back to Judaism. The Jerusalem Apostles Added Nothing to Paul’s Message (v." "Bondage" is a strong term that refers to slavery. "Therefore if the Son makes you free.6-10). from man-made traditions. and where the Spirit of the Lord is. Not even for one moment did Paul give in to the legalistic demands of the Judaizers. so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.8:2 says." There seems to have been a long. you shall be free indeed.

They didn’t add anything to Paul’s knowledge of the gospel or his authority to preach. of whom I am chief. Paul was not being arrogant but truthful. They agreed with me that salvation is not by achieving but by believing. He tells us that they "saw" or recognized "that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter. because I persecuted the church of God. "God shows personal favoritism to no man. they didn’t see any need to add or change anything. To paraphrase. When he finally "communicated" what he preached to them. After seventeen years." Paul states categorically that these original apostles who were so exalted in the eyes of the Judaizers. these "who seemed to be something.15:9." Just because they walked with Jesus did not make them greater than Paul. the false teachers were constantly putting Paul down because he was not one of the original twelve. Paul says "On the contrary…" instead of adding to or correcting his teaching. Paul had also been chosen by Christ for the same office. "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance." In the same way that Peter file:///C|/cbc/G4. Paul says. not only did they "add nothing" to him. who am not worthy to be called an apostle.1:15. humble." B. they recognized his authority as an apostle. He did not need their approval or confirmation and in that sense "whatever they were" made "no difference" to him. He said in 1 Tim." they "added nothing" to Paul’s message.No Cracks in Our Foundation Although these twelve men were personally set apart by Jesus to be apostles. The Jerusalem Apostles Recognized Paul’s Apostleship (vv. that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I didn’t get it from any man but directly from Jesus Christ. Paul is saying.htm (6 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:22 PM . "The gospel I preached to you has not changed. He had preached the same gospel for seventeen years without them." He said in 1 Cor.7-8). The Judaizers. "For I am the least of the apostles. when I shared my beliefs with the original apostles. there was no addition or correction.

htm (7 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:22 PM . They agreed and settled once and for all that they preached the same message and that there were no cracks in the church’s foundation. Paul says. Cephas [Peter] and John who seemed to be pillars [a Jewish phrase meaning "great teachers"] perceived the grace that had been given to me." V. the lead pastor of the Jerusalem church then spoke up quoting an OT prophecy.9. Back to our text. "Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles.19. they recognized Paul was God’s special messenger to spread the gospel among the Gentiles. men who have risked their lives for the name of Jesus Christ. with the whole church…" Everyone was in agreement. "Then it pleased the apostles and elders. Peter first stood before "the apostles and elders" and delivers a powerful message in agreement with Paul. they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised [the Jews].12 again. being assembled in one accord. to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul.No Cracks in Our Foundation was God’s special messenger to spread the gospel among the Jews." The apostles and all the church of Jerusalem agreed with Paul. saying ‘You must be circumcised and keep the law’ – to whom we gave no such commandment – it seemed good to us. unsettling your souls. Note again vv. "when James." file:///C|/cbc/G4.9). Salvation is by believing not achieving. His summation is seen in v. "Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words.22 says.2426. Paul and his ministry were "beloved" by them. Let’s turn back to the parallel account in Acts 15:6-29. a letter was written to the churches were the Judaizers were spreading their false teaching. Read v. in v. What’s more." No one sided with the false teachers! James. The Jerusalem Apostles Gave Paul the Right Hand of Fellowship (v. C. "Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God.

No Cracks in Our Foundation When I was growing up. Peter and John. the request was not a command. Peter. the very thing which I was also eager to do. there are some that work hard or are unable to work who truly need our support. 2 Thess. First. especially with James. They "added nothing" doctrinally or practically." However. The false teaching Judaizers did not have a leg to stand on.htm (8 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:22 PM . Second. but clasping hands in the eastern fashion symbolizing friendship. their request was not something new. the request was practical. partnership and trust.3:10 says. "If anyone will not work. the whole congregation would file one by one out of their pews to the altar to shake hands with the newcomer and welcome him or her into the fellowship of the church. We all have a responsibility to work hard. they made one simple request of him.10). As a sidebar it is important to note that we are still to "be eager" to "remember the poor. James and John. and sees his brother in need. "But whoever has this world's goods. and shuts up his heart from him. United they proclaimed the same gospel that we are saved not by works but by faith. not by achieving but by believing. The Jerusalem Apostles Offered Paul no Correction but a Request (v. Paul says. Between Paul. in fellowship with the apostles in Jerusalem. how does the love of God abide in him?" file:///C|/cbc/G4. neither shall he eat. Paul was not only in doctrinal harmony but also personal harmony with the original twelve. When someone joined the church. We can add nothing to God’s grace. 1 John 3:17 says. Third. There is a greater meaning here. D." especially our fellow Christians." Note three implications about this request. Paul had already made one trip to Jerusalem to aid the poor Christians there (Acts 11:27-30). they were used of God to write 21 of the 27 books of the NT! They were not using a traditional western handshake. "They desired only that we should remember the poor. not doctrinal. Instead of correcting Paul’s preaching. our church offered "the right hand of fellowship" to every new member. Paul was at one.

htm (9 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:22 PM . and that not of yourselves.2:8-9. to Jews or Gentiles. Perhaps the most succinct statement of the good news is Eph. not circumcision. A. We have a Responsibility to Preserve the Gospel. John R. One gospel. it is the gift of God. Paul teaches in 1:6-10 that there is "not another" gospel but perversions of the true gospel. we have the same challenge.No Cracks in Our Foundation III. not by receiving some second blessing or spiritual gift." We are saved by grace. to east or west. not works. although its presentation may vary. "Therefore. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. There is Only One Gospel and It is Unchanging. First. lest anyone should boast. The same result. to scientists or non scientists. We should always ask those questions when we study the Scripture. not keeping the law. all the NT agree on one gospel. Second. one recognizable body of doctrine. Let note three timeless truths from the passage. We are saved by believing not achieving. All the apostles. "Pastor this is all well and good. not by being baptized. "If there is only one gospel in the New Testament. That gospel is the same today as then. The Judaizers have long since passed from the scene file:///C|/cbc/G4. You might be thinking. but why go into such a history lesson? What effect does Paul’s visit to Jerusalem 1900 years ago have on my life today? What does this mean to me practically?" I’m glad you asked. so we preach and so you believed. Yet there is only one gospel. Not only do we have the same gospel. whether it was I or they." Different men. one faith "which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). There are no cracks in the foundation of the church. Whether it is preached to young or old. not of works. there is only one gospel for the church.15:11. Each apostle had his own style and personality. Three Timeless Truths for Preserving a Firm Foundation."1 B. We are saved by grace plus nothing. to cultured or uncultured.W. not by being a church member. Each had his own emphasis because they dealt with different spheres and different types of people. Salvation is solely about God’s grace. its substance is the same. The gospel has not changed with the changing centuries. Stott writes. Paul says in 1 Cor.

The apostles accepted him because He stood for the truth of the gospel. Some have said. Jonathan Edwards and others who would not stand idly by and let the gospel be diluted of its power. Several times over the last few months I have been asked about my support of the Franklin Graham Festival.No Cracks in Our Foundation but there are still those who pervert the gospel message. C. They continue to add to God’s grace. Third. Remember Paul’s strong rebuke in 1:8.3:15 says "the church of the living God" is "the pillar and ground of the truth. we must diligently preserve the light of the gospel for future generations. Their common ground with Paul was not tradition but the truth of the gospel. or an angel from heaven.htm (10 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:22 PM . In this age of relativism. They want to add baptism. They were willing to accept others (like Titus) whom God brought to himself without their help. We have a duty not only to those who have gone on before but also to those who will follow behind. They realized that it is He who seeks and saves the lost. We know truth today because of men like Paul and Peter. the guardians of doctrinal truth." All around us are people who continue in the Judaizers error." We are the repository. preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you. but also because of men like Martin Luther. It is always difficult for Christians to accept other Christians who come out of different traditions. John Wesley. 1 Tim. The apostles were bigger men who believed in a bigger God. We wonder about someone’s salvation if we had no part in it. John Calvin. The Judaizers rejected Paul because he didn’t follow their traditions. let him be accursed. membership in their church or group (I even know of some Baptist who believe you cannot receive the Holy Spirit until you are immersed in one of their churches!) or keeping legalistic rules and regulations to maintain salvation. Unity is a Matter of Truth not Tradition. "But what about the churches that were there who believe a file:///C|/cbc/G4. "But even if we.

Wylie. but upon the finished work of Jesus Christ. Franklin Graham simply and clearly proclaimed the same gospel we proclaim. Copyright © 1998 . Box 7403. without the written permission of the copyright holder. Our fellowship with other believers should not be based upon traditions and denominational handles but on the vital message of the gospel.htm (11 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:22 PM .O. Amarillo. p." My answer is that our fellowship was not with everyone who was present but with the message of the gospel. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. file:///C|/cbc/G4. I wish more of them had been there to hear the truth of salvation by grace through faith. recordings. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. 1968). displays or other products offered for sale. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). P. edited. Wylie. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications. ye saints of the Lord. Stott. Here’s another: not every Baptist will be in heaven. The old hymn says it well: How firm a foundation. performances. WI: Inter-Varsity Press. broadcasts. Cornerstone Baptist Church. the same gospel Paul proclaimed. Our foundation is not laid on religious traditions or denominationalism. The Message of Galatians (Madison.2003 Coy M. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice.No Cracks in Our Foundation different gospel? How could we fellowship with them.47. Frankly.W. Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word! What more can He say than to you He hath said. Pastor. revised. TX 79114-7403. I am happy those people were present. You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled? 1 John R. Here’s a news flash: not everyone in heaven will be a Baptist. There are no cracks in that foundation.

If it moves. the youth worker reasoned. We’re talking simple. Follow my directions and just maybe if you are good enough. our church showed slides. file:///C|/cbc/G5. 2000 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie Liberty or Legalism? Galatians 2:11-14 Chuck Swindoll tells the story of a young man who once served in a strict church with Scandinavian roots. They asked. "If it’s still. I. they have an accurate impression of many who claim to love Christ. I remember that at the last missionary conference. what music to listen to and how to live. It is easy to jettison our spiritual freedom and be caught up in legalistic religion. you shall be free indeed" (Jn.8:36). not achieving.htm (1 of 12)4/30/2005 1:56:30 PM . black-and-white-religiousoriented movie. he showed his youth group a missionary film. "Well. False teachers were teaching the Galatian believers that in order to please God they had to be circumcised and keep all their interpretations of the rituals. by believing. Jesus said. you can show slides but when they start moving you are getting into sin!1 Many non-Christians see Christians as a bunch of narrow-minded do-gooders with long lists of do’s and don’ts. how to wear our hair. Let’s examine three truths about our spiritual freedom. It happens all the time.Liberty or Legalism? October 1. The problem is they are promoting their list." One of the church officers put up his hand signaling him to be quiet. one of the "pillars" of the church (2:9). I did. what to read. not our works. rules and regulations of the OT. fine. sin!" Folks. There are some that feel it is their job to prescribe their list of rules to the rest of us." they replied. Religion gives us LEGALISM. "Therefore if the Son makes you free. "Keep my rules. what to watch. They want to tell us how to dress. yeah. The film projector hadn’t been off an hour before a group of leaders in the church called him in and asked about what he had done. God will accept you. Unfortunately. The Apostle Paul addresses this problem again and again in Galatians. Then with these words he emphatically explained the conflict. Without trying to be argumentative." God gives us LIBERTY." "We don’t like that. Paul teaches us that we are saved by God’s grace. It says. It even happened to the Apostle Peter. Being a rather forward-looking and creative young leader. Spiritual Freedom is Exhilarating. not God’s. "Did you show the young people a film?" In all honesty he responded. "Well. safe.

At that time." When Paul left Jerusalem." V. with many others also. Much of the foundational teaching of the church came from these two men. Peter Visited Antioch. the first half is primarily about Peter and the second half is about Paul." They were confirming their partnership in spreading the gospel.7-8). In fact.htm (2 of 12)4/30/2005 1:56:30 PM . "Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch. he didn’t see Peter or any of the other apostles again for "fourteen years" (2:1). 12 says that when Peter first came to Antioch "he would eat with the Gentiles. Peter and the other apostles "saw" or confirmed that God had "worked effectively" in Paul as an apostle to the Gentiles as He had "worked effectively" in Peter as an apostle to the Jews (vv. he "went up again to Jerusalem" to meet with the other apostles to put to rest finally the false teaching of the Judaizers." He wanted to see Paul and Barnabas." They hung out together for "fifteen days." Some time passed and our primary text says. Paul and Barnabas "came to Antioch" and "delivered the letter. The book of Acts is divided in half by them. Paul first met Peter "three years" after he met Jesus on the Damascus Road. teaching and preaching the word of the Lord. B." Paul and Peter became partners in the gospel. At Jerusalem." That simple statement may sound like no file:///C|/cbc/G5. Then James." Acts 15:30 relates that after the Jerusalem council.Liberty or Legalism? A. After "three years" of study in Arabia and preaching in Damascus. He came to join in the preaching and teaching and see the good work of the Lord. He wanted to check out the church’s franchise in that city. V. Paul "went up to Jerusalem to see Peter.1:18. Peter and John who were "pillars" (great teachers) in the church of Jerusalem gave Paul and Barnabas "the right hand of fellowship. James in a letter to Gentile Christians wrote of them as "our beloved Barnabas and Paul. According to Gal.35 says. "Peter had come to Antioch. Paul begins saying "Peter had come to Antioch. Peter Ate with the Gentile Believers.

"In truth I perceive God shows no partiality.13 tells us he heard a voice say "Rise. All his life he had observed those customs. thefts. For from within. that defiles a man. "I have never eaten anything common or unclean. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth. Peter. we see Peter learned the lesson. All these evil things come from within and defile a man. "Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him. lewdness. out of the heart of men. Jesus abolished the dietary laws." God spoke to him again and said. proceed evil thoughts. God had made that perfectly clear to him. He was up on the rooftop praying just before noon and fell into a trance. covetousness. you will learn that this vision was to prepare Peter to preach the gospel to Cornelius’ Gentile household. deceit.Liberty or Legalism? big deal to you." Peter was horrified. He said. descending to him and let down to the earth. Later in v. Let’s turn back to Acts 10. an evil eye. Peter thought the gospel was just for the Jews. creeping things." Even after Peter was saved and followed Jesus he still followed Jewish customs and was careful not to eat anything considered unclean. wild beasts. because it does not enter his heart but his stomach. and is eliminated. "What God has cleansed you must not call common [or unclean].htm (3 of 12)4/30/2005 1:56:30 PM . In fact. murders. "Not so. this scene was repeated "three times" for emphasis. Peter was in Joppa." V. If you continue to read the rest of the chapter. In fact he says in Acts 10:14. wickedness. He said. staying at a tanner’s house." Peter knew that Jesus had set him free from the OT ceremonial laws and the dietary laws." In fact. In vv." file:///C|/cbc/G5. kill and eat. Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean. adulteries. but to Peter it was a huge step in spiritual freedom. but God was showing him that whoever and whatever He made clean was clean.11-12 we read he "…saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners. pride. and birds of the air. thus purifying all foods? …What comes out of a man.34. foolishness. He said to Peter and the other disciples in Mark 7:18-23. blasphemy. Peter was a Jew. At this point. A Roman centurion named Cornelius from Caesarea was directed by an angel to send for Peter. fornications. He had been born and raised in Israel under the strict dietary laws and traditions of the Jews.

even though Peter knew he had spiritual liberty and could eat anything. he also certainly took the Lord’s Supper with them too. Peter began to sample Gentile food and found out it was good! I’ll bet ol’ Pete enjoyed bacon and sausage for breakfast. talking of the blessings of the Lord and enjoying His bounty on the table. I thought Christian men all had to have short hair. He probably put away a nice pork roast for lunch. Donald Barnhouse wrote about a Bible Conference held in 1928 in Pennsylvania. The early churches also had "love feasts" much like modern-day "pot-luck" dinners or fellowship meals. Early in my walk with the Lord. They sat around the table then as we do now. Believers have great Spiritual Freedom. C. You know he devoured some good pork ribs for dinner. There in a Gentile church with no other nosey Jews around. Real Christians to this and real Christians don’t do that. I perceived Christianity as a list of do’s and don’ts.Liberty or Legalism? Still. no facial hair and had to wear ties and suits when they came to church. Of the 200 people present. he never did… until he came to Antioch. What a joy it must have been to Peter to lay aside his old prejudices and enjoy the food and fellowship of other believers. most of them were file:///C|/cbc/G5. even though they were Gentiles. Christian women had to have long hair and wear dresses (below the knee) and never wear shorts. Guitars were for honkytonks and nightclubs. not worship. In Christ.htm (4 of 12)4/30/2005 1:56:30 PM . none of that is in the Scripture! It’s strange but true that God’s people often hold more strongly to their traditions than the Scripture. the Gentile families would invite Peter to come to their homes and eat with them. Appropriate church music was accompanied by a piano and an organ and sung from hymnals. The funny thing is. He had his face on barbecue! I’ll bet he even fried up some pork rinds for a midnight snack! Actually. Although Peter took ordinary meals with the Gentiles. You could read from other Bible versions but had to carry a KJV.

" He adds.8:2 says. II. Before long everyone in the upper class was wearing stockings and by Queen Victoria’s time stockings had become the badge of the prude.12 that "certain men came from James. Some Jews Came Up from Jerusalem. "She didn’t?" He continued. "The Virgin Mary never wore stockings. A year or two afterward.htm (5 of 12)4/30/2005 1:56:30 PM . A." James was "the Lord’s brother" and now the leading pastor of the Jerusalem church. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. if I preach in a tie or a T-shirt or if I sing with a guitar or an organ! Jesus has made us free from the law.Liberty or Legalism? young with a few old heads in the crowd." Rom. So far as we know. stocking were unknown. Paul tells us in v. God will not love me or bless me any more or any less if I have long hair or short hair." They gasped. they were first worn by prostitutes in Italy in the fifteenth century… Later a lady of nobility scandalized the people by wearing stockings to a court ball. "In Mary’s time. if I sing hymns or choruses. who were hold overs from the Victorian epoch. "These ladies. One day two older ladies approached him complaining that the younger girls were not wearing stockings. Spiritual Freedom is Frightening. had no more to say."2 It was not until I had entered full-time ministry that I began to grasp that my relationship with Christ was not about lists of do’s and don’ts. Paul met him personally when he first file:///C|/cbc/G5. It was not until I was an adult that I began to understand my spiritual freedom. Christ’s righteousness is applied to my life. Our only law is the "law of the Spirit. Looking them straight in the eye he said. free indeed. I did not rebuke the girls for not wearing stockings. most girls in the United States were going without stockings in the summer and nobody thought anything about it." Peter found exercising his spiritual freedom exhilarating! So does every Christian who walks "in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter" (Rom 7:6).

25) and gave Paul "the right hand of fellowship" (Gal.2:9). "he withdrew and separated himself" from the Gentile Christians. Peter retreated from the tables of the Gentiles. an intentional. He slowly. The imperfect tense suggests it was gradual. When these Jewish visitors arrived.12. If you were to travel to another part of the country and visited another church pastored by one of my friends." I think that is what Paul means when he says they "came from James. sneaky retreat.htm (6 of 12)4/30/2005 1:56:30 PM . "Hey Peter. I’ll put some more of those ribs you love so much on the grill. He obviously did not want them to know that he had been eating with the Gentiles. cautiously. come on over here and sit with us. They were Jewish Christians who came up from the Jerusalem church. drawing back from the enemy to shelter and safety. When he heard the Jews had come. Peter Separated Himself from the Gentiles. "I come from Coy’s church and he said to tell you hello. come by the house tomorrow at seven. He whispers. During the Lord’s Supper." Can’t you see Peter? He’s looking around hoping no one heard. he sits in the Jewish file:///C|/cbc/G5. deviously stopped fellowshipping with the Gentile brothers. Peter carefully washed all the barbecue sauce out of his beard. "Withdrew" is from a Greek term used for strategic military disengagement. "Peter." At a love feast. At the Jerusalem council. James said "I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God" (Acts 15:19) He helped author the letter that described Paul as "beloved" (v. Peter puts only kosher food on his plate. A Gentile brother says. He did not want them to know that he had exercised his spiritual freedom and bypassed the Jewish dietary laws. "Thanks but I’ve already got an invitation. You’ve got to try some of this fresh crab salad. Just like the Marines were forced to make a long cold retreat from the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea in the winter of 1950. A Gentile sister says. When the Jews showed up. you might say. Paul says in v." Peter pretends like he didn’t hear and sits with the boys from Jerusalem. Something happened in Peter." B. Peter avoided the Gentiles.Liberty or Legalism? went to Jerusalem (1:19).

the other emissary from the Jerusalem council capitulated to the Jews. Jews were on one side and Gentiles were on the other. Before long. Peter set off a chain-reaction of hypocrisy. so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy." This is the old Peter who said that Jesus is "the Christ." The other Jews who were resident members of the Antioch church began to follow Peter’s lead." the Jews. Paul alone stood in the middle of the divided church. C. Peter was like a celebrity. file:///C|/cbc/G5. Paul says at the end of v. Paul says in v. D.Liberty or Legalism? section and won’t even look at the Greeks. This is the old Peter who saw the risen Christ but returned to fishing. burial and resurrection. there was a divide right in the middle of the church. This is the old Peter who said he would never forsake the Lord but denied Him three times. In attempt to please "those who were of the circumcision. They slowly separated themselves from their Gentile friends.12 that Peter was "fearing those who were of the circumcision. Peter Feared for His Reputation. Peter was more concerned about his reputation among the Jewish Christians than he was for the spiritual health of the Gentile Christians. When he rejected the Gentiles. They were thrilled that he would eat in their homes and enjoy their fellowship. the Son of the Living God" but then "rebuked the Lord" for predicting His death. so did others. He was afraid of losing popularity and prestige back in Jerusalem should they ever find out he had been living like a Gentile. Imagine how the poor Gentile Christians felt. he ignored and avoided them. "And the rest of the Jews played the hypocrite with him.13. Paul said "even Barnabas" was caught up in Peter’s "hypocrisy. Now.htm (7 of 12)4/30/2005 1:56:30 PM ." Etu Barnabas? Paul’s constant companion. Peter Caused Others to Stumble.

These poor Gentile Christians were no doubt hurt and confused. There is one body and one Lord. Paul wrote in Eph. "Legalism has no pity on people. What a sad state when a church is divided by rituals. In the eyes of God we are the same. I’d be ruined!" "Fearing those who were of the circumcision" he "withdrew" from the Gentile tables. It is frightening and risky to take those first steps toward spiritual freedom." Before salvation we were all sinners. After salvation we are all saints. 3:26 says. Revival is hopeless! Evangelism is nil! Discipleship is unattainable.htm (8 of 12)4/30/2005 1:56:30 PM . "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Some thought they should start keeping the OT laws and be circumcised so they would be acceptable to the Jewish Christians. now he found it frightening.28 says. for you are all ONE IN CHRIST JESUS!" E. I like what Max Lucado once said. there is neither male nor female. What will people think if I raise my hands in worship to God? What will they say if I shout "Hallelujah?" How would they feel about me if I bought a motorcycle and grew my hair out long? In what way are you allowing others to limit the liberty you have in Christ? To be bound to man-made rules and tradition is called legalism.4:3 that we are to be "endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. "If they found out in Jerusalem I am addicted to pork skins.Liberty or Legalism? Other friends with Jewish backgrounds began to act the same way. Where once Peter found his spiritual freedom exhilarating. class or cliques! What a horrible spiritual climate when one Christian rejects or avoids another Christian because he is not in his group! Oh how this grieves the Spirit of God! There is no spiritual power in such a church. there is neither slave nor free. makes my file:///C|/cbc/G5. Legalism makes my opinion your burden. Peter let other men set limits on his spiritual freedom. race. No doubt he was thinking. Some were probably angry and left the church. Exercising Your Spiritual Freedom is Risky." V. "There is neither Jew nor Greek.

Liberty or Legalism?

opinion your boundary, makes my opinion your obligation."3

III. Spiritual Freedom is Precious.
A. Paul Withstood Peter Face to Face. Go back to v.11 and see where Paul says of Peter "I withstood him to his face because he was to be blamed." He opposed him. He rebuked him. He got in his face because he was "clearly in the wrong" (NIV). Even though Peter was an apostle, he was not perfect. He was not beyond a reprimand when he was wrong. Even though Peter was a "pillar" of the church, he wasn’t above seeking his own selfish interests and falling into sin. What’s worse, he drug others with him. There are those who teach that after a person has a "spiritual baptism" or a "second blessing" he is above sin. In doing so, they forget about Peter. Peter had the ultimate spiritual baptism on Pentecost. He witnessed in tongues he’d never learned. When he preached, 3000 people were saved and baptized. Yet here he was, dividing a church and perverting the gospel of grace because of his concern for his own reputation. B. Paul Fought for the Truth of the Gospel. In v.14, Paul says, "When I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all…" This was not some private meeting but a public dressing down. It was "before them all" and "to his face" (v.11). Paul had refused to be "compelled" to circumcise Titus "that the truth of the gospel might continue with you" (v.3,5). Now because "they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel" and because of their actions "compel[led]" the Gentiles to "live as the Jews" or keep dietary laws (v.14), Paul rebuked Peter. Not for one moment would Paul capitulate to legalism. He would not for one moment allow the Gentile believers to think
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that they needed to add something to their faith in Christ. Salvation was then and is now not by achieving but by believing, God’s grace plus nothing! If Titus had to be circumcised in Jerusalem, if Gentile Christians in Antioch had to keep the Jewish dietary laws to enjoy full fellowship in the body of Christ, then the grace of God is nullified and Christ died in vain. We will explore v.21 in detail next week but read it with me today, "I do not set aside [nullify] the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain." C. Three Predators on Your Spiritual Freedom. Predator #1: FEAR. Peter’s fear of what the Jewish Christians might think, say or do kept him from fully exercising his spiritual freedom and caused him to lead others astray. Fear is out of sync with the gospel. 2 Tim.1:7, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Prov.29:25 says, "The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe." If you came here today with fear, anxiety and depression in your heart, you need to take another look at the gospel. Rom.8:31-34 says, "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." Predator #2: HYPOCRISY. The words "hypocrite" and "hypocrisy" in v.13 refer to an actor who wears a mask. He pretends to be someone or something he is not. Peter pretended to believe in the Jewish dietary laws when in his heart he did not. Hypocrisy is always based in insecurity. Insecurity causes us to fail to stand for what we believe is right. When you feel insecure and are tempted to put up a front and void taking a stand for what you believe, you are fighting a battle to believe the gospel. The gospel assures us of God’s love and acceptance. Jesus intentionally suffered for us. He could have put up a front and saved His skin but He didn’t. Psa.56:11 says, "In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to
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me?" Predator #3: LEGALISM. In a manner of speaking, Paul said to Peter, "Actions speak louder than words. When you as an apostle stopped fellowshipping with the Gentile believers because of dietary laws, you took Barnabas and the other Jews with you. Now the Gentiles think they are not real Christians unless they become Jews." Legalism is requiring something of people God does not require. If you came here trying to please God by keeping some list of do’s and don’t, you are out of touch with the gospel. God accepts us by grace not works, by believing, not achieving. Legalism doesn’t work anyway. Most of the people who want to enforce their list of rules on others often don’t even keep their own rules. There is an old story about a black church in which a woman in the balcony got her dress tangled in the railing, and when she pulled, she lost her balance and fell, losing her skirt in the process. The preacher, seeing her predicament, screamed out, "Listen, you men, don’t you look at her! IF ANY ONE OF YOU LOOKS, YOU’LL GO BLIND!" One of the men in the congregation punched his friend and said, "I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll take a chance with my left eye!"

Charles R. Swindoll, The Grace Awakening, Word Publishing, 1990, pp.160-161. Taken from Let Me Illustrate. 3 Max Lucado, UpWords Radio Broadcast, May 1993.

Copyright © 1998 - 2003 Coy M. Wylie. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source), edited, revised, copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications, recordings, broadcasts, performances, displays or other products offered for sale, without the written permission of the copyright holder. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. Wylie, Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church, P.O. Box 7403, Amarillo, TX
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Liberty or Legalism?


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she looked him directly in the eye and said. Barney is on my underwear. The book of Galatians is about JUSTIFICATION.11. "Will I find Barney in here?" With innocent conviction. he asked. I can be right with my finances and my possessions.3). listening to her heart. As the doctor examined her ears. He says in v. he asked. At first he would "eat with the Gentiles. If I am right with God. Paul was furious at Peter. "Will I find the Cookie Monster in here?" Again." I don’t want to know what is on your underwear.The Gist of Justification October 8. After he left them. an uncircumcised Christian to Jerusalem and counseled with the other apostles and from them he "was not compelled to be circumcised" (v.htm (1 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:16 PM . "Will I find Big Bird in here?" Apprehensively. Katie replied. The truth is if I am right with God. "No. 2000 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie The Gist of Justification Galatians 2:15-21 Three-year-old Katie was taken to her pediatrician during a recent bout with the flu." that is he did not follow the Jewish dietary laws of the OT." Then. when some "men came from James. Jesus Christ. If I am right with God. "No. he asked. I can handle anything life throws at me. However. "I withstood him to his face because he was to file:///C|/cbc/G6. Being right with God comes down to having a right relationship with His Son. before examining her throat. I can be right with my wife and children. If I am right with God. but I hope Jesus is in your heart! Having Jesus in your heart. Last week we learned that Peter had "come to Antioch" where Paul and Barnabas were teaching. They taught that to be right with God. I can be right with the people on my job and in my church. "No. is the most important issue of life. Peter hypocritically "withdrew" from the Gentile believers and practiced again the OT dietary laws." Finally." some Jewish Christians. all the apostles agreed that circumcision was not necessary for salvation. In other words. The Bible calls this JUSTIFICATION. We’ll deal with the theological more in a minute. false teachers crept in and began to subvert the gospel. The Apostle Paul had helped establish at least four churches in the region of Galatia. Paul has already explained how he took Titus. Jesus is in my heart. you not only had to trust in Christ but you must also be circumcised and keep the Jewish laws of the OT. the right way to be right with God. being right with God.

Peter caused them to think that they should add keeping the law to their faith in order to be saved. Job 25:4 asks. on the contrary there is something wrong between us. both Jew and Gentile. The Bible asks." In other words. "We ourselves are also found sinners. in which you once walked according to the course of this world.htm (2 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:16 PM . When he saw that Peter was not being "straightforward about the truth of the gospel" he spoke to him "before them all" (v.6:14). "For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?" (2 Cor. eyeball to eyeball with Peter and let him have it! Last week we saw the wrong that Peter did. who were dead in trespasses and sins. Paul writes. according to the prince of the power of the air. There are two basic facts that we need to understand. We are all Sinners.15.17 he says.2:1-3 describes the natural state of everyone. In v. A. the spirit who now file:///C|/cbc/G6. they needed something other than simple faith in Jesus.15-16). "We who are Jews by nature" are not "sinners" like the Gentiles. While Peter believed the gospel in principle. Keeping those laws did not make them right with God. Our Greatest NEED is to be Right with God (vv. In Eph. He meant they knew and kept the ceremonial laws of the OT and the Gentiles didn’t. just because the Jews kept the dietary laws and ate only kosher foods did not mean that they were not sinners. "And you [you Gentiles] He made alive.14). This week we will learn why Peter was so wrong. The second is we are not. He stood toe to toe. The first is God is righteous or holy. he had violated it in practice." Why was Paul so ticked off? Because Peter’s hypocrisy caused the Gentile Christians to think that in order to be right with God. He didn’t mean that Jews don’t sin. Paul didn’t confront Peter privately. not by keeping the law. If God is righteous and we are not then we are not right with God. Paul told Peter and later wrote to the Galatians that we are JUSTIFIED by faith in Jesus.The Gist of Justification be blamed. I. "How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman?" Paul says to Peter in v.

16. Glance down at v. girls. it is one of the most important words we could ever know and thus it is a word we need to understand. Presbyterians. women. Rom.3:10 says. and were by nature children of wrath. etc… ALL. Billy Graham says it so simply. everyone who lives or has ever lived is a sinner and is not right with God. Moslems. Hindus." "All" means all! Jews. no. not one. "Justified" is a legal term that is borrowed from the court of law. However. Buddhists. if you think that file:///C|/cbc/G6. but accepted us as righteous just like He is righteous.The Gist of Justification works in the sons of disobedience…" Now note v. The Bible uses this word to describe what God has done to make things right between him and us.16 that both he and Peter know or are "knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law. "To be justified means to be just as if I had never sinned. "…among whom also we [we Jews] all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh. To be "justified" is to be declared not guilty. theological. "For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." To be condemned is to be declared guilty." Rom. Baptist." I know it sounds like a technical. It is true about you and me! B. just as the others [just like you Gentiles]. In fact. We all need to be Justified." Whether you are a law-keeping. Paul says in v. Catholics. churchy word and it is. boys. "There is none righteous. To be "justified" before God means God has not only pardoned or acquitted us. Gentiles.3:23 says." In others words. men. This was true when Paul wrote this letter almost 2000 years ago and it is equally true today.htm (3 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:16 PM . not one of us is right with God. kosher Jew or a pagan barhopping Gentile. We cannot be Justified by the Law. fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.3." C. It is the opposite of "condemned. Do you see that there is one word that is repeated three times in this one verse? What is it? The word is "justified." He adds at the end of the verse that "by the works of the law no flesh [nobody] shall be justified.

few people try to live by the OT anymore. It is the religion of the man-in-the-street today. not a part of organized religion. It is the biggest lie of the biggest liar the world has ever known. If we try to come to God in our own goodness we are CONDEMNED not "justified. I haven't done anything wrong. otherwise it's not nice.htm (4 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:16 PM . how many commandments did God give Moses?" The little boy quickly replied. "but I pray. he will succeed in winning his own salvation." Just this week I read a quote from the famous actress Sophia Loren. It is popular because it is flattering. it is the fundamental principle of every religious and moral system in the world except New Testament Christianity. We are not justified by keeping the law file:///C|/cbc/G6. whom Jesus called ‘the father of lies. "I'm not a practicant. many people think that God accepts them because they are "good people. My soul is as white as those orchids over there. you’re wrong. like everyone else. It's the most beautiful book ever written. She says she has read the Bible but she hasn’t read Galatians 2 if she believes she has done nothing wrong. Indeed. But it is a fearful delusion. My conscience is very clean. I should go to heaven. "Too many!" He was right. The 10 great commandments are too many and too hard for any of us to keep. for the simple reason that nobody has ever perfectly kept the law.The Gist of Justification God will accept you because you’ve read the OT and try to keep all those laws. she thinks God will accept her because she is basically a good person." she says. However. and I should go straight. He asked. the devil. I read the Bible. is a sinner and that she cannot be good enough or clean enough to please God."2 I like the story of a dad who was reading a Bible story to his 5year-old son about Moses and the Ten Commandments. Granted."1 In other words. "It has been the religion of the ordinary man both before and since. It tells a man that if he will only pull his socks up a bit higher and try a bit harder.’ Nobody has ever been justified by the works of the law." John Stott writing of man trying to justify himself states. straight to heaven. She is either ignorant of or consciously ignoring the fact that God says over and over in the Bible that she. "Now son.

Michael visited the hospital room of the 16-year-old driver. Peter. not religion to make them right with God." We can’t live perfectly before God but Jesus could." then we must come to God in faith. Physically. D. We can only be Justified by Faith. Look again at the first word in v. This is something we need to know.5:8. and she had backed into a light pole. A 12-year-old friend in the car had been severely injured. Paul and Peter and the other Jews had "believed" on Jesus. The pole had broken off and then falling forward. all our faults." This is something Paul and Peter knew. They put their trust in Him. What was true of Paul. "knowing. The following morning.The Gist of Justification because we can’t keep it. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us. all our guilt and all our sin upon Himself on the cross. if we are to be declared not guilty or "justified. Kevin Miller tells the story of a 16-year-old girl from the Chicago suburbs who had been driving at night with friends. We need to know that "a man [any man] is not justified by the works of the law [or being a good person] but BY FAITH in Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect life and then He died a sacrificial death.16. If we are to be right with God. Christ died for us. she was brain dead when she arrived at the hospital. He kept the law that we could not keep. she was recovering well. The Bible says in Rom. the Jews and the Gentiles of that time is true of you and me today. He was perfect.htm (5 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:16 PM ." This was not something for other people or just for Gentiles. A young pastor named Michael walked with the 12-year-old's family as they went through the wrenching process of realizing the truth and allowing the life support to be removed. she was distraught knowing that her actions had killed her friend." Paul says of himself and Peter. in fact. crashing down onto the car. "I'm file:///C|/cbc/G6. "even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified by faith in Christ. He took all our failures. He was not only good. in that while we were still sinners. He was God’s virgin-born Son. but emotionally.

You say "But what about…" Paul is anticipating the argument of the Jews concerning the law. She could never do enough to make up for her actions. This is a difficult verse so allow me to paraphrase it. What the Jews had done was dismantle God’s train tracks (the law). I'll go over there every week and mow their lawn. The engine is God’s grace by His Spirit. Paul says in v. "If God justifies bad people." He does not cause us to sin but forgives our sin. I'll wash dishes for them every night. The parents who lost their daughter. did forgive this girl. asking forgiveness for our sins and trusting in the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross can we ever be right with God. you but in. Only when we come to God in faith." Michael gradually helped her realize the truth that no matter what she did. II. When you argue with someone." Think of the law as being a set of train tracks that led God’s people where they were supposed to go.17. what is the point of being good? Can’t we just do as we like and live as we please?" Said a different way. Note the word "But" at the beginning of v. amazingly.17.The Gist of Justification going to be like a daughter to her parents. I can only blame myself. absolutely not! Jesus is not "a minister of sin. If I trust in Jesus but go back to my old life and commit all the old sins I used to commit it is not His fault but mine. All she could do was ask for forgiveness and hope that the parents would find it in their hearts to forgive her. spikes and cross-ties and used them to try to build a ladder that reached to heaven.htm (6 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:16 PM . we can never make up for our sin. "I make myself a transgressor. If we don’t have to do good works to please God then Jesus Himself is encouraging our sin. It didn’t work." she told Michael. file:///C|/cbc/G6. She was set free from trying to pay back a debt she could never repay no matter what she did. "If we are justified or made right with God apart from keeping the law or being good people then we can just sin all we want to. Our Constant BARRIER is the Law (vv. We owe a debt we cannot pay.17-18). No matter how many good things we do. she could never replace their daughter. "I'm going to go over to their house every day and baby-sit for them. The couplings are faith." Paul says emphatically "Certainly not!" or "God forbid" (KJV). They took the rails.

