Summary: In this section of Galatians, Paul continues to explain why we are saved by grace through faith and not by works.
A. The story is told of a Sunday School teacher who was trying to help her kindergarten students learn about what saves us.
1. She asked the class, “If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale, and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into heaven?” The kindergarten class answered, “NO!”
2. The teacher then asked, “If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into heaven?” Once more they answered, “NO!”
3. She asked them again, “Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children and loved my husband, would that get me into heaven?” Again they all answered, “NO!”
4. “Well,” the teacher asked, “Then how can I get into heaven?”
5. A five-year-old boy answered, “Before you get into heaven, first, you gotta be dead.”
B. That’s true in more than one way – Before you can get into heaven, you gotta be dead (in body and to self).
1. But let’s think about this question: How good do you have to be to go to heaven?
a. Pretty good
b. Really Good
c. Better than Uncle Joe
2. The correct answer is D.
a. If you want to go to heaven, you have to be perfect.
b. And I don’t mean “sort of” perfect, “mostly” perfect, or 80% perfect.
c. Being 80% perfect is like being 80% pregnant - either you’re pregnant or you’re not.
d. Either you’re perfect or you’re not.
3. The kicker in all this is that 99.9% of the world believes the right answer is either A or B or C.
a. Most people would say it’s A. If I’m pretty good on the relative scale of goodness, surely I’ll go to heaven.
b. And most people are quick to compare themselves to Uncle Joe or Aunt Jane or those bad people down the street.
c. That’s always an easy comparison because we usually only compare ourselves to someone who isn’t as good as we are.
4. But that’s not what God does.
a. When God makes a comparison, he compares us to his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
b. We all fall short of his divine glory (Romans 3:23).
c. If none of us are perfect, then how can we be saved?
d. We will answer that question as we move through this sermon.
C. Today we are continuing our sermon series – Set Free – A Study of the Book of Galatians.
1. As we arrive at today’s sermon, we turn a corner in our journey through Galatians.
2. The letter to the Galatians divides nicely into three parts:
a. The Personal Section: Chapters 1-2
b. The Doctrinal Section: Chapters 3-4
c. The Practical Section: Chapters 5-6
D. Today, as we begin the doctrinal section of the book, I need to tell you that there are some verses that are fairly intricate and some arguments that are hard for us to understand.
1. We will be doing some deep plowing in this section, but that is good for us.
2. But the main point of the entire letter is very clear.
a. Paul returns, again and again, to one central question: Are we saved by what we do or by what Christ has done for us?