Here are the sermon notes for Galatians “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Jesus!” Week 2. You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.
Take your bible out and turn with me to Galatians the 3rd Chapter. Every Summer we like to break from our topical sermon series and go to a specific book and look at it from beginning to end. This is not an exhaustive look at Galatians. In fact, this series is only 5 weeks long. Lacy taught on ch 1-2 last week. Today, I will teach on 3-4 and then the next 3 weeks we will slow down some and look at ch 5-6.
So, by the time we are finished, you will have a good perspective on this book.
I encourage you to read Galatians once a week. It is only 6 chapters. You could read a chapter per day or the whole book in one setting (30min.) Each time you read and each Sunday you will get a fresh impartation from God’s living bread, the Bible. His Word will go forth in your life bringing abundant Life and Hope.
Galatians is a letter written by a man named Paul to the church of Galatia. The first several chapters talk specifically about The Real Gospel of Jesus. The Real Gospel is the Good News that you don’t have to save yourself from this world, but that God loves you so much He saves you. (period)
It is a free gift, unattached from any good or bad thing you have done.
Adam was walking around the Garden of Eden feeling very lonely, so God asked, “What is wrong with you?” Adam said he didn’t have anyone to talk to. God said he was going to give him a companion.
God said, “This person will cook for you and wash your clothes. She will always agree with every decision you make. She will bear your children and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them. She will not nag you, and she will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you’ve had a disagreement. She will never have a headache, and she will freely give love and compassion whenever needed.” Adam asked God, “What will this woman cost?”
God replied, “An arm and a leg.” Adam said, “What can I get for just a rib?”
As humans, we are always conscious of what things cost. What will that cost me. Then, we make the determination if we want to spend the effort or time or money and pay the price for whatever we are shopping for. In Galatians 1-3, Pauls tells us that God pays the full price. There is a cost and it was fully paid. Therefore, we should quit trying to make people pay for their salvation.
In order to make his point in chapter 3, the writer, Paul, goes way back in time. (over 2000 years)
God Makes a Covenant or PROMISE to Abraham
Look how Paul relates the PROMISE of Abraham to us today.
Galatians 3: 6 In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Righteous means clean, right before God. Ready for relationship. 7 The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God. 8 What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles (all of us in here today) to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.
God gives the LAW to Moses through an Angel
Galatians 3: 19 Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. 20 Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham. 21 Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. 22 But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.
What about Jesus Christ? Believing that He IS. He is the Son of God and that he fully paid for the cost of our sins.
Jesus came to Free Us and Get us in on the PROMISE
Galatians 3:10 But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” 11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” 12 This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.” 13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.
We now stand on the PROMISE of God looking to the cross and empty grave of Jesus Christ and putting our faith in the fact that he absorbed the law. Took the punishment for breaking the law. When we put our faith in Jesus, then we are exempt from the punishment due for our sin.
This is why our church has been called PromiseLand for so long! We believe that we are living in the land of God’s Promise. He doesn’t go back on his Promise!
At the beginning of the chapter he says:
Galatians 3:2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. 3 How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? 4 Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it? 5 I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.
WHY WOULD HE BE SAYING ALL THIS?
Paul is dealing with this issue because the Christians of Galatia are starting to add things to the Gospel, in essence contaminating the Good News. Turning it from Good News to sort of Good News or Just News.
Specifically, these people were telling Christians that if they really wanted to be saved, then they needed to be circumcised (like the law required). They had to follow the law in order to be eligible for the Good News.
People are trying to live on the right side of the cross but apply the principles of the law to people who have put their faith in Jesus.
It is in our human nature (especially those studying the Old Testament and American culture), to think that the amount of effort put into something is the amount of product gotten out. The amount of seed you sow is the amount of crop you harvest. The amount sweat equity burned is the amount of profit received. That concept works on everything in the world. It works for everything in the Kingdom except one thing.
That is precisely why it is called Good News. Because it goes against every natural thought pattern and every way of the world.
But even after we have heard it and received it, we can go back to the old ways. Once we have received it for ourselves, we can look down our noses at those who haven’t lived to the standard that we have!
That is why Paul writes this letter. He starts out the chapter:
Galatians 3:1 Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross.
We can be foolish San Martians!
This is how it happens:
- I find Jesus, he forgives me and saves me by His Grace.
- The Holy Spirit convicts me of sinful thoughts and behaviors.
- I am discipled by other people and learn healthy/Biblical ways to live.
- I am made Holy (sanctified) slowly by the Grace of the Holy Spirit.
- This leads me to activities like gathering with other believers every Sunday and regular prayer and scripture reading. Because of my devotion and discipleship and mostly by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, I also stop doing things like getting drunk and blasting people with profanity.
- Then the CREEPER creeps!
- You elevate yourself: “Look at how you are doing! So good! You are really holy! You love God! Great effort! Great work!” You start being elevated on a pedestal. You are saved, you do these holy things and don’t do these evil things, so then the right logic is that all these people around you that aren’t doing these things aren’t saved.
- If people want to be saved, they need to do these things like you do. Or look at this theology that I know. I know all about the rapture. If you don’t believe like I do about the end times, then you aren’t saved. If you don’t believe like I do about baptism, then you aren’t saved. If you don’t believe what I do about circumcision, then you aren’t saved. If you don’t believe like I do about wearing shorts on the stage on a Sunday, then you aren’t save.
AND WE HAVE CONTAMINATED THE GOSPEL!! Oh you foolish, San Marcos people! Were you saved because you knew enough about this or that or you were perfect here or there?
NO! you were saved because you put your faith in Jesus Christ. That’s it! You believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He came here to save the world and fulfill the law. We are not longer cursed because of the law but set free because of the finished work of Jesus. Believe on Him!!
Galatians 3: 26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.
YOUR #1 IDENTIFYING FACTOR IS YOUR FAITH IN JESUS. YOU ARE A SON OR DAUGHTER OF GOD.
You no longer get your identity from your gender, race, hometown, college, sexual orientation…
You are not saved because you are a heterosexual. If you are gay, you are not saved by becoming heterosexual. You are saved because you place your faith in Jesus Christ. Then, what happens?
Your identity is from being a child of God. You do not need the acceptance of people to make you complete or happy. Your PRIDE doesn’t come from people agreeing with you about your sexuality. You do not need your gender or you sexual orientation to give you the acceptance you have been craving.
Let’s see what God can do with your life and the power of the Holy Ghost when you surrender to His will for your life. Let’s see what God can do with your sexuality and gender when put your faith in the one who created the world and is an expert mending broken things. God is known for not throwing things away, but loving them back to a place they were originally intended to be.
And that is our role as a church. We point people to Jesus. He is the answer. If they have no interest in Jesus, then we show them love anyway. We extend ourselves beyond our comfort zone while keeping our feet firmly planted in the truth. Showing grace and mercy to anyone and everyone that has fallen short of the law. After all, that is what Christ did for us through others when we were strung out, bitter, confused, angry, sad, despondent, sin-filled, selfish, religious.