Summary: Message 6 in our Galatians series exploring chapter 3 on Abraham's faith.
Chico Alliance Church
True freedom comes by grace through faith in Christ
I. Paul carries the right credentials 1:1-2:14
Apostle, taught personally by Christ Himself
II. Paul Teaches the Correct Concept of the Gospel of Grace 2:15-4:31
Right standing before God comes only through faith in Christ apart from works.
A. The Gospel of Grace Introduced 2:15-21
1. In Stated emphatically 15-16
A man is justified by faith in Christ apart from keeping the law.
2. Argued Strongly 17-20
I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”
3. Held strenuously 21
I do not nullify the grace of God (by teaching salvation through keeping the law)
If righteousness comes through keeping law, Christ’s death was pointless.
B. The Gospel of Grace Argued and Illustrated 3:1-4:31
Having clarified the core concept of the gospel of grace, Paul attempts to enlighten the Galatians as to the personal impact of this truth to their lives. Just as faith brings new life and a right standing with God apart from any of my effort, so faith in Christ must continue to be the way of life.
1. Argued by clarifying interrogation 3:1-6
Who has bewitched you before whose eyes Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
Did you receive the Spirit (of Christ) by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?
Are you so foolish having begun by the Spirit, you are now being perfected by the flesh?
Did you suffer so many things in vain -- if indeed it was in vain?
THEN Does he who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you DO IT by the works of law or by hearing with faith?
Has God changed his principle of operation? God continually (present tense) provides or supplies us with His Spirit.
God continually (present tense) energizes (energeo) power (dunamis) among you or within you. Paul draws their attention to the abundant blessing of God both among them and within them. Paul continually praised God for His work among them. He equally illuminated God’s power continually operating within them. This is the same power demonstrated at the resurrection of Christ.
Is there something more for you to do or is there someone for you to believe and trust?
Paul said in Ephesians, “as you received Christ Jesus, so walk in Him.” We must not turn away from the fountain of living water freely available to all who will receive to dig for ourselves broken cisterns that can’t possibly hold water.
God justifies us through faith in His promise.
God sanctifies us through faith in His promise.
Justification is legal standing before God.
Paul equates this work with “receiving the Spirit.”
Sanctification is personal standing before God.
Paul equates this work with the supernatural energizing of believers to live like Christ.
Both are works of God accomplished for us and in us on the basis of faith in the promise of God.
What kind of faith are we talking about here? Paul illustrates the principle by referring to the historical figure Abraham who lived way before Moses and the formal law. These Gentiles would probably be familiar with Abraham through the Judaizers teaching.
2. Illustrated in Abraham 3:7-29
a. God blessed Abraham on the basis of his faith 3:7-9
Even so, Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.
Like we believed in Christ for justification
Like you believed in Christ for justification.
God still operates on the principle of faith
Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.And Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham saying, “All nations shall be blessed in you.
A brief look at Abraham’s faith
• Called at 75 years old (Gen 12 1-3
• Left for the promised land Gen 12:4-9
• Test in Egypt Gen 12:10-20
• Separation from Lot 13:1-18
• Victory in Battle 14:1-24
• Ratified Promise Gen 15:1-21
• Fleshly effort renewed 16:1-16
• Eternal promise continued 17 (13 years later – 99)
• Destruction of Sodom 19
• More self protection with Abimelech 20
• Birth Isaac
• The public demonstration of Abraham’s personal faith 22
Paul applied Abraham’s example in his letter to the Romans chapter 4. God grants right standing, not guilty status on the basis of faith; the same way that Abraham was declared righteousness on the basis of faith in the promise of God.
Paul declares to the Galatians that:
“It is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.”