Summary: I want to contend with you today that all you need is faith.
All You Need Is Faith
Text: Gal. 3:6-14
1. Last week I preached on Jimi Hendrix and asked the question "Are You Experienced. This morning I am going to continue that look into old Rock legends and talk about the Beatles.
2. The Beatles once said in a song "all you need is love." Now while I respect their musical and song writing abilities, I have to say that the Beatles got it wrong.
Proposition: I want to contend with you today that all you need is faith.
3. Now wait a minute Pastor, doesn't the Bible say that of the three things that last the greatest of these is love?
a. Yes it does, however, the Bible also says that if it wasn't for God we wouldn't know what anything about love.
b. 1 John 4:10 (NLT)
This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
c. So without God showing his love to us first we wouldn't know how to love, and the only way we can come to God and discover that love is through faith.
4. Paul tells us that...
a. Faith brings us the blessings of Christ
b. Faith brings us life in Christ
c. Faith requires dependence on Christ
5. Let's all stand as we read Gal. 3:6-14
Transition: The greatest benefit of faith is...
I. Faith Brings Us The Blessings of Chirst (6-9).
A. Those Who Put Their Faith In God
1. Like any good Pastor Paul makes his appeal to the Galatians by referring to Scripture.
a. Paul here refers five times to the law of Moses and once to the Prophets, making a case from Scripture that those who claimed to respect the law had to accept (Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament).
b. Again his point is that we come to God only by faith and not by the works of the law.
2. He starts out by pointing to the "Father of Faith," Abraham. He says, "In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”
a. Abraham, is an example of faith from the Old Testament, but what is crucial here is that Abraham was justified by faith; that is, he was fully accepted by God not by observing the law but by faith.
b. For Paul to choose Abraham is more than illustrative: Abraham was seen by Jews as the father of their nation and the quintessential Jew.
c. One Jewish work of the era says: "For Abraham was perfect in all of his actions with the Lord and was pleasing through righteousness all of the days of his life."
d. The significance of this background here in Galatians is that Paul proves Abraham's prototypical role without reference to circumcision.
e. Paul’s emphasis is that Abraham was pronounced as "acceptable to God" before his circumcision, making the implication clear: circumcision was not necessary. Abraham was accepted by God solely because he surrendered his entire life to God's promise. (Scot McKnight, The NIV Application Commentary – Galatians, 151).
3. Paul makes the point that if we are to be the children of Abraham then we will have to come to God the same way that he did: by faith. He says, "The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God."
a. For Paul, Abraham's descendants are those who simply believe; not those who believe and allow themselves to be circumcised.
b. The fact is, Abraham's circumcision (Gen. 17) came after his pronouncement of acceptance (15:6).
c. Thus his descendants are those who believe, those who opt for the faith system (along with Christ and the Holy Spirit); they opt out of the works system (McKnight, 152).
d. He was making the same point to the believing Jews in Galatia that Jesus made to the unbelieving Jews in Jerusalem: Only genuine believers, those who are of faith, have any claim to a spiritual relationship to Abraham, or to God.
e. Jews with no faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are not true sons of Abraham, whereas Gentiles who believe in Him are (John MacArthur, MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Galatians, 75).
4. Now Paul makes the claim that this was God's plan all along. He says, "What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.”
a. Having argued that Abraham was accepted by God because of his faith and that the true descendants of Abraham are believers, Paul now argues that Gentiles can be these true believers.