Upon reentering the darkness. We must Die to Ourselves. all his good deeds file:///C|/cbc/G6. "Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. "Well I haven’t actually died to sin but I did feel kind of faint once. Paul makes a strange statement in v. his ministerial awards." When the apostles says that he "through the law died to the law. "For the good that I will to do. It cannot cleanse us or make us whole.19-21). One pastor tells about traveling in his car with his family on a warm summer night. and insects on their windshield. The brightness of the traffic light revealed all of the dirt. He could keep some of the law but never all the law. I do not do. "For I through the law died to the law…" A cartoon shows two couples sitting in a living room engaged in Bible study. how dirty!" The pastor didn’t think much of his comment until a moment later when we drove on—away from the light and back into the darkness. A. his theological degrees. dead bugs. He says. he just couldn’t do it. We’ll cover this in detail in a few weeks but notice 3:24. its light shined on the windshield of our hearts and revealed the filth of sin we'd collected on our journey. But when God gave the law. "Now the glass is clean!" Before the law came.The Gist of Justification The law was never meant to save anyone. the dirt within us hid under the darkness. For everything he did right he did three things wrong. After many miles of driving in the darkness. The law.19. then. Try as he might. is a light that shows us how sinful we really are.htm (7 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:16 PM . One of the women says. that I practice." he means that in trying to keep the law he realized that the law was hopeless." In other words when you try to keep the Ten Commandments and realize you can’t keep them you turn to Jesus in faith. His 3-year-old son. The little boy said. III. He wrote of his own struggle in Rom 7:19." Sound familiar? He gathered up all his religious accomplishments. But it does starkly highlight the true situation of our souls and thus can lead us to Christ. "Look. he could no longer see the mess on our windshield and his son quickly piped up and said. sat in his car seat in the back. but the evil I will not to do. they came to a stoplight in a remote area. Our Only HOPE is in the Cross (vv.

doing good." The great reformer. when I died to myself that I really began to live to God.htm (8 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:16 PM ." Woah! Say what? Paul was not physically "crucified. Martin Luther had the same experience. eat. It as if he is saying. he died to his old life. All of us fall short of that mark." Paul had "died" to his old life and now file:///C|/cbc/G6. B. He once wrote. Let me explain. It is the crown jewel of the book. V. He "died" to them. For if it had gone on much longer. we can GIVE UP. keeping the law or being religious. Finally. It was only at that moment. What he means is by faith he accepted Jesus’ death on the cross for his sins. Down deep I knew I was a sinner. drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. "I have been crucified with Christ.20. Many people do that. Option number two is that we can HOPE IN CHRIST. all my brothers will testify to that. many people live this way. "It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. We must Die with Jesus." Thankfully he discovered that his hope was in Jesus. He says in v. I held on to my accomplishments and tried to impress God by what I had achieved and how good I was. First. Notice the second statement in v. It states succinctly what it means to have hope in Jesus Christ. I would simply have martyred myself to death with vigils. When he stopped trusting in himself and started trusting in Jesus.3:8). That leaves us with two options. We’ve already learned that we cannot impress God by being good. "If ever a monk got to heaven by monkery. I took off the mask and was honest with myself and God. Sadly. I would have got there too." Jesus’ crucifixion had taken place long before Paul became a Christian. "For a long time I wore a mask. Paul "died to the law" but he also died with Jesus. what’s the point? If we can’t please God no matter what we do then why try? We might as well do whatever we want." He had not physically "died.The Gist of Justification and considered them a pile of manure (Phil. prayers. They figure if God’s standards are so high.20 is perhaps the best known verse in Galatians.20. reading and other work.

His priorities. I didn’t just turn over a new leaf or exercise the will power to change. When I am confused. Everything is different now. for heaven. He assures me." Do you get it? We are saved by faith not works. The old me died and Jesus took over! C. "the life which I now live in the flesh [this life I am living right now] I live by FATIH. but Christ who lives in us. We live by faith. But we do not want to. he is a new creation. being in constant communication. When I sin. everything changes. we live this new life through faith in Christ. living in us.The Gist of Justification was living a new life. mysterious statement! I am no longer who I was before I met Jesus." Jesus is alive today seated at the right hand of the Father but He is also alive in me. When I am in need. He gives us new desires for holiness. as Paul says. And. because we ourselves are different. Even now that I am saved. and His love through my life. The old me is D-E-A-D DEAD! The new me is completely different. He is EVERYTHING to me! How? Why is this true? Because. He humbles me."3 Living by faith means trusting Jesus moment by moment. Because "Christ lives in me" I am never alone. He provides for me. When a person comes to Christ in faith. When I am proud. all things have become new. the difference is "Christ lives in me. 2 Cor. Listen to Stott again. He will never leave me nor forsake me. When I am discouraged. He convicts me. old things have passed away. In another sense." If He only loved file:///C|/cbc/G6. "Therefore. When I am in doubt. To be "in Christ" means that Jesus is living out His agenda." What a wonderful.5:17 says. the only way I can please God is by faith. He strengthens me. It is not that we cannot sin again. Through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. We must Live in Faith. we can. "In one sense. Because "Christ lives in me" Paul says. not works. He teaches me. The whole tenor of our life has changed.htm (9 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:16 PM . When I am weak. He is always with me. for God. behold. He comforts me. No. "the Son of God… loved me and gave Himself for me. if anyone is in Christ. it is not we who live it at all.

Soon they were standing in a circle of blackened earth. These things rob them of their joy and bring grief to Jesus. I just need His grace.The Gist of Justification me but couldn’t help me. Paul says to now after trusting in Christ. so fast they couldn't outrun it. "For if righteousness comes through the law then Christ died in vain. Far away on the horizon he noticed a cloud of smoke. Soon he could hear crackling as the wind shifted. I don’t need to impress Him. I was saved in the past by His grace. If He could help me but didn’t love me I’d still be hopeless. if I could please God by being good. waiting for the fire to come. They file:///C|/cbc/G6. He lit a small fire around the two of them. to go back again and try to impress God by our ability to keep the law or be good would be to "set aside [nullify or make void] the grace of God. Nothing I can do will make Him love me more and nothing I can do will make Him love me less.htm (10 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:16 PM . Today many people trust in Christ for salvation." In other words." He says. but delivered Him up for us all. he soon found what he was looking for-a book of matches. then Jesus’ death is pointless. The Jewish Christians had trusted in Christ but now wanted to go back to their legalistic keeping of the law not realizing that Christ had already kept the law for them. Rifling through his pockets. I will never impress Him with good works after I am saved. I can live my life in complete and absolute confidence in Him. A duck hunter was with a friend in the wide-open land of southeastern Georgia. In v. I’d be hopeless. they turn to religion. not the law or our own good works. I stand today in His grace and my hope for the future is in His grace. rituals and regulations. We must go Forward not Backward. He realized the terrible truth: a brushfire was advancing. I love how that truth is expressed in Rom.8:32. how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" D. but rather than enjoy their wonderful relationship with Christ. They try to keep man-made rules. If I couldn’t impress God with my good works before I was saved. "He who did not spare His own Son. But because He both loves me and was willing to give Himself for me.21.

displays or other products offered for sale. The law is powerful. edited. 4 Adapted from Who Will Deliver Us?. by Paul F. Cornerstone Baptist Church. Christ's death is the burned-over place. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. no. Fire would not pass where fire had already passed.M. 1968). Box 7403. file:///C|/cbc/G6. TX 79114-7403. 4. yet powerless: Christ's death has disarmed it. They covered their mouths with handkerchiefs and braced themselves. untouched. But they were completely unhurt. Wylie. broadcasts. without the written permission of the copyright holder. There I huddle. P. 3 Ibid. recordings.htm (11 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:16 PM . pp. revised. Wylie. The law is like a brushfire. Leadership.4 1 2 Sophia Loren. John R. Pastor.W. hardly believing yet relieved.O. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. Amarillo. USA Today (2-4-99). I cannot escape it. 62.65-66. WI: Intervarsity Press. Copyright © 1998 . p. Zahl. 4. Stott.The Gist of Justification didn't have to wait long. The fire came near and swept over them. not a hair of my head will be singed. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications. (Madison. performances. The Message of Galatians.2003 Coy M. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. But if I stand in the burned over place. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). Vol.

He falls asleep during his own sermon. We need rules. He has beat one drum.htm (1 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:06 PM . in that while we were still sinners. "Why can't they just leave me alone?" 3. listen up you heathens. unconditional love for them. His undeserved. We even need rules in the church or else we would be like Israel where "everyone did what was right in his own eyes. We are justified. file:///C|/cbc/G7.. His unmerited favor. When Paul established the churches of Galatia.Legalism & Spiritual Growth October 15." 6. he shouts. 2000 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie Legalism & Spiritual Growth Galatians 3:1-5 David Letterman has his Top Ten List every night. Legalism is not keeping rules. Paul has consistently rung one bell.5:8). However later some Jewish false teachers called Judaizers came into the churches and taught these baby Christians that they needed to add circumcision and the OT law to their faith in Jesus. God’s revealed Word. society would be chaotic. He shows up for Sunday service wearing Bermuda shorts and a tank top. trying to please God by keeping rules and regulations. That teaching is called legalism." AND THE NUMBER ONE SIGN YOUR PASTOR NEEDS A VACATION: For the past six weeks he has preached the same sermon every Sunday! I have no doubt I could use a vacation. 4. 2. made right with God by believing not achieving. His first words to the congregation are "Alright. Christ died for us" (Rom.. 5. Without rules." Our rule in this church is to be obedient as possible to the Bible. but it only seems like I’ve been preaching the same message for the last six weeks! That is because in this section of Galatians. rather legalism is a wrong attitude about keeping rules. He taught them that "God demonstrates His own love toward us. He has one constant theme: We are saved by grace not by works. Don’t misunderstand. Announces baptismal services will be at the Grand Canyon. he taught them of God’s grace. Every time his pager goes off. "Sounds like a personal problem to me. Recently a pastor friend sent me the Top Seven Signs Your Pastor Needs a Vacation: 7. You go to his office for counseling and pour your heart out to him and he says.

Iowa. conforming you to the image of Christ. No one can eat unshelled.Legalism & Spiritual Growth Legalism exalts self. are you now being made perfect by the flesh?" Sanctification is a churchy. Today we’ll begin by determining five reasons why many Christians live in legalism. Let me give you some silly examples of some legalistic laws in our country. I sincerely doubt if any of you believe you can be saved by works or by legalism. roasted peanuts while attending church in Idanha. tickling a woman under her chin with a feather duster while she's in church service carries a penalty of $10. Sanctification-by-legalism won’t keep you out of heaven but it will surely rob you of joy. The Bible clearly states. is allowed to attend church in any red-colored garment. "Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit. theological word with a very simple meaning. Legalism exalts the rules rather than wisdom and discernment. They didn’t buy SALVATION by legalism but they were neck-deep in SANCTIFICATION by legalism."1 Repeatedly the Apostle has taught us that we cannot be right with God by keeping the rules. no not one. then from our text we’ll discover five reasons why we should not live in legalism and finally we’ll learn how to get out of the legalistic trap. I think most of the Galatians knew they had been saved by grace not legalism. they seem to have been buying into the false teaching that said in order to maintain their salvation and reach a new level with God they had to keep all the rules and regulations. "Young girls are never allowed to walk a tightrope in Wheeler. V. I suspect a great many of us are trying to be sanctified or attain spiritual growth by keeping rules. Swinging a yo-yo in church or anywhere in public on the Sabbath is prohibited in Studley. We cannot be saved by being good because none of us are good. peace and the blessing God has in store for you. and that not of yourselves. We cannot be saved by legalism. lest anyone should boast" (Eph. Virginia. In Blackwater. Turtle races are not permitted within 100 yards of a local church at any time in Slaughter. Arkansas. It refers to what God is now doing in your life after salvation. judges others and bases everything on performance. Louisiana. Oregon. However. God has been at work in your life growing you up spiritually. no one is permitted to carry a slingshot to church except a policeman. From the moment you were born again. Sanctification is the process of spiritual maturity.2:8-9). file:///C|/cbc/G7. No citizen in Leecreek.htm (2 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:06 PM . unless it's in a church. Mississippi.3 is the theme of this passage. However. Kentucky.00 and one day in jail. Believers often easily fall prey to the trap of legalism. it is the gift of God. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. not of works. In Honey Creek.

O be careful little ears what you hear. He’s got a rule for every situation. He remembers them no more. "O be careful little eyes what you see. That is legalism.htm (3 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:06 PM . He’s always watching over our shoulders. He doesn’t trust us to make our own decisions or to exercise discernment and wisdom. Christians with this view of God live in fear. He views us as slaves set free. Why Christians Live in Legalism. However. This view of God can easily be seen in lyrics from a children’s song. adoptive children and branches of His vine. One day He will display all our sins and shortcomings on a giant screen for all to see. The God of Scripture is a gracious and loving Father. quick to forgive and abounds in mercy for His children. God always deals with us in grace. we tend to apply them to SALVATION not SANCTIFICATION. He keeps detail records on every mistake. controlling every aspect of our lives. As long as we obey all the rules. O be careful little feet where you go. He removes our sins from us as far as the east is from the west and buries them in the depths of the sea. He is slow to anger. He pays little attention to us. He is always watching us with His holy radar gun. For file:///C|/cbc/G7.Legalism & Spiritual Growth I. Still others see God as the RECORD KEEPER. foul-up and blunder. By grace He robes us in the righteousness of His Son and has dealt with our sin once for all on the Cross of Calvary. He’s taking notes on everything. REASON #1: They have a Distorted View of God. He looks beyond our failures. A. faults and sin and willfully accepts us as His own. try to slip through a yellow light. While most of us would absolutely agree with these statements. Some of us view God like a TRAFFIC COP. go 70 in a 60 miles per hour zone or park in a handicap space and He will nail you every time. We agree that positionally God views us in these ways but practically we must constantly work to please Him. Other believers see God as a DOMINEERING PARENT.

O be careful little…" I doubt many children have learned about the love of God in this little ditty but they have certainly learned that He is a great record keeper. What are you doing for me? You are a disgrace. REASON #3: They Believe God accepts us on the Basis of Performance. B. Have you ever used a pry-bar? Some believers see God’s grace as nothing but a tool God uses us to pry us into obedience. it removes true grace from our lives and reduces us to legalistic rule-keepers. Their self-worth is tied to their performance. They always feel God is displeased with their lack of perfection so they keep trying to do more. I died on a cross for your many sins. "Look at all I’ve done for you. They see grace not as God’s unchanging character but something He uses to manipulate us. They strive to do things well not so much to please God but in fear that if they do not do well God will not accept them.htm (4 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:06 PM . file:///C|/cbc/G7. Now get up and get with it!" Though thinking of God this way may motivate us to do what is right. Many have been raised by parents who even unintentionally programmed their children to believe that acceptance is based on performance. They see God as saying. If we distort the biblical view of God into that of a traffic cop. D. Aren’t you grateful? You should be ashamed of yourself. That’s the heart of legalism. I saved you.Legalism & Spiritual Growth the Father up above is looking down in love. They’ve been conditioned to think that if they have good grades. this is a false view of God. C. REASON #2: They see Grace as a Pry-Bar for Obedience. I forgave you. Yet. even perfection. domineering parent or record keeper it is no wonder we live in legalistic fear that we will violate one of His rules and bring down on ourselves swift and immediate judgment. Unfortunately they see God the same way. REASON #4: They have had Legalism Ground Into Them. a strong batting average or make first chair in band that mom and dad will accept them and love them.

htm (5 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:06 PM . Let’s examine our passage and see why legalism is a pointless. Nothing I do or do not do will change our relationship because it is completely based on His grace not my performance. They don’t smoke. futile struggle. sanctification. Legalism has been so ground into me that I still struggle with striving to please God while intellectually I know He is already pleased with me because I am robed in the righteousness of His Son. I was taught that salvation is by grace. curse and a zillion other don’ts. Legalistic Christians so often seem to have it altogether. drink. Legalism is deceptive because people use it to mask who they really are. Why Christians Should Not Live in Legalism. file:///C|/cbc/G7.Legalism & Spiritual Growth I grew up in a fairly legalistic church. I was an adult before I realized that God accepts me by grace period. I was in full-time ministry before I came to understand that God loves me and accepts me completely. but as soon as a person is saved he must get to work for God. II. glorification… all by grace not of my works. Do you avoid certain behaviors because of what others think or because of your passion for God? Some Christians may not smoke or drink but they are inwardly covetous and greedy? Which sin is worse? The legalist may look like Mr. E. I am certain many of us are still struggling with these issues when we should relax in God’s grace. REASON #5: Legalism can seem so Spiritual. Maybe one or more of these examples fits you. I have to be honest. take their Bibles to work and/or school. He will never love me any more and will never love me any less. Salvation. Maturity on the outside but inwardly he may be far from God. In essence I was taught salvation by grace but sanctification (spiritual maturity) by works. The question is why don’t they do these things? Motivation is the bottom line. They are consistent in church attendance. They are disciplined and uncompromising.

a term used to describe the posting of important public notices on a placard. Phillips picks up on that definition in his translation. you don’t have to vainly try to be good to make up for your sins. We most often use the word "idiot" not to speak of someone with a learning disability but someone who is obviously not an idiot but acts like one anyway. "I told you in vivid detail about how Jesus died an agonizing death on the cross to pay for your sins. Paul is saying." J. past. "O you dear idiots of Galatia… surely you can’t be so idiotic." In other words. "For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. REASON #1: Living in Legalism is Idiotic (v." The Greek word does not speak of someone who was truly halfwitted but someone who ignores truth.htm (6 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:06 PM ." "Portrayed" is from prographo. Why did Paul say they were acting like idiots? Because others had "bewitched" them. REASON #2: Living in Legalism Ignores the Cross (v. Paul begins this section by exclaiming "Oh foolish Galatians. They were familiar with sorcerers who could put an evil eye or a hex on someone. spiritual robots with the Judaizers at the controls." The crucifixion was Paul’s primary message. He said in 1 Cor. Jesus has already paid for them. present and future." "Foolish" comes from a word that means "out of your mind. When a Christian trusts in his own legalistic good works to please God instead of God’s grace he is playing the fool and acting.1b).Legalism & Spiritual Growth A.2:2. to use the Apostle’s words. like an idiot. You must simply file:///C|/cbc/G7. B. Paul says they have "not obeyed the truth" and reminded them that before their very eyes he "Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed… as crucified. Paul tells them they’ve allowed the false teachers to put a spell on them so they now reject what they know to be true about God’s grace. I might as well have put it up on giant billboards all over your cities. B. They had allowed false teachers to "cast a spell" on them. Greek Christians came from a background of spiritual paganism.1a). They were acting like mindless zombies.

" He asks. Rom 8:9 says. His question is did they receive the Spirit through God’s grace or did they earn His presence by their works? Of course the answer is by grace. "Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ. not because of any works of their own. "Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit. then Christ died in vain. It’s grace! Gal. but a declaration of what God has done.3. born again.5 how the Spirit had worked "miracles" among them. "If righteousness comes through the law." Paul knows they have been saved. not an invitation for us to do anything."2 C. He asks." or "I only have one question. he is not His. "If you could not be saved by good works and did not receive the Spirit by good works how can you now believe that you will be made perfect or become mature by relying on your own ability to be good?" We do not attain spiritual maturity by keeping lists of do’s and don’ts. by "the hearing of faith. when He died. and that the benefits of His crucifixion are for ever fresh. but because of the atoning work of Christ. are you now being made perfect by the flesh. but because of what Christ did once.5:16 says." In v. He mentions in v. valid and available." In other words. If you did not "receive the Spirit" then you were not saved. not a demand. "The force of the perfect tense of the participle [grammatical construction of the sentence] is that Christ’s work was completed on the cross.htm (7 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:06 PM . he moves from salvation to sanctification.Legalism & Spiritual Growth believe. The gospel is not good advice to men.2-3). The Apostle says. REASON #3: Living in Legalism Contradicts the Holy Spirit (vv. file:///C|/cbc/G7. they experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. but good news about Christ. Sinners may be justified before God and by God. Remember 2:21. "Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?" When a person is saved. "This only I want to learn from you. We gain spiritual maturity by surrendering to the Spirit of God. not because of anything that they have done or could do." Stott has written. but an offer.

ministers] the Spirit to you. V.htm (8 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:06 PM . However.4). to the day-to-day ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives." E." For example. God is not impressed. However the worst persecution came from the Jews who saw Christianity as a threat to their ancient religion. REASON #4: Living in Legalism makes Persecution Pointless (v. Paul has moved from talking about the once-for-all indwelling of the Spirit. He speaks to our hearts. Paul points out two blessings from the Lord. rituals) then what was the point of standing up to persecution. "Have you suffered so many things in vain – if indeed it was in vain?" These early Christians suffered for their faith. I learn nothing. D." present tense. etc… There are times in our lives where the Spirit moves with unmistakable power. it was "in vain. In v. "Holy Spirit open my eyes to Your truth. when I say. When that’s my attitude. I know I need to read the Scripture everyday. I always find some nugget of truth that I can apply to my life. comforts you. you sense the work subjective work of the Holy Spirit.2 says they "receive[d] the Spirit. If you are a genuine believer.5)." V. teach me. quickly trying to get through so I can go on to something else. Paul is saying that if they try now to live like Jews (circumcision.4.5. He enables us file:///C|/cbc/G7. and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. the law." when I read carefully. Paul says in v. teaches you. God "supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you. REASON #5: Living in Legalism Stifles Spiritual Growth (v. I waste my time. That’s the difference between legalism and walking in the Spirit.Legalism & Spiritual Growth "Walk in the Spirit." Have you ever been persecuted as a Christian? Do people at school or work mock you because of your faith? If you are living in legalism then you are not growing spiritually and what you suffer from them is also "in vain. I am a legalist.5 says God "supplies [empowers. Sometimes I read the Bible hurriedly." past tense. He guides you. They were persecuted on all sides.

God is a gracious God. a sinner becomes a saint. We’ve prayed for them. He absolutely loves us. We don’t have miraculous sign gifts today but I believe it is an affront to God to say He doesn’t work miracles. His wrath is reserved only for those who reject His Son. III. God hates sin in the unbeliever and in the believer. His grace to us is not just at past salvation or future glorification but right now in present sanctification. I am not saying that God tolerates sin. In legalism. Did this happen by grace or because you kept a list of do’s and don’ts? When we "walk in the Spirit" we trust God and give glory to God when He moves mightily in our lives. How Christians Can Overcome Legalism. Some were not healed. You seen God radically change everything. "God. did the Spirit work in your life because you do "the works of the law" or because of the "hearing of faith?" God also "works miracles.htm (9 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:06 PM . asked God to work His will in their lives. Paul wants to know. I don’t buy that. We need a Right Image of God. A. I like the way Elisa Morgan said it. everything depends on me. does not file:///C|/cbc/G7. He will always deal with His children in grace. We’ve asked for miraculous healing. I think of times in our church when people have been desperately ill. who sees us in our worst moments. Some were.Legalism & Spiritual Growth to do something we could have never done on our own. we see God’s blessings as a result of our faithfulness and misfortune as a result of our faithlessness. In walking in the Spirit. He accepts us when we do what is right and when we do what is wrong. Were they healed because of believing or achieving? Some of you have seen God answer prayers in an amazing way." Some say there no miracles today. He doesn’t throw His grace in our faces or try to shame us into obedience. everything depends on God. When we walk in legalism. The greatest miracle that ever takes place is when someone is saved. He loves us.

file:///C|/cbc/G7. But early the next day. founder of MOPS International." I don’t have to sanctify myself. God always catches him in the net of grace. 1 Thess. and the only survivor washed up on a small uninhabited island. coming home from hunting for food. and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am quite certain that there is no more beautiful word in any language than "grace. "We saw your smoke signal.70. The Door. the Lord showed me a beautiful passage that expresses this very truth. 33.5:23-24 says. my faithful Father in Heaven is doing it already! A ship was wrecked. he was stung with grief to see his little hut in flames and a cloud of smoke. He was exhausted. Pelton. No.4 1 2 Robert W. He understands that even when He falls. a ship crew came in and rescued him. He chose us from the foundation of the world. and may your whole spirit. He called us to Himself. The legalist follows his list of do’s and don’t in order to win God’s acceptance and avoid His judgment. 5 Stott. He who calls you is faithful. p. Every day he scanned the horizon. he managed to build a rough hut and put his few articles in that hut. He will glorify us fully one day soon. declared us right. soul. He asked the crew. All that is about grace." God loves us and blesses us even though we don’t deserve His love or blessings. "How did you know I was here?" They replied. who also will do it.13. The worst had happened. Marriage Partnership.Legalism & Spiritual Growth measure us by them. Vol. We didn’t earn any of it. B. He is at work sanctifying us."3 His grace is sufficient for our sin. Finally. One day. He justified us. Vol." Let’s ask God to burn our legalistic huts so we can be rescued by His grace. While He hates the sin in our lives. He loves us. The spiritual believer who understands grace does or does not do because He loves Christ and is concerned for his own testimony. making us holy. no. We need an Accurate Understanding of Grace. He cried out to God to save him. searching for help. Christian Reader.htm (10 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:06 PM . This week.1. 3 Elisa Morgan. "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely.

This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. revised. recordings. performances. "An Attitude of Gratitude. Copyright © 1998 . Cornerstone Baptist Church. TX 79114-7403.Legalism & Spiritual Growth 4 John Yates." Preaching Today. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. Tape No. Wylie.2003 Coy M. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications. file:///C|/cbc/G7.O. Wylie. edited. broadcasts. without the written permission of the copyright holder. 110. P. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). Box 7403. displays or other products offered for sale. Pastor. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. Amarillo.htm (11 of 11)4/30/2005 1:56:06 PM .

htm (1 of 8)4/30/2005 1:56:12 PM . God is still keeping those promises. and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. God "brought him outside" his tent and told him to look up at the star-studded midnight sky. "Now look toward heaven. Abram believed God.15:5). There was one problem. In fact. What’s more. "So shall your descendants be" (Gen. Abram didn’t have any children. I will make you a great nation. From your family and from your father's house. and do not begin to say to yourselves. Immediately he left everything behind. promise-keeping God. He said. I will bless those who bless you. The Bible says "Abraham believed in the Lord and He accounted it to him for righteousness. He said. God spoke to a man named Abram. file:///C|/cbc/G8.12:1-3). And I will curse him who curses you. and count the stars if you are able to number them. 2000 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie Like Father. He said. John rebuked them saying. In fact. we find John the Baptist speaking to the Pharisees.22:17-18). the life he had built for 75 years to follow God. Abram asked God how he could have any descendants when he was an old man without any children. the Lord continued to talk to him about how his descendants would inherit all this land. We don’t know if God spoke to him in a dream by night or a vision by day. He is still building a great nation from Abraham’s lineage and is still raising up sons of Abraham from stony hearts. As Abram traveled across the wilderness following the voice of God.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones." As we fast forward in our Bible to the NT to Luke 3. 'We have Abraham as our father. To a land that I will show you. a mighty nation from the seed of an old man. and you shall be a blessing. Like Son Galatians 3:6-14 Long. They came to John wanting to be baptized. he was 75 years old. God simply spoke.000 years later. Finally. I will bless you and make your name great. he didn’t even know where he was going." God promised. Abram lived in a city called Ur of the Chaldees near modern-day Bagdad. the religious leaders of Israel. Like Son October 21. "Blessing I will bless you. and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore… In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. Later God reaffirmed the promise. He wasn’t a young man. long ago in a far away place. "Get out of your country. some 2. "Bear fruits worthy of repentance.Like Father." Children from stones. our God is a mighty miracle-working.

true Jews by faith. a child of Abraham… not by blood but by faith. Yet it told a great spiritual truth. salvation has always been by grace through faith and never by works. My ancestors were Scottish Presbyterians and English Baptists. Paul seems to be saying.htm (2 of 8)4/30/2005 1:56:12 PM . In our day. I don’t have a trace of Jewish blood. We become the spiritual sons and daughters of Abraham. almost all baby boys are circumcised for health reasons." It said. let’s go all the way back to the first Jew. God commanded Abraham to be circumcised and to circumcise his children. Let’s talk about Abraham. Let’s examine three truths from the passage. I am a Jew. Faith Brings Righteousness (vv. the Apostle Paul continues to teach that salvation is by God’s grace. the father of the Jewish nation was saved by grace through faith. we are the sons of Abraham. Like Son When I went to church camp as a boy. In this passage. God had made with Abraham. between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised. file:///C|/cbc/G8.6). It wasn’t so in biblical times. the covenant. we sang a silly wake-up song called "Father Abraham. After Paul left them. the father of the Jews. Still. He said in Gen. And I am one of them and so are you. In fact.17:10 "This is My covenant which you shall keep. In our text. we are true Jews. "So you want to talk about salvation? You want to talk about the law? Let’s not stop with Moses. Many sons had Father Abraham. they had to keep the law of Moses and be circumcised. Abraham’s Faith was Accounted to Him for Righteousness (v.6-9). so let’s just praise the Lord." The Judaizers knew the promise. A. I. The Galatian churches were made up primarily of Gentiles who had believed on Jesus under Paul’s ministry. they would have to become like Abraham and be circumcised.Like Father. they reasoned that if the Gentile nations were to be blessed in Abraham. They knew that in him "all the families of the earth shall be blessed. To my knowledge. Even Abraham. "Father Abraham had many sons." However." Circumcision. They taught these Gentile Christians that in order to truly be saved." It had all sorts of silly motions that were designed to wake us up and get us ready for the day. by faith in Jesus Christ. some false Jewish teachers known as Judaizers had crept in. not works.

"Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness.15:6. rituals and regulations of Judaism and still have no legitimate claim to Abraham. Why? Because kinship to file:///C|/cbc/G8.7-9). In the same way. Like Son the cutting away of the foreskin was a symbol of the need to cut away sin from the heart. to be right with God and that is faith. not the substance of salvation." God told Abraham to follow Him to believe His unbelievable promise. baptism is a symbol. First. Paul says. Next. He lived hundreds of years before God gave Moses the law. This had important ramifications in Israel as it pertains to immigration laws and who can hold public office.htm (3 of 8)4/30/2005 1:56:12 PM . some who are not born Jews are really Jews? Confused? Hang on! First. be circumcised and keep all the rules." A person can be born Jewish. Paul says "only those who are of faith are the sons of Abraham." A major question among Jewish people today is who is a true Jew? Generally. Circumcision was a mark. Abraham was saved at least 14 years before he was commanded to be circumcised. Quoting Gen.Like Father. not the means of salvation. a Jew is defined as a person who has a Jewish mother. "Therefore know that only those who are of faith are the sons of Abraham. There has always been only one way to be saved. In this verse. Paul is stating two important implications. Paul points out that what these false teachers were omitting is that Abraham had been saved long before God commanded him to be circumcised. Second. some who are born Jews are not really Jews. Abraham was saved simply by believing not achieving. Abraham did and God "accounted" or considered him righteous. Paul reminds them that the Scripture says. B. As part of the reproductive organ it also symbolized that our sin nature is inherited. We become Abraham’s Sons and Daughters by Faith (vv. some who are born Jews are not really Jews. There are people who have Jewish blood but are not part of God’s family.

Abraham knew little of the Lord but when he heard His voice. our faith is "accounted… for righteousness." Long before Jesus was born in Bethlehem." All believers are sons of Abraham by faith not by blood. Jesus Christ.Like Father. The Law Brings a Curse (vv. even old Abraham is through faith! Second. long before He died on a Roman cross and rose from the borrowed tomb. Paul says. God was "preaching the gospel [the good news] to Abraham" that in him "all the families of the earth shall be blessed. We know so much more about the Lord. "So then those who are of faith [whether they are Jew or Gentile.10-12). he obeyed. male or female. Paul infers that some who are not born Jew are really Jews. Like Son Abraham comes through faith. Again in v. We don’t have to become proselytes. Your parents can’t save you. We don’t have to be circumcised. We know the full gospel that Jesus died for our sins. We don’t have to keep the OT laws and rituals. I have known people who believe they are Christians simply because their parents were Christians or because they were raised in church and in a Christian home." We are "blessed" through Abraham.7. In a similar sense. not heredity or the law. we read that it is "those who are of faith" that are the sons of Abraham. black or white] are sons of Abraham. Paul has already pointed out that Abraham was saved by faith long before the law was given. file:///C|/cbc/G8. You don’t have to be born Jewish to be a son of Abraham but you do have to be born again! We don’t have to become Jewish. The only way anyone has ever been saved." II. was buried and rose again. The false teachers were saying that it is not enough for a person to believe in Jesus.htm (4 of 8)4/30/2005 1:56:12 PM . he must also be circumcised. We have to come in "faith. they added that he must also keep the OT laws and traditions. Through Abraham’s family came our Savior. When we exercise faith in that good news. Further. we too are saved. Your church can’t save you. In Abraham we have the example of faith that we might believe in Jesus.

he was not judged by the standards he had set for himself but by the higher law of the state. Everyone who tries to keep the law is "under the curse. Brian Burrell tells of an armed robber named Dennis Lee Curtis who was arrested in 1992 in Rapid City. I will rob only at night. Paul quotes Deut. I will enjoy robbing from the rich to give to the poor. Likewise when we stand before God. When the Rich Young Ruler was asked about keeping the law. If I get chased by cops on foot. Curtis apparently had scruples about his thievery." This was probably a favorite verse of the Judaizers. "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. I will get away." This thief had a sense of morality. the law demands performance. Circle the word "do. 2. I will not kill anyone unless I have to. Like Son Now he shows the futility of trying to keep the law. much less God’s law? Second. 5. you must keep "all things" in the law. he said. we will not be judged by the code of morality we have written for ourselves but by God's perfect law. a person must "do" the law. First. 6. South Dakota. In Words We Live By. I will take cash and food stamps—no checks. 4. You don’t get to pick and choose. I will not put the lives of innocent civilians on the line." You have to do the law. 7. "For whoever shall keep the whole law. Circle the words "all things. 3. 8." It is not enough merely to know the law or agree with the law. Circle the word "continue. he is guilty of all. When he stood before the court. Do you always "do" man’s law." A.Like Father. the law demands complete performance. I will not rob mini-marts or 7Eleven stores. and yet stumble in one point.htm (5 of 8)4/30/2005 1:56:12 PM . If chased by vehicle. I will rob only seven months out of the year. In his wallet the police found a sheet of paper on which was written the following code: "1. but it was flawed. It is either all or nothing.27:26 saying." If you are going to keep the law. "Which ones?" All of them! James 2:10 says." God judges by different standards. the law demands continual complete performance. I will not wear a mask. You have to do all file:///C|/cbc/G8. What the Law Demands.1 Third.

13-14). A little later he said. He said. In this way He "redeemed us from the curse of the law. Paul adds at the end of v. just one little law that would be it. Actor Kevin Bacon recounted when his 6-year-old son saw Footloose for the first time. "That's a guy who dresses in my clothes and does things I can't do." he replied and walked out of the room looking a little confused. "Hey. If you could do all the law and you did it every day of your life until the day you died and you broke one." "Oh.12. how did you do that?" Bacon said." "What's a gymnastics double?" he asked.Like Father. "Hey. it can only bring a curse. "as many as are under the law are under the curse. "for the just shall live by faith. "Dad. Jesus took our sin upon Himself and did what we file:///C|/cbc/G8. The law puts us "under the curse" but Jesus has transferred our curse upon Himself. Dad. You would be forever damned. The law cannot save. B. you know that thing in the movie where you swing from the rafters of that building? That's really cool." There was silence from my son. "that no one is justified [made right with God] in the sight of God is evident. "Yet the law is not of faith. However. the good news is we can be saved by faith. "Well. What the Law Cannot Do." "Redeemed" means Jesus paid the price for our sins. I didn't do that part--it was a stunt man. Dad. It was a gymnastics double. "Well. then he asked in a concerned voice. It doesn’t matter who you are. Jesus Brings Blessings (vv." he sheepishly replied. You have to keep on doing all the law every day of your life. Like Son the law.htm (6 of 8)4/30/2005 1:56:12 PM .11 says. I didn't do that." No one can meet the law's requirements and therefore anyone who tries is cursed. That's the grace of God in our lives. for our failure to keep God’s law. whether you have been in church all your life or today is your first day. It should be obvious that no one can ever keep the law. "That's someone who dresses like me and does things I can't do. you know that thing in the movie where you spin around on that gym bar and land on your feet? How did you do that?" Bacon replied. He did for us what we couldn’t do." He adds in v. You are "cursed"." III." "What's a stunt man?" the boy asked. what did you do?" "I got all the glory. whether you are a Jew or Gentile. In fact." Why are those who try to keep the law "cursed?" Because as v. If you are trying to please God by how good you can be you will never ever measure up.11.

"Stop! He doesn’t have to die! I will take his place." Paul then quotes from Deut. Imagine a condemned murderer on death row. Why? Because Kennedy demonstrated a spiritual unity with the German people who were dedicated to rise above Communism. "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.Like Father." In 1961 after the iron curtain had divided Berlin and Germany between East and West. the only truly righteous man to die such a horrible cursed death on the cross? God is holy. He was Irish through and through. Each person must exercise faith in Jesus just as Abraham believed God. I will take his place. "Ich bin ein Berliner. He took our curse on His body and died on the cross in our place. We stand forgiven and bask sheepishly triumphant in Jesus' glory. Yet when he made that statement the gigantic crowd thundered its approval. Like Son couldn't do. I don’t have one drop of Jewish blood. Just as they are about to strap him to the gurney and inject him with chemicals that will end his life. We are cursed by our inability to keep the law and that curse must be paid in full. It was the worst possible way to die. I do not keep the Jewish laws or customs. His appeals have all been denied." While that could probably never happen in our legal system. Jesus took our place. While Jesus’ death is sufficient to pay for the sin of every man it does not automatically pay for the sin of every man. Inject me with those drugs. Yet I am more Jewish than most who worshiped in the Temples yesterday. His death sentence is to be carried out. Strap me in the gurney. Paul says the result was that "the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus." In Israel only the very worst of criminals were hung or crucified. my God why have you forsaken Me?" The very fact that Jesus died in such a horrible way was an insurmountable obstacle to so many Jews. Kennedy traveled to Berlin and delivered a famous speech to over a million German people. I am a son of Abraham. Kennedy didn’t have one corpuscle of German blood. He cannot simply excuse or forget about our sin. It is no wonder Jesus cried out in the words of Psalm 22. President John F.21:23.htm (7 of 8)4/30/2005 1:56:12 PM ." [I am a Berliner]. He said. Jesus willingly transferred our guilt upon Himself. a man in the observation room cries out. that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. If Jesus truly was the Son of God. This week I was reading in the Scripture when the Holy Spirit illuminated a beautiful passage file:///C|/cbc/G8. why would God allow His one and only Son. it did happen for each of us. His time has come. I am a descendent of Abraham and share in Abraham’s blessing by faith.2 How did Jesus "redeem us from the curse of the law?" He became "a curse for us. "My God.

You simply must accept it. "He has set his foundation on the holy mountain. 'This one was born in Zion. revised. Words We Live By. Choice Contemporary Stories and Illustrations (Baker. 1998).2003 Coy M. They think they must improve on it with some brushstroke of their own. along with Cush -. 1997). (S&S Trade. and the Most High himself will establish her.181. file:///C|/cbc/G8. and Tyre. Pastor. edited. of Zion it will be said. performances. Box 7403. You can’t add to it.’ Indeed. salvation by the cross of Christ.Like Father." Yet that’s what we do when we try to add to God’s masterpiece. Glorious things are said of you. 2 Joel Sarrault in Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Baker).Philistia too.' Indeed.and will say. 1 Craig Brian Larson. "For nearly 500 years the Mona Lisa has been considered one of the greatest artistic works of all time. Wylie. ‘This one and that one were born in her. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. You can’t earn it. O city of God: I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me-. I was truly "born in Zion" I am a part of the eternal people of God. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. displays or other products offered for sale. Amarillo. Let me read it from the NIV.’ The LORD will write in the register of the peoples: ‘This one was born in Zion.htm (8 of 8)4/30/2005 1:56:12 PM . recordings. Copyright © 1998 .O. though I was born in Texas. broadcasts. P. Like Son in Psalm 87:1-6. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications. How absurd to think we could add anything to this masterpiece. the company of the redeemed by faith in Jesus! This week someone sent me a clipping from the Daily Bread devotional guide. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). Cornerstone Baptist Church. TX 79114-7403. the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. "Would you think about taking a palate and brushes and touching up the painting? Maybe put some color in her cheeks? Perhaps change her nose a little?" "That’s ridiculous!" you say. Wylie. It asked the reader to imagine traveling to Paris and standing before Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous painting The Mona Lisa. p. without the written permission of the copyright holder. Brian Burrell.

