Summary: When preaching through Galatians, many pastors either just mention this section or skip over it altogether. Why? Because it is a hard section to preach! It’s theologically deep and I’ve had to work hard to be able to explain in a way that we can all understand.
Dance Lessons: A Passionate Plea from a Pastor
Pastor Jefferson M. Williams
Chenoa Baptist Church
Redeemed and Adopted
Last week, we celebrated Easter in a very different way but the resurrection of Jesus Christ was still celebrated all over the world by billions of people.
If we had met in the auditorium of the church, we were planning for about 115 people. The video of the sermon has been viewed over 200 times! God in His providence has given us the opportunity to reach even more people this year, despite the inability to meet in person!
We mined the depths of one of the most beautiful passages in all the Bible and learned two Easter words - redeemed and adopted:
“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” (Galatians 4:4-7)
What did we learn?
Because Jesus was fully God, the second Person of the Trinity, He could fulfill the law’s requirements completely. His ‘perfect score” was applied to our accounts. His righteousness is applied to us.
Because Jesus was fully human, He could die on the cross as our representative, absorbing all of God’s wrath for our sins, and paying the price fully.
He did this voluntarily and out of sheer grace and love for us in order to redeem us, to buy us back from the bondage to sin.
But He not only redeemed us, He also adopted us into His forever family! We are no longer slaves to sin but sons, and heirs , of the Most High God that we can now, by the Spirit, call “Daddy.”
That was great Easter news!
If you haven’t watched that sermon, or any other of the Galatian sermons, you can find the all on the Chenoa Baptist Church FaceBook page.
In chapters 3 and 4 of Galatians, Paul dives deep into doctrine and sometimes leaves us trying to catch our breath.
But in the verses we will study this morning, Paul becomes emotional as he thinks of his “spiritual children” in Galatia.
Remember, that he planted these churches, he lead them to Christ and disciple them into leadership.
But the Judaizers came behind him and told the Galatians that Jesus + Nothing = Everything might make for a nice bumper sticker but it wouldn’t get them to heaven. They had to follow the Mosaic law, the dietary rules, and get circumcised. In other words, they had to become a Jew to become a Christian.
?The Galatians were confused and didn’t know what or who to believe.
Paul writes the entire book of Galatians to help them understand that we have been called to dance to the rhythm of grace and it would be absurd to go back to the chains of the law.
Remember, that those who dance are often thought crazy by those who cannot hear the music.
Turn with me to our verses in Galatians 4, starting in verses 8.
Paul starts this section out with a startling claim. He tells that in faith in Christ, there are no U-turns allowed.
“Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.” (Galatians 4:8-11)
Just like in the beginning of chapter three, Paul is going to appeal to their experience. He’s going to remind them of what it was like for them before they were Christians.
Verses 8-11 serve as a bridge to Paul’s emotion appeal to come.
Before they came to Christ, they didn’t know God and worship idols, or as Paul puts it “no gods.”
They were Gentiles and there were pagan worship temples everywhere in Galatia and they were all expected to participate in the worship of the Emperor.
They were slaves to the “dumb idols” and Jesus had rescued them from the demonic powers that were behind such worship.
But Paul says that something significant happened when they came to know God.
This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” (Jeremiah 9:23)