Summary: It’s my prayer today that you would understand, really understand, what Easter means and that it would change you permanently from the inside out.
Redeemed: Galatians 4:4-7
Pastor Jefferson M. Williams
Chenoa Baptist Church
April 12, 2020
I Didn’t Get It
Easter Sunday morning, 1980. Wooddale Church of Christ. I was 12 years old, uncomfortable in my Easter dress clothes, sitting with a couple of friends in the back of the auditorium.
At the end of the message, we sing the hymn, “Just as I Am,” for what seemed like an hour. He kept stopping and saying, “I know there is somewhere here today that needs to be saved.” I didn’t really even know what saved meant. But I knew it would make my mom and dad happy. So I slipped up my hand.
He saw me and locked eyes with me. Pray this prayer. So I repeated a prayer that I didn’t understand word for word. Then I walked down the aisle, signed a card, and in that church, they baptized me right then and there. They gave me a little King James Bible and then he introduced me to the congregation.
Hey, what’s your name, kid? I whispered, “Jeff.” He then introduced me with great fanfare as a brand new Christian and everyone clapped.
There was just one problem. I had no idea what had just happened. I got saved. But I didn’t know what I was getting saved from or what happened to make me need saving in the first place. I was no more a Christian than I would be a NBA basketball player.
I wish that I had understood what I’m going to teach today because it would have changed my life and saved me from a lot of heartache as a teenager.
Don’t get me wrong. I grew up in the south. I knew that Jesus died on the cross for sins. But as I said on Friday night, I didn’t understand that he died for MY sins until I was a senior in college.
I knew that the grave was empty on that first Easter morning. But I didn’t understand what that meant to me and my heart.
Namely, I didn’t understand that I had been REDEEMED and ADOPTED.
It’s my prayer today that you would understand, really understand, what Easter means and that it would change you permanently from the inside out.
Last week, we looked at six promises from Galatians 3:26-4:2.
In Christ, we get a:
All those who put their faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins gain the right to call God Father.
When God looks at us, he sees us as sons because He sees us clothed in His Son’s righteous robes.
Paul writes that being a Jew or a Gentile no longer matters. It doesn’t matter what culture you come from, or what color your skin is, or what neighborhood you live in, or what language you speak.
The Gospel looks past all of that. This would have been earth shattering for his hearers. In Christ, those cultural barriers have been broken down.
Paul writes that the coming of Christ, ushered in the age of grace. While we were under law, we were like a child waiting for the inheritance. The whole estate was theirs but not until the time set by the Father.
“If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.” (Gal 3:29-4:2)
That brings us to our verses for today.
Let me remind you that Paul taught the Galatians that Jesus + Nothing = Everything and that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.
But the Judaizers came behind him and told these new Christians that they had only heard half the story. Yes, yes, Jesus died for you sins. But you also need to follow the dietary rules, the Mosaic law, and circumcision. In other words, they needed to become Jewish before they could be a Christian.
Paul writes this entire letter to refute this idea.
Remember, those who dance are thought crazy by those who cannot hear the music.
Turn with me to Galatians 4:4
“So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world.” (Gal 4:4)
Paul uses the term “we” to describe the Jewish Christians that had come out from under the law into grace.
The term “elemental” means “in a straight row.” It’s like A,B,C or 1,2,3. Those are the things that we in elementary school. But after 1,300 years, that age was coming to an end. The time had come…