A few minutes later he might walk back by and chew you out in front of the other employees. many rules for our behavior. His is a strict judge that brings condemnation. You never knew what frame of mind he would be in. that we as His children are the apple of His eye." (Gen. and He accounted it to him for righteousness. On the other hand. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death" (Ex. In today’s study of Galatians we will see The Power of God’s Promise to Abraham and The Purpose of God’s Law through Moses. his moodiness made for a stressful workplace. On one hand they know that He is a loving and gracious God. 12). God gave Israel the law.The Promise and the Law October 29. God is not moody. discipline and chastisement on disobedience. Finally. God’s promise and God’s law go together. Some people view God in the same way I viewed my former boss. Through Moses.15:5-6). We see both aspects of God’s character through two OT personalities. He has many laws. He has not changed His mind." They were told. The God who spoke personally with Abraham is the same God who gave the law by thundering and lightnings on Mt. file:///C|/cbc/G9. Sinai. Abraham and Moses. and a thick cloud on the mountain. we’ll consider some Points to Ponder.19:18. 2000 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie The Promise and the Law Galatians 3:15-22 Have you ever had a moody employer? When I was in school I worked for a gentleman who constantly changed moods. so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. They understand that He is the giver of every good gift and the source of all our blessings. Needless to say. "Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch its base." The next verse reveals "And he believed in the LORD. Abraham received God’s promise of grace. His is gracious and at the same time He is exacting. The Bible gives us both perspectives on the nature of God. they know that God is an exacting god. The God who gave the promise to Abraham is the same God who gave the law to Moses. and count the stars if you are able to number them… So shall your descendants be. God said. To this childless old man. One minute he would walk by and tell you a joke. "Look now toward heaven. He came to Mount Sinai in "thunderings and lightnings. Through Moses. and the sound of the trumpet was very loud.htm (1 of 10)4/30/2005 1:56:14 PM . God gave 600+ laws to His people. slap you on the back and walk off laughing.

later through Moses God gave us a new game plan. a signed." Even though they were listening to false teachers. they are still our brothers and sisters and we are to love them. a common illustration.The Promise and the Law I. In other words. they were still part of the family of God." It comes from a common Greek word that is often translated "will" as in "last will and testament. The Power of God’s Promise to Abraham (vv. He introduces the concept of "a man’s covenant. God’s Promise is Unchangeable (v. Abraham may have been made right with God by faith but when the law came all that changed.12:2-3.htm (2 of 10)4/30/2005 1:56:14 PM . Paul says next "I speak in the manner of men" or in "human terms" (NCV). A. It was a settled issue." Paul is saying. "Paul we understand that Abraham received and believed God’s promise. you can’t change God’s! He is the Great Promise-Keeper!" Let’s note again God’s promise to Abraham from Gen. Yet. "I file:///C|/cbc/G9." Paul is saying "No way! If you can’t change a man’s promise." The word "covenant" means "a promise or binding agreement." The point of Paul’s illustration is simple. "Suppose you draw up a will and confirm it or sign it. then no one can annul it or change it. Though wills are often contested today. The principle for us is even when we disagree with other Christians.15-18). First of all. Now we are right with God by keeping His laws and being good people. Howard Marshall II is contesting his will in which he cut out his children and left his vast estate to his starlet wife Anna Nicole Smith. the law. "No one annuls or adds to it. If something as simple as a man’s will cannot be altered how much more is God’s promise secure? The false teachers in Galatia. he begins this section with a practical example from everyday life.15)." Today wills are disputed in probate court. Paul calls the Galatians "brethren. ratified or "confirmed" will in the first century was an unchangeable document. This week I read that the family of Houston oil millionaire J. the Judaizers were saying.

The word "Seed" in both Greek and Hebrew can take either a plural or singular form. God said. Paul points out something that Abraham didn’t even understand when he received this promise. "Thou shalt.’ who is Christ. The ultimate fulfillment was not in "seeds" or "many" referring to national Israel. and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.The Promise and the Law will make you a great nation." He said in v." Paul is giving us a Spirit-inspired. God made these promises both to Abraham and those who would come from Abraham. In the promise. We as Gentiles inherit this blessing by faith in Jesus. God’s Promise is Fulfilled in Christ (v. ‘And to your Seed [singular]. Our English word "fish" can mean either one fish or many fish. "Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. ‘And to seeds [plural].9. "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. And I will curse him who curses you. I will bless you And make your name great. "So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham." No one would be automatically exempt from God’s blessings." Compare God’s promise to Abraham with God’s law through Moses. Next Paul says. apostolic exegesis of Gen. The promise is dependent on the unchangeable. Next the Apostle says." God’s ultimate fulfillment of His promise to Abraham was not just to make a great nation in Palestine but to provide a Savior for the world in Christ! file:///C|/cbc/G9. B. Paul said in v. "He does not say.7. I will bless those who bless you.’ as of many. By the inspiring work of the Holy Spirit. but to "Seed" "of one… who is Christ." The law is dependent upon our performance." That promise is ultimately fulfilled in Christ.22:18. but of one." "Seed" comes from sperma referring to offspring. "I will… I will… I will… I will…" Four times! In the law God says. And you shall be a blessing. He is explaining and applying the OT text. inalterable. Through Jesus God would cause "all the families of the earth" to be "blessed. immutable promise of God! God promised it and He will complete it.htm (3 of 10)4/30/2005 1:56:14 PM .16).

and between your seed and her Seed [Jesus]. the original sin in the Garden of Eden. the Messiah. God is unchangeable and His promises are unretractable. what was the point of God’s promise? file:///C|/cbc/G9. God’s Promise Rests on His Character (v. could never "annul the covenant" or promise that God "confirmed… in Christ. C. Ex. Acts 7:6." If keeping the law could save us." Just because centuries later God gave His people His divine law through Moses it certainly could never "make the promise of no effect. ‘crush’] your head And you shall bruise His heel. Many things that were legal a few years back have been restricted today. God is timeless. cf. "And I will put enmity between you and the woman." the Christ.htm (4 of 10)4/30/2005 1:56:14 PM ." Our human laws change with culture and technology. The law came much. Paul next reminds us that "the law" came "four hundred and thirty years later" (actually it was even longer because this refers to the period of Egyptian slavery. which came later. Many things that were illegal a generation ago are legal today. it is no longer of promise.18). Therefore no amount of time could change the promise of God.17). much later than the promise. Satan. In His curse God said to the serpent. "For if the inheritance [our salvation] is of the law." OT saints obeyed God and looked forward in faith to the coming of "the Seed of the woman. It was more like 645 years)." All of God’s promises are fulfilled in Jesus. He shall bruise [lit. He never changes. We as NT saints look backward in faith to the Cross and know Jesus paid for our sins once for all. The law. The Apostle concludes this thought by saying. They looked forward to the Cross.15:13. We create thousands of new laws every year and alter or strike down thousands of old ones.12:40. The only way any of us can inherit God’s promises are if we are "in Christ. However.The Promise and the Law Paul looked even farther back in biblical history to the Fall. D. God’s Promise Predates the Law (v. Gen.

It is our inheritance. It has been lovingly cared for and handed down from your father and his fathers before him. I know so many Christians who are trying to accomplish." We are saved by BELIEVING God’s promise. when they are rebellious and disobedient." Would you say. "No thanks God. Yet. one day all this will be yours" or would you say. If you had to work for your "inheritance" it wouldn’t really be an "inheritance" it would be a wage. they don’t stop being my children." you RECEIVE it. they have more responsibilities." What’s the point? You don’t EARN an "inheritance. I’ll carry my own stuff. a briefcase and a carry-on all bulging at the seams with all this stuff we think is so important. The law depends on man’s performance. My children are mine by blood. the promise depends on God’s faithfulness. Imagine now you have a son. There is no baggage limit you know. They are learning to live with the law. Our relationship is based on blood not obedience. They have more rules to follow more chores to do." We say. Nothing can ever change that relationship. a garment bag. Imagine God has invited us to fly first class on a jet He is piloting for the rest of our lives. but we are being sanctified by file:///C|/cbc/G9. we are not merely saved by grace.The Promise and the Law Imagine you own a large cattle ranch that has been in your family for six generations. You’ve done enough just inviting me on your plane. "Son. Now that they are growing older. Folks. "Because you are the heir. if you work hard and make me proud and don’t screw up. One day you take him aside and say.htm (5 of 10)4/30/2005 1:56:14 PM . "Why don’t you let me check that stuff for you. with the law. "But God gave [strong term – ‘gave graciously’] it to Abraham by promise. Being saved is like accepting a free ticket on this luxurious airliner." We struggle onto the jet trying our best to handle our baggage and be good passengers when God simply wants us to sit back and enjoy the ride. not OBEYING God’s law. one day this will all be yours. Paul says. We show up at the airport with two oversized suitcases. We struggle up to the gate weighed down by all this baggage and God says. "Son you know that this ranch has been handed down across six generations of our family. what God has already accomplished with the promise. I am their father.

"I never once thought of taking any of those oranges before. we just need to get on the plane! II. "This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against… the law.7:7 says. "What purpose then does the law serve?" the Judaizers accused Paul of rejecting the law. A." Growing up in East Texas." Rom.4:15 says. However under no circumstances were people allowed to go into the fields and take the extra oranges." "Transgressions" means "stepping over the boundaries. One day he heard an announcement on the radio." On the contrary. The Purpose of God’s Law through Moses (vv. "I would not have known sin except through the law. You shall not covet. God’s Law Reveals Our Sin (v. Paul asks the first of two questions.The Promise and the Law grace too! We don’t need to carry our own bags. but my awareness of the law gave birth to an irresistible desire to take those oranges!" file:///C|/cbc/G9.19a). "Where there is no law there is no transgression. There was a bumper crop of fruit that year." Rom. During the harvest season there would be huge piles of oranges around the fields.htm (6 of 10)4/30/2005 1:56:14 PM .19.3:20 says. hunting was part of my lifestyle. He said. "It was added because of transgressions. more oranges than the farmers could harvest." Chuck Swindoll used to tell about when he was pastoring in Southern California. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said. Because all the land there is privately owned and much of it posted. "If we are saved by the promise of God. "Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight. He would drive through orange groves on his way to the church. I know what you are thinking. I did my best not to step over the boundaries. for by the law is the knowledge of sin. They were not to trespass. I had to be careful not to trespass or hunt on someone else’s posted property.19-22). They said in Acts 21:28. of tearing those pages out of His Bible. In v. then what is the point of the law? Why did God give the law?" Paul anticipates that question next. Rom. Paul says.

I have a pastor friend who calls me from time to time… well. God’s Law Imprisons Us (vv. and dawned on them from Seir.htm (7 of 10)4/30/2005 1:56:14 PM . and He came with ten thousands of saints. She says. "…the word spoken through angels proved steadfast…" The law came to Israel indirectly. It was never a vehicle for salvation but to create in us an awareness of sin and a longing for the salvation contained in the personal promise of God. It went from the mouth of God "through angels" then to Moses the "mediator" and finally to the people.19b-20). "Will you please hold for…" Every time he does that I ask him if he has forgotten how to dial a phone! The law was indirect. In the second half of v. the apostle explains that the law was "added… till [until] the Seed [Jesus] should come to whom the promise was made. but who is a sinner. much less third hand.The Promise and the Law The law reveals our sinfulness. "who have received the law by the direction of angels…" Heb. but also "through angels. C." I hate to get information second hand." God gave the law to Israel "by the hand of a mediator. he doesn’t call me. When God gave His promise of salvation to Abraham he did it directly.20 says. B. Deut. he has his secretary call me. God’s Law Came Indirectly (vv. The law was never intended to point out who is holy.21-22).2:2 says. but God is one. He shone forth from Mount Paran. "The LORD came from Sinai." Stephen mentioned this in his sermon in Acts 7:53.19. file:///C|/cbc/G9.33:2 says. Sinai with thunderings and lightnings with Him in giving the law were innumerable angelic beings. The law was not given to bestow salvation but to point out our need of it. From His right hand came a fiery law for them. "Now a mediator does not mediate for one only." It seems that when God was on Mt. and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator." Moses. V.

then." I have with me a set of handcuffs. Therefore the law cannot justify us. truly righteousness [salvation] would have been by the law. My friend here can’t get free until he comes to me and asks for the key. the Seed. indeed indispensable. Two Points to Ponder. "For if there had been a law given which could have given life. you can’t break out. "…the fact is nobody has ever kept the law of God. God gave the promise to Abraham and then the law to Moses. But no such law was given. That is the job of "the Scripture." the law… to confine or imprison us. You can’t get free. Stott writes. Instead we sinners break it every day. Jesus. He will be "confined. and that their inability to keep the law makes the promise all the more desirable. The law is like a set of handcuffs. All you can do is ask for help. the Promise sets us free."1 Look closely at v. No matter how hard you try.The Promise and the Law Now Paul asks the second obvious question in v. THE PROMISE OF GOD IS THE KEY!!! The purpose of the law is to confine us and bind us so that we might cry out to God for help! When we cry out to God. "Certainly not!" He then says. John R.htm (8 of 10)4/30/2005 1:56:14 PM .22 and circle the word "confined. a prison cell." The word "confined" means "to lock up securely.W." locked up securely. The purpose of the law was to reveal just how sinful and how helpless we really are so we could long of the promise of God’s grace and forgiveness! III. is it possible to create a harmony between the law and the promise? Only by seeing that men inherit the promise because they cannot keep the law. file:///C|/cbc/G9." If the law could have saved us. we would be saved by the law. to enclose on all sides. Why? God had to make things worse before He could make them better. "Is the law then against [contrary to or in opposition against] the promises of God?" He answers his own question passionately. "But the Scripture has confined us all under sin. I am going to pick the biggest meanest guy in our congregation and lock him up in these cuffs.21." It says. How.

7:6). but of God. Not until the law has arrested and imprisoned us will we pine for Christ to set us free. The law didn’t change that promise. Dietrich Bonhoeffer. to those who believe in His name: who were born. "We must never bypass the law and come straight to the gospel." Stott adds. Culture and society can’t change that promise.htm (9 of 10)4/30/2005 1:56:14 PM . All your faults.W.The Promise and the Law A. Stott adds. "Not until the law has bruised and smitten us will we admit our need of the gospel to bind up our wounds.1:12-13 says. A Sinner must be Repulsed By His Sin before He can be Saved. p. "It is only when one submits to the law that one can speak of grace… I don’t think it is Christian to want to get to the New Testament too soon and too directly. p. the great German pastor who spoke against the Nazi’s in WWII wrote. We often cast our pearl before swine (Mt. Not until the law has driven us to despair of ourselves will we ever believe in Jesus." B. The Message of Galatians. file:///C|/cbc/G9. Not until the law has condemned and killed us will we call upon Christ for justification and life. Time didn’t change that promise. to them He gave the right to become children of God. Stott. not of blood [not because they are Jewish]."3 1 John R. "But as many as received Him. in Jesus everyone in the world could be blessed. To do so is to contradict the plan of God in biblical history.."2 Perhaps people don’t appreciate the gospel because they don’t appreciate the law. nor of the will of man [not because they kept any law or were good people]. God’s Promise has never and will never Change. They can’t see the beauty of the pearl of the gospel because the law of God has not revealed to them the filth of the pigsty.91. nor of the will of the flesh. God promised Abraham that in His Seed. Not until the law has humbled us even to hell will we turn to the gospel to raise us to heaven.93 3 Ibid. You simply must cry out for the key. 2 Ibid. Jn. failure and sinfulness won’t change it.

Wylie. Cornerstone Baptist Church. Box 7403. performances. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications.The Promise and the Law Copyright © 1998 . P.2003 Coy M. Amarillo. recordings. file:///C|/cbc/G9. edited.O. revised. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. without the written permission of the copyright holder. TX 79114-7403.htm (10 of 10)4/30/2005 1:56:14 PM . This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). Pastor. Wylie. displays or other products offered for sale. broadcasts. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice.

I. "we were kept under guard by the law. The road I love most is the last few miles home after a long trip. for it is the road of faith that leads us home to eternity. In this passage of Scripture. the road of parenthood and the road of retirement to name a few. However.23). "the Scripture has CONFINDED us all under sin.htm (1 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:04 PM . Who We Were Then Under the Law (vv. Did you know that the total length of all U. The Bible is littered with roads." The file:///C|/cbc/G10. the most important road that any of us will ever travel is the ROAD OF FAITH. pleasure and the way home. We walk down many roads in our lives as well. There was the road to Jericho down which the disciples walked.The Road to Faith November 5. Of course there was the via dolarosa the "road of sufferings" down which Jesus walked carrying His cross. we see both phases of the Road of Faith. under the law of God. There was the roadway in the wilderness down which God led Israel to the Promised Land. The Romans coined the axiom "All roads lead to Rome. Others try to skip over the OT and come to Christ. We see who we were then under the law and who we are now in Christ. Some still live in the OT. It leads us through the law to the promise of faith. The feel condemned and bound up." "Kept under guard" means "protected by military guards.22.23-24). They provide pathways for business. The Road of Faith begins in the OT and leads us through the NT. the road of career. the road of marriage. A. 2000 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie The Road to Faith Galatians 3:23-29 Roads crisscross the landscape of our lives." This is very similar to what we saw last week in v. There was the road to Damascus where Saul encountered the Lord.S. The Apostle Paul tells us that "before faith came" before we were saved by believing on Jesus. the road of education.328? Compare that to the 49." In their empirical days that was absolutely true.000 miles of roads built by the Roman Empire. Interstate Highways is 44. We were Prisoners (v.

folding my fingers around its wings and body. As I did with the sparrow. I saw a sparrow hop through the open door and peck at the crumbs near my table. but the closer I got the harder it threw itself against the pane. And again. I struggled under God’s law. It weighed almost nothing. I tried to be a good person. he eagerly said. At the door I released it. Brief flight. "Yes!" Imagine literally being "kept under guard" and "confined. encircled on all sides like a fish in a net. I went to church every Sunday. I couldn’t pray or understand the Bible.The Road to Faith second "kept" in this verse means to be confined. I tried to pray and read the Bible. Every night I would dream of what I would do if I was set free. When I asked him if he wanted me to use the key to free him. Imagine living year after year of your life in a small cell under lock and key."1 "Before faith came" before I was saved by grace through faith. God takes us captive only to set us free. Crash. I could never achieve a right relationship with God I had to believe in order to be right with Him. I thought of how powerless and vulnerable the sparrow must have felt. I couldn’t be good. file:///C|/cbc/G10. That sent the sparrow fluttering along the ledge.htm (2 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:04 PM . hammering its beak at the glass. When the crumbs were gone. I finally realized I could never measure up to God’s standards on my own. and the sparrow sailed away. "Eating lunch at a small cafe.22. I locked up one of our young men in a set of handcuffs. spread its wings. The bird quickly recovered and tried again. It crashed against the windowpane and fell to the floor. Last week as we examined the word "confined" in v. I reached out and gently caught the bird. the sparrow hopped to the window ledge. Finally. I got up and attempted to shoo the sparrow out the door. I failed to do the good things I meant to do and always seemed to do the bad things I didn’t mean to do! I longed to be free. If I had to live like that my every waking thought would be the desire to be set free. Crash. Therefore the purpose of God’s OT law was to imprison us. One pastor tells this story. He tried and tried to get free on his own but could not. No matter how hard I tried." Imagine being literally imprisoned. and took flight. I nudged it with my hand.

The Greek word here refers to "a guardian of young boys. This person was usually an educated slave.4:15.21. You don’t like the person you’ve become. "For though you might have ten thousand instructors [tutors] in Christ." Later in v. Paul gives us a second metaphor He says that the law was also our "tutor" or "custodian. "You have plenty of people to discipline you. It was "before faith came" that we were prisoners. file:///C|/cbc/G10. free indeed. you shall be free indeed. His law has made you a prisoner and He has put that longing in your heart to be free.24-25).24. the law is represented in v.The Road to Faith I was a prisoner longing to be free. God understands that." The KJV uses the word "schoolmaster" which is a bit misleading. Maybe you realize that the more you try to please God the more you fail. most young boys were not disciplined by their fathers but by tutors or guardians." In the Greek culture of the Galatians. "Therefore if the Son makes you free. he asks. You don’t like the way you live. Paul uses this analogy with the immature Corinthians in 1 Cor. He was the disciplinarian. There is good news. "What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod." If you have been saved.8:36. In v. But we were "kept for the faith which would AFTERWARD be revealed." Note the timeline here. but I like a father love you. faith has already been revealed in you! B. We were Children (vv." In other words. Jesus said in Jn.22-23.htm (3 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:04 PM . When the boy was disobedient.24 as a whip to beat us when we are disobedient. the "tutor" would beat him. Maybe you feel like a prisoner today. He was an overseer who went to school with the boy and watched over his conduct. the law is represented by a set of handcuffs that confine us. often severely. yet you do not have many fathers. Boys often despised their tutors but some came to love them. or in love and a spirit of gentleness?" If in vv.

" "After faith has come…" Paul says. We couldn’t get away from it. a faker. It confined us and beat us.22).24 says the answer is "to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith." I have seen so many people struggle with God.25. that they don’t have to do anything but believe. circle the word "after. They try to be good. It points out clearly that we have all disobeyed. the "good news" seems almost too good to be true! Maybe that’s you.10) because we could never keep the law. The law has made us all "under sin" (v. Finally when they understand the fact that Jesus died for all their sins. Now all that has changed." file:///C|/cbc/G10. We were prisoners in the shackles of the law. Who we were then is much different from who we are now. They realize they can never live up to God’s standard. that God wants to forgive them and cleanse them.25-29). We were children under the stern discipline of the "tutor" of the law." Some versions say "But now. Yet they always fail.htm (4 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:04 PM .The Road to Faith In what way is the law like a jailer or a child’s disciplinary tutor? The law expresses God’s will. the gospel does by an inspiring power from within. You’ve tried to please God but you always fail. after we’ve been born again." 2 II. "…we are no longer under a tutor." We are no longer "under the law" but we are "in Christ Jesus. 2:16 says that we know that "a man is not justified [made right with God] by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ.23). They try to please Him. We are all "under guard by the law" (v. it is impossible so they just stop trying. "What the law tried to do by a restraining power from without." I like the way Catherine Booth explained it. Who We Are Now in Christ (vv. After a while some give up and do whatever they want. It tells us what to do and what not to do. Now that we’ve been saved by faith. You’ve tried to be religious but in your heart you knew you were a hypocrite. God’s word for you today is to stop trying and start trusting. It warns us of the penalties of disobedience. By our very nature and our practice we were all "under the curse" (v. Why? V. Circle an important word at the beginning of v.

We are no longer prisoners waiting the final execution of our sentence nor children under the harsh punishment of a guardian. sex.26-27). not through our achievements. I put some coffee and water in the coffee maker and turned it on. the truth." Jesus Himself said in Jn." Paul says in v.27. adopted into God’s family only "through faith in Christ Jesus. "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on [clothes yourselves with] Christ. Because I didn’t want to be shocked. and the life. the electrician didn’t take the time to label the circuits. heirs of His grace with all the privileges of royalty. file:///C|/cbc/G10. In Christ we are Sons of God (vv. In the same way. No one comes to the Father except through Me. There is no spiritual power in his life. every clock and appliance in the house was shut down. We are the grown-up sons and daughters of God. We are born into. 15 minutes later there was no coffee. but in spite of them. I went to the appliance store and purchased a new element. I went to the circuit panel and turned off the power. We become God’s sons and daughters. Let’s note three truths about all believers in these verses. A. He is our father.14:6." Let’s first learn what this does not mean. "All" refers to every believer regardless of race. I realized that I had failed to turn one of the breakers back on.The Road to Faith These last four verses of chapter three are so rich! They are filled with Jesus Christ and His love for us.htm (5 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:04 PM ." God is no longer our judge. You know what happened. God has no sons or daughters who are not identified "through faith" in His Son "Christ Jesus. the person who is not connected to God’s Son is not connected to the Father. Later. "I am the way." Last week one of the elements in our oven went out. When our house was built. age or class. Paul says to the Galatians and to us. The only way I could be sure the power was off to our electric oven was to turn all the breakers off. "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. It was only when there was power to the coffee maker did it work. It was useless without electricity. It does not mean that a person has to be baptized in water in order to be saved.

But in some spiritually supernatural way that transcends time and space. He was given a new tunic or toga that symbolized his manhood. The Bible nowhere teaches salvation by physical baptism. It is an outward picture of what has taken place on the inside. 1 Cor.htm (6 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:04 PM .The Road to Faith John MacArthur writes." We are file:///C|/cbc/G10. baptism in water is merely the symbol of the substance of true spiritual baptism."4 Water baptism is the first step in the life of a new believer. "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks. 1 Cor. we went through a "spiritual toga virilis. especially not in Galatians."3 The word "baptism" means "to dip or immerse. All believers should be obedient to the Lord in publicly professing their faith in Christ by believer’s baptism. our shackles of sin and our harsh guardian. buried and resurrected with his Savior. plus absolutely nothing else. "But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him." he went through a ceremony called toga virilis.6:3-5). Rom." We left behind the OT law. We became heavenly citizens and put on the new robe of Christ’s righteousness. the person who places his trust in Jesus Christ is crucified. We are placed "in Christ. whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit" (cf. "Though water baptism is the outward act of public confession of one's faith in Jesus Christ. baptized into Christ." When a Roman boy was 14-17 years old.6:17 carries the same thought. "That is a great mystery that the human mind cannot fathom." Literally this reads." We are forever linked to Him. We have "put on Christ. He became a full Roman citizen with all its rights and privileges. we are spiritually immersed into Jesus." When we are saved. When we were saved. where the central message is salvation by faith alone." MacArthur adds. "clothed with Christ. Not only have we been "baptized into Christ" but also we have "put on Christ. Paul is not here speaking of that baptism." When he was old enough to leave the discipline of his "tutor.12:13 says. However. he "came of age.

" people of every race. one God and Father of all. At the end of verse 28. one baptism. Paul tells us there are NO RACIAL DISTINCTIONS. of all nations. "There is one body and one Spirit. one faith. "For You were slain. and in you all. We are all one in Christ. "For you are all one in Christ Jesus." Literally it reads "You are all one person in Christ Jesus" (NEB). are one body. We belong not only to God as sons and daughters but also to each other as brothers and sisters. God has sons and daughter by faith in Christ in every people group in the world." 1 Cor. However. tribes. In Christ we are All One (v. This is the second truth about all believers.7:9-10). "…you have put off the old man with his deeds. and crying out with a loud voice. a great multitude which no one could number.3:9-10 says.4:46 says.8). clothed with white robes. Paul says. and to the Lamb!’" (Rev. This includes "all nations. and tongues. and behold. And have made us kings and file:///C|/cbc/G10.The Road to Faith clothed with Him. "After these things I looked. He says. and through all. standing before the throne and before the Lamb. so also is Christ. one Lord.12:12 says." B. Eph. color and language. with palm branches in their hands. "For as the body is one and has many members. and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation." First. Col.htm (7 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:04 PM .28). That is a constant theme throughout the NT. One of the most moving scenes to me in all of the Bible is the picture of worship around God’s throne in the book of Revelation. just as you were called in one hope of your calling. It is the central teaching of the book of Ephesians. peoples. ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne. "There is neither Jew nor Greek…" God chose Abraham and his descendants the Jews to be His chosen people. saying. in Christ God fulfilled His promise to Abraham that "in you all the nations shall be blessed" (v. who is above all. but all the members of that one body. being many. and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.

3:7).5:910). "There is neither male nor female.htm (8 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:04 PM . He says." Third.The Road to Faith priests to our God. Someone has well said. "There is neither slave nor free. He asks in v." They are aware of a person’s cultural and file:///C|/cbc/G10. There are enough churches that cater only to the wealthy or elite. wealth. Peter reminds us men. the same access and the same fellowship among the people of God. We need a word of caution here. Christians are not "color blind. Second. "Husbands. giving honor to the wife. Some of the masters and some of the slaves were both Christians and both in the same congregation. In biblical times. Christianity elevated women not only to a new level of respect but to the place of equality with men in the body of Christ. dwell with them with understanding. "If you show partiality you commit sin. likewise. women were often seen as little more than possessions. James 2:1-9 speaks of bringing dishonor on a poor brother. This does not mean racial. They were often exploited and abused by their husbands. "The ground is level at the foot of the cross. Women’s rights were not first championed by liberals but by God. In every human society circumstances of birth. and as BEING HEIRS TOGETHER OF THE GRACE OF LIFE…" (1 Pet." Imagine living in a culture of slavery.5. White supremacists and others who believe that God loves or will save only certain races of people have never seriously studied the Scripture. all people are welcome here. social and sexual distinctions have been obliterated. Paul tells us there are NO CLASS DISTINCTIONS. It is not so in Christ. Women and men share the same rights. "Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?" He adds in v. Paul tells us there are NO SEXUAL DISTINCTIONS. as to the weaker vessel. When it came to Christ. they were equals.9. And we shall reign on the earth" (Rev." Church. privilege and education have divided men." The concept of the equality of the sexes did not begin in the 20th Century.

but that they do not matter. David. that we are a random mass of cells and tissue. We find our place in ETERNITY as the sons and daughters of God. because the only value in any of them is that they bear the image of the king. Jephthah. Samuel and all the prophets we stand apart from the world as people who by faith are God’s "heirs. We have a three-dimensional attachment in Christ .K. John Stott says. so many today feel they do not belong anywhere. we mean not that they do not exist. Samson. They are unattached. They are still there. Like Abel. God has set men and women in very distinct roles in both the home and the church. We find our place in HISTORY as part of the succession of God’s people down through the ages. Jacob. The unattached become attached."6 We are truly "all one in Christ Jesus. We take our place in the long line of men and women of faith. We find our place in SOCIETY as brothers and sisters in the family of God. We stand in line alongside the heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11." By faith in Christ we belong to God. With that philosophy.height. but they no longer create any barriers to fellowship. "In Christianity all are equal. Isaac. In fact. Sarah. Barak. Chesterson said. They do not treat men as women and women as men. Moses. as all pennies are equal. Abraham. Many today believe life has no meaning. By faith in Christ we also inherit the promise to Abraham. Enoch. Rahab.htm (9 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:04 PM . Joseph." C. "you are Abraham’s seed. and heirs according to the promise.The Road to Faith educational background."5 G. They are lost The good news of the gospel is that in Christ we find ourselves.29)." There is a great sense of meaninglessness in today’s generation. Noah. In Christ we are Abraham’s Seed (v. Gideon. Last Paul says. "And if you are Christ’s…" if you have been born again by faith in Jesus. "When we say that Christ has abolished these distinctions. file:///C|/cbc/G10.

Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. 5 John Stott. Camarillo. Copyright © 1998 . Pastor. broadcasts. revised. When someone asks. present and future. displays or other products offered for sale.98-99. Chesterton in Charles Dickens. I am united with the redeemed people of God of all the ages. We are attached in HEIGHT through Christ by entering into an eternal bond with God Almighty. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source).O.K. The most important road anyone can take is the road of faith. TX 79114-7403. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. 3 John MacArthur.2003 Coy M. p. "If you are uncertain of which of the two paths to take. an heir of all His promises. 6 G. performances." Christian History..100. file:///C|/cbc/G10. Wylie.98. edited. 15. past." In Christ we find ourselves. Catherine Booth. choose the one on which the shadow of the cross falls. Amarillo. "Who are you?" You could accurately answer. Cornerstone Baptist Church. without the written permission of the copyright holder.htm (10 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:04 PM . p. Christianity Today. Vol. The Message of Galatians. In Christ we have an eternal identity.The Road to Faith breadth and length. Wylie. pp. Leadership. In Christ we find the road of faith that will ultimately lead us home. 33. The great preacher Charles Spurgeon once said. P. quoted in As I Was Saying. 4 Ibid. I am a child of Almighty God. California. no. recordings. 26." 1Mark 2 Reed. 2. Vol. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications. There are many roadways through life. Box 7403. Galatians. "William and Catherine Booth. We are attached in LENGTH as part of the long line of believers through the course of time. 1. We are attached in BREADTH through Christ by being united to all believers in Christ’s body. no. "I am in Christ. no.

lest I have labored in vain. A full-grown adult who wants to live like a child is a shame to his parents. "We were once children." rather than enjoying their spiritual wealth as God’s "heirs.10). Sadly they exchange the Spirit-filled life for lifeless religion.Living like a Son November 19. I didn’t want anyone to tell me when to go to bed. what to wear and what to do.11. a good job making plenty of money. "What do you think this is. They didn’t just turn me loose but gave me more freedom in small doses. when to get up." He was ashamed of how they were acting. Now that I am an adult with all the freedom and responsibilities of an adult. we might summarize Paul’s teaching in this way. my own house and the freedom to do what I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it. Now we are full-grown sons and heirs of God. how silly it would be for me to go back to living as a child. they are content with religious legalism. When I was an adolescent. asking their permission for everything. I wanted my own car. our relationship changed. they asked me what time I planned to come home. There is a series of commercials on TV for Holiday Inn in which an immature young man who still lives with his parents keeps asking them for luxuries. Instead of telling me what to do. I could barely wait to be grown up. Paul says in v. Spiritually speaking.htm (1 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:10 PM . what to eat. "days and months and seasons and years" (v. I longed for freedom. How then can we file:///C|/cbc/G11. Instead of telling me what time to be home." rather than pursuing the intimacy with God that is available because of the gift of "the Spirit" in their hearts. Holiday Inn?" Imagine moving back to my parents’ house. that’s exactly what the Galatian believers were doing. During my teenage years. my parents stopped treating me like a child. Rather than enjoying their status as God’s full-grown "sons. 2000 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie Living like a Son Galatians 4:1-11 Children yearn for freedom. Spiritually speaking. they told me what would be the wise thing to do. no better than slaves. rituals and regulations. When I grew to adulthood. They always laugh and say. When I turned 18 and graduated from high school. In this passage. and expecting them to provide for me. keeping certain rules. They were full-grown sons and daughters of God but they were living like spiritual children by trying to keep rules and regulations. now that I have my own family. my parents wisely played out my leash slowly. "I am afraid for you. there are many Christians today who want to live like children.

This is the bar mitzvah. Children are in Bondage like Slaves (vv. painting a metaphorical picture the Galatian believers could easily envision. he is still a "child" and is not that different "from a slave. at "the time appointed by the father" the child’s status completely changed." In fact. However. In a very real sense. though he is the master of all. Jewish boys were considered men on the first Sabbath after their twelfth birthday. The child was completely under their authority and could do nothing without their permission and could go no where without their accompaniment. Imagine a young boy who is the heir to a vast estate of enormous wealth. In theory everything that belongs to his father belongs to him.1-3). when to get up. The Romans realized that not all children mature at the same level so the father could set the date of the passage of file:///C|/cbc/G11. does not differ from a slave. Even though "he is master of all" he is still treated like a slave. not an heir defacto.1-2). In practice. A." He is told when to go to bed. Greeks celebrated manhood at age eighteen." As we learned in chapter 3. I." The apostle is giving an illustration. but an heir de facto. Paul begins chapter 4 by saying. what to eat and what to do. He is only an heir de jure. he lived under the authority of a slave. an heir in reality. Paul further states that the heir is "under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.Living like a Son turn back to living like children?" Let’s note two truths about who we were and who we now are in Christ and then consider an apostolic admonition. the "heir as long as he is a child" was not different from a "slave. He is heir by legal right but not an heir in fact. "Now I say that the heir. He was no longer an heir de jure. OUR PAST: We Were Children and Slaves (vv. an heir in theory. wealthy families often entrusted the training and discipline of their children to educated slaves who were known as "guardians and stewards.htm (2 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:10 PM . as long as he is a child. He graduated from childhood to adulthood.

The Greeks would cut off the long hair grown during childhood. However.13:11. according to the basic principles of the world. we were once His "heirs" even when we were lost children and slaves to sin. The ceremony was called toga virilis. I put away childish things. according to the tradition of men. It was used to describe the letters of the alphabet. Therefore as a child." This comes from a Greek term that refers to rows or ranks with the implied meaning of foundational or rudimentary orderliness. We have learned that the law and our desire to be good were like "guardians and stewards. the rudiments of written language." The Romans also gave the young man a new white gown. Paul refers to this in 1 Cor." We were bound by the "elements [elemental things] of the world.3). "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit. J. As Unbelievers We Were in Bondage to the Elements of the World (v. Some Bible teachers say this refers to demon spirits." By God’s foreknowledge. Paul doesn’t tell us exactly what the "elements of the world" are. He says. and not according to Christ" (Col. Phillips translates it as "basic moral principles. though he is master of all. I agree with those who say it refers to the "elements" of human religion. B. "Even so" or in the same way.2:8). "we… were children …in bondage under the elements of the world. Others say it is the pagan system of astrology. "…when I became a man." However.B. I was "in bondage under the elements of file:///C|/cbc/G11. the rudimentary education of God’s people. the ABC’s. at "the time appointed by the father" he took his place as the rightful heir of his father’s fortune and lived the rest of his life in glorious freedom and a grown-up son.Living like a Son manhood between fourteen and seventeen years. Before I was saved. Now the apostle makes the application of his illustration." Paul warned the Colossians believers. the "heir… does not differ at all from a slave. The Romans would burn the toys of childhood.htm (3 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:10 PM .

" I tried to be good. Writing of this early time in his life. I even tried to be religious. God Sent His Son to make us Sons (vv. OUR PRESENT: We Are Sons and Heirs (vv. The story of John Wesley has often been told.4-5).Living like a Son the world. Nothing satisfied him. He helped feed and clothe hungry children. because of Alexander the Great. Second. prayed and fasted and lived an exemplary life. A. God sent forth His Son. The Romans also built an elaborate system of roads that would enable the gospel to be easily spread. "I had even the faith of a servant. He confessed in his journal. He worked with prisoners and the poor. file:///C|/cbc/G11. Jesus Christ." Finally he encountered a group of genuine believers who led him to trust wholly in Jesus alone for salvation. The gospel could be spread and the NT written in primarily one language. "I who went to America to convert others was never myself converted." II. through His Son. I never measured up. Israel had struggled under God’s law. he said. He was a graduate of Oxford and a minister of the Church of England. they never rise to the level of God. "When the fullness of time had come. the Greek culture and language unified the world.htm (4 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:10 PM .300 years. through their Babylonian exile. But no matter how hard I tried. note WHEN God’s sent His Son. Religion." Some 2. He studied the Bible and attended the services of many churches.4-7). and good deeds are elemental in that they are human. Paul says. He became a reformer and one of history’s greatest evangelists. First.000 years had passed since God gave His promise to Abraham. though not that of a son. the Roman peace which provided societal stability. There are several factors that mark the "fullness" of God’s timing of sending Jesus into the world. Finally "the fullness of time" or just the right time came for God to be revealed to the world bodily. Rome had conquered the known inhabited earth and offered it’s pax Romana. Finally he came to America and worked among the Indians who lived then in what is now the state of Georgia. He gave his life to serving God and man. Third. He gave generously. First. For some 1. rituals.

the fully human Son of man." He was born to a Jewish mother under the Jewish law." "Redeem" simply means "to buy out" or "to buy back.Living like a Son the Jews had once and for all forsaken idolatry. The law had prepared many of them for their Messiah. Eternal. and yet the carpenter's despised son." He was God’s Son but also the son of His mother. and yet hanging on a woman's breast. Jesus was "sent forth… born of a woman.8:3-4 says. Almighty. Paul says in v. He said in Mt.htm (5 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:10 PM . Rom. Heir of all things. and the completely righteous keeper of God’s law. Jesus paid the awful price of our sin by His blood sacrifice on the cross. note WHY God sent His Son. on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh. He was the God-Man. King of angels. that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Jesus was not only "born of a woman" but He was "born under the law. God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. They had established a synagogue system that would serve as a foundational model for churches and springboards for evangelism. The great preacher Charles Spurgeon mused on the significance of the incarnation of Jesus: Infinite." Third. note HOW God sent His Son.1 All His life He perfectly kept the Law of Moses. "For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh. and yet born of a woman. and yet needing to be carried in a mother's arms. Not only was file:///C|/cbc/G11. He was human as well as divine.5:17. and yet an infant.5. God’s timing was perfect! Second. that Jesus came "to redeem those who were under the law." It was used of slaves whose freedom had been purchased. "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." Jesus was the fully divine Son of God. Supporting a universe. and yet the reputed son of Joseph.

