Summary: Paul is going to focus on the false teacher’’s influence and their desire to cut in on the Galatians spiritual progress in the verses we will study this morning.
Dance Lessons: Who Cut in on You?
Pastor Jefferson M. Williams
Chenoa Baptist Church
Run, Forest, Run
A couple of years ago, I met a group of runners out at Humiston Woods for a five mile training run. We were all training for different races and running on the trails provided a different kind of workout.
I had spent a lot of time learning how to run properly - head up, shoulders back, breathing right. But running on trails that were littered with leaves and roots and fallen trees made keeping my head up difficult.
One second I was talking to the runner next to me and the next I was flying through the air. I had caught my foot on a root and literally did a flip. I landed on my backside but slide on some leaves right up to my feet and kept running.
I received a loud ovation from the group of runners who witnessed this feat.
It’s one thing to be tripped up while going out for a jog, but it’s whole different experience when we are tripped up in our spiritual race.
Paul is going to focus on the false teacher’’s influence and their desire to cut in on the Galatians spiritual progress in the verses we will study this morning.
Free To Run
Let me remind you of Paul’s words from last week:
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Gal 5:1)
By virtue of Jesus’ substitutionary, atoning death on the cross and His resurrection, we have been:
We have been set free from the burden of our sins
We have been set free from the guilt of our sins
We have been set from from empty religion
We are free from the penalty of sin (justification) and from the power of sin (sanctification)
We are free to call God “Abba” has His children
We are free to approach the throne of grace with confidence (Hebrews 4:16)
We are set free from the fear of death
I love what Matt Chandler says, “We have been set from from fear-based behavioral modification.”
We no longer fear that God doesn’t love us when we fail. We live in the freedom knowing that grace covers those failures!
Some of you live in shame and guilt and condemnation. You think that God is mad at you for what you did or didn’t do.
But God does not judge us on our performance but on our position in Christ. If you are in Christ, then:
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
Paul makes clear that if the Galatians choose works over grace then Christ would have no value to them, they would be obligated to obey the whole law, and they would be cut from grace.
Remember, the Judaizers had told the Galatians that they were not quite complete as Christians. Yes, trusting in Christ was the beginning but, in order to truly experience the spiritual faith journey, they had to follow the Mosaic Laws, the dietary rules, and, especially, enter the covenant family of the Jews through circumcision.
At the end of the age, when we stand before God in judgement, it won’t matter whether you were circumcised or not, played cards or not, did your quiet time or not. The only way we are getting in is on the merit of another - Jesus Christ!
The only thing that matters in Paul’s mind is “faith expressing itself through love.” This is a practical faith, lived out by the Spirit, that loves God and loves others with intentionality and extravagance.
This is the dance of grace, love, joy and freedom that we’ve been studying these past weeks.
[slide] Remember, those who dance are thought crazy by those who can not hear the music.
If you didn’t watch last week’s sermon, or any of the sermons in this series, you can do so on our Facebook page.
Turn with me to Galatians 5.
In verses 1-6 of chapter 5, Paul addresses false doctrine. In verses 7-12, he will address the influence of the false teachers on the churches in Galatia. We’re going to look at 4 ways false teachers effect the church.
[slide] False Teachers Interfere with our Spiritual Race
[slide] “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?” (Gal 5:7)
The Apostle Paul must have been a sports fan because he uses a lot of sports metaphors in his letters. In his first letter to the church at Corinth he writes about boxing. (I Cor 9:26) In Ephesians, he says that we “wrestle not with flesh and blood.” (Ephesians 6:12).