Summary: This morning, we are going to look at a promise that God made to Abraham that still is in effect today for us!
Dance Lessons: Promise Keeper
Pastor Jefferson M. Williams
Chenoa Baptist Church
Back in the early 90s, right after I got married, Promise Keepers became a cultural phenomena. I attended multiple conferences, worked the prayer tent in AL, and watched my dad surrender his life to Christ at the PK in Memphis.
It was through these books, conferences, and groups that I learned what it meant to be a Godly husband and father.
At the heart of this mens organization was the idea of a “promise keeping God.” By some estimates, there are over 7,000 promises in the Bible and God will keep every one of them! If God keeps His promises then, as men and leaders of our family, so should we.
By the way, PK is back and is holding a conference for over 80,000 men in Dallas in late July.
This morning, we are going to look at a promise that God made to Abraham that still is in effect today for us!
Recap from last week (Gal 3:1-14)
In our last sermon on Galatians, Paul made three arguments to try to get the Galatians attention. He was very frustrated with them and calls them foolish and even accusing them of being bewitched! How else do you explain leaving the dance floor of grace to put back on the prison shackles of the law?
He asked them a series of rapid-fire questions to help them understand that God did not give them the Spirit because they obeyed the Law but because they put their faith in Christ.
Remember that the Judaizers had come behind Paul and told the Galatians that Paul wasn’t a real apostle and that he watered down his Gospel so they will like him. In order to be a real Christian, you had to follow the dietary rules, the Mosaic law, and be circumcised. In other words, you had to become Jewish first in order to come to Christ.
Paul emphatically said no to this idea. He called the father of the Jewish faith, Abraham, to the stand and showed them from Scripture that Abraham was not justified before God because he was circumcised - that happened 14 years after the promise. He wasn’t justified because he followed the Mosaic law because that didn’t come into 430 later.
These people believed that Paul’s Jesus + Nothing = Everything equation wasn’t good enough. You had to add something to the cross, it wasn’t enough.
Abraham believed God’s promises and it was “credited to him as righteousness.” It was his faith that made him right with God. And all who follow Abraham’s example of faith, even Gentiles, are part of God’s forever family.
Lastly, Paul points out that everyone is under a curse because everyone sins. But Jesus absorbed that curse for us on the cross so that we might receive the promise of the Holy Spirit and eternal life.
This means that we don’t have to fear standing in front of God loaded down by sins. We are free, acquitted, not guilty! We also don’t have to be afraid of death. Death for the believer is simply a door to the Father’s house.
Remember, those who dance are thought crazy be those who can’t hear the music.
Right now, that is a timely thought for us all.
If you haven’t watched all of the sermons from this series, you can do so on our FaceBook page.
Turn with me in your Bibles to Galatians 3. We will be starting in verse 15.
The Law doesn’t cancel God’s Promise
Paul is going to continue his line of argument with an example from every day life:
Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.
Again, notice that he has shifted back to brothers and sisters.
The Judiazers may have acknowledged that, yes, Abraham was justified by faith, but that was before Moses and the Law. The Law superseded the promise to Abraham and became the way people had a relationship with God.
Paul answers this objection with something that they all would understand - a last will and testament. The Greek way of doing wills was very similar to how we do wills today.
Imagine that my father dies and we are all gathered to read his will. The lawyer reads what each person will get and then turns to me and says, “You get a million dollars. But I’m going to add a stipulation to this and say that you only get this million dollars if you deny the genius of Barry Manilow.”
Obviously I would never deny the genus of Barry but there’s another thing wrong with this scenario. The lawyer couldn’t add on conditions to a will that’s already been signed and sealed.