John Stott writes. Notice the double sending. The one thing you could not give them is a new nature. acceptance. God sent His Son into the world. the humanity of Christ and the righteousness of Christ uniquely qualified Him to be man’s redeemer. You brought those precious little ones into your lives and gave them a love. First. In Paul’s day. The Holy Spirit confirms to us that we are indeed the sons and daughters of God. He cries out "Abba Father!" Rom. Second. often a wealthy man with no natural children would set free a young slave and then adopt him as his son. If He had not been a righteous man."2 B. He could not have redeemed unrighteous men. That’s what God did through Christ. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God. He not only provided for our every need but He gave us a new nature by sending His Spirit to live within us! As the Spirit comes into our lives. He could not have redeemed men for God or made them the sons of God. these are sons of God. Many in our congregation have adoptive children. a family and a future. a home. Paul says it is "because you are sons" that "God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts. God Sent His Spirit because We are Sons (vv. He could not have redeemed men. We were slaves to sin and to the law. He had transformed us from slaves into sons.6-7). For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear. but you file:///C|/cbc/G11. If He had not been man.Living like a Son God’s purpose to "redeem" us but that we might "receive the adoption as sons. He sent "the Spirit of His Son" into our hearts." We have the knowledge of sonship through the Word of God. Jesus has made us the sons and daughter of God. God paid the price for our freedom through Jesus’ shed blood and then adopted us into His family.htm (6 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:10 PM . acceptance of sonship through the Son of God and the confirmation of sonship through the Spirit of God. When God adopted us into His family. "So the divinity of Christ.8:14-16 says almost the same thing. And if He had not been God’s Son. You gave them everything you could." "Adoption" of course means giving sonship to someone who is not one’s natural son.

accepted. In v.7. that we may also be glorified together. "And if children. "through Christ. ‘Abba.7." We are God’s family. "Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.Living like a Son received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out. forgiven children of Almighty God. We don’t receive the Spirit by reciting some formula. fulfilling some extra condition or longing for some extra experience.6 he says.1:3-7.B. Paul further says. His Spirit gives us the experience of sonship. "…and if [you are] a son." In v." "Abba" is an Aramaic diminutive for "Father. redeemed. Father.13-14. "Because you are sons God has sent for the Spirit…" Let me make one truth absolutely clear: WE HAVE THE SPIRIT OF GOD BECAUSE WE ARE THE SONS OF GOD. then [you are] an heir of God through Christ. Drop down to vv. Phillips translates it "Father. That is who we are. God has no children who do not have His Spirit. That’s why God sent the Spirit. By faith we are the sons and daughters of God. underline one key phrase in v. dear Father.htm (7 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:10 PM . The problem is that sometimes we tend to forget who we are.7. It reflects the wording of a small child who snuggles in is father’s lap. His son conveys the status of our sonship." J. if indeed we suffer with Him." It is a term of intimacy. Paul reminds us. chosen. predestined. God secured our sonship by sending His Son. In v. Rom. the blessed." Before we move on. God assures us of our relationship with Him not by some spectacular emotional experience but by the quiet inward witness of the Spirit as we seek His face in prayer and worship." We are adopted sons and daughters of God. then heirs." Because we have been adopted. heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. we are joint file:///C|/cbc/G11. holy. we are joint-heirs or co-heirs with Jesus. Turn a couple of pages to the right to Eph. God assures our sonship by sending His Spirit. It means "papa" or "daddy.8:17 says.

The Jews had worshipped their own traditions. my wife was out-of-town for a couple of days." It is by God’s grace." The NCV says.2:1). We Used to Serve Idols (v. not because of any merit on our part. B. Before we were saved we were "dead in trespasses and sins" and lived only to satisfy ourselves (Eph. You and I worshipped at the altar of self." now that we are no longer slaves but sons "how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements?" Remember "elements" refers to the foundational.10. III. the apostle says. rudimentary ABC’s of religion. OUR PRINCIPLE: Remember Who We Are (vv. you served those which by nature are not gods. I took them to school and picked them up in the afternoon. "You observe days and months and seasons and years. "You were slaves to gods that were not real.htm (8 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:10 PM . Where is the freedom and joy of the intimacy of children with their father? You’ve reduced your relationship with God to keeping a bunch of rules." It as though the apostle is saying. A.Living like a Son heirs of the unlimited wealth of our Father not because we are good. not through any achievement on our part but "through Christ. I decided to set aside some of the normal rules in our household and just have some fun with my girls. The Gentiles had once worshipped images of stone and wood. Paul says in v.8-11). We must never Turn Again to a Life of Slavery (vv.9. "Your faith has degenerated into a dead dry legalism. Next. Paul notes that in v. His unmerited favor that He sent His Son to die for us and His Spirit to live in us. stacked file:///C|/cbc/G11. "But now after you have known God." This week. or rather are known by God." The "gods that were not real" are idols.8). The Galatians had experienced spiritual freedom in Christ but were being influenced by some Jewish teachers that they need to keep the rules. regulations and rituals of Judaism.9-11). We went out to eat. "But then. indeed when you did not know God.

" Many of us have done just that. He had prayed for them. lest I have labored for you in vain. you are letting Christ's light shine in your life before all who know you. God expects us to ENJOY our relationship with Him. we’ve forgotten the joy of the journey with Jesus. it means that when you are good and kind and thoughtful and obedient. In our relationship to Christ. "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and give glory to our Father who is in heaven. what it meant." The very next Sunday in Sunday school. I have blowed myself out. We even got rescued from a dead car battery by a helpful deacon! We had fun. when she repeated the verse. our light has gone out. "I am afraid for you." keeping our tradition and keeping up appearances. I understand Paul’s feelings. "Mom. We enjoyed some special time together. "Sweetie. Paul says to the Galatians. Remember The Prodigal Son in Luke 15? When he came to his senses. Father." We are to pray to Him always. That’s the way God wants us to relate to Him. he returned to his father and said. With the help of the Spirit we are to pray "Abba. the little girl got in a bit of a fracas with another student and created somewhat of an uproar." She asked her mother. knowing He hears us and cares for our every need.htm (9 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:10 PM . We’ve been so busy keeping "days and months and seasons and years. Last. As a pastor. Her mom said. "Well. We had intimacy. preached to them and loved them with his life but he feared they had missed the point entirely. "I am no longer file:///C|/cbc/G11.Living like a Son dishes in the sink and stayed up past our bedtime. The teacher had to go and find her mother. A little girl got home from Sunday school. Her mother was concerned when she got to the classroom and said. where she had been taught the verse. don't you remember about letting your light shine for the Lord before men?" The girl blurted out. not ENDURE it! One reason so many Christians seem so drained and so many churches seem so dead is that we’ve taken the life out of our faith. We were glad when mom came home (and the rules went back in force) but we enjoyed the special daddy/daughter time." What a sad commentary.

but music is not worship. Let me give you three simple keys to keep you from returning to slavery: q q q First. Third. He was truly converted.5:17 says. seek Him in worship.htm (10 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:10 PM . on March 10. How can anyone be so foolish as to say to God. spend time in the Word every day." It is one thing to say you don’t deserve to be God’s son or daughter but quite another to say you do not desire it. Second. pray constantly. John Newton was an only child who lost his mother when he was seven. 1748. 1 Thess. but now I’m found. but now I see. I’d rather live like your slave. The Spirit of God will use the Word of God to confirm to you your place as a Child of God. I once was lost." Perhaps John Newton is best known for these words which have been sung by millions of believers over the last 300 years: Amazing grace how sweet the sound.15:15. and the Lord thy God redeemed thee. That saved a wretch like me. Worship is simply valuing God. "Even though you’ve made me your son. Talk with Him continually about everything in your life. despicable person. It is marveling in the riches of His grace. He had a sign made that stood above the mantle of his home from Deut. I know that sounds simple. file:///C|/cbc/G11." By early manhood he became a vile. "Thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman [a slave] in the land of Egypt. He went home and spent the rest of his life praising God for changing him. Worship is meditating on who God is and what He has done. the ship he was captaining was in danger of foundering in a terrible storm." Take everything to God in prayer. but it is vital. He went to sea at age eleven and soon became involved in "the unspeakable atrocities of the African slave trade. He never forgot what he had been. The word is a compass that will remind you daily who you are in Christ. "Pray without ceasing. Was blind.Living like a Son worthy to be called your son. It is remembering what we used to be and praising God for what He is making of us. Music is a great enhancement to worship. At age twenty-three. He cried out to God for mercy and received it. Make me like one of your hired servants" or slaves.

Spurgeon. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. 4. broadcasts. edited. Cornerstone Baptist Church. 18. Amarillo. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. Christianity Today. Pastor.106. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). displays or other products offered for sale. file:///C|/cbc/G11. (Vol. John R. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications. Vol.O.2003 Coy M.W. Stott. without the written permission of the copyright holder. The Message of Galatians.htm (11 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:10 PM . This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. 2 H. recordings. Wylie. Box 7403. Wylie. 33. Copyright © 1998 . P. p. performances. no.Living like a Son 1C. TX 79114-7403. revised. 1858). The New Park Street Pulpit.

defending the flock from ravenous wolves and the terrible price of unchallenged sin. Paul’s Challenging APPEAL to the People (v.11. the heart of a child. In v." He is pleading with them to turn away from lifeless religious legalism and enjoy the freedom. binding up wounds and offering the comfort of Christ. and the hide of a rhinoceros. Paul balanced those extremes well." "Brethren" denotes Paul’s intimacy but "urge" denotes his intensity. After examining three crucial elements of the text. "Brethren I urge you to become like me." In v.12. for I became like you. we’ve seen the Apostle Paul as the theologian. there is much we can learn about the relationship between any pastor and the people God has given him to shepherd. he calls them "brethren. After Paul finished speaking. Agrippa file:///C|/cbc/G12." Because of the intimate personal nature of this passage. plead or beseech." Someone once said a pastor must have "the mind of a scholar. "Urge" means to "beg. Yet at the same time he must be tender and gentle." In v. we see him not as a preacher proclaiming eternal truths." He struggles for them like a mother in "labor. I. I once read where someone described him as having "a hand of steel in a glove of velvet.htm (1 of 11)4/30/2005 1:54:58 PM . 2000 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie Of Pastor and People Galatians 4:12-20 Up until this point in the letter of Galatians. the defender of the faith. we will make two very practical applications to the relationship between pastor and people.19. the debater and the apologist. the apostle says. In today’s passage. but a pastor tenderly caring for his people. Paul gave a brilliant defense of Christianity before Rome’s King Agrippa." The role of a pastor is unique. A. power and joy he has found in Christ.Of Pastor and People November 26. he calls them "my little children. First. He must be strong and courageous.12a). Be Like ME. he has worried and fretted over the Galatians believers "lest I have labored for you in vain. In Acts 26.

"I urge you to become a Christian like me?" Can we say. to the weak I became as weak. to those who are without law. that I might win the weak." When he came to Christ he threw off every shred of legalism. "I have learned in whatever state I am. He wrote in 1 Cor. In other words." Can we say to other people. I want. to those who are under the law. Paul responded. If the desired end file:///C|/cbc/G12. be like me! B. I Became Like YOU. but also all who hear me today. "I became like you. I shall not want" (Ps. such satisfaction in Christ that I want you to be just like me?" Or do we whine and complain about what we don’t have? Do we say with King David. such joy. "You almost persuade me to become a Christian" (v. he could easily adapt himself to whatever group he was with.29). as without law… that I might win those who are without law.4:11. that I might by all means save some. to be content.28). If we are absolutely content in Jesus we can say to anyone.23:1) or do we say. I have become all things to all men." He found ultimate satisfaction in Jesus. especially non-believers. except for these chains" (v. "The LORD is my shepherd. although he was a Jew. He stopped trying to please the Jews with rules.htm (2 of 11)4/30/2005 1:54:58 PM .Of Pastor and People said. "I have found such grace. as under the law. This is a great principle for ministry in any context. "To the Jews I became as a Jew." When Paul first came to Galatia. he was saying. In order to make people like us we must become like them. rituals and regulations and lived his life only to know Christ. He set aside his traditions and identified with them. he determined to live like a Gentile. Because he was no longer bound by man-made traditions. such salvation. "I would to God that not only you.9:20-22. might become both almost and altogether such as I am. that I might win Jews. "I do not want you to become bound in chains like me but I want you to know the freedom I have in Christ that is beyond chains. Paul urged them to become like him for he says. I want?" Paul said in Phil. that I might win those who are under the law. "I want.

"You have not injured me at all" or "You have done me no wrong. They accepted him as one of their own.htm (3 of 11)4/30/2005 1:54:58 PM . At any rate." When Paul first came to Galatia. speak differently and have different values from people a generation ago. A. They must learn to live like the people they are trying to reach.Of Pastor and People is to see them become like us.12b-16). we must become like the people we want to reach in order for them to become like us! II. we must be willing to become like them… at least to an extent. In v. At First. As long as we don’t violate concrete biblical principles. the means to that end is to make ourselves like them. They Treated Paul like an ANGEL (vv. First. let alone successful.12. Paul says at the end of v. he tells us in v. The People’s Changing ATTITUDE about Paul (vv. When missionaries travel to foreign cultures like Russia. while in Galatia.12b-15). They dress differently. Paul suffered with a "physical infirmity" that did not limit his ability to preach and teach the people. Second.14. People today are vastly different than they were 50 years ago or even 10 years ago. fully committed believers. Church. Paul either became seriously ill while in Galatia or went there to recover from serious illness. Jesus did that. It is evident that Paul’s illness was bad enough to give a repulsive appearance." On his first missionary journey. We can’t do church the way it was done 50 years ago. they must adapt to their surrounding culture. If we want them to become like us. they did not hurt him but lovingly received him." Many Bible file:///C|/cbc/G12.13 that it was "because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. Many scholars have suggested that he contracted malaria in the swampy regions of Pamphylia and traveled to the higher mountain plateau of Galatia to recover. Africa or Japan. "And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject. we live in a rapidly changing culture. he says. listen to different music. He left the glory of heaven to become like us that He might take us to heaven with him. or even 10 years ago and expect to be effective.

Imagine the months that Paul spent with them. few good medicines and no sterile bandages. but where is that joy now?" Imagine those good times in Galatia." The idea being that Paul’s illness gave him a hideous appearance and that it was a "trial" for the Galatians to look at him. relatives. they recognized him as an apostle. neighbors. The teaching. Even though his appearance was repulsive. He says "you received me as an angel of God. they did not "despise or reject" him but carefully listened to everything he taught them. All around them lives were being changed.htm (4 of 11)4/30/2005 1:54:58 PM . co-workers were being radically file:///C|/cbc/G12. There was joy unspeakable and glory falling around them." Instead of despising him. "my illness was a trial to you. They received him with the same reception they would have given "Christ Jesus. despite his hideous appearance. Paul now asks them." "Angel" is another word for "messenger. they did not "despise or reject" him. The Spirit of God was at work among them crying out "Abba Father!" Their worship spontaneous and heart-felt. They accepted him as the apostolic messenger of the Lord Jesus Christ and were grateful for the blessings of spiritual life and liberty they had received from his teaching. ah the teaching… they sat on the edges of their seats and soaked up every word Paul spoke. Diseases disfigured people.15. "Despise" means "to count as nothing or worthless. Even still." Imagine living in a time with little medical knowledge. In v. It would seem from v. "What then was the blessing [satisfaction.15 that Paul’s "physical infirmity" had something to do with his eyes and thus his face. Friends. goodwill lit. a messenger of the Lord. even as Christ Jesus. Inflamed areas ran with puss and the stench was often unbearable. "You were very happy then. beauty] you enjoyed?" The NCV phrases the question like this." "Reject" means "to loathe" or literally "to spit as in contempt.Of Pastor and People versions offer an alternative reading as seen in the NIV. Prayer services lasted for hours and left them in tears of joy." The Galatians did not question how Paul looked or what he said.

slaves and free. Perhaps this was the "thorn in the flesh" he wrote of in 2 Cor. Lives were changed. Addictions were broken. Deep spiritual bonds developed.Of Pastor and People saved. Jews. They loved him so much they would have made any sacrifice for him. Paul lived out part of his life in a blur.16." Paul usually dictated his letters and added a few personal words at the end in his own handwriting. we can be almost certain that Paul suffered from terrible eyesight. Later. optometrists. atrophy."1 Whatever the cause. Nonetheless. Sin was renounced. "I bear you witness that you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. and even blindness. Note v. Some have suggested that "malaria sometimes attacks the optic nerve causing loss of color recognition." It seems evident that at least part of Paul’s "physical infirmity" had to do with his eyes. laser surgeries or corrective lenses. they had loved Paul so much that he says. They Treated Paul like an ENEMY (v." Now he says. he says "See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand. Gentiles. During that era of blessing. Marriage relationships were restored. the Galatians loved him so much they would have "plucked out" their "own eyes" and exchanged them with Paul if such a transplant had been possible. He speaks here of "large letters" indicating that he had to write unusually large letters in order to be able to see them. there was a tremendous sense of "blessing" or satisfaction.12:7-9.16). "You used to love me so much you would sacrifice anything for me. It is as if Paul is saying. God had done a mighty work in Galatia. Above all. men and women were all trusting Christ and were "one body" in Him. "Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?" What happened to their "blessing" or satisfaction? Why were file:///C|/cbc/G12. You treated me like an angel in spite of my gross appearance. B. Wayward children came home again. In 6:11.htm (5 of 11)4/30/2005 1:54:58 PM . Imagine having terrible eyesight in a time when there were no ophthalmologists.

the apostolic doctrine. "…because I TELL YOU THE TRUTH!" I have deferred much to John Stott in this Galatian series but listen to what he says. Paul was an apostle. defer to him as an angel. Paul spoke with direct authority from Christ." I do not speak directly for Christ as did the apostles. when we like what an apostle teacher. The church was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Eph. there is a critical difference between Paul and your pastor."2 For our purposes. Second. When the Galatians recognized Paul’s apostolic authority.Of Pastor and People they treating the one they loved so much as though he were their "enemy?" The Galatians had made a complete about-face. they treated him as an angel. I am not.htm (6 of 11)4/30/2005 1:54:58 PM . "…as the Father has sent Me. I also send you. "There is an important lesson here. Church. anytime our focus is on "how we do things" or our programs or our agenda we will lose sight of Jesus. hate him and reject him as an enemy. and foolish! An apostle’s authority does not cease when he begins to teach unpopular truths. and when we do not like what he teaches. When we lose sight of Him we lose that sense of "blessing" or satisfaction that comes with His presence. No. We cannot be selective in our reading of the apostolic doctrine of the NT. whether we happen to like it or not. we speak with the authority of the apostles and thus with the authority of Christ. How fickle they were.20:21. Why? Paul answers his own question. However. they did not continue in the apostles doctrine (Acts 2:42). as Christ Jesus. We cannot. he became their enemy. not Jesus. How sad! How chaotic! How divisive! Much harm has been done to the kingdom work of God by petty people who refuse to be under the authority of the Word! What caused this changed attitude in the Galatians? Two things: First. they put the focus on tradition. Jesus said to the apostles in Jn.2:20). when I or any pastor or teacher rightly divides the Word. But when they did not like his message. Some people love their pastors as long as they agree with them but treat them as an enemy when they disagree. the apostles of Jesus Christ have authority in everything they teach. file:///C|/cbc/G12.

17-18). "Obey those who rule over you.Of Pastor and People III. and they will turn their ears away from the truth." In other words. because they have itching ears. how good she smells and what a pleasant personality she possesses. there are always manipulative teachers and pastors who have great charisma but use it to build their kingdoms." Paul on the other hand was genuinely zealous for them.18. as those who must give account. rebuke.4:2-4.htm (7 of 11)4/30/2005 1:54:58 PM . "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. He tells her how beautiful she is. not God’s Paul said to Timothy. exhort.17-20). and be submissive. the Judaizers "zealously court you. with all longsuffering and teaching. Paul tells the Galatians that the false teachers. The Judaizers were insincere in their flattery. 2 Tim. Paul’s Constant AFFECTION for the People (vv. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. not to some particular set of teachings. "But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always. Paul’s Affection was GENUINE (vv. Part of the role God has given to pastors and teachers is watch over souls of the congregation. for they watch out for your souls. Convince. but according to their own desires. He wanted them to grow up and be conformed to Jesus." They wanted to shut the Galatians out or "exclude" them from the freedom of God’s grace that they might manipulate them. However. A. They made a fuss over the Galatian believers. This phrase was used to describe a man courting a woman. They did it "for no good" because they want to "exclude you that you may be zealous for them. Paul says in v. for that would be unprofitable for you. Heb.13:17 says." file:///C|/cbc/G12. zeal or enthusiasms are good provided one’s beliefs are true. and be turned aside to fables. Let them do so with joy and not with grief." They insincerely flattered them. they will heap up for themselves teachers.

We struggle with you when you backslide and wonder when you will grasp the lesson God is teaching you. He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…" In v. They said they had not replaced the broken window because of other building projects considered more of a priority." This is a difficult metaphor. Without warning a window from the 29th floor of the CNA building fell toward the ground and struck Flores in the head. He calls them his "little children. Spiritual negligence also has great consequences. It was for this reason He chose us." He was a spiritual parent nursing them along in their growth. What does Paul "labor" for? He says.19-20). He wanted them to take the shape or form of Christ! He wanted to see them come to full-formed spiritual maturity! God’s ultimate purpose in our lives. The heart of any good pastor is always pained for the development of his people. 36-year-old Anna Flores was walking with her three-year-old daughter in downtown Chicago. "For whom He foreknew. B. negligence has serious consequences. In various ways. The tragedy was heightened a week later when CNA officials admitted they had known the window had been broken since June. Now he feels as though he has gone back to the labor room one more time. Even now he says.8:29 says. He wants us to be just like Jesus. We suffer for you in prayer. "I labor in birth again." He said if he could come to them he would change his file:///C|/cbc/G12.htm (8 of 11)4/30/2005 1:54:58 PM . we see Paul’s tender longing to be "present with you now. lifting you to the Lord. we are responsible spiritually for the welfare of others. killing her instantly. He longed for Christ to be formed in them. "until Christ is formed in you. He labored over them previously until they were born again into God’s family. Paul was not content that Christ dwelt in them.Of Pastor and People On a warm autumn afternoon in October 1999.20. Rom. His vision for us is that Christ be formed in us. Paul’s Affection was TENDER (vV. In a public building." I love that phrase.

Still. He was at his wits end. IV. especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. There is no apostolic succession. "Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor. The People must listen for Christ to be SPEAKING through the Pastor." Why? Because his message is not really HIS message but it is the message of Jesus Christ. The church should not defer to him as though his word is the Word of God. He might be in good physical condition or very ill as was Paul in Galatia. We must agree on the cardinal doctrines of the faith.htm (9 of 11)4/30/2005 1:54:58 PM . If he is faithfully studying and teaching the Word as laid down by the apostles through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He may be ugly as sin or look like a leading man from Hollywood. even as Christ Jesus. "The true function of a preacher is to disturb the comfortable and to comfort the disturbed.5:17.Of Pastor and People "tone. The church is not to be overly concerned about the outward appearance of the pastor. As long as he is true to that Word. do not "despise or reject" him but receive him as "an angel of God. He may have many gilded diplomas or a self-studied teacher. Two Critical APPLICATIONS for Pastor and People. Someone has well said. the people should give his teaching the same respect they would give to an apostle. but there are a great many issues over which we may disagree." file:///C|/cbc/G12. every pastor is called to consistently preach the apostolic doctrine of the NT. This is why Paul wrote in 1 Tim. He may have many outstanding gifts or just be a faithful man with no obvious flamboyance." He hardly knew what to say to them because he was perplexed and had "doubts" about them. even to Christ Himself. No pastor today has the position of apostle. A. He may be outgoing or something of an introvert. You should not judge your pastor and make him your "enemy" based upon private theological beliefs." The only biblical criteria a church has in judging her pastor is his loyalty to the Scripture. A pastor may not lay down the law like an apostle.

I like the words of legendary biblical scholar Merrill Tenney when asked once about how a church might get a better pastor." What is foremost in my prayers is your spiritual progress. it can get one by praying for the one it has."4 I want to grow a great and large church here. At those times I feel like Paul and wonder if I have "labored for you in vain. My goal is to free you in Christ. The Pastor must look for Christ to be FORMED in the People. What I want to see most is you being "conformed to the image of Christ. not to form themselves." I could work through this congregation this morning and pick out many. I see others of you go through trials and am sometimes surprised by how unspiritual you can be. I could just as easily pick out a few who should be growing more. Let me close with something else from Stott. These times display our true colors. but that is not my ultimate priority. his illustrations. They show quite clearly where we are spiritually. not enslave you to more programs. in their hearers. I have watched some of you go through tough times and rejoice when I see how you respond.Of Pastor and People Have you ever had "fried preacher" for Sunday lunch? Have you ever criticized his mannerisms. If the priority of the pastor is to speak the message of Christ. his technique."3 B. many people that I have seen grow tremendously as believers. John Calvin wrote. Christ is being formed in you. we all go through times of great stress and difficulty. "If a church wants a better pastor. He said. the priority of the people to have Christ formed in them to be conformed to Him. You surprise me with your spiritual attitude and I see God’s work of grace in your lives. You are taking on the shape of Jesus. I am so proud of you. From time to time. let them labor to form Christ. his voice or the length of his message? The only cause any church has for any real criticism of her pastor is if he is unfaithful to the biblical message. "If ministers wish to do any good. "The church file:///C|/cbc/G12.htm (10 of 11)4/30/2005 1:54:58 PM .

Wylie.W. press on keeping our eyes on Jesus and seeking that wonderful sense of "blessing" or satisfaction that comes through Him instead of traditions and programs. Box 7403. Stott. recordings. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. Copyright © 1998 . revised. displays or other products offered for sale. 5 Ibid."5 May we together. in laboring among the people. edited.115. Pastor. Amarillo. John R. Cornerstone Baptist Church. p. both pastor and people. P. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications. in listening to their pastor. without the written permission of the copyright holder.118. Wylie.htm (11 of 11)4/30/2005 1:54:58 PM . p.. 1 2 John MacArthur.117.O. 4 Stott. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. 3. performances. Vol.Of Pastor and People needs people who. and pastors who. 2. no.119. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). p. broadcasts. file:///C|/cbc/G12. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. Tenney. Only when pastor and people thus keep their eyes on Christ will their mutual relations keep healthy. listen for the message of Christ. TX 79114-7403. p. 3 Merrill C. Leadership. look for the image of Christ. profitable and pleasing to Almighty God.2003 Coy M.

the sweeter the water. Jesus said of the Pharisees. let me tell you. Never hesitate to ask questions. The point of the file:///C|/cbc/G13. legalism still abounds. They had been saved by God’s matchless grace. Second there is the spiritual symbolism. for reproof. "If you don’t know what the law teaches.Ishmael or Isaac? December 2. his wife Sarah. There are many who believe the way to God is by being good. and is profitable for doctrine. he lays out exactly what the OT says.3:16).22. Though there are few today that try to live by the mosaic code. I want you to jot down your questions and ask them later. "And in vain they worship Me. May the Spirit of God bring us the sweet water of the Word with an overwhelming awe for the marvelous grace of God." In other words. The passage can be divided into three sections. They believe that the only way to be right with God is be a member of their church and do things their way according to their legalistic traditions. On the contrary. but instead of enjoying the freedom found in Christ. to those who "desire to be under the law" (v.htm (1 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:12 PM . Of these who "desire to be under the law" the Apostle Paul asks. I’ve had to put in some extra preparation time this week because of its difficulty. It is often true that the deeper the well.7:7). how to apply this difficult passage to our lives today." He meets these legalists on their own turf and takes them head on. I hope you will join me in digging deep. cause us to think and reason together. There are even many genuine Christians who turn the gospel into law. "Do you not hear the law?" or "Do you not know what the law teaches?" In v. for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. I hope that you won’t be guilty of turning your brain off as we study together. First there is the historical setting.21). teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Mk. achieving salvation through good works. we will not just skip over it. He begins with "For it is written. Difficult passages like this one engage our minds. they were being persuaded to go back and keep the rituals. for correction. referring back to Abraham. his sons Ishmael and Isaac. a Spirit-inspired NT allegory of OT events. 2000 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie Ishmael or Isaac? Galatians 4:21-31 This is one of the strangest passages in the NT and inarguably the most difficult in the book of Galatians. Because I am committed to teaching the whole Bible verse by verse and because I believe that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. his slave Hagar. That was the Galatian error. regulations and ceremonies of the OT law. Last there is the personal significance. This section is addressed to believers who were bound up in legalism.

"for it is written" or "this is what the law says. Abraham was an old man when God made him this promise. as a free son. After the creation. yet the Bible says Abraham didn’t stutter or doubt God’s promises. Therefore I ask the question. it was to a man named Abraham or Abram.22a) Paul says. but like Isaac. There were no fertilization clinics or drugs for her to take. the fall and the flood. "Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness.htm (2 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:12 PM . ‘See now. When He did so. Sure enough Hagar became pregnant by Abraham. 3:6 says. The Historical Setting (vv. the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Abraham’s wife was barren.16:2 says.21-23). we learn that God spoke to Abraham and made a covenant with him. Let’s take a few moments to familiarize ourselves with Abraham’s family. go in to my maid. In Genesis. incapable of having children. Please." Human nature never changes. In fact. "So Sarai said to Abram.’ And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai." Sarah or Sarai.Ishmael or Isaac? whole passage is that if we are authentic Christians we are not to live like Ishmael. These were astounding promises. She didn’t let her mistress. So she did the only thing she could think of. perhaps I shall obtain children by her. He was 75 and his wife Sarah was around 65. a promise. I don’t want to assume too much." Though many of you are well versed in Hebrew history. like slaves. Sarah forget it. She brought Abraham her Egyptian servant girl named Hagar. A. Two SONS (v. She believed God’s promise but decided to help Him along. God promised to give him the land of Canaan in the Middle East and to produce from him a great nation as numerous as the stars in the sky and the grains of sand on the seashore. Gen. are you an Ishmael or an Isaac? I." It says "that Abraham had two sons. One Father. The Bible says Sarah "became despised in her file:///C|/cbc/G13. it was centuries before God plainly revealed Himself to man.

"My covenant I will establish with Isaac. the "Angel of the Lord" came to Hagar. One was "by a bondwoman" and "the other by a freewoman. and she bore a child when she was past the age. Alone in the wilderness." Much time had gone by. "And I will bless her and also give you a son by her. He loved Ishmael and assumed he was the long awaited promised son.16:6). When Sarah complained to Abraham. Sarah gave birth to a son they called Isaac or "laughter. Abraham must have been very proud. but God said no.17:16.htm (3 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:12 PM . whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year. because she judged Him faithful who had promised. "By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed." Indeed. Hagar acted with contempt toward Sarah. Ishmael would be the father of the Arab nations but the Lord added." and that she was to return to Sarah. I love the way Heb. ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah who is ninety years old bear a child?’" Abraham then prayed that Ishmael might be the promised one.11:11-12 describes this miracle. that she would name him Ishmael meaning "God hears. Ishmael was now about 13.Ishmael or Isaac? eyes" (Gen. he told her." Indeed "Abraham had two sons" but that’s not nearly the entire story. Sarah sent Hagar out of the camp. then I will bless her and she shall be a mother of nations.22b-23) Abraham’s two sons had two different mothers. innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. B. and him as good as dead. He told her that she would have a son who would become a great nation." Ishmael’s file:///C|/cbc/G13. God spoke to him specifically of Sarah in Gen. Therefore from one man. "Do to her as you please" (Gen. kings of peoples shall be from her. Two BIRTHS (vv. She did all this and Ishmael was born to Hagar and Abraham when he was 86 years old. were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude. Abraham fell on his face laughing and "…said in his heart.16:4). God had to set him straight. Two Mothers." Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah about 90 at the time. at the appointed time.

Ishmael who was "of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh. These two sons from two different mothers had two different births. The Spiritual Symbolism (vv. My mother was 35 when I was born and my father was 40.24a). A. There are some inherent dangers in using allegories. against all natural odds." He was not born "according to the flesh" but against the flesh.Ishmael or Isaac? mother was Hagar. a slave.1 Webster defines the word "allegory" as "a symbolic representation." Isaac who was "of the freewoman" was born "through promise.24-27). A Biblical ALLEGORY (v. The NKJV translates Paul’s words in v.24 as "which things are symbolic." The NIV translates it." In this passage we have spiritual truth illustrated by a historical story. Abraham’s servant. Though physically. Isaac’s birth was natural. Isaac was born for freedom." Allegoreo has a literal meaning of "to speak other than one seems to speak." that is it was completely natural. Abraham’s wife." It was used of a story that conveyed a meaning other than what was apparent in the literal sense of the words." The Greek word is allegoreo and many versions translate the word correctly as "allegory. Ishmael came into this world in exactly the same way you and I came." Ishmael’s birth was "according to the flesh. Many erroneous interpretations and false doctrines have come from file:///C|/cbc/G13. The fact that a 100-year-old man and a 90-year old woman can have a child is nothing short of miraculous. Ishmael was born to slavery. Isaac was indeed born "through promise. spiritually it was supernatural. a freewoman. My parents were always older than my friends’ parents. Imagine how Isaac must have felt! II. "These things may be taken figuratively.htm (4 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:12 PM . Isaac’s mother was Sarah.

and his 3. when Paul quotes Jesus’ words about the Lord’s supper in 1 Cor. Okay. Pope Gregory the Great claimed that Job’s seven sons represented the twelve apostles. Paul was an apostle.Ishmael or Isaac? improper use of allegory. why is it used here? It is simple.11. "This is my body which is broken for you" (1 Cor. MacArthur notes.000 sheep represented God’s faithful people. he says of the bread. The clear rule of interpretation for OT metaphors. his 7. not man-inspired. thus this allegory is spirit-inspired.24b-27). The two coins given by the Good Samaritan to the innkeeper symbolized baptism and the Lord’s Supper.htm (5 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:12 PM . B. his friends represented heretics. Some have taken this to mean that the bread LITERALLY becomes the Lord’s body when obviously the Scripture means that the bread represents the Lord’s body sacrificed for us. Hagar represents the bondage of the Old file:///C|/cbc/G13." In other words. often claiming to discover amazing. the other extreme is to read it too rigidly. historical meaning of Scripture and opens biblical interpretation to every extreme.000 camels represented depraved Gentiles! Allegory is a Pandora’s box that ignores the literal. the Euphrates River was seen as the outflowing of good manners. …Jewish scholars in Alexandria developed a system of scriptural allegory that strongly influenced not only Judaism but also Roman Catholicism until the time of the Protestant Reformation. types and allegories is if it is confirmed in the NT. if allegory is a dangerous method for biblical interpretation.11:24)."2 While one extreme of allegory is to read something into a text that is obviously not there. For example. Paul says "For these [the two mothers] are the two covenants. For example. Two Women are Symbolic of Two COVENANTS and Two CITIES (vv. He was inspired of the Holy Spirit as he wrote. hidden and extremely ‘fanciful’ truths that supposedly lay behind the ordinary meaning of words of a text. "The ancient rabbis regularly used an all allegorical approach to interpret Scripture. The journey of Abraham from Ur to the Promised Land pictured a stoic philosopher who left his sensual understandings and came to his spiritual sense.

3:20 says. Hagar represents the Old Covenant because being a slave she could only bear a slavechild." However. Hagar "corresponds to Jerusalem which now is" (v. She gave "birth to bondage. V. the church. from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior.26 says. She "corresponds to Jerusalem which now is.26 he writes of "the Jerusalem above. God keeps all the responsibility on Himself.Ishmael or Isaac? Covenant. Hagar represents the law. "Thou shalt… thou shalt… thou shalt…" Under the New Covenant.25). born again by the grace of God we are citizens of that heavenly city." If Hagar. the New Covenant and the heavenly Jerusalem. Under the Old Covenant." As believers. "I will… I will… I will…" Paul also mentions two cities." Let’s take these two women separately and consider both the covenants and the cities they symbolize. then Sarah. Tokyo stands for Japan. the company of all the redeemed. Phil. which is the mother of us all. In v. The NT makes several references to this "Jerusalem above." file:///C|/cbc/G13.htm (6 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:12 PM . "For our citizenship is in heaven. Ishmael’s mother the slave woman stands for the law and the earthly Jerusalem. God placed the burden of the law on men. Sarah represents the freedom of the New Covenant. Isaac’s mother. the Old Testament." The Old Covenant was based on the law. "But the Jerusalem above is free. the New Testament. stands for the United States. Jerusalem stands for Israel and the Jews in the same way Moscow stands for Russia. the Lord Jesus Christ. The OT. the freewoman stands for grace." The law can only produce spiritual slaves.25 says she "is in bondage with her children." Paul says "Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia." Jerusalem is of course the ancient capital city of Israel.C. but the New Covenant is based on God’s grace. "Covenant" simply means "promise. London stands for Great Britain and Washington D. law-keeping Jews are represented by the "Jerusalem which now is." "Mount Sinai" of course is where Moses received the law. V. Sarah is different.

that the glory of Jerusalem before Christ will be overshadowed by the glory of the church after Christ’s coming. the number of people who live in God’s grace and freedom will one day outnumber those who are in bondage to the law. the heavenly Jerusalem.12:18-22 says. to the spirits of just men made perfect. New Jerusalem. John. This is a quote from Is. coming down out of heaven from God. saw the holy city. This then is the symbolism. who try to earn their salvation by works and religion. They represent two religions.27.Ishmael or Isaac? In contrasting the law and grace. Abraham had two sons. The greater fulfillment of that verse is seen here. ‘I am exceedingly afraid and trembling. (For they could not endure what was commanded: ‘And if so much as a beast touches the mountain.htm (7 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:12 PM .’ And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said. Mount Sinai with the heavenly Jerusalem. one of bondage and the law and one of freedom and grace.’) But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God. prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. to God the Judge of all. In other words.21:2." I don’t think this refers so much to a place but to a people! Thus. to an innumerable company of angels. "For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire. to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven. part of His church of the firstborn. Heb. it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.54:1 that originally referred to the glory of Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity. and to blackness and darkness and tempest. "Then I. so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. Hagar and Ishmael represent all those who try to come to God on their own terms. Sarah and Isaac represent those file:///C|/cbc/G13. the allegory. makes us citizens of His city." John the Revelator writes in Rev. born of two women who represent two covenants and two cities. God was saying to Israel through His prophet that the Jerusalem after the captivity would be even greater than the Jerusalem before the captivity. and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words. how He gives us a miraculous spiritual birth into His forever family. Sarah is "symbolic" of God’s grace. His bride adorned for her husband! Let’s go back and read v.

