Summary: Sermon 7 in the Galatians series. A powerful argument from Paul in favor of Justification by Faith, not from works.
Illustration of focusing on something small/menial and missing something huge (I used scuba diving in a lake or pond, then the ocean, then going back to the pond)
Scuba diving in ocean vs in a rock quarry or lake / swimming pool
Ocean: full of life, visibility seems to go on forever, freedom (closest thing to human flight)
swimming pool: no life, just there for training,
I would have to be under some kind of spell to want to go back to scuba diving in the swimming pool after being in the ocean!
backdrop for passage, context of letter by Paul to the Galatians
False Teachers attempting to convince gentile believers in Galatia that they needed to become Jews in order to be real Christians. (circumcision)
National / ethnic pride: (Jews saw themselves as chosen / cream of crop)
Gal 3: 1-5 (NIV) 1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4 Have you suffered so much for nothing--if it really was for nothing? 5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?
Strong Language in v1
Foolish Galatians – Have you lost your minds? (stopped using them altogether)
Who has bewitched you? Put the evil eye on you.
(husbands-fishing reel / kids-candy)
The evil eye – are you under some kind of spell?
The false teaching like a fog of confusion, Galatians lost connection the reality of gospel.
Foolish Galatians, like a slap in the face to snap them out of their state of confusion, fogginess, haze
Once he has their attention, he makes a statement, then asks them basically 3 questions
Thats what I want to look at this morning: Paul’s statement and 3 questions
Like a searchlight that cuts through the fog, bring them back to solid ground
I. THE STATEMENT:
First in v1 – He makes a statement.
1... Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
He is drawing them back in time, to the point when they first heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For many of the Galatians, would be Paul and his assoc.
Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
Word used here would be like a poster or a billboard depicting the event
Or in todays terms to have the crucifixion broadcast on the jumbotron at the football stadium
He is saying you were confronted by Jesus on the cross –
Not just by men preaching a message, but through that proclaiming of the gospel
We are confronted by the Savoir Himself, hanging on the cross
He is bringing them back to a moment in their experience when the gospel was simple and pure, with Christ on the Cross in plain view.
He has brought the Galatians (and us along with them) to the foot of the cross, where we are confronted by the crucified Christ, with no choice but to see the ultimate price that was paid.
Confronted by the cross
Confronted by the blood
Confronted by our sin – thats why he is there
We find ourselves at the foot of the cross, broken
Because our sin put the savoir on the cross
We look up in to his face and we hear his words
“Forgive them Father, they do not know what they are doing”
then his final words from the cross “It is finished”
And we know
We know the price has been paid – by Jesus
We know the work has been done – by Jesus
We know that we have nothing more to offer – nothing to add – to the work of Jesus
We accept his gift
We trust Jesus for our salvation
We ask him humbly for the forgiveness that he already promised
We make our commitment to Jesus as our Lord
No more will I do it my way Jesus, It is not even me anymore Jesus
It is you – you live through me
That is where we find ourselves, at the foot of the cross, with Jesus clearly portrayed as crucified:
Paul has brought us here along with the Galatians reading his letter, and it is as much for us as it is for them.
And Paul asks us 3 questions
II. 3 QUESTIONS:
2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?
It’s a simple question really, I just want to know one thing