Summary: Paul makes the point that as Christians, we have been set free!
Dance Lessons: Slaves no More!
Pastor Jefferson M. Williams
Chenoa Baptist Church
In 1838 the British government sent word to Jamaica that slavery was at an end and that therefore those who were slaves were now free. On that night of emancipation, a mahogany coffin was made. Former slaves filled the coffin with whips, branding irons, coarse clothing, handcuffs, and other tools and symbols used during their years of bondage.
The coffin lid was bolted shut and at midnight the coffin was lowered into a grave, dug especially for the occasion. Then the thousands gathered celebrated their new freedom by singing the doxology!
They had gone from slaves to free. Can you imagine the joy these people experienced. Paul makes the point that as Christians, we have made the same journey and can experience the same joy!
If you haven’t watched the sermons in this series, please go to our FB page.
Let me remind you how the section we studied last time ended:
“Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.” (Gal 3:23-25)
We learned last week, that the Law acted as a guardian until the time of grace was to come. Once the New Covenant was established by Jesus’ perfect life, death, and resurrection, then we were set free from the law’s tyranny.
The law took us by the hand and showed us our hopelessness and helplessness and led us to Christ.
Or put another way…
The law puts us in jail and the Gospel is the key that opens the door and gives us freedom.
Remember, that those who dance are thought crazy by those who can not hear the music.
Remember, that Paul was teaching Jesus + Nothing = Everything and the Judaizers didn’t like that.
But through the first three chapters of Galatians, we have learned that we are saved through grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.
Turn with me to Galatians 3 and we will start in verse 26.
In keeping with the theme of promise from last week, I want use to look at four promises from these verses.
New Car Smell
We love new things. Or at least, I love new things.
I remember going to a job interview and everything article of clothing I had on was new, including socks and underwear. I just knew I would get the job because I felt so good in my new clothes. (I didn’t get the job)
I love the combination of 50-60 VOC (volatile organic compounds) off-gassing. You do to. That’s what “new car smell” is. It’s actually quite terrible for you.
We are looking forward to a new heaven and new earth where God will make all things new.
If you love new things, I’ve got absolutely amazing news for you today.
Promise # 1: A New Identity
"So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith…” (Gal 3:26)
On April 29, 2011, Kate Middleton got married. It wasn’t just any wedding, but a royal wedding watched world-wide. On the day she married Prince William, she went from being just Kate to the Duchess of Cambridge.
Talk about a change in identity!
Paul likens our transition from children under the guardian of the law to sons of God to Kate’s passage from commoner to a member of the royal family.
It is “in Christ Jesus” that makes all the difference. Believers in Christ are united with Him, participate in Him, and are incorporated into Him.
Thank of that term incorporated as walking by a table in a restaurant and being asked to pull up a chair. Or sitting on the sidelines of a gym and being asked to join a pick-up game.
Our relationship with God is established by our union with Jesus and that union is secured by our faith.
John Stott explains:
“God is no longer our Judge, who through the law has condemned and imprisoned us. Gos is no longer our Tutor who through the law restrains and chastises us. God is now our Father, who in Christ has accepted and and forgiven us.”
How many get this new identity? All who put their faith in Christ.
Two things we need to be clear on this morning. While every human on earth is a creation of God, only those who put their faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins can rightfully call God their Father.
John writes at the beginning of his gospel:
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13)