" we who are genuinely saved. even so it is now.28-31). According to v. Back in Gal. In the remaining verses of this chapter. Ishmael sulked. In v. Ishmael incidentally was about 14." We are not under the Old Covenant. We are the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. Paul makes this personally significant." That's it." A. "But. That’s all we know for sure. We will face PERSECUTION (v.28. we are not under bondage. whom she had born to Abraham scoffing. Isaac "grew and was weaned" at about three years of age." It is abundantly clear that the toddler Isaac was the object of Ishmael’s derision. mock. "Now we. "And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian." No doubt there was much food. III.21. "Abraham made a great feast. "even so it is now.29). V. He knows Isaac is favored over him and he is intensely jealous. God’s promise has come true. We like Isaac are miraculously born into God’s family." because we are like Isaac. we are not under the law. The physical Arab descendants of Ishmael have file:///C|/cbc/G13. don’t forget big half-brother.Ishmael or Isaac? who come to God on His terms who receive their salvation by His grace through His Son. we should not live like Ishmael. He says. He knows that Isaac has the limelight. We should not live under bondage to legalism or the law. we are "brethren. to scorn. The "miracle baby" was no doubt the highlight of the aged parent’s lives. Paul teaches us two truths that pertain to us as brothers with Isaac. While all this was going on. Paul says. music. we are the holy nation of God! Because we are "children of promise.htm (8 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:12 PM . To celebrate this special time. as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit. The Hebrew word for "scoffing" means "to laugh outright. make sport.8." It is so in a physical sense." Flashback with me to Gen. Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 and Sarah about 90. However.9 says. dancing and joy in their camp. I can relate to this because I was born to older parents. as Isaac was" are "children of promise. "children of promise. Paul says. The Personal Significance (vv.4:29.

those under grace and freedom. Isaac is always mocked and persecuted by Ishmael. the "children of promise. Stott adds. What is true physically is even truer spiritually." We must expect the same." Though God allowed Ishmael to file:///C|/cbc/G13.htm (9 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:12 PM . we also find legalistic persecution from within God’s family by those who although are sons like Isaac prefer to live under the law.30-31). Once. We will receive the INHERITANCE (vv. Abraham had prayed that Ishmael might be the heir. I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant.17:18. Paul echoes Sarah’s words to Abraham because the Scripture says. B. for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. and with his descendants after him. the hierarchy. but the church. who when they hear the gospel often embrace it. the establishment. sold-out. The worst persecution of believers down through the centuries has come from organized Christian religion. bitterly opposed. We expect persecution from the world and we easily find it. Jesus was rejected. "The greatest enemies of the evangelical faith today are not unbelievers. "Oh. 19. it was Isaac who received the inheritance. He said to God in Gen. However." Even though Isaac had to endure the scorn of Ishmael. and you shall call his name Isaac. beaten and crucified by the Jews."3 The problem of denominationalism is that the establishment seeks to conform the local churches. the pastors and the individual believers to their version of Christianity rather than God’s. The spiritual descendants of Ishmael.Ishmael or Isaac? always and continue to this moment to persecute the physical Jewish descendants of Isaac. "Cast out the bondwoman and her son. Paul’s fiercest enemies were the Jewish Christians called Judaizers who accepted Christ but would not leave the law. that Ishmael might live before You!" God said in v. those who are under bondage to works and the law have always persecuted the spiritual descendants of Isaac. Sarah your wife shall bear you a son. "No.

as chastened. We live "by honor and dishonor. and yet possessing all things. Stott.122-123." The true heirs of God’s promise to Abraham are not his physical children in the nation of Israel.127. as poor. heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. but on the other we are the children of God. Wylie. revised. for in Isaac your seed shall be called.125. yet always rejoicing.Ishmael or Isaac? become a great nation to (the Arabs) he said to Abraham in Gen. Rom. pp. then heirs." Paul sees this dichotomy in 2 Cor. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). and yet true. as having nothing. Copyright © 1998 . Like Isaac. as dying. copied for resale or incorporated in any file:///C|/cbc/G13. 3 John R. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice." We are citizens of the new and heavenly Jerusalem. bornagain believers whether Jews or Gentiles. p.2003 Coy M." As genuine Christians we are Abraham’s seed and like Isaac "children of promise. that we may also be glorified together. yet making many rich. and yet well known. "Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman.htm (10 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:12 PM . listen to her voice. "the Jerusalem above. all the promises of God to His people are ours. p. but his spiritual children. as sorrowful. and behold we live. Whatever Sarah has said to you." Even though we may be persecuted..21:12. we have pain and persecution on one hand but inheritance and glory on the other. Ibid. edited. On one side we are despised and rejected by men.W. "and if children.8:17 says. and yet not killed. 1 2 John MacArthur.6:8-10. as unknown. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. as deceivers. by evil report and good report. if indeed we suffer with Him.

broadcasts. Amarillo. P. TX 79114-7403. without the written permission of the copyright holder. Box 7403. Cornerstone Baptist Church. displays or other products offered for sale.htm (11 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:12 PM .O. recordings. performances. file:///C|/cbc/G13. Wylie. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. Pastor.Ishmael or Isaac? commercial publications.

"Therefore if the Son makes you free." To be honest. He had been expelled from his native country of Iran. He had no citizenship. Nasseri symbolizes many Christians. Our text says "Christ has made us free. we fear stepping out in that freedom. When we gave our lives to Christ He indeed set us free. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free. the Holy Spirit gives us the keys to living in freedom. He was afraid to leave the bench and table that had been his home for eleven years. cleaning up in the airport bathroom. Suddenly he was free to go anywhere he wanted. As the days passed and Nasseri refused to leave.8:36). Unfortunately. I intended to cover vv. airport authorities allowed him to live in Terminal 1.1 Mr. the more truth I mined from it." Jesus said. When he was returned to the Paris airport in 1988. and resumed writing in his diary." The NRSV reads. Then in September 1999 the French authorities presented Nasseri with an international travel card and a French residency permit. and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. and there he stayed for 11 years. like the man in the airport. He had no papers that enabled him to leave the airport or fly to another country. As the NKJV notes in margin reference. as I began to study the passage early this week.Set Free! December 10. I never got beyond v. a more literal rendering would be "For freedom Christ has made us free. the very heart and soul of the letter. tucked the documents in his folder. writing in a diary. stand fast therefore. When airport officials handed him his walking papers. He was a man without a country.1-12 today. he simply smiled. living off of handouts from airport employees. The more I examined this verse. Many believers choose to settle down in legalism rather than experience the exhilarating freedom that is theirs in Christ. airport officials said they would not throw him out of the airport. It is the apex. both the NKJV and the KJV don’t give the most literal interpretation of the Greek text in this verse. It succinctly states the message the Apostle Paul has consistently expounded. to everyone's surprise. It says. Yet. file:///C|/cbc/G14. I tried to move on to the next verses. He had no passport. but the Spirit kept me focused on this first verse. In these 24 words. However.htm (1 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:43 PM . but they would have to gently and patiently coax him to find a new home. The French sent him to England but he was denied entry and sent back to Paris. you shall be free indeed" (Jn. Galatians 5:1 is the central verse of the entire book. 2000 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie Set Free! Galatians 5:1 For 11 years a man by the name of Merhan Karimi Nasseri lived in a Paris airport.1.

Jesus is our Great Emancipator because He has given us true and lasting freedom. that our old man was crucified with Him. therefore…" The NEB says. We have a new nature. we will examine the LIMITS of our liberty. that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Abraham Lincoln is called the "Great Emancipator" because he devised the Emancipation Proclamation that led to the freeing of all slaves. "knowing this." Also in the Greek text. Jesus set us free to live in freedom. First there is the FOUNDATION of our freedom. because Christ made us free. We have been freed from the PENALTY OF SIN. "He who believes in the Son has q file:///C|/cbc/G14. "Christ has made us free. We are no longer under "bondage. In a much greater sense. The power of sin over us has been broken." Just what does that mean? I began this series in Galatians by comparing our spiritual slavery with the slavery of Africans in American history. The Foundation of our Freedom. For he who has died has been freed from sin.6:6-7 says." Next there is the DEFENSE of our freedom. we don’t have to sin. that the body of sin might be done away with. We will examine them separately.Set Free! "For freedom Christ has set us free. We are no longer slaves. Stand firm. Jn. "Stand fast" and "Do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. When we sin. we sin by choice. "free indeed." We are free. What Are We Free From? What a magnificent statement." Finally. As bornagain believers in Jesus Christ. this verse is broken down into two distinct sentences." We have been regenerated. Rom.3:36 says.htm (2 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:43 PM . The whole book of Galatians is summed up in that statement." You should underline or highlight that in your Bible and tattoo it on your heart. A. I." The NCV renders it. "Christ has made us free. by way of personal application. "We have freedom now. "Christ set us free to be free men. Let’s consider what "Christ has made us free" from: q We have been freed from the POWER OF SIN.

He won’t ever love you any less and He will never love you any more. religion. for God is able to make him stand. The Bible says in Rom. We all have skeletons in our closet." I don’t mean to say that other people won’t force their expectations on you and judge q q q file:///C|/cbc/G14.8:1. Legalism enslaves people because people can never break loose from its chains. enslaves. but the wrath of God abides on him. As we have seen over and over again. not eternal death! q We have been freed from THE SLAVERY OF THE LAW. Psa.Set Free! everlasting life. the law. We have been freed from OUR OWN GUILT. The unconditional love of God is so hard for us to grasp but it is true. and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life.htm (3 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:43 PM . he will be made to stand. in our hearts we know we haven’t changed. we always fall short. to follow the rules. Our enemy Satan loves to degrade us with this guilt. We always fail. You don’t have to perform to be pleasing to God. We have been freed from THE EXPECTATIONS OF OTHERS.14:4 says. All of us have guilt. Jesus has freed us from it. Rom. This is Paul’s primary point in our passage. but He forgives us anyway. "Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Even if we look like we are doing good to others. He’s knows all about us. However. to practice religion." We have been freed from THE PERFORMANCE TRAP. If you have been saved. So far has He removed our transgressions from us." Jesus bore God’s "wrath" or fury for us. "As far as the east is from the west.103:12 says. He paid the penalty for our sins so we do not have to. No matter how hard we try to be good. Indeed. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. shameful secrets we keep carefully hidden. By faith in Him we have eternal life." We don’t have to condemn ourselves because Jesus doesn’t condemn us. God loves you just the way you are. Keeping a bunch of self-imposed rules and restrictions will not enhance your favor with Him nor will your failures and shortcomings diminish His grace on your life.

but they are not your ultimate judge. By His power we can have victory over any sin. We are free to DEPEND ON THE HOLY SPIRIT. Satan had you in his grasp. "You are of God. "But thanks be to God.15:57 says. He played you like a violin. little children." Though we often choose it. addiction that binds us. joy and love. we could probably think of many other things Jesus has freed us from. who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. there is liberty. realize that as a believer in Jesus Christ you don’t have to be bound by anything.4:4 says. "Christ set us free… for freedom.Set Free! you." Jesus died to free us from these struggles.3:17 says. 2 Cor. we don’t have to live in defeat. You no longer have to dance to his tune. Not only does the Holy Spirit bring freedom. you can’t have spiritual freedom without the presence of the Holy Spirit. because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. let’s look at the other side of the coin. Before you met Jesus. What Are We Free To? q We are free to LIVE WITHOUT BONDAGE. Even though you didn’t realize it. and where the Spirit of the Lord is. He wants to know true peace. the file:///C|/cbc/G14. not slavery.16:13). which Paul introduces in this chapter. q We have been freed from SATAN’S DOMINATION. the evil one was calling the shots in your life. habit." q Listen to what Oswald Chambers wrote. We’ll cover that more in a moment. the spirit that is not of God is the spirit of bondage." He has given us something much better than dry. He wants us to live the life of the Spirit. What has Jesus freed us to? B. For now. We don’t have to depend on our wisdom or our understanding for He will lead us in all truth (Jn. stale religion. When you were born again. However.htm (4 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:43 PM . Jesus has freed us from the drudgery of constantly worrying over what everyone else may think of us. You see the phrase "a yoke of bondage" at the end of our verse. "The Spirit of God is always the spirit of liberty. 1 Cor. 1 Jn. "Now the Lord is the Spirit. If we put our minds to it. The Holy Spirit of God permanently resides within us. Jesus broke Satan’s hold on you. and have overcome them. As believers we are not alone.

Jesus has freed us that we might come boldly to the Lord as children to their father." Heb.Set Free! spirit of oppression and depression. born again. He made us unique and different. all you who labor and are heavy laden. His freedom was also very costly. He offers you His file:///C|/cbc/G14. but He is always the Spirit of liberty. something is wrong! q q C. In the OT era."2 q We are free to have OPEN ACCESS TO GOD. Jesus said. and after a while we become cramped and can do nothing but chirp and stand on one leg. He fought the battle of sin and death on the cross and rose from the grave in triumph. Heb. We are free to BE WHO HE CREATED US TO BE. Unless you have been saved. "Come to Me. and I will give you rest" (Mt. We are free because Jesus died for our sins on the cross! Understand that everyone doesn’t have the freedom that Jesus gives. from Saigon to the Persian Gulf. it is men who make birdcages. "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…" We are free to RELAX IN GOD’S GRACE.4:16 says.htm (5 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:43 PM . "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace. If they do. it is never cheap. How Did Christ Make Us Free? Though freedom is glorious. and he could do it only once a year. you are still held in sin’s power and you still face sin’s penalty. "Christ has made us free.10:22 says. that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Legalism produces clones. we owe our freedom to brave men who gave their lives for our country. God created us as individuals. When we get out into God's great free life. The freedom we enjoy as Americans did not come cheap. God who made the birds never made birdcages. When we were saved He gave each of us a diverse blend of spiritual gifts. From Bunker Hill to Gettysburg. from Omaha Beach to Chosin Reservoir." His freedom supercedes any political freedom. Christians don’t have to all look alike or have the same tastes. We don’t always have to be striving. In a much greater sense. we discover that that is the way God meant us to live the glorious liberty of the children of God. The Spirit of God convicts vividly and tensely. no one could enter the Holy of Holies in the Temple except the High Priest.11:28). We don’t always have to be slaving away trying to impress God. Freedom produces creativity.

We appropriate this freedom by faith." Let’s take those two thoughts separately. with their leaders publicly threatening to wipe out ‘the Zionist entity.Set Free! freedom as a gift and all you must do is receive it. "You must return here to live. "…stand fast in one spirit. We are to be zealous for our spiritual liberty and carefully guard it. it must be vigorously guarded. "Watch. A. Eugene Peterson writes. "But as many as received Him. We Defend Our Freedom by Standing Fast. We are free but living in that freedom is not always easy. II. my joy and crown. It is not something that can be put in a bank vault and kept safe.htm (6 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:43 PM . "Therefore. with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. The Defense of our Freedom." Phil. This is the only place for Jews like you. I said free. stand fast in the faith.’ with your roads impassable after sundown – free?" Ben Gurion retorted. to them He gave the right to become children of God. "I did not say safe. beloved. so stand fast in the Lord. In his book.1:27 says. Next Paul tells us we are to "stand fast" in this "liberty" or and "not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. "Stand fast" means just what it says. Jn." Christ makes us free by grace." 3 So it is with our spiritual liberty." "Stand fast" also has the meaning of hold a line as in battle.16:13 says. Here you will be free. Hermon Wouk tells of a meeting he had with modern Israel’s first president. Ben-Gurion said to Wouk." 1 Cor. "Free? With enemy armies ringing you. It is not a file:///C|/cbc/G14. to those who believe in His name. David BenGurion back in the 1950’s. be strong.1:12 says." "Free?" asked Wouk. "Freedom… cannot be taken for granted. The Will to Live On. be brave." Paul writes in Phil. my beloved and longed-for brethren. The Greek tense indicates that we are to "keep on standing fast. As they toured the fledgling nation. TAKE A STAND! Don’t let anyone push you into legalism.4:1.

and you will find rest for your souls. He says in Mat. A pair of oxen were harnessed together by a heavy wooden yoke. Legalism. and I will give you rest." It refers to being snared in a trap. keeping man-made rules and traditions can be a heavy yoke. Riding a well-trained horse." The basic command is since Christ set you free. Occasionally. There is the legalism of adding to God’s grace in salvation. oxen were used to pull wagons and plows. Many fall into the trap of serving under the "because we’ve always done it that way" mentality."4 B. stay free. We Defend Our Freedom by Rejecting Bondage. Note Paul’s word "entangled. One of the most skillful of rodeo competitors is the calf-roper. Some believe that even after you are saved. church membership. Legalism is all around us. My dad is a rodeo fan. you had better do good or God will zap you. If we fail to stand deliberately and consciously. good works etc… There is the legalism of performance." Before the mechanical age. Paul is saying that legalism is like a loop that tries to catch us. the freedom will be lost. Some younger believers look file:///C|/cbc/G14. Each day we must take up the stance of freedom again. When I was a little boy. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. for I am gentle and lowly in heart. Some say you trust in Jesus plus baptism. "Come to Me. It’s amazing that when we really study the Bible for ourselves we find that a lot of things we thought were in the Bible are really not there. we made all the area rodeos.htm (7 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:43 PM . Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me. he has to throw a loop around the calf’s neck to catch him in the shortest amount of time.Set Free! privilege conferred. but what they are really teaching is their extra-biblical traditions. We have to watch for it and duck it! What do Christians become "entangled" in? They get trapped "with a yoke of bondage. all you who labor and are heavy laden. to being caught up in something. There is the legalism of tradition. Jesus has freed us from all that. like an academic degree that certifies access to privileges and honors.11:28-30. They think they are teaching doctrine. a smart calf would go left when the loop went right or visa versa. Then there is the legalism of the contemporary.

the details of their lives being guided by the ethics that emerged from the teaching of the apostles. A. I look at you and say. neither does it have reference to his words and actions.htm (8 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:43 PM . they simply have a different form of legalism. it does not mean that we are free to do anything at all. Suppose we all decided to go skydiving. Their hearts had been occupied with the Lord Jesus. it wouldn’t be freedom. They cling tenaciously to their generation. Paul exhorts them to keep on standing fast in that freedom…" 5 III. Our Freedom is Limited by the Word of God. The Galatian Christians had been living theirs in dependence upon the indwelling Holy Spirit. in swinging over to the law. not because the law forbids the wrong and commands the right. The Judaizers lived their lives by dependence upon self-effort in an attempt to obey the law. Now. and because of love for Him. file:///C|/cbc/G14." Freedom does not mean that there are no constraints. The constraint of the parachute enables the skydiver to enjoy the freedom of jumping out of a plane. Listen to what the great linguist Kenneth Wuest wrote: "The liberty spoken of here does not refer to the kind of life a person lives.000 feet and are about to jump out the door. they were losing that freedom of action and that flexibility of self-determination which one exercises in doing of what is right. Without restraint. when one does right. We get up in the plane at 10. You can do anything or be anything you want as long as you stay inside this boundary. skydiving is a freeing experience. the Bible. It would be suicide. But I want more freedom. both doctrinal and practical. What they fail to realize is that they are just as legalistic as the traditionalists. "I have made you free. but it has to do with the method by which he lives that life. but because it is right." The boundary of course is His Word. In the same way. The Limits of our Liberty.Set Free! upon tradition as out of date and out of touch. there are some restraints or limits to our liberty. When the Bible speaks of our spiritual freedom. God has drawn a circle around us and said basically. because it pleases the Lord Jesus. This time I’m going to jump without a parachute. "You know.

someone else will put limits on your freedom. We fear file:///C|/cbc/G14. I want God’s.htm (9 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:43 PM .3:16 both mention "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Let it be your boundary. Eph. Stepping out in spiritual freedom is often frightening. Ironically. Preachers railed on women who wore pants." Study the word for yourself. If you don’t know the Bible. I don’t want their boundaries. I sometimes like to sing hymns. but nothing specific about pants. there is no passage in Scripture that says we must only sing hymns. I have yet to find a verse in Scripture that says women can’t wear pants to church. This is why it is vital for a church to be centered on the Scripture. There is the overarching principle of modesty. It matters little to me what denominations say a church should look like. My goal. Our Freedom is Limited by our Trust in God. I remember growing up that women were permitted to wear pants to church.5:19 and Col. You may discover that some of your sacred cows should be ground up into hamburger meat! B. You will be amazed at what you find in the Bible… and amazed at what you do not find. The problem is these are their boundaries.Set Free! Many people want to put their own boundaries around us. not Gods. I teach the Bible each week verse-by-verse in order for us to clearly understand what God expects of us. you will allow other people to set your boundaries for you. There is nothing wrong with singing hymns. They want to tell what we as a local church should or should not do. If you don’t know the Word. my desire for this church above all else is be as close as possible to the Bible. the Bible does say there are at least three categories of songs we should sing. It matters little what other pastors say. There are some who say we should only sing hymns. They want to tell us what a real Christian does and does not do. This is also why it is vital for each of us to be students of the Bible. I want us to resemble the churches of the NT. However. This is why I constantly tell you that you need to be in the Word.

Set Free! what others may think or say about us. He knew that there was nothing wrong with such meat and he had the spiritual freedom to eat it. Our Freedom is Limited by our Love for the People of God. lest I make my brother stumble.8:9 says. Paul will say to us. I took my 10-year-old daughter Ashlea on a file:///C|/cbc/G14." Later in Gal.htm (10 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:43 PM . you’ve checked it out in the Word and you know you are within God’s boundaries. The Apostle Paul knew the Word. live as servants of God" (NIV). that is when we would cause a weaker brother to stumble. don’t be afraid of what someone else thinks. "The fear of man brings a snare.2:16 says. Paul had to publicly rebuke him. He feared what they might think of his freedom and ended up compromising the gospel. Prov. He was enjoying his spiritual liberty in eating with the Gentile believers until the legalistic Jews showed up. if food makes my brother stumble. A few months ago. However.5:13." 1 Pet. only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh.29:25 says. "But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. Many times we don’t do what God is leading us to do because of fear. If you feel the Lord is leading you to do something. but through love serve one another. "Live as free men. I will never again eat meat. 1 Cor. but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil.8:13. but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe. he intentionally limited his liberty if he was with someone who might stumble because of it. C. There is only one condition in which we should allow others to limit our freedom." We are not to go about flaunting our freedom but be sensitive to less mature believers. Some NT era Christians had a problem with eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. have been called to liberty. Even the great Apostle Peter feared man instead of trusting God." Peter ran into that problem back in chapter 2. brethren. He said in 1 Cor. "Therefore. "For you. He didn’t fear man.

broadcasts. without the written permission of the copyright holder. so a friend suggested we go explore some old Indian flint quarries. 2000 4 Eugene Peterson quoted in a sermon by Michael P. Vol. edited. Sometimes that heavy load causes us to want to give up. P." Chicago Tribune (9-21-99)." N. (Cliff Street Books. Cornerstone Baptist Church. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. Wylie. Box 7403.2003 Coy M. All the while Jesus wants us to "lay aside every weight" and run with joy in the freedom He has bought for us. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. Wylie. I went to her to give a pep talk about keeping up and being tough. lists of do’s and don’ts. Airport 'Prisoner' Gets His Walking Papers. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). 1 Adapted from: Ray Moseley. Christianity Today. pp. she was lagging behind our little group. 9-27-99 2 Oswald Chambers in The Moral Foundations of Life. 5 Kenneth S. We’ve packed on our backs the weight of years of man-made traditions. www. 3 Gordon MacDonald.1. Suzanne Daley. recordings. Ashlea began collecting them in her game pouch. no.Set Free! dove hunt. Times . "At Last. Only then did I realize why she kept falling behind. speaker and author. Vol. 32.org/ssermons/galatians/only_thing_that_counts. Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament. By the time we had walked a mile or so. The Will to Live On. revised. Wuest. 13.efree. Amarillo. Pastor. Now He Fears to Fly.htm (11 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:43 PM . copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications. She had about 30 pounds of flint in that old game bag! No wonder she was tired! We jettisoned the rock collection and she felt 100% better! Many of us have hiked through life picking up pieces of legalism. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. "11 Years Caged in an Airport. performances. source: Herman Wouk. Finally she sat down and began to cry. he pointed out some colorful pieces of flint that were once used for arrowheads. The doves didn’t fly so well. Andrus. TX 79114-7403.htm. Copyright © 1998 .136-137.O. fears and prejudices. file:///C|/cbc/G14.Y. Along the way. displays or other products offered for sale.

First.Staying Free January 14. "Therefore if the Son makes you free.1 tells us that by faith in Christ. Vv. I spent a whole sermon teaching it. so bear with me for a brief review.1. and do not be entangled again in a yoke of bondage. and the pinnacle of the epistle. "Stand fast therefore in… liberty….2-12 and the rest of the book tell us how to STAY FREE. "You are free. the expectations of others and the domination of Satan. In fact. from guilt. file:///C|/cbc/G15. You may remember that we illustrated this command in this way.2-12. V. you shall be free indeed. ritualism. it says. I’m so excited to get back to this study because we are about to enter my favorite part of the book.1 in detail. the slavery of the law.1 says. "Christ has made us free. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. we studied v." Of course the circle is the Word of God. 2001 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie Staying Free Galatians 5:2-12 Paul introduces the last section of Galatians with a climactic statement in v. so plug your brain in and let’s get into it! V." In other words. because "Christ has made us free" we are to now live like free men and women! We are not to return to the bondage of living under rules. He freed you from the power of sin." The second statement in v. Serious teaching and understanding of the Bible is not something we can do without concentration. regulations and religion." That needs to be underlined in our Bibles and tattooed on our hearts! When you were saved. He says. the summit.1 can really be broken down into two statements. We are to live above legalism. Jesus said it best in Jn. living the Spirit-filled life! Just before our break. God has drawn a circle around us and said.1.8:36. In order to understand vv. the penalty of sin. the Bible." This is the apex. the performance trap. we are SET FREE.htm (1 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:14 PM . You can do anything or become anything as long as you stay within the boundaries of this circle. Jesus set you free. we need to refresh our understanding of v. Our verse by verse study of Galatians was preempted a few weeks ago by the Christmas season and of course the passing of my mother.

"circumcision" is a vital part of understanding this passage. "It’s great to believe in Jesus. They want to tell us how to live. Paul gives us two criteria for staying free: avoid false teaching and abandon false teachers. was the chief symbol of Judaism. The problem is." Paul’s point is that you cannot trust in both. The problem was in trusting in circumcision for salvation rather than trusting Jesus. He had been circumcised." the removal of the male foreskin. The point of the NT is clear. or confess their sins to a priest that they will be saved. However.6.htm (2 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:14 PM . If you don’t study the Bible. Timothy was circumcised as a Jew in order to open more doors to the gospel. you will allow other people to limit your liberty! If you have been genuinely saved by God’s grace. They want to motivate us with guilt and condemnation.3.11). As you read our text. Their circle is much smaller than God’s. but that’s not enough to be saved. where to go and what to do. Some people believe that because they have been baptized that they are saved. how to dress. you see the words "circumcised" or "circumcision" in four verses (2.2-6). "Circumcision. to them "circumcision" became a way of humanly making themselves right with God. Baptism is a wonderful biblical symbol. but it saved no one. belong to a specific church or denomination. To Stay Free We Must Avoid False Teaching (vv. Circumcision is not a major debate among Christians today. Others believe that because they take communion regularly. God commanded Abraham and all his descendants to be "circumcised. these are their boundaries not God’s. It is important to understand that Paul did not object to circumcision in itself. I.Staying Free So many people want to put their boundaries on us. They began to trust in the symbol rather than in God. You also have to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses. In the next 11 verses. Obviously. You either trust in circumcision or you trust in Christ. The problem was that instead of a symbol and reminder of God’s grace and blessings on the Jews as a people. people continue to trust in symbols rather than in Jesus. Don’t return to the "bondage" of legalistic religion. you are free! "Stand fast" in your freedom! Don’t let anyone strip it away." The cutting off of the foreskin was a symbol and a reminder that God wanted to cut away sin from their hearts by faith. how to wear our hair. The false teachers in Galatia called Judaizers said. ONLY JESUS SAVES! file:///C|/cbc/G15.

any symbol or any human act. As an apostle. "Yes you must trust in Jesus but then you must be immersed in order to assure your salvation. some people try to add baptism to trusting in Christ. For example. like circumcision has caused Christ to "profit" them "nothing. "If you become circumcised." Remember that this letter was written to "the churches of Galatia" (1:2). I trusted in Christ alone for my salvation when I was 14. Christ would be of no "profit" or benefit to him. Notice Paul uses a personal admonition. Paul was saying that there would be no "profit" or benefit. Christ will profit you nothing. I had gone to church all my life. that eternal salvation is not available to anyone who trusts in anything else. Paul points out four consequences of trusting in a symbol rather than the Savior. To those who were unsaved. A. He had been "circumcised. He says. he has denied Jesus." The problem with teaching is that people trust in the fact that they have been baptized rather than trusting in the person of the Lord Jesus! What actually happens then is that baptism. Jesus offers complete and eternal salvation to all that believe on Him.htm (3 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:14 PM . but trusting in church didn’t file:///C|/cbc/G15." He was Jewish. no spiritual growth in the Lord if they began to trust in "circumcision" in addition to Christ.Staying Free In vv. Paul was saying that they could receive no "profit" or benefit from Christ if they trusted in "circumcision.2). a direct emissary of the Lord Jesus Christ." Why did he say this? Paul means that if anyone receives "circumcision" believing that "circumcision" will save him or add to his salvation. there were some that had never truly been converted. Most of the people to whom Paul wrote were genuine believers. However.2-6. False Teaching Separates People from Christ (v. They say." To those who were authentic believers. but as in almost all churches today. he states. "Indeed I Paul say to you…" He is relying here on his apostolic authority.

False Teaching Causes People to be Fallen from Grace (v. Even if you could live perfectly all you life and had a one-minute failure the last moment of your life." In other words. I had been baptized at age 7. if you add "circumcision" to salvation. Many have used it to try to teach that a person who has been saved is capable of losing his salvation. To trust in anything else in place of Christ or in addition to Christ is not to trust in Christ. you are now obligated to keep the whole law.4).3). you have to be perfect. You can’t have even one sin. If you are going to approach him in your own goodness." This verse has been the source of much misinformation and misunderstanding over the centuries. In fact. in context we see that Paul is not dealing with eternal security but the mixing of the law and grace. Paul says. and yet stumble in one point. That’s not the case at all. file:///C|/cbc/G15. but membership didn’t save me. I realized and admitted that I was helpless. I like the way John MacArthur puts it. you who attempt to be justified by the law. Ja. "For whoever shall keep the whole law. you have fallen from grace.htm (4 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:14 PM ." God doesn’t grade on the curve. the Spirit of God led me to understand that I had to trust in Jesus alone. Next the Apostle says. "A supplemented Christ is a supplanted Christ. False Teaching Obligates People to the Whole Law (v.Staying Free save me. you would be lost! C. he is guilty of all. I was a member of a local church. "You have become estranged from Christ.2:10 says. but being good didn’t save me. no human effort could save me. completely perfect. that I could not save myself and that only Jesus could save me."1 B. At age 14. but baptism didn’t save me. I had to come to terms with the fact that nothing I could do. "And I testify [urgently affirm] again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor [is obligated] to keep the whole law. I was a good kid.

They were attracted to the message of Jesus. to renew them again to repentance. there were many people who were exposed to the truth of the gospel. if they fall away. You must pick one. it is impossible for them to be saved. and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come." Once a person samples the pathway of grace but rejects it and falls away." In the early church era. many people then. They went back to their own human religion. "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened.htm (5 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:14 PM ." Who were they? Paul tells us. she is referred to as his "estranged wife." If you follow the path of the law. Will you approach God through the "law" or through "grace?" These two paths are absolutely incompatible and mutually exclusive. like many people today. To choose one is to reject the other." If a man is separated from his wife. They are those who "attempt to be justified by law.Staying Free "Estranged" means "separated or loosed. and have tasted the heavenly gift. and put Him to an open shame. Paul is saying if you follow that path. turned their backs on the gospel. since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God.6:4-6 says. You can’t go down both. you are separated from the path of Jesus. returning to man-made religion. You can’t have one foot on one path and the other foot on the other path. you are "fallen from grace. In Galatia there were some people who were attempting to be "justified by the law." The point is you can approach God from only one of two paths. and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit. They saw signs and wonders performed by the apostles." Paul is writing to some people who were separated or "estranged from Christ." They were trying to earn their salvation by being "circumcised" and keeping the law. Yet. Heb. Such people are apostates. You have to choose. you are "estranged from Christ. I think this statement was directed especially to the false teachers called Judaizers. file:///C|/cbc/G15.

htm (6 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:14 PM . but faith working through love. these He also glorified." On the contrary. whom He called. not works. Let’s note two statements about faith that give us hope. he speaks of "we" who "through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. D. The Bible never speaks of being "unjustified." When you are "in Christ Jesus" nothing else is needed. living in the Spirit for living in the flesh. and in "faith" not works! Second.5-6). we wait for it. these He also justified. living by faith for living by works.Staying Free This in no way means a person can be genuinely saved or justified and then lose his salvation. We don’t earn it." In v. In this verse learn that we are to live in the power of "the Spirit" not the flesh. We don’t strive for it. these He also called. the Apostle confirms. We have been SET FREE and we are to STAY FREE by rejecting false teaching and false teachers. we wait for it. "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything. total sanctification and final glorification. and whom He justified. They allow others to shrink the circle of God’s freedom for their lives.4 of "you who attempt to be justified by the law. faith is what matters most. Notice how Paul has shifted his personal pronouns from "you" to "we." The emphasis in vv.6.5-6 is faith." Sometimes genuine believers get caught up in legalism. file:///C|/cbc/G15." He spoke in v. Circumcision or uncircumcision will neither add nor take away from you. First. Paul says it is "by faith" that we "through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. we wait by faith. we wait for it. we are waiting for complete righteousness. "Moreover whom He predestined." Though we have the imputed righteousness of Christ on our lives right now. They exchange walking in grace for being shackled to the law. False Teaching Denies People Faith (vv.8:30 says. Rom. in "hope" not uncertainty. We don’t work for it. It is the "hope" for which we wait.5. Look to v.

it seemed a shame to keep the bird inside the house all the time. California. false teachers lead us away from the song of freedom we have in Christ. This reminds me of the story of a man who had a fine canary whose song was unusually beautiful. I recently read about a NCAA cross-country championship held in Riverside. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?" When Paul says. the result of our love. by the power of the indwelling Spirit is love.7-12). A. As we move into vv. "You ran well. False Teachers Hinder the Truth (v. "I have fought the good fight." The product of our faith. When we were saved.2 In the same way.7-12. One competitor. At first the canary was frightened. a metaphor he used often throughout the NT. So the owner placed the cage in a nearby tree for the bird to enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air. During the summer. I have finished the race. To Stay Free We Must Abandon False Teachers (vv. Many sparrows frequented the tree and were attracted to the cage. I have kept the faith" (2 Tim. Let’s examine five characteristics of false teachers. "You ran well. Our "working" for God is the product of our faith.4:7).htm (7 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:14 PM . church membership nor anything else will add to or take away from your standing in Christ. But gradually and almost imperceptibly he lost the sweetness of the song. the Apostle would write." he compares the Christian life to running a marathon. II.6 it is "faith working through love. we work because of the righteousness Christ has already placed in our lives. All that matters is faith! The Christian life is a life of faith and that faith produces works of love.7). we began the race and we will keep running until we meet Jesus face to face.Staying Free Baptism. Spending his summer in the wrong environment caused the canary to lose his finest song. We do not work in order to be righteous. Paul says at the end of v. Paul says. Mike file:///C|/cbc/G15. but soon enjoyed his companions. By the end of the summer his singing was little more than the twitter of the sparrows. Near the end of his life. 123 of them missed a turn and were disqualified. Of 128 runners. the Apostle shifts his emphasis from the danger of false teaching to false teachers.

"But there were also false prophets among the people. THIS IS WHY YOU NEED TO BE CONSTANTLY IN THE WORD OF GOD… THAT NO ONE LIMITS YOUR LIBERTY OR HINDERS YOUR RACE! 2 Pet. John Stott writes. and bring on themselves swift destruction. They had been "obeying the truth. His creed is expressed in his conduct. What he believes and how he behaves are all of a piece. his conduct is derived from his creed. There are no Judaizers left today. the obstacle or stumbling block in their path. to live out our faith. but false teaching still abound. To run the race well is to "obey[ing] the truth. a church or a Bible class does not guarantee that he is proclaiming the pure gospel. Delcavo was able to convince only four other runners to go with him." file:///C|/cbc/G15. "They thought it was funny that I went the right way. even as there will be false teachers among you. Delcavo responded.000-meter course and began waving for fellow runners to follow him. Just because a teacher is on TV or radio does not mean he has a right message. even denying the Lord who bought them."3 Even though they "ran well" at first and were "obeying the truth. "Only he who obeys the truth is an integrated Christian. Asked what his competitors thought of his mid-race decision not to follow the crowd." To run the race well is not just to believe the truth or have the right moral behavior. Of course both Paul and his readers knew it was the false teaching Judaizers who had contradicted apostolic teaching. "Hindered" literally means "beaten back." to apply what we believe to our behavior." The Galatian believers had a good start on the race of faith." Paul asks rhetorically who it was who became the hindrance. Just because someone carries a Bible does not mean they speak truth. who will secretly bring in destructive heresies.htm (8 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:14 PM . Just because a person has a ministry.Staying Free Delcavo.2:1 says. stayed on the 10. Paul says they "ran well" at first." someone "hindered" them.

C." Paul said to Ephesian elders in Acts 20:29. Lord. not sparing the flock. "For I know this.7:15 "Beware of false prophets." for the file:///C|/cbc/G15." D." yet they were turning away to a different "persuasion. "Leaven" or yeast in the Bible is symbolic of sin and error. This is one of the reasons we have to be vigilant. Paul tells us that "this persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. in the Lord that you will have no other mind…" Paul knew in his heart that error would not triumph over truth. Oh church. "A little leaven leavens the whole lump.9). Paul quotes a Jewish proverb in this verse.8).htm (9 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:14 PM . His confidence was not just in them." 1:6 says God "called you in the grace of Christ. who come to you in sheep's clothing.Staying Free B. False Teachers Contaminate Others (v." A little yeast permeates the whole batch of dough. but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Mt. He was assured that the Galatians would come to their senses and see this false teaching for what it really was. that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you.5:6 to show how sin unconfronted can ruin the fellowship of a church family. 'Lord.' shall enter the kingdom of heaven. False Teachers are not from God (v. There are many wolves among God’s sheep. False Teachers Persecute Others (vv.7:21). but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." a "different gospel" of ritual and rulekeeping rather than grace. be careful. "I have confidence in you. Jesus said. but "in the Lord.10-11). ever watching what we teach. Jesus said in Mt. Next Paul says. Paul uses this same proverb in 1 Cor. "Not everyone who says to Me. Here in Galatians "leaven" represents how a little false teaching can spread to a large body of believers. There are many different voices clamoring for your attention.

the false teachers had claimed that Paul agreed with their teaching. who has given them to Me. As he said to the Philippians. "…but he who troubles [stirs up or agitates] you shall bear his judgment whoever he is. "And I give them eternal life. Paul says. neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. Paul asks. They were preaching circumcision. and they shall never perish. to preach Christ crucified is to invite it." V. is greater than all." Stott writes. Finally. his eternal destiny is set. To preach circumcision is to tell sinners that they can save themselves by their own good works. People hate to be told that they can be saved only at the foot of the cross.12)."4 E. My Father. he was preaching Christ and the cross. In v. to preach Christ crucified is to tell them that they cannot and that only Christ can save them through the cross… To preach circumcision is to avoid persecution. then Christ’s death was needless and "the offense of the cross has ceased. and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. the Apostle adds. "I could wish that those who trouble file:///C|/cbc/G15.10:28-29.htm (10 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:14 PM ." The destiny of false teachers who lead others astray is judgment. False Teachers Should be Cut Off (v. No matter how far a genuine believer may stray into error. upheld by God. "Paul sets himself and the false teachers in stark contrast. that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. why were the Jews constantly persecuting him? If circumcision saved.Staying Free Lord would lead them in truth. "If I still preach circumcision why do I still suffer persecution?" If he still preached that a person had to be circumcised. Jesus said in Jn. "Being confident of this very thing.1:6). and they oppose the preacher who tells them so.10.11 seems to suggest that the Judaizers.

" We are to keep our circle. The NEB translates this phrase "make eunuchs of themselves." Oh that this church. or an angel from heaven. let him be accursed. "Christ has made us free.htm (11 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:14 PM . Circumcision of course refers to any way of approaching God by our works. So pilot ejection became a more sophisticated process.Staying Free you would even cut themselves off!" This is one of the harshest statements we have from the apostle. all a pilot needed to do was push a button. that we as individual believers would have such a passion." therefore we must "stand fast" in our glorious liberty. our boundaries solid but wide. preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you. by trusting in something else other than Christ." Paul so deeply loved the people of God and the truth of God that he wished anyone who would disrupt the work of God be cut off. "But even if we." file:///C|/cbc/G15. a former jet pilot turned business leader. clear the plane. He was so passionate about the heresy being spread by the falseteaching Judaizers that he wished they would "cut" or mutilate themselves. Are you trusting in your baptism or in Jesus? Are you trusting in your church or in Jesus? Are you trusting in your family or in Jesus? We must either choose freedom or bondage. Theoretically of course. We are not to be "entangled" ever again in any form of religious "bondage. then roll forward out of the seat so the parachute would open. they "flew much faster than their propeller predecessors. such a hunger for truth! Let me conclude with two final thoughts: We must either choose Christ or circumcision. tells his readers in Seize the Day that when jet fighters were first invented. He said in 1:8. Danny Cox.

thus freeing the parachute. Amarillo."5 The bottom line is that jet fighter pilots needed that device to launch them out of their chairs. Church Music World (Nov. without the written permission of the copyright holder. 30. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source).137. p. Cornerstone Baptist Church.Staying Free But there was a problem that popped up during testing. 4. Galatians. Cox writes: "The new design called for a two-inch webbed strap. performances.134. P. the electronic take-up reel would immediately take up the slack. One end attached to the front edge of the seat.htm (12 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:14 PM .O. Christianity Today. Wylie. 5 Danny Cox. The other end attached to an electronic take-up reel behind the headrest. instead of letting go. The Message of Galatians./Dec. The parachute would remain trapped between the seat and the pilot's back.2003 Coy M. under the pilot. recordings. 3 John R. Wylie. file:///C|/cbc/G15. p. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. no. would keep a grip on the seat. Vol.. and force the pilot forward out of his seat.W. broadcasts. displays or other products offered for sale. Stott. Pastor. Box 7403. p.135. Two seconds after ejection. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. 1985). The engineers went back to the drawing board and came up with a solution. revised. TX 79114-7403. edited. Seize the Day: Seven Steps to Achieving the Extraordinary in an Ordinary World (Career Press. 4 Ibid. Some pilots. Jerry Lock. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications. The question is what will it take to launch us out of ours? John MacArthur. 1994) 2 1 Copyright © 1998 .

As we continue in Galatians 5. He said in 1:15-16a that "…it pleased God who separated me from my mother’s womb and CALLED ME through His grace. Sergeant Alvin York. My dad fought in Normandy during WWII. Robert E.htm (1 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:26 PM . Lee." You didn’t WIN your spiritual freedom. "For you. At the beginning of every school day in Mrs. My brother did his duty in Vietnam. Paul reminds us and the Galatians in 1:5 that God "called you in the grace of Christ. freedom from the law. You were "CALLED" to spiritual freedom. Langston’s first grade class. I have forefathers who fought in the Civil War. the Apostle Paul begins this section by saying." Paul came to understand that God had "called" him long before he heard the voice of the Lord in the shinning light on the Damascus Road. On battlefields near and far generation upon generation of American fighting men have given their lives to preserve our liberty. We didn’t even choose this liberty until He chose us. have been called to liberty. Douglas MacArthur… the list could go on and on. As I grew older. but to keep our freedom. My papa toughed it out in the bloody trenches of France during WWI. We are a free people today because our ancestors won our freedom. 2001 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie The Purpose of Our Freedom Galatians 5:13-15 When I was a little boy. Jesus did. We take pride in the fact that we won our political and economic freedoms.The Purpose of Our Freedom January 21. We should salute the flag. freedom from judgment. We should thank God each day for the privilege of living in this great nation." Because we have been "called to liberty. As a young man." we are to "stand fast… in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and …not be entangled again with a yoke of file:///C|/cbc/G16. we didn’t win our spiritual freedom. our commitment to the Stars and Stripes. As Americans we look back with pride upon men like George Washington. I was taught patriotism. I realized that this patriotism was deeply imbedded in my own family. I learned that we Americans take our freedom seriously because it was hard won from England. Our ancestors not only fought to win our freedom. Our lives in Christ did not begin with our decision to follow Jesus but with His gracious calling in our lives. to reveal His Son in me." Underline the word "called. Nathan Hale. You didn’t INHERIT your spiritual freedom. The love of freedom runs deep in this country and should be passed along to our children and grandchildren. He gives us freedom from guilt. However. freedom from the power and penalty of sin. In places like Bunker Hill. brethren. Brandywine and Valley Forge. we put our hands over our heart and verbally pledged our allegiance. patriots suffered unspeakable hardships and bled and died to secure our liberty.

particularly the NT. Jesus has "made us free" but His purpose in making us free is not so that we may feed the self-seeking desires of our "flesh. We inherited this sinful nature from our parents who received it from their parents before them and so on all the way back to Adam and Eve and the Fall. Paul has battled LEGALISM. This raises an important question. and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.4:26-27 carries the same idea. nor give place to the devil. The Lord has never intended for us to live in bondage. "Be angry. Sometimes before we can understand what something is we must understand what it is not. Eph. many people don’t see Christianity as freedom at all." This comes from a Greek word that was used in a military context to describe a base of operation. Before we can understand the purpose of our liberty. disregard for rules of personal file:///C|/cbc/G16. The dictionary defines license as "freedom that allows or is used with irresponsibility. and indulgence in all manner of sin." In the Bible. a command post. We are not to give the enemy a "place" or a door of "opportunity" in our lives. they see it as religious bondage to lists of do’s and don’ts. the selfish condition of our hearts. the Apostle answers that question. Now he addresses the other side of the coin.13-15. After reminding us that we have been "called to liberty. Unfortunately.The Purpose of Our Freedom bondage" (5:1). let’s understand what the purpose is not." Notice the phrase "an opportunity for the flesh." Believers are not to use their liberty as an excuse for sin. brethren have been called to liberty. Each of us was born with an innate sense of selfishness that manifests itself in greed. He has given us the call of grace. I. This is not just for some believers but for all.13a)." The Lord has graciously "called" each believing brother and sister to live in and "stand fast" in spiritual freedom. LICENSE. Both negatively and positively Paul tells us why God "called" us to spiritual freedom. That’s why Paul reminds the Galatians that "You." Paul commands us not to "use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh.htm (2 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:26 PM . the ritualistic religion of following rules and regulations. envy. Up until this point in the book of Galatians. why have we been "called to liberty?" What is the PURPOSE of our freedom? In vv. "flesh" doesn’t so much refer to our muscles and skin as it does to our human nature. a place from which to launch an attack. The Purpose of Our Freedom is not to Serve Ourselves (v.

He wanted more. Some people see their salvation as a sort of spiritual insurance policy. It covers me from my neck to my knees. his refusal to control his "flesh" touched hundreds of lives. gangsters would carry their guns cloaked under an overcoat so that no one could see them.The Purpose of Our Freedom conduct: licentiousness. wallow in smutty pornographic movies and magazines and live in complete self-centered. It wasn’t an affair. He was attracted to a much younger woman in his congregation and began to flirt with her. I have serious doubts that the person who persists in such a lifestyle has ever been file:///C|/cbc/G16. He seemed to have everything going his way. Some people claim to be Christians and believe they can get drunk. They think they can do whatever they want to do because they are "covered."1 Spiritual freedom can be dangerous when misapplied. the lives of his teenage children and brought a good church to its knees. Yet. God’s abundant blessings were not enough for him. The ripple effect of his sin. but as bondservants of God." They know Jesus has paid the price for their sins and that they will go to heaven when they die so they feel free to do whatever makes them happy right now. It covers everything else I wear. like an overcoat. great kids and a growing ministry. self-gratifying indulgence. IT WAS ADULTERY! When they were inevitably caught." We are not to cover up our sin and excuse it by saying that Christ has made us free. Sin came knocking when he found out her marriage wasn’t all it appeared to be. yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice. Peter tells us that we are not to cover our "vice" or sinfulness with our spiritual "liberty. All the while they will tell you that they are certain that they are saved and that Jesus has set them free." He used his spiritual freedom to allow the devil to launch an attack in his life. don’t you think God wants me to be happy?" What’s wrong with this picture? Here is a man who used the liberty of the Lord as "an opportunity for the flesh.htm (3 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:26 PM . Before long they were sneaking around to meet each other. he unremorsefully whined. I have a heavy wool overcoat I wear in extreme cold weather. use drugs." A "cloak" is a covering. When I talked with him. In the old mob movies. they ruined two marriages. Folks listen! Jesus suffered and died on the cross to set you free from sin not to give you freedom to sin! He gives you freedom to serve God and others not to wallow in your own selfishness! 1 Pet.2:16 says we are to live "as free. I had a gifted pastor friend who was blessed with a beautiful wife. "I know God loves me.

" q Love Motivates Service Christian freedom is not the freedom to do whatever I want to do without regard for others." II."Rom. "And having been set free from sin." what then is the purpose of our liberty? It is to serve others. you became slaves of righteousness.13. to fulfill its lusts. whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. However. we are not to use our freedom to serve the "flesh. It is not a free pass to sin. As a pastor I love to see new people come into our fellowship. Everyone would know that they are dearly loved. On the contrary we are to "love" them and "serve" them. Negatively. "For even Christ did not please Himself…" Liberty is not license. Paul says that at the end of v. Everyone would be included.13b-15). Everyone would be fulfilled.6:18 says. So often we see people in terms of what they can do for us when we should see them in terms of what we can do for them. Not only does our congregation grow in size. He or she should use those gifts and abilities to serve God here in our church.The Purpose of Our Freedom saved in the first place. "I say to you." Because of our "love" we are to humble ourselves to the point of serving others as a slave. I should be looking for ways that we can serve them. It is not an excuse for the flesh. "to become a slave.13:14. I am not one master with many slaves but one lowly slave with many masters! What a radical concept! What if everyone in our congregation had that mindset? What if each of us went around looking for ways to serve everyone else? Everyone’s needs would be met. and make no provision for the flesh. The Purpose of Our Freedom is to Serve Others (vv.8:34." Rom." Positively we are to use our freedom in order to "through love serve one another. It’s always exciting to learn what capabilities new people will bring to our ministry. Now that we know that our freedom is not to serve ourselves. If we give in to our lusts we are bound by a more dreadful form of slavery. it grows in depth. Rom. file:///C|/cbc/G16. not to be used "as an opportunity for the flesh.15:3 says. The word "serve" in this verse comes from a Greek word that means. Every believer that makes Cornerstone home has a unique mix of gifts and abilities. I must be very careful that I do not view them as though they are here to serve me and our ministries. "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ. On the contrary. Jesus said in Jn.htm (4 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:26 PM .

and those who exercise authority over them are called 'benefactors.2:5-7."2 In Lk. love does not parade itself. to not seek your own and to bear all things? Or. taking the form of a bondservant. believes all things. do we not constantly measure ourselves against each other? Do we not continually analyze the pecking order? In vv. Let’s read this description of loving service in vv. do you complain loudly or sit disgustedly with your arms across your chest refusing to try to worship God? How about when you hear a juicy bit of gossip about another believer? Do you automatically believe the worst and quickly pass it along to others or do you file:///C|/cbc/G16.4-8a. but to serve." Paul wrote in Phil." Honestly. who. Love never fails. does this sound like the attitude you have toward your brothers and sisters in God’s family. "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served. -not slavery to our flesh. being in the form of God. and coming in the likeness of men.10:45. let him be as the younger.' But not so among you. "Love suffers long and is kind. or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves. but rejoices in the truth. did not consider it robbery to be equal with God. hopes all things. It is a remarkable paradox." Jesus is greatest of all because He made himself servant of all! He said in Mk. "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them. For from one point of view Christian freedom is a form of slavery. Yet.htm (5 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:26 PM . does not behave rudely. is not provoked. does not seek its own. but to our neighbor." This seems so silly. Let’s make this very practical. but made Himself of no reputation. and to give His life a ransom for many.The Purpose of Our Freedom John Stott has written. does not rejoice in iniquity." If we love one another we will serve one another. "Christian liberty is service not selfishness. he who is greatest among you. How do we offer loveinspired service? Turn to 1 Cor. on the contrary. We are free in relation to God but slaves in relation to each other. and he who governs as he who serves. thinks no evil.22. so juvenile to our 21st century ears. How do you respond when a worship service is too contemporary or too old fashioned for your tastes? Does love cause you to suffer long.25-27 Jesus responds to their pettiness.13. "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. is not puffed up. bears all things. endures all things. a "dispute" arises among Jesus’ disciples concerning "which of them should be considered the greatest. love does not envy. For who is greater. the great "Love Chapter" of the Bible. he who sits at the table. if we serve one another we love one another.

Sometimes they drive their mother and I crazy with their bickering and fighting. Jesus didn’t save us for that! I have two young daughters at home. I’ve seen some pretty bad dogfights in evangelical churches! What is the root of such bickering and fighting? Legalism. When we major on lists of do’s and don’ts instead of love we have problems because everyone has a different list! Have you ever seen a spiritual cannibal take a chunk out of another brother or sister? It’s a terrible tragedy. Every once in a while either their mother or I will just get sick of it. One has the other’s Barbie clothes.The Purpose of Our Freedom think no evil and refuse to rejoice in others sin? Do you dig for details or do you begin to pray for the other person? When you see someone who has more gifts and talents than you. Drop down to v. One is 8 and the other 10. We will blow our cool and end up shouting louder then they do! Don’t you think our Father in heaven gets sick of file:///C|/cbc/G16.15. Selfishness rules. People are more often ostracized in legalistic churches. locked in mortal combat. the Galatians were not lovingly serving one another. Think about it. new people to love and serve? Are you quick to forgive an offense or do you chew on a grudge for a long time? Are you eager to share your ministry with others or do you think you are the only one who can do anything right? Do you complain and gripe while never volunteering to do anything or do you willingly give of yourself to help out and offer words of encouragement to others? Oh man! This kind of brutal self-analysis is rough… yet very necessary.htm (6 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:26 PM ." This is a word picture that describes two wild dogs going at each other. "But if you bite and devour one another beware lest you be consumed by one another. Most church splits occur in legalistic churches. One dared to cross the border into the other’s room without permission. allow the Holy Spirit to prick your heart and reveal any lack of love and service. are you jealous or do you refuse to engage in envy? Do you like to show off or do you refuse to parade your ability? Are you puffed up with what you know or are you a willing learner? Do you fellowship exclusively with just a few people or are you always looking for new relationships. One has the others hair clip. Evidently. Pray. Pastors and staff are more often fired in legalistic churches.

q The Law is Fulfilled in Love In v. "Therefore.htm (7 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:26 PM ." That is. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. As we turn to Rom. bickering and selfish attitudes? Aren’t you glad He never loses His cool? It is no wonder the Bible refers to us as the "children of God" because we sure act like children much of the time. "Christ has made us free" from the ritual and rules of the OT. testing Him." He asked an often-debated question among Jewish theologians. "you shall love your neighbor as yourself" (a quote of Lev. "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart. a "lawyer asked Him a question. the whole OT is summed up in that principle. Now he seems to be speaking favorably of the law when he tells us that "all the law is fulfilled in one word. In the Sermon on the Mount in Mt.7:12 the Lord said. we need to understand an important truth.22. it was changed.19:18). Now Paul tells us that "all the law. The relationship of believers to the Law was not dissolved when Jesus came." all those principles are "fulfilled" or summed up in "one word" or statement. God’s desire for our holiness and His standards of right and wrong have never changed. Over and over again he has reiterated that we come to God by grace through faith. Paul got that from Jesus. the Apostle writes." God has always called His people to love Him and to love and serve each other. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.The Purpose of Our Freedom our arguing.37-40.13:8-10 we find Paul elaborating on Jesus’ teaching. "For all the law is fulfilled in one word. whatever you want men to do to you. for this is the Law and the Prophets. We no longer follow commandments but principles that are illustrated in the OT and directly applied in the NT." Throughout the entire letter Paul has adamantly argued against approaching God by keeping the law. "Owe file:///C|/cbc/G16. On another occasion in Mt. and with all your mind. "Which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus responded in vv." Before we go any farther.14. with all your soul. even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus fulfilled and completed the ceremonial aspects of the law but the overarching moral principles are still in effect. do also to them.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. Yet. For example." If we took the time to go verse by verse through Leviticus. ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. "It is freedom not to indulge the flesh.’ ‘You shall not murder.’ ‘You shall not steal." Though there are numerous prohibitions against drunkenness. However we found it impossible to keep the law.’ ‘You shall not covet. Still.20:1 says. Let’s consider the topic of drinking alcohol.’ and if there is any other commandment.The Purpose of Our Freedom no one anything except to love one another. therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. in which is dissipation. but because of a principle. Love constrains me. not by keeping the law.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor.htm (8 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:26 PM . freedom not to disregard the law. For the commandments. I don’t drink at all. How would you feel if you saw me at a ball game with a glass of beer in my hand? How would that effect you? What would your child think if they saw me sipping a margarita at my favorite Mexican restaurant? Even more personally. "And do not be drunk with wine.5:18 says. we would find dozens and dozens of commandments as to how to treat our neighbors in a loving fashion. Stott writes. but be filled with the Spirit. God gives us a simple principle that supercedes the commandments: love others in the same way you love yourself. I don’t want to take a chance on getting drunk or even worse becoming an alcoholic. ‘You shall not commit adultery. no where does the Bible absolutely forbid us to drink. Eph. are all summed up in this saying. Strong drink is a brawler. In speaking of spiritual freedom. Now instead of giving us detailed commandments. for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. freedom not to exploit our neighbor. what would my children think? Would they want to follow my example? You bet. We have some liberty in this area. there are many reasons why I choose not to drink alcohol. Primarily I don’t drink because of love for other people. not because of a commandment. The Bible has a lot to say about being drunk with alcohol. Then we heard the gospel of God’s grace and trusted in Christ. We first tried to win God’s approval by keeping His law or being good. This verse brings us a full circle in the book of Galatians. namely. We were approved by God by faith.’ ‘You shall not bear false witness. but to fulfill the file:///C|/cbc/G16. Jesus’ purpose in our freedom is not that we might love one another and prove that love by serving one another. but to serve our neighbor. In Christ we have been freed from trying to keep the law." Prov. but to control the flesh. And whoever is led astray by it is not wise. The paradox is that when we truly love one another as we love ourselves we end up fulfilling the heart and soul of the law from which Christ freed us. "Wine is a mocker.

you have set me free but I have wasted that freedom by serving my own selfish desires. Wylie.The Purpose of Our Freedom law.2003 Coy M. love for his master. That’s what God is asking us to do. Help me to fulfill the purpose of my freedom. Copyright © 1998 . Rom. If he comes in by himself. if he comes in married.htm (9 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:26 PM . he gave an ordinance in chapter 21 that serves as a beautiful illustration of what Paul has taught us in Galatians. first in self-control. or to the doorpost. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. Let me read vv. then his wife shall go out with him… But if the servant plainly says. Pierce me. Lord I offer you my heart. he shall go out by himself. "But now having been set free from sin" we have "become slaves of God. p.' then his master shall bring him to the judges. Stott. Everyone who has been truly set free by Jesus Christ expresses his liberty in these ways. Your Word and Your Spirit have pricked my heart. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge."3 Immediately after God gave Moses the Ten Commandments in Ex.20.142. and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing.2-6. 3 Ibid. I realize today Lord from Your Word that the purpose for which you set me free was that I might serve You and others in love. and thirdly in obedience to the law of his God. As the Hebrew slave of old offered His ear to be pierced as a symbol of love and loyalty. Maybe you would pray something like this. 'I love my master… I will not go out free. Even though He has set us free." Today people pierce various parts of their bodies out of a sense of style. file:///C|/cbc/G16. He shall also bring him to the door. O Lord. and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl. and he shall serve him forever." Maybe today you would pray as I have prayed after studying this passage. "Lord. "If you buy a Hebrew servant. Oh Lord. p." 1 2 Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. pp. next in loving service of his neighbor. he shall serve six years. He asks us to give up the freedom to serve ourselves in order to willingly serve Him.688. In those days a man had his ear pierced as a symbol of love.143-144.6:22 says.

Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M.O. without the written permission of the copyright holder. Amarillo. Box 7403. file:///C|/cbc/G16. recordings. performances. P. displays or other products offered for sale. edited. Cornerstone Baptist Church. TX 79114-7403.htm (10 of 10)4/30/2005 1:55:26 PM . Wylie. broadcasts. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications.The Purpose of Our Freedom This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). Pastor. revised.

he'd been living on relief. We’ve tried to overcome temptation. We watch TV or read some other material rather than the Bible." This is not merely a suggestion for believers but a COMMAND. 30 years after the discovery. the Spirit of God indwells us. At 1. The first well came in at 80.htm (1 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:20 PM .13-15. In file:///C|/cbc/G17. Here we learned that the PURPOSE of our freedom is to give us an "opportunity. We’ve tried to maintain a disciplined prayer life. Mr. Yates. Like Mr. The problem? He didn't know the oil was there even though he owned it. As genuine believers." that is we are not to use our freedom as an excuse for sin and selfish indulgence. not the power of the Holy Spirit. 2001 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie Walking in the Spirit Galatians 5:16-18 Dr.000 barrels a day." We are not to use our freedom as "an opportunity for the flesh. In fact.000 barrels of oil a day. to be honest. Rather our spiritual freedom gives us an "opportunity" that we might "through love serve one another. so he was in danger of losing his ranch. Yet."1 I have no doubt that almost all of us have tried to live a good Christian life. We’ve tried to love others. as he grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills. A multimillionaire living in poverty. We’ve tried to be grateful. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well. We’ve tried to study the Bible. Day after day. With little money for clothes or food. his family (like many others) had to live on government subsidy. We end up being angry with others more often than forgiving them. We’ve tried to have a good attitude about serving others. Yet. Why? We fail because we are living in our power. we have an almost unbelievable amount of wealth and power just beneath the surface of our lives. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large. We daydream more often than we pray. We give into temptation more often than overcome it.Walking in the Spirit January 28. we’ve had more failures in these efforts than success. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ tells this story of a famous oil field called Yates Pool: "During the depression this field was a sheep ranch owned by a man named Yates. Yates owned it all. Yates wasn't able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage.115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125. We simply need to tap into His resources in order to have victory. Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. Let’s go back to last week’s passage in vv. We’ve tried to put away our sinful desires. The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. and he signed a lease contract. And Mr. he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills.

" "Walk" here comes from a Greek word used in the present tense file:///C|/cbc/G17. A. all-encompassing command of the law. the only way you can accomplish this is to WALK IN THE SPIRIT. "Because you are to overcome the flesh. He is mentioned 8 times in this chapter. "I say then…" In other words. The command to love is not a new burden to be laid on our backs but rather the very first "fruit" of a life surrendered daily to the Spirit of God (v. as we will learn. pray or have any spiritual victory without the Holy Spirit. it seems impossible.htm (2 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:20 PM . for me to go through the day without allowing "the flesh" to control me is exceedingly difficult. Paul begins by giving us a COMMAND. "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" and therefore never "bite and devour one another. I can never have the same concern for others that I have for myself without the Holy Spirit’s power. because you are not to bite and devour one another." That sounds good in a sermon on Sunday morning but it very difficult to put into practice on Monday morning. I can never overcome "the flesh" without the Spirit. How many of you studied that passage with me last week and then found it easy to apply all this past week? To be honest with you. If "Christ has made me free. study. What Does It Mean to Walk in the Spirit? (v. We must simply learn to "walk in the Spirit" Therefore today I hope to ask and answer three questions from our text. I will never serve.Walking in the Spirit fact. To Walk in the Spirit is to be Led by the Spirit.22). why is it vital to walk in the Spirit and how can we walk in the Spirit. For me to get up in the morning and begin my day feeling as much concern for your needs as my own is beyond my power. People who try to overcome temptation and sin without the Spirit always end up as failures at best and hypocrites at worst. To care for you as much as I care for me seems unattainable.16a). because you are to serve one another in love and love one another as you love yourselves. "All the law is fulfilled" in this "one word. they are primarily not our work but the Spirit’s work. He emphasizes this with the words. it is the supreme. Victory over sin and loving one another are not easy for us. Our freedom is tied to the Spirit. The more I try to live out these commands the more I become depressed at my own failures." why do I feel so enslaved? The answer is simple." namely. I will always "bite and devour" others without the Spirit. I can never be who God wants me to be apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. People who try to love without relying on the Spirit end up trying to fill their own emptiness rather than sharing out of their fullness. I. However. what does it mean to walk in the Spirit.

To be "led by the Spirit" is different. to "walk in the Spirit" and to be "led by the Spirit" is the same thing. he follows in his own strength. The greeter leads. when I am "led by the Spirit" I don’t follow in my own power. a hostess will lead us to our table. When a restaurant hostess leads me.22 paints a different picture of walking by the Spirit." "Walking in the Spirit" sounds like so many Christian buzzwords. a shepherd leading sheep. When a racecar follows a pace car it follows by the raw power of its own finely tuned engine. joy. regular action… a habitual way of life. When a guest walks into our building. However." It implies making progress. a train engine. the guest follows.18 which tells we are to be "led by the Spirit. To "walk in the Spirit" then is to be "led by the Spirit" which means we are to be hooked up or coupled to the power of the Lord. we follow. She leads. our greeters will lead him to a Bible class or to the worship center. Our mission statement says that we exist as a church to "meet people as they are and help them become what God wants them to be." Thus. For you NASCAR fans. to go from where you are to where you should be.Walking in the Spirit referring to "a continuous. V. The Greek word behind "led" is used of a farmer herding cattle. not our own. I follow her under my power. peace…" If the Christian walk.htm (3 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:20 PM . "But the fruit of the Spirit is love." Therefore our primary goal as a church is to teach people to "walk in the Spirit. What does it mean? I think we get some help with this from v. the Christian life is to be marked by love." When we walk into a restaurant. To Walk in the Spirit is to Bear the Fruit of the Spirit. of soldiers escorting a prisoner to prison and of the wind driving a ship. joy file:///C|/cbc/G17. He leads us down the tracks of God’s intentions and we follow being pulled by His power. The Holy Spirit is like a locomotive. B. an auto race begins when the pace car leads the racers around the track. We can understand being "led. It says. When a guest follows a greeter.

" our lives will reflect His life. "keep in step with the Spirit. the cars in the train have to cooperate with the engine. and I in him. "Walk" is an action word. to "walk in the Spirit" is to "abide" or stay connected to Jesus. To Walk in the Spirit is to Choose the Spirit instead of the Flesh. The English words are the same in both verses but there are two distinct Greek terms." The Spirit leads us by His power just as the locomotive leads the train by its power. I am the vine. They have to be on the tracks and have their breaks released. Some Bible teachers so emphasize the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life that they’ve denied any human responsibility. the Christian life is nothing but passive submission and yieldedness to God. "Let go and let God" or "All you need to do is surrender. "For without Me you can do nothing.Walking in the Spirit and peace then to "walk in the Spirit" is the same as bearing the "fruit of the Spirit. The word in v. bears much fruit." C. Quietism teaches a passive surrender to God to almost total exclusion of human volition and action. We’ve all heard phrases like. The Holy Spirit can’t lead us if we dig in our heels and refuse to follow. neither can you.15:4-5. However." The NIV says. you are the branches. Jesus said. It implies not only the leadership of the Holy Spirit but also the "followship" of believers. If we stay connected to Jesus we will "bear much fruit. He who abides in Me. This teaching was promoted by the Quakers among others and is called quietism. for without Me you can do nothing. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself. In this section we see the phrase "walk in the Spirit" both in v.16 and in v." Therefore. "Abide in Me. unless you abide in Me. and I in you.25 means "to walk in line with" or "be in line with. We are not passively drug by the Spirit but actively pursue Him. The Lord said in Jn. we will always fail. unless it abides in the vine. If we try to live the Christian life apart from walking in the Spirit." In their thinking.25.2 file:///C|/cbc/G17.htm (4 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:20 PM ." I think Paul got his metaphor of the "fruit of the Spirit" from Jesus. a verb.

You think she gave you a dirty look or she said something about someone that you didn’t like." No way! The Spirit is leading you to exercise "self-control" (v. Walking in the Spirit is not a passive excuse but an active choice. I know I have just ALIENATED HALF THE CONGREGATION! Guys. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin." file:///C|/cbc/G17. What will you do? A passive approach would be. You can stop to lustfully leer. if the Holy Spirit doesn’t want me to see this. but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. "Likewise you also.6:11-13 says. As you are surfing the channels with your remote. and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. "Well. Yet just as man’s will is involved in salvation.Walking in the Spirit The POWER for Christian living is entirely from the Spirit of God just as the POWER of salvation is entirely in the Son of God. You can’t stand the way she dresses and parades herself. scantily clad woman is seducing a man. I heard one pastor say such women suffer from PMS… PRETTY MEAN SISTER SYNDROME! What will you do about her? Will you have nothing to do with her and absolutely ignore her? Will you complain about her behind her back? Will you gossip about her? Will you turn others against her? A passive approach might be. We must choose to "walk in the Spirit" and we must make that choice daily. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body. you must make a choice. It involves both the POWER of God and the WILLINGNESS of the believer. Rom. reckon [consider] yourselves to be dead indeed to sin.23) and turn the lustful program off! The question is not what is the Spirit leading you to do but are you walking with the Spirit. "The Holy Spirit won’t lead me to have anything to do with her until she changes" or "The Holy Spirit is leading me to lead others away from her so that they don’t get hurt. but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead. that you should obey it in its lusts. Let’s say that you are watching TV. She’s mean and nasty. man’s will is involved in sanctification. you find a program where a beautiful." Let’s say that you’ve got a problem with another sister in the church. He will make the cable go out" or "Maybe the Spirit wants me to develop a strategy for witnessing to beach babes in bikinis. you can move on to a better program or you can turn off the tube.htm (5 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:20 PM .

"the lust of the flesh. If you are engaged in fulfilling fleshly lusts you are not walking in the Spirit. indulgent inner craving. We are all born with an intrinsic desire for self and sin. "I can do it myself. 6:10 says. you are not fulfilling the lust of your flesh. "I can do it myself. We cannot do both at the same time. Let’s take a closer look at that phrase.16." The two are incompatible and mutually exclusive. Ashlea was a toddler her favorite words were. When my daughter. it is much more encompassing than that.htm (6 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:20 PM . When We Walk in the Spirit We do not fulfill the Lust of the Flesh.16b-18). Look again to v." If we tried to button her shirt. In the NT. the physical part of us. "I can do it myself. As I said last week this is called Total Hereditary Depravity. she would reply. let us DO GOOD TO ALL. especially those who are of the HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH. It’s that empty part of you that craves fulfillment but is unsubmissive to God. We see both cause and result. as we have opportunity. "I can do it myself. We inherited this from parents and it is part of all the sons and daughter of Adam." If we tried to tie her shoes. When you "walk in the Spirit" the result is "you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. A. "flesh" does not always refer to muscle." Now I know what you are thinking. Because of our modern usage of the word "lust" and especially when it is coupled with "the flesh" we automatically think of sensual." If we tried to help her use a fork instead of her fingers. following His leadership in your life. however. The "flesh" is the part of us that seeks pleasure and satisfaction apart from God.Walking in the Spirit BALONY!!! The Spirit is leading you to "through love serve" that woman. If you are keeping in step with the Spirit. sexual lusts. "The lust of the flesh" certainly includes looking upon another person with the thought of personal sexual gratification." Don’t use your freedom as an excuse for sin and then blame it on the leadership of the Holy Spirit. comb her hair or brush her teeth. Why Is It Vital to Walk in the Spirit? (vv. she said. she said. skin and tissue. To "walk in the Spirit" is always a conscience choice. II. but rather the selfish." file:///C|/cbc/G17. "Therefore.

htm (7 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:20 PM . in which you once walked according to the course of this world. uncleanness. according to the prince of the power of the air. Eph. and these are contrary to one another. I’ll find my own way. fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind. I’ll find my own happiness.17. drunkenness. and the like…" We will cover them in more detail next week. among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh.19-22.2:1-3 describes our lives before we were saved. idolatry. "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh." Write this down: ALL CHRISTIANS EXPERIENCE THIS INNER STRUGGLE! Just because you struggle with the old sinful flesh does not mean you are not a Christian." God says. fornication." Paul goes on to give us a list of the "works of the flesh" in vv. the presence of such conflict within you is credible evidence that you are a genuine believer! A Christian is not a person who has no lust. murders.Walking in the Spirit The "flesh" says the same thing. "No thanks God. who were dead in trespasses and sins. and were by nature children of wrath. In fact." The NCV translates it this way. dissensions. jealousies. "And you He made alive." the flesh responds. The two are against each other. "Our sinful selves want what is against the Spirit. but I’ll take care of myself. envy. "I love you so much and I only want to bless you and give you everything you need for life. revelries. God says. Here we see the great conflict in every genuine believer. the great uncivil war. but there is a spiritual war going on within every authentic believer." the flesh says. contentions. lewdness. "I want to give you deep abiding joy regardless of your circumstances. "No thanks God. Now look back to v. sorcery." the flesh replies. "I want to lead you and guide you down the pathway of peace." God says. "adultery. a Christian is a person who by the power of the Holy Spirit is at war with those lusts! Unbelievers may struggle with issues of morality and conscience. heresies. the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience. Here we see the source of the war within. "Thanks God. outbursts of wrath. just as the others." file:///C|/cbc/G17. and the Spirit wants what is against our sinful selves. selfish ambitions. hatred.

Teary-eyed. warring against the law of my mind. "For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. Rom. "Do not use your liberty as an opportunity for the flesh." Though he had the desire to do what was right. Sometimes the Spirit overrides the flesh and sometimes the flesh overrides the Spirit. fast. God is gaining ground on the front lines of your heart! He is digging in and will not give up until the war is won! We have assurance from the Bible that one day even our flesh will be glorified or made perfect! Until then. Sometimes he had the desire to do wrong but didn’t do the wrong." Though there is a climactic struggle. "and we listen to him.13 says. According to their studies. because "the Spirit" and "the flesh" are "contrary to one another" that you often "do not do the things that you wish." We can have victory by relying on. Researchers have discovered certain people are genetically destined to excel in athletics. and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.C. E. you can be encouraged. After a few minutes. "Oh well. gene is longer in athletes than in those who are not agile. God gave you the gift of the Holy Spirit. her dad went in to talk with her about what she had done. But I see another law in my members. A little five-year-old girl had disobeyed her father and was sent to her room.8:2 says.htm (8 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:20 PM . "Why do we do wrong things. Paul explains the battle that was going on within him. the A. Daddy?" "Sometimes the devil tells us to do something wrong. he didn’t always do what was right. He came to permanently live within you and He launched an all out attack on your flesh! If your soul feels like a battlefield. "I wish God would talk louder!" Remember now that v. the flesh won that time.22-23. It is exactly because there is a battle within." In Rom. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." We are never to excuse our sin by saying.7." To which she sobbed.Walking in the Spirit When you were saved." he replied. We need to listen to God instead. victory over the flesh is always possible. file:///C|/cbc/G17. He says in v. the war within will rage on. keeping in step with and walking after the Spirit. she asked.

htm (9 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:20 PM .E." At the end of the list of spiritual fruits. Now look to v.13:14 says. we have the power to say no to sin and yes to righteousness.14 says love fulfilled "all the law. namely love." V." Think of it this way."3 B. "against such there is no law.C. you are not under the law. the Spirit produces.22 is "love. to fulfill its lusts." Of course this does not mean that we don’t have to fulfill God’s law.18. Vv." There walking in the Spirit does not mean that we do not have to fulfill the law but that what the law requires." Rom." Let me make this very simple. Remember the circular reasoning I described last week? The law couldn’t save us because we couldn’t keep it. "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Researchers also observed that people who are born with a longer A. how can we be under the oppressive burden of the law when the very things the law requires are budding in our lives like newly formed fruit on the branches of a tree? III. When we become a Christian and receive the Holy Spirit. those who receive Christ are capable of a life of spiritual victory. "But if you are led by the Spirit. But as with those genetically predisposed to athletic success. When We Walk in the Spirit We are not Under the Law. Similarly. Rom.13-14 tell us that we are to "through love serve one another" and that "all the law is fulfilled in one word" which is "You shall love your neighbor as yourself. How Can We Walk in the Spirit? A. We Walk in the Spirit when we Starve the Flesh. we must "work out. Yet by faith in Christ we end up keeping it by the power of His Spirit. that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. and make no provision for the flesh. The very first "fruit of the Spirit" in v. "He [God] condemned sin in the flesh. Paul says.Walking in the Spirit or well coordinated in their movements.8:3-4 says. Our desire as Spirit-filled believers file:///C|/cbc/G17. must work out to take advantage of their hereditary advantage.

taking pride in my possessions or my talents. "I have been crucified with Christ. This week I got an advertisement encouraging me to order The Beverly Hillbillies Bible Study! I’m serious! If we would just submit to the Spirit and open the Word daily it will revitalize our lives! file:///C|/cbc/G17. Satan is the master deceiver. I find happiness in my relationship with my wife. the Apostle says something very similar in 2:20. Hate the flesh! Despise the flesh! Don’t feed it and let it starve to death.24. but God’s truth always sets us free. Here in Galatians. it is no longer I who live. None of them fit. We’ll talk more about this when we get to v. fear and greed by walking in line with the Spirit." Paul is saying to us that everyday he found his joy in trusting the Lord. If I am not careful. "Rejoice in the Lord always. keeping in step with Him. We Walk in the Spirit when We Rejoice in the Lord. People will do almost anything but meditate in the Word." If we don’t put ourselves in a position to be tempted. Paul said. We only find lasting happiness and fulfillment when we rejoice in the Lord. On the positive side. who loved me and gave Himself for me. Again I will say.4:4). and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. We cannot rejoice in the Lord apart from knowing a meditating on His promises. There are hundreds of pieces of the world that we try to cram into the God-sized piece of the puzzle in our hearts. We all try to find happiness and fulfillment in hundreds of ways. the point is we should "make no provision" nor give the flesh "opportunity. we will almost always win. B.Walking in the Spirit should be to ferociously fight against the flesh. but Christ lives in me. in watching my girls play basketball or enjoying a beautiful morning in a duck blind. rejoice!" (Phil. Day by day he cast his cares on Him. watching things that indulge the flesh or being glad at the misfortune of others. arrogantly boasting of my accomplishments. The whole book of Philippians is about rejoicing in the Lord. Day by day he freed himself from the restraints of guilt. The most defeated and depressed Christians are those who will not meditate on the precious promises of God in the Scripture. I may also seek happiness in negative things like. However. These are all good things the Lord has given me.htm (10 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:20 PM .

copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications.152-154. Autobiography. and how my inner man might be nourished… Now what is food for the inner-man? Not prayer but.htm Copyright © 1998 . displays or other products offered for sale. edited. MacArthur. Box 7403. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. file:///C|/cbc/G17. recordings. 2-10-00 4 George Muller. How to Be Filled with the Spirit (Campus Crusade Publications). the blessed life of resting and rejoicing the Lord under all circumstances.153. Cornerstone Baptist Church.O.com/piper83/061983m.htm (11 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:20 PM . revised. "I saw more clearly than ever that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was to have my soul happy in the Lord. 5 From www."5 Truly when we say yes to the walk of the Spirit we will trade our sorrows and shame for the joy of the Lord. without the written permission of the copyright holder.2003 Coy M. performances.soundofgrace. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. George Nichol.Walking in the Spirit George Muller once wrote. Amarillo. The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord. P. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. 3 WGN Radio News. broadcasts. the founder of the China Inland Mission once received word of rioting near a mission station. or how I might glorify the Lord. while he dealt with the difficulties inward and outward. great and small. pp. Wylie. but how I might get my soul in a happy state. Wylie. p. Jesus I am Resting in the Joy of That Thou Art. one of his evangelists overheard Taylor whistling his favorite hymn. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). "Hudson Taylor had learned that for him. Pastor. 1 2 Bill Bright. the Word of God. TX 79114-7403. only one life was possible."4 Hudson Taylor.

What we will learn in vv. When we "walk in the Spirit" we live in HIS POWER not our own. Because many couldn’t be here last week due to inclement weather.Walking in the Spirit . spiritual freedom in Christ.Part 2 February 4." This is our COMMAND.14). V. rather. We are not to use our liberty "as an opportunity for the flesh. when you "love your neighbor as yourself" you fulfill "all the law." They are "contrary to one another. How do we do that? How can we wake up in the morning with the same concern for others as we have for ourselves? How can we always put the needs of others before our own needs? How can we overcome this innate sense of selfishness deep within each of us? One thing is certain.8:36. rules and ritualism. 2001 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie Walking in the Spirit . to "walk in the Spirit. "The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh. Jesus said in Jn. The theme of Galatians is liberty.13-18. the purpose of our freedom is that we might "through love serve one another" (v. please bear with me as I take a few moments to review what we’ve already covered. We need the abiding power of the Holy Spirit." The Lord has set us free from religion. There is a purpose to our freedom." the entire OT (v. When we "walk in the Spirit" we do not "fulfill the lust of the flesh" and visa verse. This section of Scripture speaks so clearly to where many of us are in our walk with Christ.13b). We are "led by the Spirit" not as a pace car leads a racecar but as an engine leads a train.Part 2 Galatians 5:19-25 I have intentionally hit my brakes and slowed our pace as we have come to chapter 5 of Galatians.19-26 is based on what we learned in vv. To "walk in the Spirit" is to intentionally choose to obey God rather than your fleshly desires. the Holy Spirit took of residence in your life and launched an all out attack on your flesh. "I say then: Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh." When you were saved.13a). Such inward struggle is a sign that proves you are a file:///C|/cbc/G18." that is we are not to use our spiritual freedom as an excuse for our selfindulgent sins (v. you shall be free indeed.16. Every day since then your soul has been a spiritual battlefield." Last week we noted that to walk in the Spirit is the same as being "led by the Spirit" (v.17 shows us the CONFLICT.18). I want to squeeze each verse for all it is worth and absorb each application the Holy Spirit gives us. "Therefore if the Son makes you free. However.htm (1 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:29 PM . That’s why the Apostle says in v. He has not set us free to do wrong but to do right. In fact. WE CAN’T DO IT ALONE.

that defiles a man. It is the core of our being. but his heart.htm (2 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:29 PM .Walking in the Spirit . self-indulgent. Jesus said. healthier sinners! You can’t fix an internal problem with an external remedy." What I can see is "the works of the flesh" because as Paul says.7:20-23. etc… they would be better people. better homes. That’s a lie. practical teaching on how we are to conquer the flesh by the power of the Spirit. That’s why I am intrigued by our file:///C|/cbc/G18. The problem is not what is on the outside but what is on the inside. A. we see the CONTRAST between the "works of the flesh" and the "fruit of the Spirit" as well as the CONQUEST. Though I can see your physical body. For from within. This is why we need to be saved. wealthier." In other words. Within each of us is that self-centered. the environment does not defile him. better transportation. I. lewdness. adulteries. we need a new heart! Turn to Mk. foolishness. The Bible calls this part of man "the flesh" and it refers to much more than just our bone. The Works of the Flesh (vv.Part 2 believer. skin and muscle tissues. selfabsorbed desire to satisfy our inner hungers at all costs and rebel against God. fornications. "What comes out of a man. man defiles his environment. an evil eye. blasphemy.19-26. out of the heart of men. murders. The Contrast of the Works of the Flesh with the Fruit of the Spirit (vv. pride. covetousness. God says that man is intrinsically evil. they are "evident" to everyone. wickedness. In today’s passage in vv. proceed evil thoughts. The world says that man is basically good.18-21). The common philosophy of today is that if people had a better education. I can’t see the part of you that Scripture calls "the flesh. Government and society have bought into the falsehood that if we could just clean up the environment evil would be banished. All these evil things come from within and defile a man. better jobs.19-23). All that only makes for more educated. better healthcare. deceit. thefts. The problem with man is not his environment.

In fact. He seems to understand that unless a person comes to faith. My wife and I are trying to raise two little girls to become godly. These are not exhaustive lists. Let’s first examine the four SEXUAL SINS in v. "Adultery" is of course a sexual relationship that defies and breaks one’s marriage vows. However. but they should be abnormal in believers because we are to "walk in the Spirit. All of these add up to sexual indulgence with any sense of shame or concern for anyone but self. It is the opposite of someone who is sexually clean and pure. In fact." Sex is such a powerful force in our society that the only way we will remain pure is to "walk in the Spirit. "Uncleanness" means "impurity. zero modesty. really three lists of "the works of the flesh. religious sins and societal sins. "Lewdness" refers to lack of decency and restraint. In v. Sex is not wrong." It comes from a word that literally referred to oozing. bad or dirty. modest young women. everything from adultery to homosexuality to bestiality." also translated "immorality" in many modern versions is from the Greek word porneia from which we get our English words "pornography" and "pornographic.19. Paul gives us a list." Every person is not involved in all of these sins nor does every person manifest them to the same extent.Walking in the Spirit . "Marriage is honorable among all.13:4 says. and the bed undefiled [pure. unless God cleans his heart. Back to the text. Do you know how difficult that is when a good little Baptist girl like Brittany Spears all but exposes herself at halftime during the Superbowl? We live in a time in which a President has no remorse over an extra-marital sexual dalliance file:///C|/cbc/G18. nothing else will permanently help him. God is the designer of human sexuality.21 Paul adds an etcetera "…and the like. sexuality is one of the most beautiful and pleasing of human activities. Heb. Used as an expression of intimate love within a marriage relationship." There are normal typical behaviors in unbelievers.Part 2 President’s agenda for "faith-based" social programs. pussy sores. "Fornication.htm (3 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:29 PM ." There are sexual sins. holy]." From pornography on the Internet to the filth that is piped into our homes via cable or satellite we are deluged with sexual images. but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. every person is susceptible to them." This is a broad term in the NT referring to all manner of illicit sexual activity.

being self-condemned. children and churches that have been rocked by sexual sin. one of the women who didn't raise her hand told her husband about the lunch. "Jealousies" refer to coveting what belongs to someone else. in The Myth of the Greener Grass.Part 2 in the Oval Office and a "reverend" who is a self-appointed civil rights leader has children outside of marriage. knowing that such a person is warped and sinning. "How many of you have been faithful to your husbands throughout your marriage?" Only one woman out of the twelve raised her hand. In vv." an evil attitude that gives way to "contentions" or strife. they are expected." "Envy" in the file:///C|/cbc/G18. "I was ashamed."1 We all know marriages. the question. we MUST "walk in the Spirit" or many of us will surely "fulfill the lust of the flesh. Allan Petersen. Sexual sins are no longer common." agitating problems and causing friction between others.Walking in the Spirit ." "Idolatry" is more than worshipping carved image. "But." Next in v.20b-21a we see a list of SOCIETAL SIN dealing with our relationships with other people. It is putting anything above God.20 we see RELIGIOUS SINS.htm (4 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:29 PM . "Heresies" here in the NKJV might be better translated "factions.3:10-11 says." It was used of medicines but came to be used of mood-altering drugs associated with pagan religions. tells the story of a group of a dozen married women who were having lunch together. and her reaction. violent eruptions of the evil inside every man." "Then why didn't you raise your hand?" he asked. "I have been faithful. There are "dissensions. "Sorcery" [witchcraft .KJV] comes from the Greek word pharmakeia from which we get "pharmacy" and "pharmaceutical. Further there are "selfish ambitions" putting yourself and your wants before anyone else. "Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition. Tit." she quickly added. Does that ever happen in your home or workplace? When it does you are not walking in the Spirit. In these times we must. "Outbursts of wrath" are vile. Downcast she replied. "idolatry" and "sorcery. There is "hatred. One woman asked." again referring to causing strife and division. At home that evening.

at least in my heart." "Wait a minute. I am not.Walking in the Spirit .6:9-11 says. 1 Cor. The professor eyed the bug closely and finally file:///C|/cbc/G18. but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.htm (5 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:29 PM ." Christians sometimes fall into sin. ongoing action. Circle the word "practice. "and the like" or "likewise many other sins. He "told them in time past" and now he tells them again that "those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." Ben Patterson writes. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. They took the body of one bug. nor homosexuals." These sins were all very real temptations to the Galatians." Paul specifically mentions "drunkenness" and couples it with "revelries" or carousing which may have been a reference to the drunken sexual orgies that passed for worship of pagan deities in the region of Galatia. nor adulterers. In a general sense this means to be "drunk and disorderly. And such were some of you. and the head of yet another and glued them all together." Those who live a habitual lifestyle characteristic of such sins mark themselves as unsaved. nor sodomites. If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty. nor idolaters. All of us are sinners. His office walls were covered with pinned and framed insects. One day his students decided to play a practical joke. Paul says. nor drunkards. I’ve done all those things. Paul had warned them "beforehand" when he was with them. but they do not remain in sin. Neither fornicators.Part 2 Garden of Eden led to the first of many "murders. pastor!" you may object. the legs of another. "Sam Shoemaker told of a near-sighted professor who was an expert in entomology. nor covetous. All of us have fallen short of God’s standard. Are you saying I am not saved?" No. ‘What kind of bug is this?’ they asked. but you were sanctified. "I’ve done some of those things." This means a "continuous. unredeemed and exempt from "the kingdom of God. nor thieves. nor revilers. nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." Of course this list and three subcategories are not all-inclusive. The specimen was brought to the professor for identification. But you were washed.

It marks the contrast between "the works of the flesh" and "the fruit of the Spirit.22-23. It is love without limitations. Think of a mature believer you admire. the more the Spirit will bear His fruit in your life. because He laid down His life for us. you will have a deep well of mercy and not so easily tempted. but God’s work in you will become "evident" to others. Christ died for us. You will find deep happiness in doing what is good and overwhelming sadness when you fall into sin.22-23).Walking in the Spirit . "But God demonstrates His own love toward us. What is it about him or her that attracts you? Is it his home or car? No. People who "walk in the Spirit" are different! All believers "walk in the Spirit" sometimes. Anyone watching someone like that would have to say. And we also ought to lay down file:///C|/cbc/G18. You may not even notice it at first. ‘Gentlemen. That. ‘This is humbug!’"2 B. Notice the word "But" at the beginning of v. this is a humbug!’ Shoemaker drew the analogy to a person whose heart belongs to King Jesus. "By this we know love. you will do random acts of kindness.5:8 says. Let’s dive in. Is it his money or job? No." you won’t be angered so easily. Rom. The more you choose to keep in step with the Spirit. is not something God created. you will become much more patient. The first fruit is "love. The key to maturity and joy in the Lord is walking in the Spirit more than you walk in the flesh. What makes you admire a more mature believer is how he or she more consistently bears the "fruit of the Spirit." "Love" in this verse doesn’t refer to some sloppy emotion or pleasant feeling but self-sacrificing service.22." how his or her life is characterized by the work of God we see in vv. "Fruit" is something God produces in our lives as we submit to Him." "Works" are something we do in our own effort. As you "walk in the Spirit." 1 John 3:16 says.Part 2 replied. too. This agape love. The Fruit of the Spirit (vv. but whose head is run by the world and hands are run by the devil. you will look for the best in others. in that while we were still sinners. God’s love.htm (6 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:29 PM .

Eph. because we love the brethren.14:17 says it so well." The third fruit is "peace.5:1." Immature believers have such a struggle in this area. Mature believers have such a sense of file:///C|/cbc/G18. and you will receive.5:5 says. We can’t do it or make it.htm (7 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:29 PM . We cannot conjure it up from within. As we surrender to the Spirit and obey the Word. but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.8:10). Rom. "For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking. "Rejoice in the Lord always. because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." How are you doing? Is limitless love budding in your life? Are you in step with the Spirit? The second fruit is "joy.4:7). We only have this joy when we turn from the world to the Lord." As we walk in the Spirit we know both peace with God and the peace of God. "For the joy of the LORD is your strength" (Neh. "Until now you have asked nothing in My name." In the Bible.Part 2 our lives for the brethren. The Holy Spirit has to come to live within and give His love through us. Again I will say. God gives us such "joy. praise Him and submit to Him. "We know that we have passed from death to life. As we "walk in the Spirit" we learn to put up with the annoyances and inconveniences of others.4:2 tells us we are to be "longsuffering." Paul told the Philippians. Jesus said to His disciples in John 16:24. bearing with one another in love. You can be joyful even when you are not happy. If they don’t like something they are quick to object and to do so loudly." 1 John 3:14 says.Walking in the Spirit ." We stop fighting against God and start walking with Him. God gives us joy when we walk with Him. "Now hope does not disappoint. The fourth fruit is "longsuffering" or patience. Ask. of not being easily offended of developing tough skin. As we learn to depend on His strength and not our own we gain "the peace of God. we have to bear it. When we are saved." The flesh cannot produce such love. which surpasses all understanding" (Phil. that your joy may be full.4:4). rejoice!" (Phil. Joy is a fruit. Rom." I love the testimony of Nehemiah. having been justified by faith. "Therefore. "joy" is not a temporary happiness but a deep-seated confidence that all is well between you and God. we surrender and our war with God ends. Rom. we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. It refers to being patient and tolerant of others.

" The fifth fruit is "kindness.2:24 says. to be quick with a smile and a word of encouragement. for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (v.2:13 says. The seventh fruit is "faithfulness" which refers to loyalty and trustworthiness.19 when parents bring their little children to Jesus. He remains faithful. and do not forbid them. "If we are faithless." It means file:///C|/cbc/G18. "Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love. I can just see Him touching them. 2 Tim. They practice Rom. 2 Tim." This means having a sweet. we are to be people of power reigned in by the Holy Spirit. When we put others first we will always be faithful." When we put ourselves first we are disloyal to others. let us do good to all. merciful spirit to others.12:10. We are to have the same attitude toward everyone. Moving to v. "Therefore." The sixth fruit is "goodness.htm (8 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:29 PM .Walking in the Spirit ." This is kindness in action. not just thinking what is right but doing it. He cannot deny Himself. He took the time necessary to drive to the stadium to share his faith with the driver and made a great impact. talking to them and blessing them. as we have opportunity.14). 6:10 says. Jesus spoke up and said. Another pointed out that this would cause the driver to lose part of his fair and also not be able to pick up another passenger quickly. "Let the little children come to Me. One suggested that they hop out of the cab and walk through the traffic to the stadium.Part 2 calmness about them. The ninth and last fruit of the Spirit is "self-control. especially to those who are of the household of faith. However. The disciples "rebuked" both the children and the parents for bothering the Lord. the eighth fruit is "gentleness" or meekness." I recently read about a group of men in a taxi on the way to a Promise Keeper Conference. Like a mighty thoroughbred stallion is curbed by a bit. I love the scene in Mat. Are you dependable? Do you do what you say you will do? Do people have to wonder if you will show up and do your job? God is always faithful. in honor giving preference to one another. Meekness does not mean weakness but power under control. "And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all.23.

Jesus said. In Mk.Part 2 the ability to restrain our passions and appetites.24." The cross was an instrument of execution much like a gas chamber. Confederate General Robert E. "Madam. After the Civil War. but the daily. and take up his cross. to deny self. Just as file:///C|/cbc/G18." Sometimes this verse is confused with Gal." Looking back we can see that "love. However. "I have been crucified with Christ" and with Rom. and follow Me. curb or deter and no deterrent is needed. kindness. "General Lee.24). It is said that a lady once introduced her small boy to the aging general and asked.2:20 which says. We Must Crucify the Flesh (v. what is the most important lesson I can teach my son?" Without hesitating the god-fearing man responded. burial and resurrection. to be led by the Spirit is to deny self.5 is not about the death of the old life we experienced when we first trusted Christ.8:34." To "deny" yourself is synonymous with taking up your "cross. no law is needed when we are walking in the Spirit and the Spirit is producing in us such valuable fruit. deliberate denying of the flesh right now. teach him to deny himself. II." The purpose of law is to restrain. Lee was admired by both North and South as the complete gentleman. goodness" relate to our relationships with others. The first step in conquering the "lust of the flesh" is found in v. Gal. "Whoever desires to come after Me. Paul adds that "against such there is no law. "And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. joy. let him deny himself.Walking in the Spirit . electric chair or injection needle in more modern times.24-25). A. "Faithfulness. v. "our old man was crucified with Him…" Both of these verses relate to our unity with Christ in His death. peace" relate to our relationship with God. To take up the cross.24 does not speak of something done to us but by us.6:6 which says.htm (9 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:29 PM . "Longsuffering. gentleness and self-control" relate to how we live with ourselves. The Conquest of Lust of the Flesh by the Power of the Spirit (vv. to say no to the flesh.

"True Christians do not succeed in completely destroying it [the flesh] while here below. every believer is to "take up his cross. Anyone who struggles to deny his own sinful "passions and desires" will find agony and pain. Each day we must deny ourselves and renew a ruthless and uncompromising view of personal sin. he was left to die. When I chose Christ. First.Walking in the Spirit .htm (10 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:29 PM . you nailed your old nature to a cross. Paul said. our rejection of the flesh is to be MERCILESS. nail them up and leave them there to die. I denied my fleshly desires."3 If we crucified the flesh. "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" (Gal. reserved for the worst sort of criminals. "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Rom. gradual death. but they have fixed it to the cross. We must refuse to go back and caress the corpse of our old life. I decided to follow Jesus. From that analogy of crucifixion. No one nailed to a cross survived. Even the Bible says. let me give three truths about conquering the flesh. we must leave it there to die. Crucifixion was a slow. We are to ferociously fight against it. Crucifixion was a horrible form of capital punishment." We are to take our fleshly "passions and desires" to the place of execution. Once a person was nailed there. John Brown wrote. Third. file:///C|/cbc/G18. When we crucify our old "passions and desires" we are to have no mercy or pity. It was violent and vulgar.3:13). our rejection of the flesh will be AGONIZING. I "crucified the flesh" at that moment. It is the source of evil within us and must be stamped out! Second.Part 2 Jesus carried His cross to Golgotha.7:24). extremely painful death in which one suffocated by the weight of his own body. and they are determined to keep it there till it expires. When I was saved. Soldiers guarded the condemned to prevent friends from taking him down before he died. Now it is my job to leave my selfish cravings on the cross to die. I couldn’t follow Jesus without repenting of sin and turning from it. our rejection of the flesh must be CONSISTENT. Crucifixion was a deliberate. To daily crucify the flesh is refuse to take those "desires" and "passions" down again. When you were saved.

but an active determination to follow the Spirit’s path. if we are genuine believers then we must "walk in the Spirit" or follow after the Spirit in order to conquer the flesh.8:31-39.Part 2 Stott writes. Books & Culture (Jan. or impure thought invades our mind we must kick it out at once. this is not merely a passive submission to the Spirit’s control." that is if the Spirit is indeed living in us." "Walk" here means "be in line with.25). even to try to take it down again from the cross. We need to learn to leave it there.Walking in the Spirit ." The NIV translates it "Keep in step with the Spirit. "If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit. "The first great secret of holiness lies in the degree and the decisiveness of our repentance… It is as if. If we "live in the Spirit. We have declared war on it: we are not going to resume negotiations.25." V. trying to step in his footprints in the soft sand. We begin to fondle it. or proud. As I discussed last week. in fact we are "more than conquerors through Him who loved us. In sanctification. We Must Walk in the Spirit (v. We have crucified the flesh." Let’s conclude this morning by reading Rom. we are not going to re-open it." Here in v. The Spirit does the leading but we are to do the walking. we will conquer the flesh. we keep wistfully returning to the scene of its execution. to caress it. In salvation we see God’s sovereignty in election and man’s free will in choosing Christ."4 B. having nailed our old nature to the cross.9 file:///C|/cbc/G18." When I was a little boy. or malicious. We're All Syncretists Now. In v. we are never going to draw the nails. I would follow my dad around in his garden. Paul says. We have settled the issued for good. we see God’s sovereignty in the mighty ministry of the Holy Spirit but man’s will in our decision to keep crucifying the old flesh and to passionately pursue the path of the Spirit. It is fatal to begin to examine it and consider whether we are going to give in to it or not.18 says we are to be "led by the Spirit. to long for its release. p.16 we see the phrase "walk in the Spirit. By God’s grace. When some jealous./Feb. 1 Mark Buchanan.htm (11 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:29 PM . 2000).

Wheaton. Brown. edited. p. Wylie. Box 7403. recordings.Part 2 2 3 Kevin Miller. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). without the written permission of the copyright holder. pp.151-152. TX 79114-7403. Cornerstone Baptist Church. Wylie. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. displays or other products offered for sale. Illinois. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. source: "Noble Volunteer.Walking in the Spirit . revised. Amarillo.309." Leadership (Summer 1982). P. p. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications. broadcasts. Copyright © 1998 . Pastor. file:///C|/cbc/G18.htm (12 of 12)4/30/2005 1:55:29 PM . This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. 4 Stott.29.2003 Coy M.O. performances.

Whenever our relationships are strained. by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. That is why I think 5:26 fits better with the first few verses of chapter 6. especially our fellow believers in the church. Paul says that when we are "conceited" (and we all are from time to time) it is evidenced either by "provoking" or "envying" one another. He’s living a life of illusion. Let’s look first at v." Your walk with Him will never lead you into "provoking" or "envying." In other words. infallible and inspired by God. Like the schoolyard bully who challenges another kid to step across a line or knock the chip off his shoulder. the end of one chapter fits better with the beginning of the next chapter. "Let us not become conceited.26.4:30 tells us not to "…grieve the Holy Spirit of God. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God. the "conceited" person is looking for a fight.Bearing Burdens February 11. He is so certain of his superiority. We are called to "bear one another’s burdens" not to tear each other apart. they were added much later. the Holy Spirit will never lead you to become "conceited. he’s looking for some way to demonstrate it to everyone else." We’ve learned that to walk in the Spirit means putting to death our "flesh" the selfishly sinful "passions and desires" within us and decisively following the Lord’s leadership by being obedient to the Word of God and the gentle call of the Spirit of God. The word "conceited" here refers to someone who has a false opinion of himself. these are sons of God. "Provoking" literally means challenging someone as in a contest. One said. Walking in the Spirit dramatically effects our relationships with others." On the contrary." Eph. 2001 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie Bearing Burdens Galatians 5:26-6:5 The last two chapters of Galatians are dedicated to the subject of walking in or being led by the Spirit of God. Sometimes. In Paul’s words from 6:3. file:///C|/cbc/G19. envying one another." You see. provoking one another. Rom. The Apostle says. the chapter and verse divisions are not. our behavior toward others is determined by our opinion of ourselves. the life of the Spirit is that "through love" we might "serve one another" (5:13) and "restore" with "gentleness" any brother who falls into sin (6:1).8:14 says. ego is almost always the root cause. Though every word of the Bible is inerrant. he "thinks himself to be something when he is nothing" and "deceives himself.htm (1 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:28 PM . Such a "conceited" person reminds me of the two little boys who were arguing.

we are going to learn how the Spirit-filled life manifests itself in relations to other believers. It too is rooted in pride and conceit.htm (2 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:28 PM . we bring them down to our level. Some Burdens We Cannot Bear Alone (6:1-2). but love edifies. "Rejoice with those who rejoice. So it should be in the family of God. Let’s note six observations about helping other believers with such "burdens. the whole family goes into action unloading the bags from the car. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Deb comes home from the grocery store. dismiss them and point out their flaws. but associate with the humble. We Help with Burdens because We are Family (v. There are some burdens we can handle on our own but many require the help of others. Do not set your mind on high things." We are file:///C|/cbc/G19. A Christian may be "conceited." "That's nothing. We’ve had people in our church that thought they were spiritually superior to others. he is certainly out of step with the Holy Spirit. and weep with those who weep. They questioned everything and challenged anyone who had a different opinion. Both forms of conceit go back to the theme of Galatians. As we move into chapter 6. When my wife." someone who has unintentionally fallen into sin. I can lift a chair by myself but I cannot move a piano without help. Be of the same mind toward one another. If we can’t rise above them. We are called to "through love serve one another" (5:13). The word "burdens" in v.Bearing Burdens "My old man can beat up your old man. the Bible clearly says in 1 Cor. particularly in regard to bearing the burdens of life. They were anxious to show off their biblical knowledge. "envying" stems from feelings of inferiority. Rom 12:15-16 says. "Knowledge puffs up. If "provoking" comes from a sense of superiority. Notice Paul begins v. I. we are often quick to tear them down.2 refers to a heavy load. "brethren. Even our youngest carries in lightweight bags. liberty over legalism. Instead of rejoicing in the abilities and accomplishments of another believer." He may enjoy "provoking" other believers or indulge in "envying" them but when he does so.1 with the salutation." A. "My old lady can beat up my old man. What does that prove?" The truth is it proves nothing.1a).8:1." The particular burden Paul has in mind here is someone who is "overtaken in any trespass." said the other little boy. Yet. A legalist concentrates on his strengths and on others weaknesses. Our goal should never be to judge him or belittle him but to "restore" him and help him return to walking in the Spirit. being weighed down to the point of not being able to walk." Our goal is not to show off how much we know but how we can build each other up in the love of the Lord.

ripping the tarp from his rescuers' hands. Paul begins the first verse in this chapter and the last verse in this chapter reminding us that we are "brethren. and knocking them to the ground. Soviet sport parachutist Yuri Belenko realized he was in trouble.4:9). Bud Sellick writes. This chapter is the NT answer and it is a resounding YES! I AM MY BROTHER’S KEEPER! When a child in someone else’s family goes astray or gets into trouble.1b). Kicking his feet to slow the natural spiral caused by the noisy whipping canopies above. "Three thousand frightening feet above the ground. Below. "Am I my brother’s keeper?" (Gen.Bearing Burdens not only God’s sons and daughters. and his reserve chute "barber poled" around the main. Belenko yelled down to fellow jumpers on the ground. That is especially true in the local church. All the way down Belenko yelled and tugged furiously at the static lines in a vain attempt to clear the two tangled chutes. rendering them both useless. Why? Because it’s our family this time! It is someone we love who is in trouble! Guess what? If you are a believer. We are all part of God’s family and we are connected to each other. His jump buddies were there for Belenko at the moment he needed them most. We must refuse to detach ourselves and take up our responsibility because we are eternally related! B." brothers and sisters in the Lord."1 file:///C|/cbc/G19. let one of our kids make a mistake and suddenly our whole world is turned upside down. His main chute had malfunctioned. Belenko plummeted into the canvas at bone-crushing speed. we are brothers and sisters. you are my family and I am yours. Cain asked the Lord. His jump buddies sprang immediately into action. he suffered a few bruises. we tend to shake our heads and feel sorry for them. Yet. and sprinted toward the impact point.htm (3 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:28 PM . We Help with Burdens when a Brother is Overtaken by Sin (v. his friends stretched the mat taught…and waited. In addition to the injured leg. When the dust cleared. grabbed a packing mat. Belenko lay gasping for breath and complaining of a sprained ankle.

"Yet do not count him as an enemy. and John his brother. set him on the right path and mend the broken bone. The biblical mandate. This is why we need our brothers and sisters to hold out to us the net of God’s grace and forgiveness." 2 Thess. Paul says to us. 2 Cor. the apostolic command is that when we see a brother suffering under weight of sin. The Greek term has the meaning of being surprised by sin. "Serves him right. "…He saw James the son of Zebedee. The same word in used in Mk. "Trespass" means stumbling or falling. stumbling over a "trespass" we are to rush to his side to help him. When we see a brother engaged in such sin." On the contrary. our enemy is an expert in twisting our fleshly desires with temptation that rob us of spiritual altitude. believers are often "overtaken" by sin and they plunge perilously on to defeat and devastation. Interestingly. but admonish him as a brother. To "restore" something is to return it to its previous condition. we are not to sit idly by and do nothing.2:7 says we are to "forgive and comfort him. "Restore such a one." It was also used to describe the setting of a broken bone or reconciling an argument. "Serve’s you right" and leave him on the sidewalk or would you rush him to the emergency room? If your sister drove her car over an embankment and was penned beneath the steering file:///C|/cbc/G19. but a sin that is a result of letting one’s guard down or failing to withstand temptation. "Overtaken" here carries the meaning of being caught up in a sin." If you son fell off his bicycle and broke his leg. "restore" comes from a Greek word that described mending or repairing. We are not to say.1:19. There is no heavier burden than the guilt of sin. we are to "restore" him." We are not to condemn him with that attitude that says. Just as Belenko found his parachutes twisted together. lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow." We are to stretch out the canopy of God’s grace and catch him when he falls. The picture is not that of intentional premeditated sin.htm (4 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:28 PM . who also were in the boat MENDING their nets.Bearing Burdens In much the same way. would you say.3:15 says. "It is none of my business" or "I don’t want to get involved.

If you are not able to "restore" a fallen file:///C|/cbc/G19. In fact. I’ll come and see about you when I get time?" or would you drop everything and speed to his house? How can we be so concerned about physical injuries but turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the debilitating effects of sins in the life of our spiritual family? The great reformer Martin Luther offers this admonition. "That let’s me off the hook. Confess your sin.htm (5 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:28 PM ." keeping in step with the Holy Spirit. Grow up! Contribute to the body of Christ! The point is. "You should have stayed on the straight and narrow path" or would you immediately call 911? If your father slipped in the bathtub and broke his hip. But first. when you see a brother or sister fallen in sin. "I’m busy now." Don’t be tempted to use the excuse." The Scripture gives you the command "walk in the Spirit" in 5:16. Sure. Help him." Who is "spiritual" and how do we know if we qualify? The Holy Spirit indwells all true Christians. Who is to "restore" a fallen brother? Paul says. would you say. most often "spiritual" Christians are those who have walked with the Lord a long time. and reaching out your hand. I’m not very spiritual.Bearing Burdens wheel. "Run unto him. any Christian young or old can be a "spiritual" Christian. We Help with Burdens if We are Spiritual (v. sometimes I am a "spiritual" Christian and sometimes I am not.1c). However. Be sure you are "spiritual. Don’t be satisfied being a baby believer. check your own heart. the "spiritual" believer is one who is walking in the Spirit and led by the Spirit. comfort him with sweet words. They have attained a measure of spiritual maturity and exhibit the "fruit of the Spirit" in their lives. would you say. He simply must be walking in the Spirit. raise him up again. I’ve seen "spiritual" believers who have only known the Lord a few months and some who have been saved for decades who are not "spiritual. However. "You who are spiritual. don’t pass by on the other side of the road as in the parable of the Good Samaritan. and embrace him with motherly arms."2 C.

Before the ambulance arrived. "But if you bite and devour one another. We Help with Burdens in a Gentle Spirit (v. We cover people in delicious food. A "spiritual" believer exhibits the "fruit of the Spirit. A large crowd of our people gathered around." "Gentleness" means TLC – tender love and care. It also refers to HUMILITY. When we see a brother or sister stumbling in sin. we are very quick to step in when someone has an illness or death in the family. "Gentleness" has another connotation. If we would go to such lengths to treat a physical problem with such "gentleness" how much more should we GENTLY help a fellow believer caught in a web of sin? As a church. Some time ago. Someone called 911. but we must do so "in a spirit of gentleness. Several others used their bodies and clothing to shield her from the sun. We send flowers. we are to step in and "restore" him or her. One brother rolled up his jacket to make a pillow.htm (6 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:28 PM . she recovered conscienceless. how do we respond to the sickness of sin? E. How easily we judge and condemn one another." file:///C|/cbc/G19.1d).1e). That’s why only "spiritual" believers are to attempt to "restore" a fallen brother. beware lest you be consumed by one another. "Gentleness" is born of a sense of knowing very well our own weakness and proneness to sin. It has often been said that the Christian army is the only army that shoots its wounded. Yet. Another bathed her forehead with a cool." I must treat my fallen brother with TLC because I know that I am vulnerable to the same sins. We Help with Burdens Realizing that We too are Vulnerable (v. She was GENTLELY helped to her car and GENTLY cared for until the EMT’s arrived. Paul said in 5:13. an elderly visitor to our church passed out on the parking lot after a Sunday morning service. The reason you are to treat a fallen brother with "gentleness" is that you are "considering yourself lest you also be tempted.Bearing Burdens brother it is because you yourself need to be restored! D. wet cloth." Paul has already said that "gentleness" is a "fruit of the Spirit" in 5:23.

Here we find the base principle of the whole passage. And He shall sustain you. Bearing the burdens of others is a difficult and wearisome task. Perhaps the best counsel we could grasp is from 1 Cor. He sits people in our path "with skin on." "Bear" here is in the present tense meaning we are to CONTINUALLY "bear one another’s burdens. "Who am I to talk to someone else about their sin." Yet one of the ways God cares for us is through the concern of our brothers and sisters in Christ. file:///C|/cbc/G19. We Help with Burdens to Fulfill Christ’s Law (v. Don’t say. The point is. You have a RESPONSIBILITY to be involved in helping him "bear" his heavy load.Bearing Burdens Someone once said we must be careful to never point our finger at others because there are three more fingers pointing back at us." We never reach a place in our spiritual walk where we are exempt from this responsibility. F. You are your BROTHER’S KEEPER. Though this verse is often applied to any trial of life. Any pastor can tell you that counseling and helping others work through the difficulties of life is dreary and tiresome." 1 Pet.5:7 tells us to be "casting all your care upon Him. for He cares for you. "Bear one another’s burdens. but an admonition about allowing pride and arrogance to enter the process. "Cast your burden on the LORD.10:12." We all have the Great Burden-Bearer on our side." This is not a warning not to get involved. it specifically refers one caught up in sin. "Bear" also suggests carrying something with endurance. the Lord Jesus.2).htm (7 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:28 PM . "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. I’m not perfect either.55:22." Don’t let this be an excuse not to get involved. this is not ONLY THE JOB OF A PASTOR! On the contrary this is a command FOR EVERY BELIEVER. We should all memorize Psa.

but we are encouraged! Karl Menninger. who comforts the downcast. survival of the fittest. Did you catch that? When Titus came to Paul. "For indeed. as I have loved you. He expected the answer to be a clay pot or perhaps a fishhook or grinding stone. In the very next verse. Her answer was "a healed femur." Jesus said in John 13:34. God sent a brother to stand beside him and lift him up. "A new commandment I give to you. God will pour His river of love through us too! Let the river flow! Guess what? When we take responsibilities for bearing one another’s burdens.7:5."3 One day a student asked anthropologist Margaret Mead for the earliest sign of civilization in a given culture. go across the railroad tracks." a leg bone. not only are they helped. the apostle says. "Nevertheless God. but He was doing it through Titus." love enough to get involved. he was terribly burdened. inside were fears?" However. reigns. was asked what someone should do who feels on the verge of a nervous breakdown. the late psychiatrist. Someone had to do that injured person's hunting and gathering until the leg healed. comforted us by the coming of Titus" (2 Cor.7:6). inside were fears. The evidence of compassion is the first sign of civilization.htm (8 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:28 PM . His heart was breaking for the divisions and sins within the Corinthian church. when we came to Macedonia. find someone in need and do something for him. God was doing the comforting. Titus was a channel of God’s blessing to Paul.4 file:///C|/cbc/G19. He was facing great difficulties outwardly in his ministry and turmoil inwardly. At one point in his ministry. If we will be open. His advice was "Lock your house." Have you ever felt that way? Could your life ever be described as "outside were conflicts. Mead explained that no healed femurs are found where the law of the jungle. Outside were conflicts. our bodies had no rest. Paul didn’t stay in that state. He expressed this in 2 Cor. Even the great Apostle Paul needed a burden-bearing brother. that you love one another. A healed femur shows that someone cared. that you also love one another.Bearing Burdens When we "bear one another’s burdens" we "fulfill the law of Christ." The "law of Christ" is the "law of love. but we were troubled on every side.

extortioners. I fast twice a week. "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has. glance there seems to be a contradiction between v.5. Paul says.3). and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. adulterers." I remember my mother saying about someone from time to time. unjust.htm (9 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:28 PM . Microsoft's Bill Gates compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated. I thank You that I am not like other men." What gives? Let’s dig in and find out." To think you are "something" when in reality you are "nothing" is to "deceive" or mislead yourself. At first. but would you want your car to file:///C|/cbc/G19. Though you may think you are "something" apart from the grace of God.Bearing Burdens II. he deceives himself. Some Burdens We Must Bear Alone (6:3-5). We’ve already been warned about becoming "conceited" in 5:26." At a COMDEX computer exposition. "Yes. we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1. One of the traps the enemy lays for committed Christians is SPIRITUAL PRIDE. I give tithes of all that I possess" (Luke 18:11-12).000 miles per gallon. or even as this tax collector. when he is nothing. but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother.2 and v. We either ignore our brother caught in sin or patronize him as though we could never be tempted in such a way. "For if anyone thinks himself to be something.7:3-5. We cluck our tongues at the Pharisee who prayed "God. Pride is Self-Deception (v. Yet we exhibit the same characteristics. and look. doesn’t he?" She of course was referring to someone with an air of pride and arrogance. Jesus said in Mat. One tells us to "bear one another’s burdens" and the other says "each one shall bear his own load. you are "nothing. 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'. "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye. a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye." General Motors responded to Gates by releasing the statement. "He really thinks he’s something. A.

5 is like a man’s backpack. Jesus said.4-5). We are to be certain we’ve removed any planks from our own eyes! Only "then" can we rejoice.11:30). One day we will stand before the great bema.htm (10 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:28 PM . A "load" as in v. We are to test ourselves to be certain our motives and attitudes are pure and pleasing to the Lord. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ." The word for "burdens" in v. As Paul would say in v. A little boy once told his mother that he was six feet tall. Any good that is found in me comes from Him. we see just how weak we are and how great His grace is! In v. "For each one shall bear his own load. "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Mat. B.5." Apart from Jesus I am nothing. file:///C|/cbc/G19. according to what he has done. When she doubted the statement. but there is a burden we cannot share and need not share for it is light enough to be born alone – our individual accountability to God." On that day." 2 Cor. "God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul adds. that each one may receive the things done in the body. meaning anything that is carried. His calculations were right but his ruler was not. Humility is Self-Examination (vv.2 is like a piano. he assured her that he had just measured himself. The "load" we must bear alone is God’s responsibility for our lives. When we measure ourselves by the Word of God. We are to "bear one another’s burdens" which are too heavy to bear alone. I can’t bear your load and you cannot bear mine. the "judgment seat of Christ. whether good or bad. all that is left is to boast in the Lord and His great grace. difficult to carry alone." "Examine" comes from a Greek word meaning "approve after testing".14. it was only about six inches long.5:10 says. After humble self-examination. Next Paul says.2 is baros and refers to heavy weight. The word "load" here is phortion. A "burden" in v. and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone and not in another. "But let each one examine his own work.Bearing Burdens crash twice a day?" The primary reason only "spiritual" or "Spirit-led" believers are to "restore" an erring brother is pride.

Believers often say. recordings. 34. Luther. People don’t stay in a church because of great music. That’s the greatest word in church growth. Vol. I would rather you talk to God about me than talk to me about God. Christianity Today. The third word is ACCOUNTABLITY. p. performances. Let’s commit to giving it to them! 1 2 Bud Sellick. Louisville. Leadership.2003 Coy M. displays or other products offered for sale. Box 7403. no. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications. without the written permission of the copyright holder. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. 4 Wayne Willis. If you don’t have an accountability partner and you desire one. preaching or programs. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. Amarillo. broadcasts. Pastor. 3 Bruce Larson in A Call to Holy Living. Wylie. Wonderful World of Parachutes and Parachutists (Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 1998 . p. The greatest act they can do on your part is to lift you to the Lord. 4. Vol. TX 79114-7403. file:///C|/cbc/G19. Wylie. let me give you four practical words concerning burden bearing: The first is TIME. Kentucky. P. no.O.538. I would gladly pair you with a Titus to help comfort you. We all need at least one person to hold us accountable and ask us hard questions. The last word is LOVE. The second word is PRAYER." Do you? Do you really pray for them? If someone says that to you. be grateful. edited. please tell me. 1981).htm (11 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:28 PM . your support will be superficial. Cornerstone Baptist Church. 13.38. You won’t even notice and even if you do. You cannot help another person bear his or her burden if you are too busy. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). revised. 16. "I’ll be praying for you. They want warmth more than light. The Wild.Bearing Burdens In closing.

7:14). You could irrigate and provide the perfect amount of moisture. and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. "He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. WE REAP WHERE WE SOW. If you sow much seed. but the harvest always come. Woven throughout today’s passage is inviolable law of the harvest. Reaping always comes after sowing. Therefore. WE REAP WHAT WE SOW. You could apply the most up to date and expensive fertilizers to your fields. the law of the harvest remains. you will harvest wheat. If you plant wheat seed. seedtime and harvest [sowing and reaping]… shall not cease" (Gen. Why? Because God established in the law of the harvest that everything reproduces "after its kind" (cf. you will harvest milo. God promised Noah." After the flood. Third." Second. What we plant with our lives will bear fruit in our lives. Harvest always comes after planting. the kind of harvest you get will depend upon the kind of seed you planted. "While the earth remains. he must not only sow corn seed in that field. the statements in our text appear to be loose. Write down three unchanging truths from the law of the harvest. He must sow the seed plentifully and file:///C|/cbc/G20. unless you have sown seed. you expect only a small harvest. that he will also reap. Let’s say you bought a farm and went into agribusiness. you will harvest corn. If you plant corn seed. in the second milo. First. you can expect a large harvest. you can expect a poor harvest. 2001 Free Indeed – Galatians Coy Wylie The Law of the Harvest Galatians 6:6-10 At first glance. 2 Cor. you can expect a good harvest and if you plant poor seed.9:6 says. As long as we live on this earth. WE REAP AFTER WE SOW. The point is that it takes a long time to get to the harvest. However. You could plow your fields with the latest equipment and have beautiful long straight furrows. Closer inspection will reveal that there is a common thread. the farmer sows in the spring and reaps in the fall. Further still. in the third corn and in the last beans. You wouldn’t expect to harvest corn in the wheat field or beans in the milo field. unconnected ramblings that Paul has added to the end of the letter. two square miles divided into four half sections.htm (1 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:45 PM .The Law of the Harvest February 18.8:22).Gen.6:20. Let’s say in the first half section you plant wheat. The Apostle states this emphatically in v. Further. Let’s say your farm has two sections. Generally. for a farmer to have a bumper crop of corn in a particular field. If you plant milo seeds. you would not get a harvest. If you plant only a little seed. if you plant good seed. he must sow good seed. "For whatever a man sows.7.

htm (2 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:45 PM ." In v. People deceive themselves. If we sow "wild oats. Again. People deceive themselves about the law of the harvest." Luke used this same term to describe his relationship with Theophilus in Lk. before the Apostle states the immutable law of the harvest. to our personal holiness and to the doing of good works. and reap the whirlwind. to sneer or treat with contempt. but we will never fool God. We will reap what we sow. he says resolutely. It means "to turn the nose up. A. Paul says. the person who is being taught and trained in the Word of God should be supportive of those who teach him. "When he speaks a lie. self-deception." "Him who is taught the word" means "one who is under instruction in the faith." Here in v.7." We may succeed in deceiving ourselves. God is not mocked.13:5. Jesus tells us in Jn. "For many deceivers have gone out into the world…" Paul warns us in Eph. From our passage." 2 Jn. for he is a liar and the father of it. If we sow the seeds of faith. "Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. The Harvest of Ministry (v. They fool or fake themselves out. Don’t do that! Wake up! Realize! Whatever you are sowing today in your life you will reap tomorrow.The Law of the Harvest then he must wait for the harvest to come. Thus. sowing and reaping is sure and certain." It is the sower who determines the crop. grace and love with our lives. In 6:3 he writes about the man who "thinks himself to be something when he is nothing" and "deceives himself. "For whatever a man sows. Paul says that we are not to be "deceived" because "God is not mocked. that he will also reap.5:6." Jesus says in Mk. "They sow the wind. I. whether bad or good! Not also in v. we reap where we sow and we reap after we sow. not the reaper.8:44 that Satan is the source of all deception. we can expect a harvest of blessing. he speaks from his own resources. "Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. They lead themselves astray. The People are to Support the Pastor. we will apply to law of the harvest to ministry in the church. file:///C|/cbc/G20. "Take heed that no one deceives you. What is true on the farm is true in every facet of life.7 says.6). We reap what we sow. "Do not be deceived. Job 4:8 says. that is exactly what Paul has in mind." The Greek word for "mocked" is stunning." The Bible is replete with warnings against deception." Hosea 8:7 says. The law of the harvest. "Let no one deceive you with empty words…" Paul asked the Galatians who had "bewitched" them in 3:1. Paul says.7.1:4.7." we can expect to harvest only brambles and stickers in our lives.

I am grateful to the Lord for the generosity He has put in your hearts to provide so well for me and my family that I might give myself fully to ministry. let’s take it a little farther. "Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel. Show your thankfulness for his or her labor in the Lord.5:18. for the laborer is worthy of his wages…" (Lk. Legally. Because some pastors and church leaders have taken advantage of their congregations. In the same way. The people supporting the pastor. B. Any equitable system is prone to abuse and so it is in the church.9:11. "If we have sown spiritual things for you. ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages’" (1 Tim. He sets his file:///C|/cbc/G20. Show your love and appreciation.’ and. the disciple supporting the discipler is woven throughout the NT. "share" some "good things" with that teacher. If you sit under the teaching of a diligent person in a Bible class or home Bible study. no one supervises his work. pastors are "self-employed" for tax purposes. is it a great thing if we reap your material things?" In v.14. At least in most churches. eating and drinking such things as they give.1 Cor.10:7). The Apostle Paul used the metaphor of the harvest in this way in 1 Cor. all pastors take a hit. He adds. They are also "self-employed" in a practical sense. "share" some "good things" with him or her." Paul also used the biblical metaphor of an ox in a threshing mill eating the grain that fell from his work. Quoting both the Law and Jesus He reminded Timothy. cf. When the Lord Jesus sent out the 70. He told them to "remain in the same house. but it is here in our text and I cannot ignore it. It may seem a bit self-serving for me to teach this verse.htm (3 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:45 PM . no one makes out a schedule for the pastor.The Law of the Harvest Sometimes we are instructed in the faith in one-on-one discipleship.9:9). "’You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain. since we have broached this subject. However. The Pastor is not to Abuse the People. If you are studying with a more mature believer in that way. congregations of believers in local churches are to "share in all good things" with pastors who give their lives to teaching and discipling people in the Word of God.

many pastor’s families are forced to make do with little. The good pastor works at learning and teaching the Word with the same determination as a bricklayer with his bricks or a carpenter with his hammer. The great Apostle Paul refused to take payment for his ministry but earned his living as a tent-maker in order to preach the gospel without charge."1 1 Tim. Men who work 40-50 hours a week to feed their families and still give of themselves to teach and minister to God’s people are the real heroes of the faith! Yet. The men in ministry I admire most are those who serve bivocationally. and at the same time to give himself to the study of sacred learning as the preaching office requires.The Law of the Harvest own agenda and follows his plan." The word "labor" means he struggles hard with the Word. Then I found out that meant $5 an hour!" The finance committee of another church said to file:///C|/cbc/G20. He said. "I was real excited when they told me I'd make $500 a week. "You keep him humble. The ministry of the Word done well is hard work and it is worthy of ample pay. "Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor. Some pastors abuse their people by laziness and poor planning. I’ve heard that attitude expressed in this sentiment. she should. Martin Luther wrote. "It is impossible for one man both to labor day and night to get a living." "Double honor" literally means "double pay.5:17 says. The People are not to Abuse the Pastor. I have known some to spend more time on the golf course or at the lake than in the study." While many members enjoy the fruits of success and excess. They pittle the week away and scramble on Saturday evening to copy down some semblance of a message for Sunday morning. Lord and we’ll keep him poor. many churches have historically underpaid their leaders. especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. C. One pastor had gone to interview with a new church and called his wife on the phone. Though times have changed.htm (4 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:45 PM . when a church can compensate a pastor.

" The pastor shares spiritual things with the congregation and they share material things with him. In a healthy church. II. "For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap file:///C|/cbc/G20. A spiritual congregation understands Heb." The struggle between the "flesh" and the "Spirit" is nothing new to we who have studied this great epistle together. The Harvest of Holiness (v. A. We take and apply it in a much more general sense. The pastor sows the Word of God and reaps the harvest of an income. for they watch out for your souls. the partnership of a pastor and his people. for that would be unprofitable for you. Paul says. We have applied the law of the harvest in a very specific way. Let them do so with joy and not with grief. The word "share" is the Greek word koinonia meaning "fellowship" or "partnership. The Field of the Flesh. The People and the Pastor are to be in Partnership. "We agree that you're worth your weight in gold. In order to pay his bills. The church does not PAY the pastor but they partner with him in the labor of the Lord. Paul says.8). Paul described the Christian’s life as a battlefield. but we can afford your weight in aluminum. They use subtle blackmail to get him to preach what they want him to preach. Here we see the "flesh" and the "Spirit" as two farm fields in which we may plant the seeds of life. a poor pastor will often give in to such pressures." D. as those who must give account. our individual struggle for holiness. Earlier in chapter 5.13:17. The people sow good stewardship and reap the harvest of good teaching from the Word.htm (5 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:45 PM .The Law of the Harvest its pastor. What we reap depends on which field we choose for planting. and be submissive. "For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption. "Obey those who rule over you. They figure if they pay the fiddler they ought to call the tune." Churches may also abuse their pastors by manipulation. but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. a pastor can rightly divide the Word and let the chips fall where they may.

they pressed their lips to the mirrors leaving dozens of little lip prints. Every time we linger in bad company whose insidious influence we know we cannot resist.htm (6 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:45 PM .The Law of the Harvest corruption. uncleanness. every time we read pornographic literature." We know that in the Bible "flesh" refers to much more than our skin. a middle school in Oregon faced a unique problem. Every time we allow our mind to harbor a grudge. sowing. After they put on their lipstick. she asked the custodian to file:///C|/cbc/G20. cuddle and stroke it. sorcery. dissensions. contentions. Finally the principal decided something had to be done. revelries. who had to clean the mirrors every day. "To ‘sow to the flesh’ is to pander to it. fornication. To demonstrate how difficult it was. She explained lip prints caused a major problem for the custodian. and the like…" I love how John Stott describes sowing to the flesh. jealousies. If you put leftovers from today’s meal in your refrigerator. She called the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the custodian. instead of crucifying it. The longer you leave them. every time we take a risk which strains our self-control. heresies. nurse a grievance. we are sowing. sinful core in all men. whether we reap it or not depends on what and where we sow.15:42."2 "Corruption" refers to decay. something going from better to worse. lewdness. degeneration. sowing to the flesh. murders. The seeds we sow are largely thoughts and deeds. The best description I can think of for "corruption" is when you drive down a highway on a hot summer day and smell the aroma of rotting roadkill! When a believer "sows to his flesh" he will REAP ROADKILL! According to a radio report. A number of girls began to use lipstick and put it on in the bathroom. selfish ambitions. entertain an impure fantasy. It refers to the selfish.50). outbursts of wrath. every time we lie in bed when we ought to be up and praying. we are sowing to the flesh. Idolatry. the worse they will get! "Corruption" is also used in the NT to refer to a dead body (cf. "adultery. bones and muscle tissue. they will go from better to worse. to cosset. or wallow in self-pity. If we give into or sow to the flesh. drunkenness. envy. hatred. 1 Cor. we will harvest the "works of the flesh" as listed in 5:19-21. Holiness is a harvest. Some Christians sow to the flesh every day and wonder why they do not reap holiness.

To sow to the Spirit is to seek after and pursue God. "He who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.3:1-2). He took out a long-handled brush.4:8 says. whatever things are lovely. and scrubbed the mirror. He put a bullet in his own brain. Wilde found himself an imprisoned homosexual. God is not mocked. to "keep in step with the Spirit" (5:25 NIV) or to be "filled with the Spirit" (Eph. He even wrote a parody of the Lord’s Prayer. whatever things are of good report.The Law of the Harvest clean one of the mirrors. B."3 My friends. not on things on the earth" (Col. whatever things are noble. "I forgot that somewhere along the line what you are in secret you will some day cry aloud from the housetop. in his search for pleasure and fleshly fulfillment apart from God. Next Paul says. Phil. he found nothing but despair and hopelessness. Near the end of his life. "Finally. Earnest Hemingway is celebrated as one of America’s greatest authors. dipped it into the toilet. When tempted to sin. whatever things are just. he was "deceived" and learned ultimately that "God is not mocked. The Field of the Spirit. if we could only see the real filth we'd be kissing. Lewis died a pathetic alcoholic in a third-rate clinic in Italy. whatever things are pure. if there is any virtue and file:///C|/cbc/G20." To sow to the Spirit then is the same thing as to "walk in the Spirit" (5:16). he wrote." However. Yet. whatever things are true.5:18).htm (7 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:45 PM . He thought moral laws were religious superstitions that had no relevance to modern man. brethren. in shame and disgrace." If anyone "sows to his flesh" he will reap the "corruption" of a life ruined. be "led by the Spirit" (5:18). Since then there have been no lip prints on the mirrors. Other authors such as Sinclair Lewis and Oscar Wilde thumbed their noses at God and found similar ends. "Do not be deceived. It is to "…seek those things which are above…" and to "set your mind on things above. "Our nada [nothing] who art in nada. we wouldn't be attracted to it." He believed that the Bible and Christian morality were antiquated and outdated.

meditate on these things. Perhaps one of the greatest ways in which we can sow to the Spirit is in private worship. Write this down: you can’t get away with sin. We sow to the Spirit by developing the determined spiritual disciplines of prayer. Every one of those seeds will produce "corruption" in our lives. Some seeds we sow in the field of our "flesh. We will be more like Jesus! Our communion with God will increase until one day in eternity it is perfect. by the books we read.10:5) will bring the decaying. Everyday we sow seeds. you'll cheat in file:///C|/cbc/G20. the movies and TV shows we watch or do not watch. Every thought. Therefore. "It is precisely because of the eternity outside time that everything in time becomes valuable and important and meaningful. They will not help us. "everlasting life" means getting better and better. word or deed not brought "into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. We will become more and more "conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom. what better way to "set your mind on things above. YOU CAN’T GET AWAY WITH SIN! George Munzing says. just as "corruption" means going from better to worse. Christianity makes it of urgent importance that everything we do here should be rightly related to what we eternally are. We are "deceived" and we engage in mocking God if we think we can get away with sin.htm (8 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:45 PM . putrid puss of "corruption" in our lives." We sow selfishly and sinfully." When we worship in private. That is. meditation. Everyone who is born again will go to heaven." How do we sow to the Spirit? We do so by what we put in our minds.8:29)."4 Let’s get practical. You can’t get away with sin. public worship is reflexive.The Law of the Harvest if there is anything praiseworthy. "Everlasting life" here refers more to quality of life than duration of life. Eternal life is the sole sanction for the values of this life. memorization and personal Bible study." This does not mean that only Spirit-filled believers go to heaven. Our spiritual and moral values will grow and get stronger and stronger. "If you cheat in practice. Dorothy Sayers wrote. they will harm us. If a Christian "sows to the Spirit" instead of the decay of "corruption" he will reap "everlasting life.

5:7 says. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth." "Doing good." Remember. What if a farmer sowed half his field and then grew "weary" and quit. reap a character.9). We mustn’t give up in serving each other in the Lord. sowing and reaping in the application of holiness in our lives and now Paul speaks of "doing good. You'll cheat on the girl. Do Good to All (v. You'll cheat in business. You'll cheat on your mate." but he would only "reap" half the field. We must be patient. Sow a character. The Harvest of Good Works (vv. always abounding in the work of the Lord. Let’s do our best to sow them in the right field that we may reap the harvest of the "peaceable fruit of righteousness" (Heb. be steadfast. Perhaps they were thinking. Sow a habit. my beloved brethren." B. The harvest would still come "in due season.10). for in due season we shall reap if we do not LOSE HEART. 1 Cor.12:11). knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. If you cheat in your head. brethren. until the coming of the Lord. "What’s the use?" Maybe they were ready to give up.9 slowly and try to sense something beyond ink on paper. Don’t Give Up (v. file:///C|/cbc/G20. we reap WHAT we sow. and perhaps even Paul himself [note the personal pronouns] were very tired in their work for the Lord. Let’s read v.htm (9 of 11)4/30/2005 1:55:45 PM . waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. immovable. tiresome activity. "And let us not GROW WEARY while doing good. we reap WHERE we sow but we also reap AFTER we sow." serving others can be a weary. Ja. "Therefore.15:58 says. reap a habit.The Law of the Harvest the game." A. Sow an act. Sow a thought. We’ve examined sowing and reaping in the ministry of the local church. Obviously the Galatians.9-10). reap a destiny. "Therefore be patient. Farmers get tired too. III. you'll cheat on the test."5 Everyday we sow seeds. reap an act.

The Law of the Harvest

Next Paul says, "as we have opportunity" we are to "do good to all." Folks, we abound in opportunity. All around us are occasions for us to "do good." My mother used to say to me, "What goes around comes around." She meant if I do something good for someone else, it will come back to me. We are to do good "to all," believers and unbelievers, young and old. However we are to do good "especially to those who are of the household of faith." Of course "the household of faith" is but another of the many biblical metaphors for the redeemed, the saved, the body of Christ, the church. If we can’t love our family within, we certainly won’t love strangers without. In June l955, Winston Churchill, who was then near the end of his life, was asked to give a commencement address at a British University. At this time he was physically infirm; he had to be helped to the podium. Then he held on to the podium for what seemed an interminable amount of time. He stood with his head down but then finally raised that great leonine head of his, and the voice that years before had called Britain back from the brink of destruction sounded publicly for the last time in history. "Never give up. Never give up. Never give up." With that, Churchill turned and went back to his seat. I'm told there was silence, and then, as if one person, the whole audience rose to applaud him, because he was a man whose life and words were together. What a word for us today, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP! Never give up doing good because we are sowing seeds that will one day provide a bumper crop. The promise of God in the law of the harvest is unchangeable.
1 2

Luther, p.552 Stott, p.170 3 Gleaned from MacArthur, pp.184-185 4 Dorothy L. Sayers, Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul. Christianity Today, Vol. 41, no. 11 5 George Munzing, "Living a Life of Integrity," Preaching Today, Tape No. 32

Copyright © 1998 - 2003 Coy M. Wylie. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright

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The Law of the Harvest

notice. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source), edited, revised, copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications, recordings, broadcasts, performances, displays or other products offered for sale, without the written permission of the copyright holder. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. Wylie, Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church, P.O. Box 7403, Amarillo, TX 79114-7403.

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Parting Admonitions

February 25, 2001 Free Indeed – Galatians

Coy Wylie

Parting Admonitions
Galatians 6:11-18 When divers combed the wreckage of the Kursk, a destroyed Russian nuclear submarine on which 118 sailors perished, they found a letter written by Lt. Dmitri Kolesnikov. The handwritten note was addressed to his wife, Olga. It was penned after the explosion that sealed the sub's doom on August 12, 2000, in the Barents Sea and confirmed speculation that all the crew had not died instantly. A few hours after the submarine plunged to the bottom of the sea, Kolesnikov wrote, "All the crew from the sixth, seventh, and eighth compartments went over to the ninth. There are 23 people here... None of us can get to the surface." The note included a deeply personal expression of affection to his beloved Olga. Eerily, the last lines of the letter indicated that death was closing in. The auxiliary power had failed. Kolesnikov wrote unevenly in the pitch darkness: "I am writing blind." He wrote his final words without any sense of hope.1 As the Apostle Paul put the finishing touches on his letter to the Galatians, he too was probably writing blindly, with very dim eyesight. He knew that a martyr’s death awaited him. However, unlike that Russian lieutenant, Paul wrote in hope. In the last passage of the great book of Galatians, we find a very personal parting from the Apostle Paul. Look closely at v.11, "See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!" We know that Paul dictated most of his writing through a scribe or secretary. Usually he would simply sign his name. However, as the apostle concludes this letter to the Galatian churches, he actually takes the pen in his "own hand" and with his own handwriting, he adds a postscript, a fitting conclusion to the epistle He mentions that as he writes he is using "large letters." There are several possible meanings for this statement. Professional scribes wrote neatly with small cursive letters that economically filled a page. Perhaps Paul meant that his own handwriting was large and sloppy in comparison. For several years now, almost all my writing has been done on a computer keyboard and I can tell you my handwriting has become very messy. When I do write a personal note, I often use capital block letters so someone else can understand it! We can be quite certain that Paul had very poor eyesight. Look back to 4:14-15, "And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them
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Parting Admonitions

to me." His vision seems to have been a very real "trial" and perhaps he wrote with "large letters" because he could not read any finer print. Other Bible teachers have suggested that Paul used "large letters" for a point of emphasis, much as we might write or type in ALL CAPS or underline words today to heighten the importance of what we are writing. Whatever the meaning of the "large letters," we can be absolutely sure the apostle personally took the pen in hand in order to add as much emphasis or leverage to these last few statements of his letter. His point is clear: DON’T MISS THIS! Paul is so adamant about these parting sentences because they represent for us the basic essence of Christianity. He reaffirms his teaching on legalism, the cross, the church as well as adding a few words of personal testimony and blessings. Let’s dig in.

I. One Last Warning Against Legalism (vv.12-13).
If you studied with me through Galatians these last 21 Sunday mornings, you might think you have heard enough about legalism. Paul doesn’t think so. He’s not about to end this letter without a final reminder against the man-made rule-keeping that constantly plagues the church. Legalism reminds me of dandelions in a nice yard of grass. Just as soon as you uproot them in one area they pop up in another. Once established the only way to kill them is a strong herbicide like Roundup. The trouble is that the chemical will kill the good grass too. Your best tactic against dandelions is to hit them with a pre-emergent herbicide before they have a chance to take root. That’s a great strategy for overcoming legalism too. We have a relatively young church. Cornerstone has not been around a long time. We have the opportunity to kill the legalistic weeds before they can take root in the soil of our ministry. Let’s note four final characteristics of legalism. A. Legalism is SHOWY (v.12a). In v.12, Paul refers to those who "desire to make a good showing in the flesh" those who would "compel you to be circumcised." The legalists, the Judaizers in Galatia were more interested in externals than internal, more concerned with symbols than substance. They would not see that genuine Christianity is an inward transformation not an outward ceremony. Their war cry is found in Acts 15:1, "…Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." Paul has dealt with this again and again throughout Galatians.

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Deut. it is unbiblical heresy! Legalists who insist on external signs such as circumcision or baptism are trusting in themselves.30:6 says. Paul’s point is that no physical operation on the body can change the soul. but a new creation.12B). there must also be the water of immersion. The circumcision of the flesh was to be a symbol of the circumcision of the heart. the apostle adds those who would "make a good showing in the flesh" would also "compel you to be circumcised" at least in part "that they might not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. the blood of Christ is insufficient. not Jesus. but legalism still pokes up its blooms in the arena of baptism." Look ahead to what Paul says in v. like circumcision. Yet the legalists insisted that no one could be saved unless they had been circumcised. baptism is merely an outward. It has no internal. They violently persecuted anyone. physical symbol. Legalism is COWARDLY (v. The Lord Jesus gave His church the command to baptize just as God gave the Jews the command to circumcise. B. meaning that salvation comes not only through faith in Jesus but also through baptism. spiritual power. Baptism is important today as circumcision was in the OT era." Traditional Jews considered Christianity to be a cult. "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything. that you may live.Parting Admonitions It is true that God gave Abraham the rite of circumcision as a sign of His covenant or promise. This is not only untrue." Circumcision is no longer a hot issue. "And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants. They "make a good showing in the flesh" but the spirit is unchanged. to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. However.15 of our text. In their view. Baptism is a symbol of God’s covenant promise to the church. the cutting away of sin and self and devotion to God. Today some people teach baptismal regeneration. Further. Circumcision was a symbol of God’s covenant with Israel. especially Jews who followed file:///C|/cbc/G21.htm (3 of 13)4/30/2005 1:55:41 PM .

Parting Admonitions Jesus. They were cowards motivated by fear." physical scars representing his sufferings for his stand for Christ. I determined that I would lead this church as long as God will let me to try to conform as closely to the NT as possible. Legalism is HYPOCRITICAL (v. binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. He testified in Acts 22:4. "For not even those who are circumcised keep the law. before he was converted was a violent persecutor of believers.13a). Paul asks. "Amen!" C. that I would preach what I believe based up on my own study of the Word not someone else’s tradition. "I am struggling with some issues. cowardly legalism is alive and well today. Just this week. My friends. In 5:11. file:///C|/cbc/G21. Paul himself. "I persecuted this Way to the death. The point is that these legalists emphasized circumcision because they were afraid of the "persecution" they would face from the Jews." What courage! I pray he does just that. why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. Next Paul says. I think the Apostle Paul would say. but they don’t even keep their own rules.17 that Paul bore in his body "the marks of the Lord Jesus." In a few moments. "…if I still preach circumcision. anyone who preached that salvation was by grace through faith alone in the work of Christ on the cross was subject to persecution. we will see from our passage in v. not some denominational dogma. My goal is to determine what I truly believe about… [some hot topic in his church] and then to teach the truth and practice it and everyone can just deal with it." Legalists always have a set of rules and regulations that they want everyone else to follow.htm (4 of 13)4/30/2005 1:55:41 PM . a pastor friend in another state wrote me about this very issue. He said." In the first century. I determined some time ago. They try to intimidate and pressure others to conform to standards they don’t hold to themselves. Pastors and churches still cower under traditionalism and denominationalism for fear of what others may say or think.

" They wanted to brag and boast about how many Gentile converts had been "circumcised" by their ministries. the number of baptisms. Don’t get me wrong! We want more and more people to come to our church." Or how about this announcement in the bulletin of a church in Centralia. the magnitude of the budget tells very little about the work of the Spirit in a fellowship of believers. They were "statistics-conscience. They measured each other by how successful they were and wallowed in their own egotism. Let me say a word here about statistics." D. "A hypocrite is someone who complains there is too much sex and violence on his VCR. hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin. "They desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.Parting Admonitions Jesus said to the Pharisees in Mt. the entire chapter of Mt. We do not want anyone to think we can take a vacation from God's house. Paul also adds.23:23. The size of the crowd. not so we can count people but because people count! However. Washington.13B). our motivation is not bragging rights but helping them become fully devoted followers of Jesus.23). file:///C|/cbc/G21. "Woe to you. they picked out rules to follow that made them seem very religious but ignored the "weightier" more important virtues like "justice and mercy and faith. we will need many substitute teachers. These you ought to have done. Legalism is EGOTISTICAL (v. I like this definition of hypocrisy." Guess what? Legalists are still hypocritical.f." They were counting converts like notches on their guns.htm (5 of 13)4/30/2005 1:55:41 PM . To carry out such a program. scribes and Pharisees. You can get a horribly inaccurate picture of any local church merely by examining statistics. "The Sunday School teachers wish to continue Sunday School classes throughout the summer. They can often be more of a hindrance than a blessing to a church. without leaving the others undone" (c. In other words.

Parting Admonitions II. your curse I am suffering. we are unholy. the symbol of our victory and the sign of our hope. which relies for salvation on their works and not on Jesus Christ’s.’ Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. It is there at the foot of the cross. He could save us. It is your sin I am bearing. Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins on the cross. Our Boast is not in the Flesh but in the Cross (v.14a). ridiculed. ‘I am here because of you. "And of course men do like it. your debt I am paying." Why does it mean that Paul would only "boast… in the cross of… Christ?" Jesus went to the cross because of our sin. Let’s note three truths the cross gives to us." Why is the cross so important? Why does persecution surround the cross? John Stott gives good answers to these questions: "Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to say to us. They do not object to Christianity so long as it is not the faith of Christ crucified.5:8 says. But Christ crucified they detest. that we shrink to our true size…" Stott continues. persecuted." The legalists wanted to "boast" in the number of circumcised converts they could win but Paul would only "boast" or glory "in the cross. Paul says.htm (6 of 13)4/30/2005 1:55:41 PM . your death I am dying.14-15). So they steer clear of the cross. Rom. Christ died for us. A. the sword of our persecution." It is the source of our glory. All of us have inflated views of ourselves. until we have visited a place called Calvary. They resent the humiliation of seeing themselves as God sees them and as they really are. He is righteous. They prefer their comfortable illusions. He is holy. Why? file:///C|/cbc/G21. The very essence of Christianity is "in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. in that while we were still sinners. we could never save ourselves. And if preachers preach Christ crucified. One Last Affirmation of the Cross (vv. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us. "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. They construct a Christianity without the cross. they are opposed. we are unrighteous. especially in self-righteousness. In a great demonstration of the love of God for mankind.

heretical beings apart from His grace. Oh. For ‘twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died To pardon and sanctify me. yes! But don’t forget to teach the children the hymns of the cross! Listen to these powerful words: On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross.e. My richest gain I count but loss. And exchange it some day for a crown. And pour contempt on all my pride Forbid it. Save in the death of Christ my God.Parting Admonitions Because of the wounds which they inflict on men’s pride. arrogant. On which the Prince of glory died. Sing the new songs. The emblem of suffering and shame. A wondrous beauty I see. jealous. All the vain things that charm me most. How about this one: When I survey the wondrous cross.htm (7 of 13)4/30/2005 1:55:41 PM ." To look upon the cross is to remember my own unworthiness and His great grace! I love the praise songs being written and sung today. filthy. loving or worthwhile within us."2 To glory only in the cross means we do not glory or "boast" in ourselves. hateful. hypocritical. but when it comes to "teaching and admonishing one another" (i. egotistical. but because He went to the cross.3:16) give me the great hymns of our faith. Apart from the work of God in our lives there is nothing good. He can make us His saints or "holy ones. envious. We are selfish. file:///C|/cbc/G21. I will cling to the old rugged cross. lewd. Col. stained with blood so divine. till my trophies at last I lay down. Lord! That I should boast. indulgent. And I love that old cross where the dearest and best For a world of lost sinners was slain In the old rugged cross. So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross.

Demands my soul. Here’s one more." Just as we cannot "boast" in ourselves and in the cross at same time. let’s sing it together! Jesus. my life. B. "What’s wrong?" the neighbor file:///C|/cbc/G21. Bring its scenes before me. and I to the world. Near the cross! O Lamb of God.Parting Admonitions I sacrifice them to His blood. Till my raptured soul shall find Rest beyond the river. When we get to the chorus. Being a preacher. His feet. That were a present far too small: Love so amazing. His hands. he is a pretty poor handy man. Sorrow and love flow mingled down: Did e’re such love and sorrow meet. Haddon Robinson tells a story about working on his garage door one day. my all. In the Cross We are Crucified to the World (v. He was sweaty.htm (8 of 13)4/30/2005 1:55:41 PM . so divine. See. keep me near the cross There a precious fountain Free to all a healing stream. It seemed the more pressure he put on the wrench the tighter the bolt became. Be my glory ever. Or thorns compose so rich a crown? Were the whole realm of nature mine. Help me walk from day to day. red-faced and frustrated when a neighbor wandered over. Flows from Calvary’s mountain. Everything was going pretty well until he tried to loosen one bolt. from His head. we cannot live for the cross and the world at the same time. In the cross.14b). With its shadows o’re me. in the cross. Next Paul says that it was in the cross that "the world has been crucified to me.

baptism. "Being circumcised won’t get you into heaven and being uncircumcised won’t keep you out. We are "crucified" or dead to the world and the world is dead to us. You have to tighten or loosen it going in the opposite direction. we do not care what the world thinks of us. the more tightly we cling.15).Parting Admonitions asked. "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything. behold. What matters is that you are a new creation because you’ve been born again!" Circumcision. The way to live is to die. All that matters is that you are a "new creation" that you have come to the "cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. old things have passed away.5:17 says. The way to spiritual wealth is to acknowledge your spiritual poverty. It's just incongruous." The newcomer examined the situation and said. The way to rule is to serve. What Matters Most is a New Creation (v. Christianity is at heart denying the authority of the world." What or whom are you trusting in. If we glory only in the cross. "There's a sense in which all the Bible is kind of a reverse screw. he is a new creation. in the Bible comes out wrong. The more pressure they apply to unscrew us from the cross." 2 Cor. "I can’t get this blasted bolt loose.htm (9 of 13)4/30/2005 1:55:41 PM ." Because of the cross. "I think you’ve got yourself a left-hand threaded bolt." file:///C|/cbc/G21. I mean the screw just doesn't work right. we have parted company with the world. The only thing that matters is that you are a "new creation. all things have become new." Allow me to paraphrase. says of us or does to us. "Therefore. The way up is the way down. We are threaded in a different direction." Robinson said. Everything in the culture that seems right. but a new creation. Let’s make this more practical." Later he wrote. Next Paul says. We no longer march to the world’s drummer. Robinson replied. C. keeping the law… none of those things matter when it comes to your salvation. if anyone is in Christ. "It took me fifty years to find out how screws work and now they change the rules.

Parting Admonitions Regular church attendance. what matters is being a "new creation. Clearly "as many as walk according to this rule" and "the Israel of God" are not two groups but one. One Last Encouragement for the Church (v. In v. file:///C|/cbc/G21. a Presbyterian or a charismatic doesn’t matter.16." Being a Baptist. wearing a WWJD arm band or carrying a big study Bible doesn’t matter. III. we are princes of His kingdom! In that sense we see a direct continuity from God’s people of the OT era. just praise songs or a mixture of both does not matter. the body. "And as many as walk according to this rule. what matters is being a "new creation. The Church has a Measuring Stick.htm (10 of 13)4/30/2005 1:55:41 PM ." the bride." Having the sign of the fish on your car." A degree from a prestigious seminary. fight and feud over so many things. and upon the Israel of God." By faith we are all His sons and daughters." Singing just hymns.10:42). peace and mercy be upon them. what matters is being a "new creation. A. Lk. Paul says. what matters is being a "new creation. We become prideful and arrogant about so many things.3:29). what matters is being a "new creation. We who belong to Christ today are the true "circumcision" (Phil. The phrase "Israel of God" is unique here in all the NT.12:23).3:3) and "Abraham's seed… heirs according to the promise" (Gal." We get so worked up over so many things. Remember "Israel" means "prince with God. The Church is the Israel of God. "But one thing is needed" (cf. It may have special reference to saved Jews but I believe it is synonymous with the company of all the redeemed. We fuss. the "household of faith. But as Jesus said to Mary as she sat at His feet. B. the "church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven" (Heb." Let’s grasp two truths here. an ordination certificate or holding an important leadership role in the church doesn’t matter. tithing or filling a position doesn’t matter.16). being a "new creation" is that one thing.

When I was a little boy." It comes from kanon." I don’t know whether that really happened or not but I am quite sure that’s not file:///C|/cbc/G21. God forbid. but the Greek word kanon. my mother would stand me up against the door facing in her bedroom and measure me with a yardstick.17). all these and more can become more important to us than the Word of God. Those little pencil marks showed how quickly I was growing. During the middle ages a doctrine arose that interpreted this passage to mean that Paul had found Jesus’ scars on his own hands. a measuring stick or rod. rituals. One Last Testimony from the Apostle (v. It is no coincidence that the books of our Bible are known as "the canon of Scripture." The word was also used to describe a carpenter’s rule or surveyor’s line. On the other hand. Church. Paul says. do we want God’s overflowing "mercy" and bountiful blessings upon us? Of course! That’s why we have such a tenacious grasp on the Word." Our ruler as a church is not some ecclesiastical hierarchy or denominational tradition but it is the measuring stick of Scripture. No not "cannon" like a Howitzer. we can lose His "peace and mercy" if we begin to measure ourselves by other standards. It is said that others like Francis of Assisi physically experienced the wounds of Jesus on their own bodies as they contemplated His sufferings. feet and side. traditions. "From now on let no one trouble me. New theologies." When we measure ourselves by the yardstick of the Bible and the gospel message we can be certain that "peace and mercy" will be upon us." Interestingly. The church has a "rule" or measuring stick by which to measure itself. IV.Parting Admonitions Look closely at the word "rule.2:20) and particularly in this passage the "cross of our Lord Jesus" and "a new creation. This phenomenon is called "stigmatization. the "foundation of the apostles and prophets" (Eph. for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. the word for "marks" is stigmata. which means "a ruler. but if that ever happens we will lose His "peace and mercy" over our lives and our ministry. denominationalism. God has given us a yardstick to use too.htm (11 of 13)4/30/2005 1:55:41 PM .

the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.18)." If anyone wanted to know Paul’s commitment to Christ all they had to do was look at the "marks" on his body. in prisons more frequently. in perils of waters. we ought to bless one another. file:///C|/cbc/G21. "…in labors more abundant. but Jesus never left me. but Jesus has set me free from guilt and shame" or "I was devastated by my divorce. Finally. "Get on up off my back! I have your sacred mark of circumcision on my body but I’ve got some other marks that are much more valuable to me. in perils in the city. but I’m still following Christ. in perils in the wilderness. doesn’t it. in journeys often.htm (12 of 13)4/30/2005 1:55:41 PM . in sleeplessness often." "I used to try to drink myself to death. "How do you know your faith is real?" What would you say? …that you are a Baptist? …that you’ve been baptized? …that you teach Sunday School or give your tithes? Seems somewhat petty. "Brethren." In the same way. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. besides the other things. He’s met my every need. "I’ve buried two children." Those are the true "marks" of Christianity. Paul as it were is reaching out to you and me across the centuries and laying his gnarled. If someone were to ask you. in cold and nakedness. He is saying. in perils among false brethren. once I was stoned." Paul began this letter with a salutation of "grace" and he ends it in the same matter. "Brother. We ought to reach out a hand. may the grace of our Lord Jesus be with your spirit. in perils in the sea. in fastings often. in perils of robbers. Three times I was beaten with rods. Paul pens with his "large letters" these last few words." 2 Cor. in deaths often." "I used to be addicted to pornography. not unlike how old Jacob put his hands on the heads of his children and blessed them in the closing chapters of Genesis. He began chapter 6 with "brethren" and concludes in the same way. in weariness and toil. but Jesus set me free from alcohol. in perils of my own countrymen. scared hand on our shoulders and say. a night and a day I have been in the deep. in stripes above measure. Amen. what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.Parting Admonitions what Paul had in mind here. V. in hunger and thirst. so let it be. This is a word of blessing.11:23-28 gives an account of his sufferings. in perils of the Gentiles. One Last Blessing for Believers (v. three times I was shipwrecked. It is meaningful to say. I bear scars that were earned suffering for Jesus.

edited. P. broadcasts. This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source). Amarillo. Box 7403. He discovered her address. let us bless others. performances. This young man was riding that train day after day as a commuter. Wylie. displays or other products offered for sale. Not long ago I read about a fellow who rode to work on the "elevated" train in Chicago. obviously quite ill. Finally he determined to find out her name. This mass transit train comes into downtown on a high track.htm (13 of 13)4/30/2005 1:55:41 PM . Wylie. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice. copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications. He began to get interested in her since he saw her every day.O. without the written permission of the copyright holder. Tape No. 1 2 Greg Asimakoupoulos.179 3 William Hinson." I have a pastor friend who loves to do that to other people. MY FRIEND ON THE ELEVATED!3 If Jesus can reach down from the cross to bless us. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. file:///C|/cbc/G21. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to Coy M. Illinois. He signed it: "The young man on the elevated. Cornerstone Baptist Church. for a long time. p. "A Breath of Fresh Air. Naperville.2003 Coy M.Parting Admonitions look into some other brother or sisters life and say "May the Lord bless you" or "Grace to you." Preaching Today. 114 Copyright © 1998 . and he wrote her a card. assuring her that he was praying for her recovery. and he looked through that window and the bed was empty. he pulled into the station. Let me close with one last story. he could look through an open curtain into a room of a building and see a woman lying in a bed. And as the train slowed up for the station where he got off. adapted from (Chicago suburban) Daily Herald (10-27-00) Stott. revised. She was there day after day. Pastor. recordings." A few weeks later. TX 79114-7403. He will also ask mature believers to bless him. Instead there was a great huge sign: GOD BLESS YOU.

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